Easy, lighten the loads

LETTER

Because the region’s soil type is originally from the bottom of the sea, roads that traverse it are more susceptible to damage from heavy log trucks — particularly on the left side of the roads into Gisborne.

Our roads don’t have a hard base and when it gets wet, and water leaks through damaged pot holes, we have a real problem. The roads just sink and the tarseal breaks.

Bigger log trucks have been allowed to increase their loads substantially recently, and the much-increased road damage is recent too.

It seems logical to me that the solution is for truck loads to be reduced again. The three-trailer combos should end, as well as the long heavy loads of too many big logs.

Such a move would extend the life of roads, and reduce the taxes and rates we pay.

It may be a hard ask, but this suggestion would reduce the unacceptable amount of damage being caused throughout our region’s road network.

Alternative roads would take pressure off town traffic and new routes recently suggested may also help our problems long term.

Take it or leave it, but in my opinion these much heavier trucks are causing the increased damage and they should be removed from our roads.

Alain JORION

Makorori Beach (where log truck noise is bad!)

Because the region’s soil type is originally from the bottom of the sea, roads that traverse it are more susceptible to damage from heavy log trucks — particularly on the left side of the roads into Gisborne.

Our roads don’t have a hard base and when it gets wet, and water leaks through damaged pot holes, we have a real problem. The roads just sink and the tarseal breaks.

Bigger log trucks have been allowed to increase their loads substantially recently, and the much-increased road damage is recent too.

It seems logical to me that the solution is for truck loads to be reduced again. The three-trailer combos should end, as well as the long heavy loads of too many big logs.

Such a move would extend the life of roads, and reduce the taxes and rates we pay.

It may be a hard ask, but this suggestion would reduce the unacceptable amount of damage being caused throughout our region’s road network.

Alternative roads would take pressure off town traffic and new routes recently suggested may also help our problems long term.

Take it or leave it, but in my opinion these much heavier trucks are causing the increased damage and they should be removed from our roads.

Alain JORION

Makorori Beach (where log truck noise is bad!)

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Alan - 3 months ago
Lower load limits mean more trips required to shift the same log tonnage. More trips means more trucks on the road for the same log tonnage. The more trips (or more importantly from a pavement design perspective, Equivalent Standard Axles - ESAs), the faster the road wears out.

It is not just as easy as reducing the load limit - pavements are designed for a certain number of ESAs over a certain number of years. There are benefits to increased loads, which also require spreading that load over more axles (actually lowering the load per axle), amongst other technological improvements such as improvements to truck suspension.

I am not a trucking industry advocate, but have been involved with pavements and truck axle load issues from a number of different viewpoints in NZ and Australia, and want to highlight to readers that sometimes the 'easy' solutions come with hidden problems.

Check out https://www.nzta.govt.nz/commercial-driving/high-productivity/50max/ , or https://www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicles/vehicle-types/vehicle-classes-and-standards/vehicle-dimensions-and-mass/ , or research pavement design or ESA for more info (or if you need to cure your insomnia).

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