Safety with longer trucks

Zoe KeenanMidwest Times

If longer road trains are introduced on Geraldton Mount Magnet Road they would be safer than commercial road trains according to Main Roads WA.

QUBE Bulk has been working on a permit to get super quad road trains onto the Geraldton Mount Magnet Road between Golden Grove mine and the Geraldton port for six months.

The super quads are four carriages and 6.5m longer than standard quad road trains.

According to QUBE Bulk the drawbar on the 60m long super quads are designed bigger to enable more stability, causing less sway and the vehicle can only travel at 90km/h.

Main Roads WA access manager Richard Bain said after various safety tests and a live demonstration in March the truck performed better than the current ones on that road.

“If people ever notice them on the road, know that they’re safer than the commercial road trains,” Mr Bain said.

“There’s less movement from the trailers which makes overtaking safer.”

QUBE national improvement manager Chris Campbell said the company has had permits for the super quads in the Goldfields and the Pilbara since 2015.

If the company were to get the permit in the Mid West the road trains would be built new, he said. “The brakes and electronics on these trailers are much more advanced,” he said.

Mr Campbell said the trucks were fitted with cameras to watch the road, the driver and particularly the driver’s eyes.

“The camera recognises if drivers are taking a micro-sleep and the seat vibrates and alarms go off in any fatigue event,” he said.

Main Roads WA regional manager Bernie Miller said QUBE was one of the most reliable operators on Mid West roads.

Mr Campbell said QUBE Bulk was currently hauling 113 tonnes per load from Golden Grove, which would increase to 138 tonnes per load with super quads.

“This takes nearly 500 trips off the road a year,” he said.

The company held a community consultation event in Geraldton, Mullewa and Yalgoo last week as part of the process of gaining a permit.

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