Seven more trucks off the road after height clearance breaches

Seven more trucks will be removed from NSW roads for six months with suspended registrations as the state government continues to crack down on overheight vehicles in Sydney’s road tunnel network.

Since Friday, July 14, six companies and one owner-operator whose vehicles breached height clearance rules and stopped traffic have been served with registration suspensions, part of the Minns government’s “zero-tolerance” approach to overheight incidents.

BG Drilling Pty Ltd has been issued with a suspension notice for an incident on June 16 in which a truck registered to the company struck sprinklers in the Airport Tunnel, activating the deluge system.

A northbound lane had to be closed and traffic held in both directions while the truck was taken out of the tunnel.

BG Drilling owner Ben Galvin said he did not wish to comment about the incident.

Absperex Services Pty Ltd will also be without a truck after an incident on June 29 when its truck fitted with a self-loading container arm hit the physical barrier ahead of the Cooks River Tunnel before the driver lowered the arm inside the tunnel and proceeded to a breakdown bay on the M5, disrupting traffic.

The five other companies that will have one less truck in their fleets for the next six months are Brisbane Transport Pty Ltd, Recycling Metal Industries Pty Ltd, Transpacific Superior Pak Pty Ltd, D & H Group Australia Pty Ltd and an individual operator, according to a Transport for NSW media release.

These follow the first registration suspension in late June since a deal between the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and the NSW Government which sees all overheight breaches automatically referred to Transport for NSW for investigation and sanction.

The operator impacted in that first case, Simon Hengl of Hengl Transport of Tomago in the Hunter, told Big Rigs at the time that he was planning to appeal the ruling.

“The driver was given a penalty with a minor breach, no demerit points and a $354 fine. We don’t understand the severe penalty received post receipt and payment of the driver’s fine,” Hengl said.

“The impact on the business is considerable.”

Minister for Roads John Graham said the NSW Government is a supporter of the freight industry and the overwhelming majority of truck drivers who do the right thing, know the height of their load and plan accordingly.

“These registrations suspensions are necessary because our message of zero tolerance has unfortunately not yet got through to all drivers,” Graham said.

“The message to those who own and operate trucks is if you do not plan properly and your drivers find themselves overheight and being backed into a slip lane then there are severe consequences for your business – not just the individual driver’s licence and bank account.

“Registration suspensions are one way to ensure we see fewer cases in which Sydney traffic is brought to its knees. We have also formed the Overheight Truck Taskforce, bringing together NSW Police, the freight industry, transport and the Transport Workers’ Union to formulate new strategies to address this persistent problem.”

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