Trucking operators in Victoria should be aware of new policy implemented by VicRoads which will result in the Vic Roads Authority issuing single-trip permits to tow a platform trailer using a gooseneck coupling.
What is Gooseneck Coupling?
Platform trailers are used to transport indivisible loads, such as power transformers and construction equipment and normally these platform trailers are deployed when the overall mass of the load is greater than 100 tonnes. The connection between the platform and the prime mover can either be via a gooseneck coupling or drawbar.
As VicRoads points out, technological advancements mean that gooseneck coupling has become a lot more stable than it was in the past. Due to these improvements, operators can now obtain a single trip permit to tow a platform trailer using a gooseneck coupling connected to a prime mover and operating with up to 12 lines of axles on the trailer on specified routes at specified axle mass limits.
VicRoads Changes to Gooseneck Coupling Policy
The Victorian road authority has introduced the new policy for trucking operators wanting to use gooseneck couplings.
In an article on trucking site, Fullyloaded.com.au, the department was quoted as stating that the changes will allow operators to now apply for a single-trip permit to use the coupling when towing a 12 axle platform trailer.
The agency stated:
“Recent advances in heavy vehicle technology, including the use of higher tensile steels and a greater emphasis on computer simulations mean that trailers with gooseneck connections are now far more stable than they were in the past,” VicRoads says.
“Consequently, operators can obtain a single trip permit to tow a platform trailer using a gooseneck coupling connected to a prime mover and operating with up to 12 lines of axles on the trailer on specified routes at specified axle limits.”
VicRoads explained that operators will have to meet a number of conditions for the new policy to apply. For example drivers will have to stay within the 70k/h speed limit and also ensure that gooseneck is height adjustable and that the trailer load is shared across all axles.
Other provisions include ensuring that:
the coupling is a height adjustable gooseneck so that the platform can be made level prior to the commencement of travel
all axles on the platform trailer load share
the trailer does not exceed the operating specifications set by the manufacturers in regard to maximum loads, speed and the amount of row that can be safely connected to the gooseneck connection
the laden trailer mass not be towed in excess of 70 km/h
the gooseneck/platform configuration is arranged in a three-point connection
The new VicRoads policy was welcomed by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR). According to Fullyloaded.com.au, the NHVR issued the following statement:
“The NHVR supports this improvement in Vicroads’ policy, and will continue to work with all jurisdictions towards greater harmonisation of future policies,” it says.
Read more at: http://www.fullyloaded.com.au