More than 140 members from Mackay to Mossman have attended a series of CANEGROWERS transport workshops designed to explain how oversize agricultural vehicles can move legally on public roads. CANEGROWERS Manager-Industry Burn Ashburner provided this summary.
Staff from the Queensland Transport and Main Roads (TMR) provided information on the requirements for oversize agricultural vehicle access, while the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator demonstrated the permit application portal that is planned to come into effect late this year.
They also explained impending changes to the Chain of Responsibility. One of the real benefits of these workshops was that they gave growers an opportunity to ask questions about their own particular concerns or issues.
What was apparent is that the regulations are complex and many growers are not sure what authority or regulation they are traveling under.
CANEGROWERS members have access to a tool on the Member Resources page which identifies the online guideline or notice needed to travel depending on the width of their vehicle.
At the most basic level, growers need to know that any heavy agricultural vehicle or machine over the general access dimensions in the table below will need to travel under some sort of authority i.e. a guideline, notice or permit.
Most haulouts are within these general access dimensions. The Guideline for Excess Dimension Agricultural Vehicles and Agricultural Combinations Vehicles and Drivers Form Number 14, Version 4, October 2013, known as FORM 14, is the regulation under which most sugarcane agricultural vehicles in Queensland (Zone 1) travel.
This provides for access to public roads at dimensions greater than the general access dimensions as shown in the table.
Most harvesters are within these dimensions. FORM 14 imposes conditions for access, such as on-vehicle flags, lights and signs, daylight hours travel, travel on public holidays, curfew at Easter and Christmas, pilot requirements, etc.
This is a specific agricultural set of regulations and has been in place for about 20 years and growers are encouraged to make sure they are familiar with FORM 14.
However, an agricultural machine greater than 3.5m width will need to travel under one of three gazetted notices specific to agricultural vehicles in Zone 1.
If the agricultural machine is greater than any of the other dimensions, then a permit is required for travel.
I recommend members download the information available on the Member Resources page.
by Burn Ashburner, Manager-Industry