The police’s commercial heavy vehicle unit is encouraging other businesses to follow the lead of one of the country’s biggest forestry exporters, which is refusing to pay for overweight truck loads delivered to its processing bases. Source: Voxy
Ernslaw One Ltd is the fourth largest forest owner in New Zealand, with forests in Gisborne, the Coromandel, Ruapehu and Rangitikei/Manawatu regions, Otago and Southland.
They contract numerous trucking companies to cart their product around the country.
Head of the police’s Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit, Inspector Gwynne Pennell, said the company was to be applauded for its recent announcement to cartage contractors that it would not be paying them for loads that arrive at their depots over the legal weight limit. The legal load limit for trucks is 44 tonnes.
Ms Pennell said trucks carrying loads over the legal limit was an ongoing national problem that caused major road safety problems and was effectively crippling the national state highway network.
“There are legal weight and speed limits for a reason – and that is to ensure that trucks can travel safely on the road and not endanger other road users. Trucks carrying extra heavy loads are less stable on the roads, are more of a danger in crashes and are slower to stop.
“But the biggest impact they have on the roads is extra wear and tear on the infrastructure. Our highway system is a huge asset we must protect and maintain,” Ms Pennell said.
NZ Transport Agency State Highway Manager – Napier, Chuck Dowdell, said all road users needed to take responsibility for highways.
“It’s essential that everyone, regardless of how or how often we use the highway network, to play our part in developing a safer environment for our fellow road users. This action from Ernslaw One is a promising initiative to encourage responsible behaviour from its operators, and that is another positive step toward Safer Journeys for New Zealand.”
Police and the NZTA were endorsing Ernslaw One’s stance and hoped other companies would follow suit.
“If we can get everyone agreeing to the same protocols then the roads will no doubt become safer and they will be in a better state of repair. It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” Ms Pennell said.