What is Access? How gaining access can benefit your operation.

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Access. It’s a term that’s heard all the time in the transport industry. What does it really mean? How can a transport operator engage jurisdictions to unlock benefits which may be unique to their operation?

Gaining access simply refers to the process a transport company would undertake to operate on specific routes utilising larger or unique vehicle combinations to increase payload. This means that vehicle combinations that may never have been possible at Higher Mass Limits (HML) can be used to realise efficiency and productivity gains.

So why is it important? It unlocks specific vehicles to complete specific tasks. For example, the use of A-Double vehicle combinations unlocks the ability to carry two 40ft containers into the port. Without access, only a 40ft and a 20ft container is permitted on a B-Double. The productivity gains are measurable and substantial.

There are a number of different types of access that can be attained that vary depending on the need of the operator to the requirements of being granted access.

Last mile access allows the operator to gain access from the depot to the nearest highway at increased payload or for unique vehicle combinations that aren’t currently permitted.

Port access for longer combinations, such as A-Doubles, may be required for transport companies that freight bulk goods from depots to the port for export. This is typically approved when an on-board mass solution is installed in operating vehicles. For example, you may wish to optimise the route on the return journey via a bridge that does not allow vehicles at HML. An on-board mass solution allows the operator to prove that the vehicle combination is not over mass limits, in real-time, to allow access to the bridge for an optimised route.

Access to the HML road network throughout Australia is the most requested and supported form of access. Typically this can be under programs such as:

  • Intelligent Access Program (IAP): Operating vehicles have certified IVU‘s installed. Drivers and operators are required to declare mass prior to each and every journey. In return for being enrolled, the operator gains access to a bigger road network at increased payload, sometimes more than HML.
  • Interim OBM Scheme: On-board mass solutions are fitted in operating vehicles. The operator gains access to the HML network at an increased payload.
  • National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS): Operators are required to have measures in place to manage fatigue, speed, mass and vehicle maintenance. In return, operating vehicles gain access to the HML network at an increased payload.

An operator has the ability to consider the best option to suit requirements. Behind these types of access is technology. For example, on-board scales can be paired with Transtech’s IAP and type approved In-Vehicle Unit (IVU) to communicate locational and mass information in real-time.

Another solution is the iFace and its compliance applications, such as Mass Manager, which can help automate record keeping; in this case, keeping record of vehicle mass. This is one of the requirements to comply with National Heavy Vehicles Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) obligations. Transtech’s NextGen platform can be utilised in a number of ways. For example, it can help monitor vehicle locations to ensure a driver hasn’t gone off route or export mass reports that make audits a breeze. Technology can help provide a simple means to declare mass and comply with access requirements; it helps automate the entire process.

The next important consideration is the vehicle combination; it directly affects the choice of access that is required. Some examples of vehicle combinations that can be unlocked are PBS A-Doubles, Truck & Dogs through to Road Trains. As an example, Transtech helped Inland Petroleum gain access to utilise AB-Triple combinations, helping provide increased efficiency and productivity gains. Read the story here.

The benefits of gaining access are measurable. They can vary depending on each operator’s reasons to gain access. Transtech has seen customers gain a 50% reduction in trips and a 40% reduction in their fuel bill. A number of safety and environmental benefits are realised, not to mention the savings that can be passed through the entire transport chain. It means the operator can provide an enhanced and more affordable service.

Transtech has also seen many of its customer’s acquire additional contracts because they are seen to be technologically progressive and compliant. Apart from providing jurisdictions’ assurance of compliance to mass limits, transport operators are communicating to other members in the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) that they are running a fully compliant and transparent operation. For a more in-depth look into how it can benefit the operation, click here.

Transtech is a premier IAP service provider and is currently the only approved supplier for Interim On-Board Mass solutions. With over 25 years in the transport industry, Transtech has a fantastic reputation and relationship with jurisdictions, local councils and shires. Transtech understands and cares about access – it’s one of the most topical issues facing the industry. Giving customers the opportunity to carry more freight, utilising unique vehicle combinations or gaining last mile access, Transtech is there to help and advise through the process.

Transtech has now been granted approval by the TCA to provide real-time Interim OBM solutions to Victoria (VicRoads) and New South Wales (Roads and Maritime Services) and any other jurisdictions that wish to adopt the program.

For more information on gaining access and how Transtech can help you gain access, contact one of Transtech’s helpful customer service representatives on 1300 427 123 or email info@transtech.net.au.