THE FIRST type-one road train made its way through Rockhampton last week-end to deliver cattle directly to a Rockhampton processor — a move that will save primary producers time and money.
According to AgForce Transport spokesperson, Leo Neill-Ballantine, this was a monumental truck movement for the industry and will have significant benefits for producers, animal welfare, fatigue management for drivers and processors.
“We are delighted to see the first type-one road train has been able to make the journey over the week-end after successfully gaining a permit through the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator,” he said.
“Previously, type-one road trains have had to downsize at Gracemere before heading into town to the processors.
“They were required to drop one trailer before heading into town, meaning two single trips had to be made to the meatworks, or cross-load stock onto B-doubles.
“This has not only meant an additional cost, it has meant an extra two hours per load in labour to move cattle from one vehicle to another.
“Demand for our high-quality food and fibre is growing, but transport can make up 30 to 40 per cent of the cost of production, so any investment in infrastructure that makes it safer, easier and cheaper to get farm goods to market is welcome.
“We are very grateful to both the Federal and State Governments for committing funds to improve Rockhampton road train access.
“AgForce also acknowledges the work of the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Queensland for their help in lobbying Government for this outcome.
“It means producers sending their cattle from Central and North Queensland benefit from lower transport costs, safer livestock transport and better meat quality in their herd.
“This is also a win for Rockhampton drivers as they will see less trucks on the roads because we have the ability to transport more cattle per truck.”
The permit system restricts operating hours to between 7pm and 7am seven days a week.