It's official – the first 50MAX permits have been issued, delivering a step-change in road freight productivity.
Transport Agency CE Geoff Dangerfield presents the first permit to Toll New Zealand’s Director Greg Miller
50MAX trucks are slightly longer than conventional 44 tonne combinations, have an additional axle (9 in total) and can have a total weight of up to 50 tonnes (hence 50MAX). Because the overall truckload is spread further, there is no additional wear on roads per tonne of freight.
The Transport Agency is now accepting 50MAX permit applications for State Highways in the North and South Islands, as well as a steadily increasing number of local roads delegated by local authorities.
The first permits went to Toll New Zealand in October. To mark the occasion Transport Agency Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield was in Auckland to personally present a framed certificate to Toll New Zealand’s Director Greg Miller (see picture).
One of the great advantages of 50MAX permits over other HPMV permits is the speed with which they can be issued. Processing can usually be completed within 48 hours. Industry demand remains high as operators see the benefits in investing in new or reconfigured truck combinations, to carry the additional pay load and about 200 permits have already been issued.
The Transport Agency’s Freight Director, Harry Wilson, says 50MAX is a key plank in the work towards moving more freight with fewer trucks. "50MAX raises the carrying capability on routes where the infrastructure is not suitable for existing 8-axle trucks to carry more. With this network access the increased payloads of 50MAX can deliver economic benefits for producers, customers and our communities."
Harry says the Transport Agency will be working with industry to ensure that along with these productivity gains, there is also continuing improvement in compliance matters. “It is fair to say that there have been concerns expressed by the wider public about the safety of these bigger trucks. So the obligation is on us and industry to reassure them. Public confidence in the safety benefits of using 50MAX combinations, as well as their responsible use by operators will no doubt carry quite a bit of weight when the Vehicle, Dimensions and Mass Rule is reviewed next year,” says Harry.
For more information or to apply for a 50MAX permit, visit the Transport Agency website at www.nzta.govt.nz/50MAX(external link).