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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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36 Responses to
B-Triples on the Hume Highway
jadejewel 4:28 pm 06 Jan 13

I’m with the OP on this one, although I wouldn’t say it was 90% of truck drivers that are nongs. I’ve seen plenty of supposedly professional drivers do dumb things out there. It’s by no means all of them, or even more than half, but any percentage of poor driving behind the wheel of any vehicle – especially a freaking big vehicle – is a scary thing. It only takes one substandard driver behind the wheel of a b-double to do a hell of a lot of damage. Now imagine that guy behind the wheel of a b-triple.

My other objection to this insane proposal is that it’s just stupidly inefficient.What is a b-triple? It’s an engine with a bunch of freight carriages behind it. Uh, guys, we have those already – they’re called TRAINS, and they run on tracks which they don’t have to share with lots of other vehicles. What’s next, b-quadruples? B-pentuples? Until we have actual truck-trains on the roads with us? Sheesh.

This proposal is about bigger profits for the guys who run big trucking companies – this way they move more freight using less drivers is all. Why pay two guys to ship your freight when you can pay one? They’ve been using the term ‘productivity’ in the media any time this topic comes up, and that has become code for paying people less to do more. The freight companies don’t give a bugger about efficiency or public safety; it’s a profit motive pure and simple.

I suggest we all get off our lazy arses and start harassing the government and private companies to get behind the railways. It’s more efficient to run freight on rail and we are a pretty stoopid country if we can’t see that – as well as being a sh*tload safer for everyone involved.

Deref 4:22 pm 06 Jan 13

“you have got to wonder how such an idiotic decision could be made. “

Not at all. Successive governments have been wholly-owned subsidiaries of the transport industry for a long time.

gasman 4:06 pm 06 Jan 13

PrinceOfAles said :

I do agree with you that rail is the best solution for freight and people, however the political will to spend on rail is just not there.

Political will = public will.

We have no political will to get rail as a major form of transport in Australia because there is no public knowledge or support.

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.

As an added side benefit, once the infrastructure is in place for rail goods transport, it can be used for commuting as well, at a fraction of the cost and carbon of car and plane travel.

Of course, its that huge initial infrastructure expense that is the stumbling block for governments. Its something that can’t be put in place within one government term. And something that reaps benefits in the long term, not short term. Our system of government and voting patterns are rigged against large infrastructure projects.

Europe is putting in more and more rail systems, recognising the long-term cost benefits, improved road safety and decreased carbon emissions.

Infographic: http://thumbnails.visually.netdna-cdn.com/the-environmental-benefits-of-freight-rail_5029199255978.png

milkman 3:48 pm 06 Jan 13

A most Canberran of whinges.

Lazy I 2:49 pm 06 Jan 13

460cixy said :

PrinceOfAles said :

Your experiences with “idiot” truck drivers are very different from mine. 99.9% of the time I find them to be professional, safe and courteous. The only thing you will notice when b triples are introduced is that there will be fewer trucks on the highway at any one time. Or to put it another way you will not have to overtake a truck as often. You`re getting your panties in a twist over nothing. I do agree with you that rail is the best solution for freight and people, however the political will to spend on rail is just not there.

+1.

Dont let the truth get in the way of a good yarn. I used to see a chick down in Albury and was driving down every week for two years and had zero run ins with truck drivers

What about the chick, any run ins with her?

goggles13 1:57 pm 06 Jan 13

farnarkler said :

The worst will be when some underpowered sh*tbox with four passengers tries to overtake a B triple on the Hume whilst going up a hill. It’ll take the car half an hour to get past the truck.

this happens already

Deckard 1:56 pm 06 Jan 13

farnarkler said :

The worst will be when some underpowered sh*tbox with four passengers tries to overtake a B triple on the Hume whilst going up a hill. It’ll take the car half an hour to get past the truck.

Or a triple passing another triple…

Deckard 1:55 pm 06 Jan 13

You make some good points but ruin your argument with made up statistics. 90% Really?? 9 out of every 10 trucks are reckless maniacs? You might have been better off going with 5 or 10%.

I think the Hume Hwy would need to be 3 lanes the entire way for this to happen. Have you ever tried to pass a B Triple in high wind? It’s hard but doable out on a quiet outback road but in heavy traffic would be a nightmare. It’d be even worse if it was raining as well.

farnarkler 1:10 pm 06 Jan 13

The worst will be when some underpowered sh*tbox with four passengers tries to overtake a B triple on the Hume whilst going up a hill. It’ll take the car half an hour to get past the truck.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 1:06 pm 06 Jan 13

Can we get another convey 😀

dave__ 12:49 pm 06 Jan 13

>> what about getting from their depots to the Hume Highway??
The same way as many B-doubles get to their destination, there will be a point somewhere near the end of the freeway where they can uncouple their trailers, and take them in to town one at a time.

460cixy 12:37 pm 06 Jan 13

PrinceOfAles said :

Your experiences with “idiot” truck drivers are very different from mine. 99.9% of the time I find them to be professional, safe and courteous. The only thing you will notice when b triples are introduced is that there will be fewer trucks on the highway at any one time. Or to put it another way you will not have to overtake a truck as often. You`re getting your panties in a twist over nothing. I do agree with you that rail is the best solution for freight and people, however the political will to spend on rail is just not there.

+1. Dont let the truth get in the way of a good yarn. I used to see a chick down in Albury and was driving down every week for two years and had zero run ins with truck drivers

Jerry Atric 12:28 pm 06 Jan 13

In 18th Century England they were faced with the problem of supplying coal from the northern fields to a growing population in London. The problem was solved not by bigger wagons over inadequate roads but, realising that bulk supply was achieved best by developing a “pipeline”. Their pipeline was a system of canals which could, even at slow speeds, provide a continuous supply as input matched output. The canals were replaced by railways (leaving by the way, a superb recreational facility) which fulfilled the same purpose. Passengers were always an added glamorous extra. Until our freight movers can think of something better than the railways for bulk movement then let us not let the boys loose with their big toys.

bikhet 12:27 pm 06 Jan 13

Bobmac:

Like you, I don’t relish the idea of triples on the Hume as I also believe that it will be the start of them appearing on other roads, and, in particular, on roads that would only be marginally capable of handling them.

Unlike you, I have found truckies to be decidedly non-threatening and a damn sight more aware of what’s going on around them than a lot of motorists. Then again, I’m a regular driver between Canberra and Melbourne, and maybe the truckies on that run are better than the truckies on yours.

PrinceOfAles 12:07 pm 06 Jan 13

Your experiences with “idiot” truck drivers are very different from mine. 99.9% of the time I find them to be professional, safe and courteous. The only thing you will notice when b triples are introduced is that there will be fewer trucks on the highway at any one time. Or to put it another way you will not have to overtake a truck as often. You`re getting your panties in a twist over nothing. I do agree with you that rail is the best solution for freight and people, however the political will to spend on rail is just not there.

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