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Unbearable truck noise

By bellaa - 10 July 2009 59

Hello everyone, I recently moved to Canberra, and moved to a very “new” area (unknowingly – we are renters and had to make a quick decision based on website pictures).

We are woken at 6am every morning (even on the weekends) by the noise of trucks driving past our front door.

And I don’t mean moving trucks – I mean semi trailers and B-Doubles.  They come past every 5 minutes or so, using their air brakes the whole way. It goes on like this til about 7pm at night. We have moved from Sydney where we lived under the flight path, and these trucks are worse.

We can’t hear the TV, we have to halt conversation….. it’s unbearable.

A whole new suburb is being built down the road, so it is going to be a very long term thing. And as we are renters, we can’t do much in terms of double glazing or planting trees to try and buffer the noise. 

Is there anyone we can complain to? I am pretty sure that, as a suburban street, there should be regulations about the size of vehicle allowed (at least, there is in Sydney, but not familiar with the rules here). 

I understand our street is a shortcut for the truckies, but I am sure they would know about the rules around using main roads instead of suburban streets. I mean there are little kids on our street that try to ride their bikes around in the afternoon – amongst the semi trailers! At the very least there must be some restrictions on using their air brakes????

What’s Your opinion?


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Unbearable truck noise
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semaj 8:18 am 13 Jul 09

I very much doubt that they are using B doubles for constructions traffic, especially seeing that they are not permitted down Mapleton Ave.

What you are probably seeing is what is known as a truck and dog. Which is a smaller rigid tip truck with a trailer on behind it. I’m pretty sure there are no restrictions on where these can be driven, except for things such as load limits on certain roads and bridges which would apply to any vehicle.

bellaa 10:32 pm 12 Jul 09

andym said :

Hi Bella,
Are you sure about the B-Doubles? I think you will find that B-Doubles in the ACT are restricted to specific routes. So if there are B-Doubles then you may have avenues to explore….
See the attachment at (also has time restrictions noted) http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/143357/2009-28.pdf

Yep andym, they are. I must admit I had to do a google search because Trucks aren’t my area of expertise, but comparing the B-Doubles on the net and the trucks in the photos I have taken, they are one and the same. Not all of them – most are semi trailers with one or two trailers – but definitely some. And thank you very much for finding that info- very handy 🙂

And thank you to all the people who took my post in the correct way (a simple request for info!) and kindly gave your own time to offer me some advice. I am genuinely and pleasantly surprised at how kind and helpful some of you have been!

And may I just say to all the angry people out there (and sadly there are a few) … I was not /am not complaining about Canberra, where I live, or neighbourhood noise in general. I do not expect my street to be silent at all hours of the day (to be honest, that would freak me out – I like to hear that there are people close by). I was merely enquiring about the regulations in Canberra regarding what trucks can travel on which roads. I was fairly sure that some of the trucks coming down my street shouldn’t be (which andym has kindly proven is true).

I have a feeling that if things were happening in your neighbourhood that were against the regulations, you would all be up in arms. If a dog was barking 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, you would be the exact people who would end up calling the council and then harp on endlessly to your friends about irresponsible pet owners. If some hoons were drag racing outside your house at night, you would call the police and then put up a post on RiotAct about idiot drivers…… Clearly your life is so devoid of excitement that you get your kicks out of picking on nameless faceless people, because that makes you feel big, important and clever? How sad to be that angry all the time…. I suspect you would not react the same if we were face to face.

johnboythe3rd 4:00 pm 12 Jul 09

You dont get many trucks in Holder.

The_Truth 10:42 am 12 Jul 09

Clown Killer said :

If living next to people who make noise is an issue I suggest something rural…

I tend to believe that the polite distance from your place to a neighbours is about 2.5km. You can run that far in an emergency, but otherwise unless the wind is blowing your way and they own dogs – you’ll never hear from.

Or

You live in suburbia and deal with whatever comes your way.

Can I get an Amen on that!!!!
Im sick and tired of people moving into houses then trying to change the neighbourhood to suit themselves. Here’s a little fact people: A COMMUNITY IS BIGGER THAN JUST YOU.

Anna Key 8:07 am 12 Jul 09

Or (I assume) you could not use DHA and rent privately in a place of your own choosing if DHA are giving such poor service

jazza 9:36 pm 11 Jul 09

i would agree that to a certain degree, living where you do, that you should expect some road noise. but the types of trucks and the sheer frequency is fairly offputting.
on the plus side, if these are construction trucks, you can take some comfort that in time they’ll stop driving by. if they were goods trucks going to supermarkets and so on it’d continue indefinitely.
hope it gets better for you in time.

Clown Killer 9:18 pm 11 Jul 09

If living next to people who make noise is an issue I suggest something rural…

I tend to believe that the polite distance from your place to a neighbours is about 2.5km. You can run that far in an emergency, but otherwise unless the wind is blowing your way and they own dogs – you’ll never hear from.

Or

You live in suburbia and deal with whatever comes your way.

bellaa 5:45 pm 11 Jul 09

deezagood said :

deezagood said :

If you don’t get any joy from DHA, and the noise really is impacting on your ability to function as a family, then there are other roads that you can go down (where DHA will be forced to relocate you, and pardon the road pun). If I am being too subtle (and you don’t know what I mean) – let me know. DHA have moved other families for less than you are enduring (noisy neighbors, noisy neighbor’s dogs etc…), and I have heard that they can be surprisingly sympathetic if you catch them on a good day!

Wow deezagood, I am jealous. I haven’t heard too many positive stories about DHA (nor have I had any positive experiences myself)… maybe they are different down here??

I might try them to see if they could put in some double glazing or something… it would ultimately be cheaper for them (although expecting them to use logic is a bit optimistic!). Despite some comments made on this post, we are actually happy with our place. We have a lovely new, big home with central heating (which I am totally in love with right now!). And we are only 15 minutes from the city – which I know is like living in a different city to some Canberrans, but having come from Sydney, a 15 minute drive to work is like a dream. We still laugh when people suggest we live really far away…. we lived in the inner city in Sydney and it would still take 30 min to travel a few kms!

Now if I could just figure out how to catch DHA on a good day….. 🙂

andym 5:32 pm 11 Jul 09

Hi Bella,
Are you sure about the B-Doubles? I think you will find that B-Doubles in the ACT are restricted to specific routes. So if there are B-Doubles then you may have avenues to explore….
See the attachment at (also has time restrictions noted) http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/143357/2009-28.pdf

deezagood 3:58 pm 11 Jul 09

bellaa said :

deezagood said :

Hey Bellaa,

I’m guessing that perhaps you are a defence family, and as such, had basically very little choice about your housing options. I really feel for you. If you are a defence family, then it might be worth contacting DHA and explaining your situation. If your are not defence, then I guess you have the option of moving at the end of your lease, and just tolerating the noise until that time (ear plugs sound like a good option). The other thing you could do is contact your local member and explain your plight. Perhaps even walk the street and get some other residents who feel the same way to join your cause.

Good luck – and please just ignore the arseholes on this site (there really are more decent people than arseholes).

Got it in one deezagood 🙂 I would definitely try DHA if I thought they would actually do something… but past experience tells me it would be a waste of my time.
But thank you for your suggestions! I have found most Canberrans to be really lovely – I guess some of the arseholes on this site are ex-queenslanders like screaming banshee… what a shame they have come to ruin your lovely city.

If you don’t get any joy from DHA, and the noise really is impacting on your ability to function as a family, then there are other roads that you can go down (where DHA will be forced to relocate you, and pardon the road pun). If I am being too subtle (and you don’t know what I mean) – let me know. DHA have moved other families for less than you are enduring (noisy neighbors, noisy neighbor’s dogs etc…), and I have heard that they can be surprisingly sympathetic if you catch them on a good day!

cranky 3:00 pm 11 Jul 09

Being new to Canberra, you may not appreciate that by signposting your street as a ‘Dragway’, you are automatically entitled to a noise limit of 35dB, enforced by his majesty, Sonic.

Good luck.

gingermick 1:24 pm 11 Jul 09

You’re a Defence family! I say again – you should be up by 0600.

bellaa 11:14 am 11 Jul 09

Swaggie said :

Stick large cardboard signs together with large red letters saying “Contruction Traffic Diversion” with arrows as needed. Place at appropriate intersections and divert offending traffic around your place – preferably past Banshee’s House 🙂

Hahahahahahaaaa…… love it

bellaa 11:13 am 11 Jul 09

Dougal said :

Don’t lose heart Bellaa, us Canberrans aren’t all bad. Welcome.

Thanks Dougal! I look forward to meeting more Canberrans like you 🙂

bellaa 11:09 am 11 Jul 09

deezagood said :

Hey Bellaa,

I’m guessing that perhaps you are a defence family, and as such, had basically very little choice about your housing options. I really feel for you. If you are a defence family, then it might be worth contacting DHA and explaining your situation. If your are not defence, then I guess you have the option of moving at the end of your lease, and just tolerating the noise until that time (ear plugs sound like a good option). The other thing you could do is contact your local member and explain your plight. Perhaps even walk the street and get some other residents who feel the same way to join your cause.

Good luck – and please just ignore the arseholes on this site (there really are more decent people than arseholes).

Got it in one deezagood 🙂 I would definitely try DHA if I thought they would actually do something… but past experience tells me it would be a waste of my time.
But thank you for your suggestions! I have found most Canberrans to be really lovely – I guess some of the arseholes on this site are ex-queenslanders like screaming banshee… what a shame they have come to ruin your lovely city.

Swaggie 10:27 am 11 Jul 09

Stick large cardboard signs together with large red letters saying “Contruction Traffic Diversion” with arrows as needed. Place at appropriate intersections and divert offending traffic around your place – preferably past Banshee’s House 🙂

ant 10:21 am 11 Jul 09

bellaa said :

And thank you for “teaching me” that a simple and innocent request for information warrants a self righteous, judgemental rant from a self important bully.

Well said, Bellaa. Sadly, Riotact abounds in people who espouse the “I’m all right Jack, so screw you” attitude, and will happily inform you of how trivial your problem is and how stupid you are for bothering to post it. Then they’ll post a topic against people driving in the right lane (which is theirs, apparently), or something else that annoys them, oblivious to the irony.

Stick to your guns, try the government bodies first. Piloting the various departments for things like noise is a bit disheartening, unfortunately, but you might find someone who both knows the law and is interested in enforcing it.

Try your local member, and your local Greens member might also be worth a go, as they are generally more interested in environment and amentiy for residents over some bloke making money noisily.

Also, see if you can find any other residents who feel the same as you. If you can find the appropriate authority, having several people complain to them will get much better results than one solitary voice.

Good luck.

deezagood 10:03 am 11 Jul 09

Hey Bellaa,

I’m guessing that perhaps you are a defence family, and as such, had basically very little choice about your housing options. I really feel for you. If you are a defence family, then it might be worth contacting DHA and explaining your situation. If your are not defence, then I guess you have the option of moving at the end of your lease, and just tolerating the noise until that time (ear plugs sound like a good option). The other thing you could do is contact your local member and explain your plight. Perhaps even walk the street and get some other residents who feel the same way to join your cause.

Good luck – and please just ignore the arseholes on this site (there really are more decent people than arseholes).

vg 7:50 am 11 Jul 09

“I live in a ‘place’ which by it’s nomenclature indicates that I should be able to sleep soundly 24/7”

What, do you live in ‘Quiet Street’ or ‘Silent Lane’?

That sound you here is the point of the post rushing past you as you miss it. If living next to people who make noise is an issue I suggest something rural. I wasn’t aware driving on a public street via the shortest route is some special privilege that truck drivers have to gain. If they can’t drive through suburban areas (which all of Harrison is) what do you suggest, teleportation?

Beam me up

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