New rules to move more with fewer trips

  • Craig Foss

Proposed changes to the Vehicle Dimensions and Mass (VDAM) Rule 2002 mean heavy vehicles can carry more freight or passengers on fewer trips, increasing efficiency while maintaining safety for road users, Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss says.

“This is the first comprehensive review of the VDAM Rule in 13 years,” Mr Foss says.

“Trucks move 91 per cent of New Zealand freight tonnage — about 215.6 million tonnes per year — around the country.  That’s projected to increase by over 50 per cent in the next 30 years so it’s essential that we make changes to manage the increase and enable growth.”

The VDAM proposals include:

  • Re-defining the width limit for trucks from 2.50m, plus 50mm for load securing devices; to 2.55m, inclusive of securing devices
  • Increasing weight limits for some trucks and buses to allow operators to carry more freight or passengers

“Safety is always the Government’s primary consideration. These changes will encourage the purchase of newer vehicles aligned to international dimensions with more technology and safety features,” Mr Foss says.

“The changes also have tangible benefits for both the heavy vehicle industry and other road users.  For example, the re-defined width limit will allow enclosed vehicles such as refrigerated trailers to load three more pallets side-by-side, increasing capacity by 10 per cent and reducing the number of these vehicles on the road by a similar amount.

“Increasing weight limits will help reduce the number of trips heavy vehicles currently make and therefore ease congestion. One operator says it will result in 100 less tanker loads a day for his operation.”

Road Controlling Authorities, such as local councils, will still have the authority to approve specialist vehicles and decide where heavier vehicles can travel.

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