Fewer truck movements, safer vehicles and less wear and tear on local roads are just some of the benefits that will flow from a $6 million investment in new log transport vehicles by Oberon business Mangan Haulage, with the support of Forestry Corporation of NSW.

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.

Mangan 23m rig

Photo: One of the special 23m long rigs, with 6 sliding bolster sets allowing flexibility for 2.5m, 4.8m and 6m log lengths

“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,” Mr Klootwijk 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.

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“These vehicles are equipped with the latest safety features including electronic stability control, anti-lock braking, automatic load tensioning, global positioning system, 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.

“The new vehicles were not only safer, but 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.

“In fact, even though they operate to the same legal gross mass as traditional trucks the introduction of these next generation timber transport vehicles has the potential to reduce truck movements in the region by up to 5,000 a year.

“The first next generation trucks have begun operating on local roads and already we’ve had great feedback from local drivers in the community who say they can see the improved stability in how the new trucks maintain 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, who inspected the new vehicles last month and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole.

Mr Toole said, “My congratulations are extended to Mangan Haulage of Oberon who are clearly a catalyst and industry leader in the promotion and support of implementing safe and professional work attitudes, practices, and conditions in the timber transportation industry.

“Log trucks are the lifeline of raw materials to wood yards, sawmills, and manufacturers. Forestry is a major industry and employer in our region. With around a million tonnes of log products transported annually this is an initiative that is an all-round winner from every perspective.”

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 high safety standards will continue to be used on some local roads.

(Story: Elizabeth Fowler – Forestry Corporation NSW)