TRUCK movements will be reduced under a multi-million dollar investment at Oberon.
With the support of the Forestry Corporation of NSW, Oberon business Mangan Haulage has made a $6 million investment in new log transport vehicles.
Forestry Corporation of NSW haulage and sales manager Tijmen Klootwijk said the safer and more efficient log trucks would transport timber from Central West pine plantations to local processors.
“Each year around a million tonnes of log products are transported from Forestry Corporation’s softwood plantations to timber processors in Oberon, Bathurst and Tumut, which equates to around 30,000 loaded truck movements plus a further 30,000 return trips into the forest,” he said.
“We want to see each and every one of these trips completed safely, so together with Oberon-based contractor Mangan Haulage, we’re investing in up to 10 next-generation timber transport vehicles with significantly improved safety features.”
Mr Klootwijk said the vehicles were equipped with electronic stability control, anti-lock braking, automatic load tensioning and a global position system.
He added they also have daytime running lights, lifting axles on the trailers and an on-board weight measuring system, as well as the latest emissions control technology.
“They are also slightly longer than traditional haulage trucks, which means the load can be spread more effectively to reduce the centre of gravity of the load and greatly improve its stability,” he said.
“The increased length means they also achieve an optimal payload more often as they do not reach the height restriction applicable to heavy vehicles in NSW.”
Due to their length, the new vehicles can only travel on roads that are approved for their use, so traditional vehicles that meet Forestry Corporation’s safety standards will continue to be used on some local roads.
Mr Klootwijk noted that the introduction of the vehicles has the potential to reduce truck movements in the region by up to 5000 a year.
He added that since the trucks began operating, there had been great feedback from local drivers who said they could see improved stability in how the new trucks maintained their position on the road with very little side-to-side movement.
The transport sector has received strong support from all levels of government for the new vehicles, including from Oberon councillors and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole.
Mr Toole said Mangan Haulage was an industry leader in the promotion and support of implementing safe and professional work attitudes, practices and conditions in the timber transportation industry.
“With around a million tonnes of log products transported annually, this is an initiative that is an all-round winner from every perspective,” he said.