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One of the first of the supersized trucks allowed under the new transport regulations will be hitting the road in Auckland this week.
The USA manufactured Freightliner truck has had running gear and bodywork designed and fabricated in New Zealand to allow a total length of 22 metres and when fully permitted and NZ roading standards catch up, has the potential achieve a gross laden weight of 53 tonnes or beyond.
With a total of 10 axles and 36 wheels this giant of the road is the first of several similar vehicles to be owned and operated by Palmerston North based transport operator, Booths Transport Ltd. It will be travelling New Zealand roads between Auckland and Christchurch on a regular basis.
Meeting the latest emissions standards, and with superior fuel economy, the new truck is not only able to carry 13% more volume of freight than previous large linehaul trucks, it is also a huge moving billboard. Straw and Supplement Supplies Ltd is the first advertiser to utilise the gigantic proportions of these new trucks with a creative and head turning panoramic rural New Zealand scene.
Booths Transport Ltd Managing Director, Craig Booth says that the truck signals the start of a new efficient way of moving freight around the country.
“We anticipate be able to transport higher volumes, with fewer vehicles which will be configured to create less wear and tear on our roads and consume less non-renewable resources. While there is still some way to go with NZ roading standards being improved to allow full benefits of these new vehicles, we have pre-empted the situation as a long term strategy”.
A much needed revison of wieghts & size limits, it's about time.
I have to laugh at the rubbish printed by various Green party & Labour party regarding the issue, and the proponents of the pro rail lobby and anti truck brigade.
It is logical to have larger size limits to carry freight using single handling capabilities as opposed to triple handling and the inefficiencies of rail. It would be a bit different if we had vast volumes of freight to carry over long distances in any given direction as is the case on any continent, but NZ is too small for this this, when do we have a trainload of anything going from Whangarei to Invercargill?
As for the argument regarding stopping distances & road wear, 10 axles carrying 53 tonnes is a far better ratio than 7 or 8 carrying 44 tonnes, more efficient braking, and far better handling. You don't have to be a mathematician to work this simple equation out.
Most accidents involving trucks are caused by other idiots on the road. I see this time and again every day with these goons trying to race trucks after passing lanes have finished, pulling out in front of trucks and maniac overtaking into blind bends and oncoming traffic.
A better investment of time for these people who moan about trucks would be wisely spent on looking into their own driving habits when around trucks, if you want to pit your 1 tonne vehicle against 44 tonnes or 53 tonnes, you will loose, doesn't matter what the weight is.!
M Froggatt. Truck driver.