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B-Triples on the Hume Highway

By bobmac 6 January 2013 36

Having read in the Canberra Times (December 30, page 10) that the NSW and presumably Victorian governments are proposing to trial B-Triples on the Hume highway in 2014, you have got to wonder how such an idiotic decision  could be made.

Bill McKinley of the Australian Trucking Association is quoted as saying “we have an excellent understanding of how they handle” and “the safety and productivity case for bringing them in is compelling”. That might be his views, but as a regular traveller between Canberra and the Central Coast of NSW on the Federal Highway, Hume Highway, M7, M2, Pennant Hills Road, and F3 I would like to comment on the danger 90% of the idiots calling themselves professional truck drivers pose to motorists.

These clowns continually exceed the speed limit (including roadwork areas and recently resealed sections of dual carriageways where they will, without compunction, move to the outside lane and shower everyone with stones) , tailgate slower cars, wait until you are in the process of overtaking them, then indicate and pull out straight away in many cases to spend the next umpteen kilometres blocking the highway whilst  trying to overtake another truck doing about 1/2 kph less.

And this is with the existing semis and B-doubles!

Imagine these galahs let loose in the B-triple monsters!! Not to mention the dangers of excessive spray from these vehicles obliterating the road ahead when it is raining. 

One wonders whether any of these decision makers/politicians actually drive on these roads to experience the conditions first hand.
 
Whilst this trial is supposed to be for the Hume Highway (what about getting from their depots to the Hume Highway??), I bet it won’t be long before they worm their way onto the Pacific Highway. Imagine having to deal with this lot on Pennant Hills Road between the M2 and F3 – there is supposed to be a plan to build a link road between these two, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
 
Obviously the likes of Lindsay Fox etc have a strong influence with the federal and state governments, but instead of encouraging the use of these oversized missiles on our roads, we should be investing in upgrading and modernising the existing  rail system to carry this freight. If they let these things loose on our highways, what next – road trains??? (or perhaps B-Triples already qualify as such!) In that case why not take the proposal (as mentioned in the above CT article) to review parking on major roads used by trucks a step further and review the driving of cars on those roads – then the trucking lobby would have it all their own way.

What’s Your opinion?


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B-Triples on the Hume Highway
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switch 11:07 pm 07 Jan 13

NoImRight said :

Wouldnt allowing the triples actually reduce congestion on the roads? Two tripes = 3 doubles?

Truck sizes have been increasing since the first one rolled out of the stable. Haven’t noticed any decrease in congestion.

JC 7:45 pm 07 Jan 13

NoImRight said :

Wouldnt allowing the triples actually reduce congestion on the roads? Two tripes = 3 doubles?

That is the argument of the lobby group, though one needs to consider at what ‘cost’ the extra length comes at.

PS A B double isn’t actually 2x a single, it is more like 1.5 times as the front trailer needs a 5th wheel (the turntable thing where the trailer attaches) on the back which takes up available cargo space. Likewise a triple has two “short” trailers with a 5th wheel with the rear being full sized, so a triple ends up being about double the capacity of a single.

Diggety 2:51 pm 07 Jan 13

NoImRight said :

Wouldnt allowing the triples actually reduce congestion on the roads? Two tripes = 3 doubles?

Please stop making so much sense.

NoImRight 2:29 pm 07 Jan 13

Wouldnt allowing the triples actually reduce congestion on the roads? Two tripes = 3 doubles?

JC 1:50 pm 07 Jan 13

Hey Bobmac if you read the article you would see that it is not, repeat not the government wanting to trail B tripples, the ‘proposal’ is coming from the trucking industry/lobby. Like all proposals the government should consider it and then decide on merit.

As for Victoria B tripples have been allowed and used for a number of years, restricted to the Hume Freeway as well as parts of the freeway to Geelong and part of the ring road. Unless things have changed the only user is/was Ford for shipping parts from their Geelong plant to the Broadmedows factory.

Personally I don’t want to see trucks any bigger than B doubles on the Hume in NSW. The doubles are bad enough as it is. If road traffic is as bad as the trucking lobby is making out then more money should be spent getting more traffic onto rail.

Deref 1:49 pm 07 Jan 13

Diggety said :

On rail, yes it does make a lot of sense in many ways, but the economic case needs to be made for it to be a viable alternative.

Whatever for?

There are much more important issues than money.

Diggety 12:43 pm 07 Jan 13

I only do long trips on the Hume at night these days. There are minimal passenger vehicles, and mainly b-double trucks which I find are the most safe to share the road with.

Your made up stats on truck drivers are way off the mark in my observation.

On rail, yes it does make a lot of sense in many ways, but the economic case needs to be made for it to be a viable alternative. It appears the case cannot be made at this stage.

Felix the Cat 8:58 am 07 Jan 13

Sandman said :

Zan said :

I wonder if the roads have been made strong enough for the triples. Already the highways are deteriorating due to the heaviness and number of trucks, plus the drying out of the subsoils. I wonder what will the highway look like in a few years.

Source of the assumption that trucks are doing the damage? More likely it’s shoddy construction or just harsh Australian conditions.

Look at Macs Reef Rd from the Federal Hwy to Bungendore Rd. Its a shocking piece of Tarmac, constantly sprouting new corrugations and potholes. No truck over 10 tonnes is allowed on it though.

We don’t want facts, they get in the way of a good whinge.

bundah 8:39 am 07 Jan 13

If peeps are uncomfortable or outraged by policy decisions made by farktards then don’t be apathetic, send an email to the relevant minister expressing your opinion.Could one imagine a scenario where ministers received hundreds of thousands or a million emails demanding an immediate upgrade to the rail network rather than B-Triples.Unfortunately the problem is and always has been APATHY,yeah have a whinge but make sure the farktards in power get the message!

DrKoresh 10:40 pm 06 Jan 13

Zan said :

I wonder if the roads have been made strong enough for the triples. Already the highways are deteriorating due to the heaviness and number of trucks, plus the drying out of the subsoils. I wonder what will the highway look like in a few years.

Look, correct me if I’m wrong but I’m assuming a B-triple is a semi with 3 trailers attached instead of 2. So it’s not like the actual weight on the road is going to be increased by a third, more that the time that a single stretch of road will be under the weight of a single trailer will go up by a third. I don’t see how that leads to catastrophic damage. Now I’m just working off of what I’ve inferred from reading this article, I’m not an engineer nor a truck-driver so I’m happy to be told that I’m in the wrong, but to me this seems like a bunch of people looking for something to bitch about.

screaming banshee 10:12 pm 06 Jan 13

Lazy I said :

You can’t back a freight train into your local Woolworths and start unloading palettes, there is double handling at a local transport depot and distribution by smaller vehicles required… that’s more people to feed and infrastructure to support in your supply chain.

You can’t back a b trailer up to a Woolworths loading dock either

Pork Hunt 9:55 pm 06 Jan 13

Lazy I said :

switch said :

gasman said :

Trucks are extremely inefficient ways to carry large volumes of cargo. Rail is far more efficient (by a factor of at least 3), and once the infrastructure is in place, far less expensive. More goods on rail means less trucks on the roads.

No argument with any of that really, but B triples on the Hume are not going to be used for transporting >10k tonne loads of coal or iron ore. Instead they’ll be used for packages, petrol and containers, loads where rail failed and withdrew from years ago thanks to all the double handling and delays involved. People want their stuff NOW, not in two or three weeks like the old mail trains used to provide.

This.

It’s the double (and triple if the source warehouse / factory isn’t located near rail) handling that really does kill it.

You can’t back a freight train into your local Woolworths and start unloading palettes, there is double handling at a local transport depot and distribution by smaller vehicles required… that’s more people to feed and infrastructure to support in your supply chain.

Exhibit A:
Failed rail freight distribution depot http://goo.gl/Zq3JG

I’m a huge supporter of rail personally, but direct comparison between the two when one provides an end to end delivery solution while the other only provides arterial links doesn’t really show anything.

They can probably unload palettes at Eckersleys though…

Sandman 9:49 pm 06 Jan 13

Zan said :

I wonder if the roads have been made strong enough for the triples. Already the highways are deteriorating due to the heaviness and number of trucks, plus the drying out of the subsoils. I wonder what will the highway look like in a few years.

Source of the assumption that trucks are doing the damage? More likely it’s shoddy construction or just harsh Australian conditions.

Look at Macs Reef Rd from the Federal Hwy to Bungendore Rd. Its a shocking piece of Tarmac, constantly sprouting new corrugations and potholes. No truck over 10 tonnes is allowed on it though.

Lazy I 9:31 pm 06 Jan 13

Zan said :

I wonder if the roads have been made strong enough for the triples. Already the highways are deteriorating due to the heaviness and number of trucks, plus the drying out of the subsoils. I wonder what will the highway look like in a few years.

It’s just a second B trailer, the weight is distributed over 3 additional axles (12 total, including the truck).

Zan 8:13 pm 06 Jan 13

I wonder if the roads have been made strong enough for the triples. Already the highways are deteriorating due to the heaviness and number of trucks, plus the drying out of the subsoils. I wonder what will the highway look like in a few years.

stirred408 7:01 pm 06 Jan 13

Get rid of Robyn Archer and Jeremy Lasek and build an f-cking train for our 100 year birthday.

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