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Calls for even load distribution for better road safety

March 30, 2017

The trucking industry and its supply chain have been challenged by a peak body representing NSW trucking operators to consider how they pack all import containers to ensure the weight of the contents is evenly distributed within the container.

Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) General Manager Simon O’Hara has called on trucking industry customers and overseas agents to address this critical road safety issue “and for operators to avoid hefty and unnecessary fines.”

“It is the responsibility of everyone to make sure that these requirements are met. Making sure that loads are distributed evenly within containers, and subsequently on the road, means that everyone is safer and more efficient,” Mr O’Hara said.

He explained that even distribution of the contents of a container ensures that the weight of the container is evenly distributed across the road transport axle groupings.

Participants in the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) should also be aware that Sydney Ports, along with Road and Maritime Services (RMS), will be investigating axle weight breaches. The groups have advised the road transport industry that heavy fines will be issued if the correct procedures are not followed.

Red card/yellow card

The agreed procedure for overweight vehicles is:

  • When a yellow warning weight breach card is issued by the wharf due to an axle overload, the container will need to go to a CFS (Container Freight Station) depot. Violating the weight limits will have negative repercussions for trucking operators as the container will be sent to a Public Weigh Bridge to be reweighed, incurring extra charges.
  • When a red warning weight breach card is issued by the wharf, the container will be lifted off the vehicle and will be freighted by rail out to Qube Logistics inland depot for unpacking, which will incur an unknown fee.

RFNSW adds that CoR parties should remember that the contents of each container must also be restrained to meet Australian load restraint performance standards.

The current version of the NTC load restraint guide can be found here.

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