TRANSPORT Minister Terry Mulder has reaffirmed his hopes to see B-triple trucks on Victorian highways.
The Polwarth MP said he hoped to see 36.5-metre road trains and B-triples on more regional roads, and expand the routes that longer B-doubles can use around Melbourne, in a bid to transport freight more productively.
But to do so it will have to overcome community fears about monster trucks and avoid “getting picked off by individuals or single issues”, Roads Minister Terry Mulder told a freight industry forum yesterday.
“If we are to get community support for high-productivity freight vehicles, we need to be sure that safety is at the forefront of our considerations,” Mr Mulder said.
“It’s going to be my job to sell that message to the community. Too often in the past the issue of bigger trucks, longer trucks, has been demonised and we’ve got to make sure that we take the community with us in relation to the introduction of these vehicles on the road.”
Mr Mulder’s stated ambition to expand the available road network for super-sized trucks is in sharp contrast to views he expressed while in opposition, when he described a similar Brumby government plan as “like a cancer, slowly spreading their tentacles into every nook and cranny of Melbourne”.
Mr Mulder said the state needed bigger trucks because freight productivity growth had stalled.
“At just four metres extra in length over a standard B-double, the longer B-double offers a huge productivity dividend, particularly in the capability to carry two 40-foot containers,” he told the Australian Logistics Council forum.
The use of giant trucks is currently heavily restricted and permitted on just a few roads in the state. Road trains, also called A-doubles, are permitted on just a few roads around Mildura, B-triples run on a route between Ford’s manufacturing plants in Geelong and Broadmeadows and longer B-doubles on some roads near Portland.
Freight movements in Victoria are projected to more than double in the next 30 years, with the overwhelming majority of this growth to occur on road.
Don Telford, chairman of the Australian Logistics Council, told the forum the federal government should continue to fund the lion’s share of transport infrastructure in Australia.the age