Heavier trucks coming to NZ roads

Trucks travelling on New Zealand roads will be able to carry bigger loads under a new rule coming into effect in May.

The new permit system – introduced today by transport minister Steven Joyce – will see weight limits lift from 44 tonnes to 53 tonnes on “specified routes”.

The Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Dimensions and Mass Amendment 2010 comes into force on May 1 and will allow trucks to be permitted up to 53 tonnes within their current dimensions.

There will also be provision for loads above 53 tonnes but Mr Joyce said these will only be granted in “very specific instances”.

The changes are designed to handle the greater amounts of freight that will be travelling down New Zealand’s roads over the next two decades.

Mr Joyce said the changes could see productivity gains of between 10% and 20% as trucking companies by using fewer trucks to carry a given amount of freight while also ensuring the impacts of heavy vehicles will be properly managed.

“This will help to reduce road congestion, operating costs, vehicle emissions and improve the road safety environment by slowing the increase in heavy vehicle movements on New Zealand’s roads.”

Trucks will still need to meet all the appropriate safety requirements, and will not be any wider or higher than present vehicles, although some could be longer.

Each permit will specify which roads can be used by the vehicles, with road controlling authorities having the final say on whether routes applied for are suitable for heavier vehicles.

The full rule amendment is available on the Ministry of Transport website here.

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