A significant breakthrough has been achieved for freight efficiency with the opening of the last remaining bridge on State Highway One in Horowhenua to 50MAX trucks.
The restriction on the Whirokino Trestle bridge south of Foxton was lifted after an extensive engineering assessment.
Having the 1100 metre reinforced concrete bridge which runs across the Manawatu flood plain freed up for 50MAX traffic is going to be a significant time saver and provide major efficiency gains as it will remove the need to divert these trucks via Shannon and Palmerston North.
“We’re delighted to announce that the whole length of State Highway One from North Cape to the Bluff is now 50MAX compatible,” says Transport Agency Freight Director Harry Wilson.
“This is excellent news for 50MAX operators and local communities who stand to reap the benefits,” says Mr Wilson.
The lifting of the restriction applies only to 50MAX, other High Productivity Motor Vehicles (HPMVs) will need to continue to use the route specified on their permits.
This milestone also coincides with another – the first birthday of the 50MAX initiative.
Since it was unveiled in October 2013, around 1850 permits have been issued with a total of almost 60 million 50MAX kilometres driven.
50MAX trucks have the same high safety standards that are required of other high productivity motor vehicles (including increased resistance to roll over and the inclusion of electronic braking systems), meaning they are trucks that are not only more efficient, but also safer.
Many operators are investing in even more safety measures, such as speed limiting, GPS monitoring, weight load cells and Electronic Stability Control.
The average improvement in productivity from a 50MAX vehicle is around 15 per cent, making it a key part in the Transport Agency’s strategic priority of moving more freight on fewer trucks.