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kscarbel2

Heavy vehicle width limitations cost OEMs millions in Australia: NatRoad

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Prime Mover Magazine  /  March 13, 2019

Governments according to the National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) should consider granting general access to heavy vehicles with widths of 2550mm and 2600mm in the case of refrigerated vehicles.

The current maximum width of 2500mm costs manufacturers up to $15-30 million a year to redesign their vehicles, a reduction of between 50 to 100mm than heavy vehicles in other major markets said NatRoad.

These restrictions further discourage uptake of the safer, cleaner model commercial vehicles available at a time when the industry is desperate to reduce the average age of the national heavy vehicle fleet.

Work on the repercussions of making the changes advanced by NatRoad and others is being currently conducted by Austroads.

In a statement on its website, NatRoad acknowledged that under section 8 Heavy Vehicle (Vehicle Standards) National Regulation heavy vehicles were permitted to be 2550mm wide when taking into account load restraint.

“NatRoad believes that the arguments against the move to greater width flies in the face of available evidence,” the organisation said. 

“The arguments are that potential safety risks will arise because of reduced separation between vehicles and vulnerable road users such as cyclists. But the evidence shows that with greater width the capacity to install side underrun protection increases.” 

“These devices protect road users such as pedestrians and cyclists from slipping sideways under the wheels of trucks and trailers and may also improve the aerodynamic performance of heavy vehicles.” 

The assessment, according to NatRoad, of on-road performance for different heavy vehicles shows additionally that the PBS variant of each particular heavy vehicle generally performs better in safety and efficiency terms than the corresponding vehicle subject to prescriptive standards.

For NatRoad the disappointing part of the work being undertaken is that it excludes assessing potential changes to vehicle mass.

It currently supported greater maximum steer axle loads or at least further research on the effects of taking that step when heavy vehicles use certain tyre types.

“The review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law which is now underway should mean that all of the basic building blocks of the current law, particularly about vehicle dimensions, should be under scrutiny,” NatRoad said. 

“A move to 2550mm maximum width should be embraced as part of the review if not sooner.”

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Well I can assure you of two things that will happen if this is allowed

1. the end of Australian trailer manufacturing 

2. all the existing trailers we have will become pretty worthless over night 

We can easily fit 2 pallets in side todays fridge vans

A standard international shipping container is already under the 2.5 meter width  

I think this is a ploy for companies to import cheap trailers from China and if it's allowed it will be the end of Australian trailers

Australia has one of the world's most efficient road transport systems already and I  cant see this would do anything to improve efficiency

Paul 

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What is this about?

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11 hours ago, TS7 said:

What is this about?

It's about big businesses push to bring cheap over sized trailers into Australia and destroy what manufacturing of trailers we have in Australia 

Almost all semi trailers in Australia are Australian made 

Paul 

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Thanks Paul, that is what I thought it was. Maybe Kscarbel could explain your size trailers compared to US trailers.

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Our trailers are only allowed to be 2.5 meters or 8'2 1/2 wide

And most are only 45 feet long 

Cattle trailers are 40 feet internally to allow us to volume load( no load limit)

We are allowed 4.6 meters 15' 1"high for double deck cattle trailers or 4.5 meters 14' 9" for normal  trailers

 

Paul 

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21 hours ago, TS7 said:

What is this about?

It's Mainly driven by the Fridge van operators.

So they can get thicker walls for better insulation.. As our pallets are 1150mm (46") Square as apposed to the ISO size used everywhere else..

 

Also as Paul said , so Big Fleets can import cheaper Fridge & Dry vans or at least hold a big stick over the local trailer builders..

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