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How the Farm Gate Access Program improves road access with telematics and data

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For regional operators, transporting livestock and grain from first to last mile can be a frustrating experience.

Local road restrictions can limit the use of certain combinations and getting approval for access can be tough to attain. And for some, the only way to travel on local roads is by reducing loads or decoupling trailers, a physically taxing and time intensive diversion. It’s a disheartening experience.

Thankfully, there is a solution.

New Farm Gate Access  arrangements in NSW  “provide a way to unlock first and last mile access on regional roads – from approved restricted access networks to the farm gate”, explains Gavin Hill, General Manager, Strategy and Delivery at Transport Certification Australia.

“Farm Gate helps local governments better understand the ‘footprint’ of vehicle movements on local roads using data from approved telematics providers like Teletrac Navman,” he added.

“The beauty of Farm Gate is that your existing telematics device can be used. And if you don’t have one, there are low-cost options available from TCA approved providers including Teletrac Navman” explains Hill.

Anthony Laras, Regulatory Program Manager with Teletrac Navman explains, “We’re very proud to be a part of this industry initiative, with a special thanks to the LRBCA and its president Paul Pulver for all his hard work with TfNSW and the participating shires in making this happen.”

Here’s what Farm Gate Access means for you.

What is Farm Gate?

By connecting first and last mile journeys, Farm Gate introduces conditional area-wide access for Higher Productivity Vehicles (HPV) transporting grain and livestock on low traffic council roads in participating areas. It came into being in February 2021 as a pilot covering six participating council areas across New South Wales.

Councils involved in the project are:

  • Coolamon Shire Council
  • Gunnedah Shire Council
  • Juness Shire Council
  • Narrandera Shire Council
  • Tamworth Shire Council
  • Temora Shire Council

The benefits of Farm Gate Access

Farm Gate Access enables the use of more productive vehicles to safely transport grain and livestock from the farm gate to market. This means fewer trips for transporters travelling on local roads, and reduced costs. It’s also intended to reduce red-tape by minimising or removing the need for access permits.

It also encourages the productive movements of regional produce, which is more important than ever in a COVID-19 affected world. Additional movement of produce helps to improve regional supply chain efficiency, moving food from the 'paddock to plate' more quickly.

By signing up for Farm Gate, operators can get their vehicles right to the farm gate by accessing the first and last mile more easily.

Operating under Farm Gate

Vehicles operating under the Livestock Loading Scheme and Grain Harvest Management Scheme can travel on the Farm Gate Network within participating council areas. This includes road trains up to 36.5 metres long in some council areas.

 The Livestock Loading Scheme, Grain Harvest Management Scheme and Restricted Access Vehicle enforceable network maps provide further information.

Once you’ve confirmed you meet the requirements of the Livestock Loading Scheme or the Grain Harvest Management Scheme, all you need to do is call your telematics provider to get operating.

“We’ve made Farm Gate easy to join. A simple phone call to Teletrac Navman or TCA is all that’s needed to get started on this important program,” said Hill.

How councils benefit from Farm Gate

Data collected through Farm Gate helps councils to understand how their road infrastructure is used, better plan for infrastructure investment or maintenance activities, and prioritise future projects.

Farm Gate is not used to track individual vehicles; it is anonymised and aggregated for road network analysis only, so your data privacy is protected by legislation.

 “It’s important to emphasise that local governments don’t get to see individual vehicle movements through Farm Gate,” says Hill.

“They only get to see the number of trips recorded on local roads. It’s the same with TfNSW and the NHVR. They only get to see the number of trips, not individual vehicle movements.”

By increasing council visibility of vehicles use of the road network, councils are better positioned to support infrastructure planning, maintenance, and funding applications.

Industry input

Farm Gate is only possible with thanks to extensive consultation with industry. Hill says the LBRCA and its members are helping to shape how Farm Gate works.

Laras agrees, “The program gives councils important vision of road use and gives operators more freedom to use their vehicles on roads that they’d otherwise be unable to access.”

“This is an industry driven initiative for the hard-working grain and livestock operators in NSW, and we look forward to welcoming transport operators to take advantage of this program.” 

Improving operator efficiency and reducing bottlenecks for regional operators, Farm Gate is available now.

 

To find out more about telematics and how you can become a part of the Farm Gate Access program, speak to us today. To find out more about regulatory telematics and the range of programs we can help you with, download our eBook.


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