Kiwi transport firms are continuing to switch to High Productivity Motor Vehicles (HPMVs) including 50MAX as network access continues to grow.
50MAX is celebrating the addition of two more local councils to the 50MAX-1Network permit system, meaning access is now on approved access local roads from Cape Reinga to Bluff.
The Southland and Far North District Councils have allowed 50MAX access from 1 April and 1 May respectively, bringing the amount of access for heavier vehicles to 61 local councils now signed up to the single permit system.
“This is a great milestone for the 50MAX programme, completing the jigsaw of major and local freight routes from the top to the bottom New Zealand,” says Transport Agency Freight Strategy Manager Marinus La Rooij.
“It’s also a reminder that access for 50MAX can and will change, so operators need to ensure they keep checking our online maps (external link) regularly to ensure they know exactly which routes they can use,” Marinus says.
Changes taking effect from 1 June will make a permit faster to get and easier to use. From this date operators will get one nationwide permit rather than a North Island or South Island permit. Renewing permits will become easier as operators using the same vehicle will not need to resubmit an attributes sheet and a new website interface will speed up the application process.
50MAX are a new generation of trucks that can carry a heavier load on an additional axle, which means no additional impact on roads and bridges. The increased payload means they can deliver more freight with each trip, reducing overall truck travel on New Zealand roads by around 15 per cent. They are also more efficient and have more advanced safety features than the older vehicles they are replacing.
The popularity of these safer and more productive trucks has been demonstrated in the latest quarterly figures from January through to March with around 112 million kilometers of travel by 50MAX vehicles. This is up from 82 million kilometers travelled during the same period in 2016, an increase of 36 per cent.
This uptake of 50MAX in the first three months of 2017 has avoided an estimated 10-15 million kilometers of travel, with estimated benefits to the economy of around $20-30 million.