Higher Mass Limits (HML) and access aren’t always about increasing payload – effectively using these tools can enable a range of benefits for every operator. Bulktrans, a bulk dry and liquid bulk transporter specialising in mining, sugar, cement and fertiliser, saw this as an opportunity to overcome a transportation problem.
“Bulktrans wanted to get the most out of its operation. This meant a thorough plan had to be devised and put forward,” Andrew Rossington, Vice President – Transport Solutions Australia at Teletrac Navman says.
The core issue facing Bulktrans was that its vehicle combinations weren’t permitted to return from hauls via Masters road in Port Kembla for its New South Wales operation, a main arterial road that led to the depot. At the time, vehicles were required to detour around an approved Higher Mass Limit route, an arduous 8km round journey for all drivers despite their vehicles being empty.
Streamlining the Journey
Bulktrans needed a way to return from Port Kembla to its mine site via Masters road, cutting the 8km detour out of its journey. But NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) had concerns about bridge infrastructure and was reluctant to allow access to larger vehicle combinations.
Mark Wintle, Port Kembla Operations Manager at Bulktrans, approached Teletrac Navman with his requirements and to discuss the opportunities available. The solution devised was installing on-board scales into all vehicles required to pass Masters road which provided real-time mass monitoring and assurance to the road manager that vehicles were in fact, empty of payload.
Bulktrans then reached out to RMS with the plan of fitting on-board scales to its vehicles to enable travel on the Masters road route, with the ability to prove in real-time that its vehicles were unladen. Though the combination used weren’t previously permitted on that specific route, this solution would ensure that Bulktrans’ vehicles complied with the maximum allowed mass limits for the road that would enable a range of cost-saving advantages.
The benefits of this access solution were measurable and instantaneous. Bulktrans was able to increase its payload while reducing travelling time, which saw an overall reduction in fuel usage, as well as a significant fall in operating costs.
Drivers were also able to complete trips more quickly and easily, which not only led to increased productivity and efficiency, but also allowed Bulktrans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, and impact on the local traffic environment.
With this access to the HML network, Bulktrans was allowed to plan for an additional 2.5 tonnes per payload. Based on 14,000 loads per month, this gave the business access to 420,000 extra trips per year, saving it 12,500 overall trips.
“Even if we were only earning $1.00 per additional tonne we would still be way ahead under the IAP,” Wintle says. “That’s a 10 per cent distance and time saving.”