You are here

ATA dismisses truck poll results

06 July 2011

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has dismissed the results of a poll showing that 50 per cent of Australians want large trucks banned from cities.

The Auspoll survey was commissioned by seven organisations, including the Australasian Railway Association.

ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair said replacing big trucks with smaller ones would just increase congestion, with more trucks needed to deliver the goods Australians use every day.

“A semi-trailer can carry three times more than a smaller, two-axle rigid truck,” Mr St Clair said.

“As a result, it takes 42 semi-trailer trips to deliver a thousand tonnes of goods, such as the items you see on the shelves of every supermarket. They’re delivered by truck, not by rail. It would take 143 trips for two-axle trucks to deliver the same amount of freight”.

“There would be more trucks on the road and congestion would be worse”.

Mr St Clair said banning larger trucks from cities would also worsen greenhouse gas emissions.

“The 143 two-axle rigid truck trips would create 66 per cent more greenhouse gas emissions than using semi-trailers to deliver the same tonnage.”

Mr St Clair referred to figures from a 2007 study¹ by the Monash University Accident Research Centre, which showed that replacing large trucks with a greater number of smaller trucks would increase the number of road accidents.

“Using larger trucks to deliver goods reduces the number of vehicles on the road. The statistics show there are fewer accidents as a result.”

“Instead of talking about trucks, the ARA needs to focus on getting its own house in order, with disappointing results from a recent environmental survey.”

“Australia’s freight locomotives are, on average, 36 years old and some use diesel engines up to 40 years old,” he said

“Compared to leading edge locomotive technology used in the United States, these 40 year old locomotive engines are estimated to emit more than six times the level of carbon monoxide and up to 30 per cent more carbon dioxide per tonne kilometre, than a heavy vehicle,” said Mr St Clair.

¹Monash University Accident Research Centre, Report No. 259.
The influence of trends in heavy vehicle travel on road trauma in the light vehicle fleet.