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Transport Changes Good News for farmers
Wednesday 31 March 2010, 5:59PM
By Federated Farmers of New Zealand

The Minister of Transport’s decision to allow heavy vehicles to carry greater loads on specified roads is good news for the agricultural industry.

“Signing the Vehicle Dimensions and Mass Amendment Rule should unlock significant productivity and efficiency gains for the road transport industry. We expect these will then be passed on to their customers,” says Donald Aubrey, Federated Farmers Transport spokesperson.

“Federated Farmers has supported this rule change for some years. Agriculture is and will remain the driving force of our economy and cost effective and reliable road freight services are very important to the competitiveness of the agricultural sector including farm businesses and downstream processors.

“The productivity and efficiency gains from allowing heavier vehicles should help New Zealand’s overall international competitiveness and help contribute to the Government’s goal of closing the income gap with countries like Australia.

“In Australia and Canada the maximum weight trucks can carry is 62 tonnes. Allowing trucks to carry heavier loads will see New Zealand move closer to the international mainstream.

“Because the proposal would be confined to those routes that can cope with heavier vehicles, safety should not be compromised. It’s predicted that allowing heavier trucks will result in fewer truck movements so it’s likely there’ll be improvement for both safety and the

“A key issue will be ensuring that sufficient routes are permitted for these heavy vehicles.

“We call on all road controlling authorities to do their bit to ensure that roads and bridges are up to scratch. We also want the Government to do its bit by increasing the financial assistance rate for local roads.

“The rule change will also exempt certain over-dimension farm vehicles from the need to comply with travel time restrictions, if they’re able to travel without taking up more room than the lane they are using.

“Federated Farmers welcomes the removal of unnecessary restrictions and associated compliance costs.” concluded Mr Aubrey. INDEX