Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Specialist Tyres on Trucks Enable Safe Haulage of Specialist Cargo

Technology Allows an Extra Sweet Two and a Half Tonnes
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA – The Queensland government has granted a special permit to sugarcane growers for the use high-tech flotation tyres on trucks which will allow faster haulage of sugarcane to the mill. Representatives of sugarcane growers in Australia, Canegrowers, had been lobbying the Queensland Government to allow use of the special type of flotation tyres, which carry heavier loads on the road while providing minimum soil compaction in the field. Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson and Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett announced the decision last week. Emerson said:

“Unlike standard tyres, these flotation tyres are specially designed to reduce flattening of a cane field’s soil. Local Members and the cane growing industry have been lobbying for more efficient and effective ways to deliver crops to local mills. As a central pillar of our economy, we are committed to helping the agriculture sector with positive solutions to problems.”

Bennett added that safety remains a key focus, even with the new transport limits and though the new tyres don’t look any different, it will make the world of difference and save on trips, fuel and time travelling to mills. The Queensland Government has reminded motorists to be aware of the cane trains and cane trucks operating the harvest season. Bennett commented:

“At the moment trucks with these tyres are only allowed to carry 14 tonnes on their rear two axles and under the new concession, operators can now carry up to 16.5 tonnes. I’m pleased we’ve been able to work closely with Canegrowers Australia to introduce this new tyre technology and to make sure we find the balance between driving on private and public roads. While allowing trucks to carry more will boost productivity, the sugar industry must continue to focus on safe loading and secure transport of their cane billets.”

The Minister also warned motorists to be aware of the dangers of ‘cane trains’ and trucks throughout the harvest whilst Canegrowers CEO Steve Greenwood welcomed the decision saying that proactive calls like these are the core of helping the State deliver on growing a four pillar community based on agriculture, tourism, resources and construction. He added that the decision is good for both the sugarcane industry and, by extension, the State as the industry is currently the second largest agricultural commodity in Queensland which brings in annually up to A$2.5 billion to the Australian economy. He continued:

“The industry has been focusing on safe loading of cane billets to prevent cane falling from trucks and creating a safety hazard. Dropped billets can cause problems for other road users, especially motorcycle riders. Minister Emerson is to be congratulated for working with industry to come up with a smart solution.”

Photo: Flotation tyres have long been popular in other types of agricultural haulage. Pictured is a Landquip self propelled sprayer.