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Quad road trains mean more productivity for farmers, transport operators

9 June 2015

Primary producers will reap productivity benefits with the approval of quad road trains on sections of the Stuart and Olympic Dam highways.

Diagram showing BAB and ABB type quad road trains 

The approval was a key recommendation of the State Government’s 90-day review into agricultural transport.  The review culminated in the release in March of the report, A Modern Transport System for Agriculture: a new partnership approach.

The South Australian transport and agricultural industries have been calling for the introduction of quad road trains to this key freight route to bring our state in line with the Northern Territory.

With the gazettal of this regulation, quad road trains will now be permitted to run from the start of the 53.5 km road train network at Port Augusta to the Northern Territory border, and also between Pimba and Olympic Dam along the Olympic Dam Highway.

This change will allow the industry to uncouple road trains and continue their trips without having to reconfigure truck and trailer combinations.

The change will improve efficiencies along the remote long-distance corridor, with a productivity boost of at least 8 per cent through the introduction of these larger capacity vehicles.

Two combinations of quad road trains will be permitted.  The BAB quad consists of a prime mover towing two sets of B-double trailers, while an ABB quad has a prime mover towing a single semitrailer and a set of B-triple trailers.

David Smith from the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of SA said the association supported the Minister’s decision to allow ABB and BAB quads in the state’s north.

“For our members and their customers who choose to use these configurations it will mean greater productivity and safety,” he said. “It’s a very welcome step in the right direction for the transport and agricultural industries in South Australia. “

The government will be implementing a range of other measures to boost regional transport productivity in coming months, including the introduction of tri-axle dollies.