Truckies suggest lower speed limits

SCHOOL'S CONCERN: A logging truck voluntarily slows down as it passes Makauri School. Picture by Liam Clayton

GISBORNE truckies are suggesting that lower speed limits might be needed to help safety issues and save rural back-roads from being wrecked.

Speaking to the Gisborne District Council’s assets and infrastructure committee meeting, representatives of the freight and stock haulage industry here suggested that a combined working group be established and that speed restrictions for heavy trucks should be the first thing considered to stop damage to roads and reduce the increasing risks posed to drivers.

Farmers Transport Gisborne manager Alaister Gray said all members of the trucking and logging industries needed to sit down together to consider a way forward.

“I think the problem we have with our forestry partners is that they don’t understand the subsoils of the area don’t work for any of us.

“It’s been that way forever and as carriers we need to respect that. Maybe we have to consider speed reductions.

We need someone with a big stick to come out and say right guys, get it done.

“90kmh coming down the coast is not acceptable. If you hit a bump at 90kmh in one of these logging rigs, the hole just gets bigger.”

Mr Gray added that trucks were seeing “at least” one near-miss a week on the Turihaua Bridge.

“We lose our side mirrors clashing with logging trucks going over that bridge and that’s just one point where the road almost has rails there for the trucks coming down.

“In a car, if you get outside that rail you are getting flung across the road.

“We all need to have a plan going forward.”

Harvest Transport’s Dave Wilson said the situation was particularly bad around Te Karaka.

“Since logging started, the roads have just deteriorated to the point where we are starting to wreck gear quite a bit.

“We’re concerned how these guys are treating the roads. In the old days, we used to get told to stay off the back roads when it was wet but they are going 24/7.”

AJ Law from Law Haulage said maintenance could not keep pace with usage and that was costing firms “a lot” of money.

Gisborne District Council community lifelines director David Wilson said council staff were in the process of putting together a paper on the situation.

“We are also in talks with Eastland Wood Council on where we are going in the next five years and how we can help them.”

GISBORNE truckies are suggesting that lower speed limits might be needed to help safety issues and save rural back-roads from being wrecked.

Speaking to the Gisborne District Council’s assets and infrastructure committee meeting, representatives of the freight and stock haulage industry here suggested that a combined working group be established and that speed restrictions for heavy trucks should be the first thing considered to stop damage to roads and reduce the increasing risks posed to drivers.

Farmers Transport Gisborne manager Alaister Gray said all members of the trucking and logging industries needed to sit down together to consider a way forward.

“I think the problem we have with our forestry partners is that they don’t understand the subsoils of the area don’t work for any of us.

“It’s been that way forever and as carriers we need to respect that. Maybe we have to consider speed reductions.

We need someone with a big stick to come out and say right guys, get it done.

“90kmh coming down the coast is not acceptable. If you hit a bump at 90kmh in one of these logging rigs, the hole just gets bigger.”

Mr Gray added that trucks were seeing “at least” one near-miss a week on the Turihaua Bridge.

“We lose our side mirrors clashing with logging trucks going over that bridge and that’s just one point where the road almost has rails there for the trucks coming down.

“In a car, if you get outside that rail you are getting flung across the road.

“We all need to have a plan going forward.”

Harvest Transport’s Dave Wilson said the situation was particularly bad around Te Karaka.

“Since logging started, the roads have just deteriorated to the point where we are starting to wreck gear quite a bit.

“We’re concerned how these guys are treating the roads. In the old days, we used to get told to stay off the back roads when it was wet but they are going 24/7.”

AJ Law from Law Haulage said maintenance could not keep pace with usage and that was costing firms “a lot” of money.

Gisborne District Council community lifelines director David Wilson said council staff were in the process of putting together a paper on the situation.

“We are also in talks with Eastland Wood Council on where we are going in the next five years and how we can help them.”

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