2014 Australian Trucking News – Poor Highway Conditions Plague Australian Truckers
Truck driver Scott Lockhart travels 00 kilometers each day, carting livestock to and from saleyards, feedlots, and abattoirs.
Mr. Lockhart works for Gilbert’s Transport Queensland, based in Toowoomba, and has been driving B-double trucks along the East coast for the past 30 years.
He said that many of the roads were in a poor state, and where roadworks have been carried out, the needs of heavy vehicles had not been considered.
Mr. Lockhart agreed with some of the points that were raised in the National Road Asset Reporting Pilot, a report that was released this week by Infrastructure Australia.
Key findings in 26 percent of roads in rural Australia are predicted to be impassable after 20mm of rain. Mr. Lockhart says that rain does make some jobs and roads impassable. He is not saying that a shower of rain will stop other drivers, but a flood could.
He also says that the Gore Highway is a particularly bad highway for it. When the floods come, it turns into a dangerous road between Captains Mountain and Goondiwindi.
Gore Highway is a highway located in Queensland, Australia. It runs from Goondiwindi to Toowoomba. Together with Goulburn Valley Highway and Newell Highway, it is a part of the National Highway’s Melbourne-Brisbane link. It is signed as National Highway A39.
It also passes through the Queensland Darling Downs region. Typical scenery are cattle grazing fields, orchards and grain growing fields. Its elevation to National Highway was only in February 1993, replacing Cunningham Highway for the Goodniwindi – Brisbane section, rerouting interstate traffic through Toowoomba and the Warrego Higway, instead as it presents a less steeper gradient compared to the old routing, making the journey, most especially for trucks, much faster. It was initially designated as State Route 85 until February 1993, when National Highway 85 was proclaimed, splitting State Route 85 into two. In 2005, it was given the National Highway A39 designation.
Mr. Lockhart said periodic maintenance on waterways would, in turn, help to improve road conditions in wet weather.
In his opinion, they need to clean all the waterways and drains so that water can get away. They need to clean under the bridges so water can get away, instead of sitting and laying around.
Once the water builds up, where does it go? It goes over the road, because it can’t get away.
Mr. Lockhart states that If drivers don’t keep their gutters clean at home and get a heavy downpour of rain they overflow, so they don’t have time to clean them out.
Over the past year, roadworks have been carried out on stretches of the Warrego Highway between Jondaryan and Dalby, and Wallumbilla and Roma.
However, Mr. Lockhart said that the design of the new roads made it dangerous for heavy vehicles to pull over. He says that if a driver has a breakdown or a flat tire, then he can’t get off the road safely because they have built the road up so high, and increased the camber.
He also says that if half of the driver’s vehicle is still in the carriage way, it turns into a very dangerous path. There are not enough parking bays along the highway for drivers to pull over and change tires, or carry out repairs.