Councils around New Zealand are signing up to higher productivity trucks on their networks, with 23 having granted access for vehicles at the new 45/46 tonne limit.
Allowing heavier trucks wider network access was a key part of the Land Transport Rule 2016: Vehicle Dimension and Mass, which came into effect on 1 February 2017.
Until 30 November, vehicles that are approved for operation at these heavier weights can use pre-approved routes without a permit, as shown on our new 45/46 tonne map (external link) . Local roads in areas not included on the map will required a permit during the transition period before 1 December 2017. The map is updated as Councils allow access so operators are advised to regularly check for changes.
Under the new rule, 7-axle combinations with a minimum wheelbase of 16.8 metres can carry up to 45 tonnes, while 8-axle combinations with a minimum wheelbase of 17.4 metres can carry up to 46 tonnes.
From 1 December 2017, vehicles operating at these new limits will be deemed general access, being able to access all roads except those posted as capable of only carrying lower weights. The two-stage approach gives local councils time to complete bridge inspections to identify any route restrictions required at 1 December 2017.
“We know the transport industry is keen to get on with moving more freight on fewer trucks with these greater weight allowances, however we need to ensure that our partners who look after local roads are ready for this change,” says Graham Taylor, National Network Optimisation Manager at the Transport Agency.
“As always, we need to balance the benefits from increased productivity against ensuing safety and protecting infrastructure.”