It’s supposed to be the most advanced distribution centre of its kind and the largest in the southern hemisphere, servicing 209 Coles supermarkets in Queensland and northern NSW.
But if you ask some truckies, the design brains behind the $500 million state-of-the-art automated DC in Redbank, Brisbane, have overlooked – or ignored – one important modern industry advancement, and it’s costing operators dearly.
According to drivers Big Rigs spoke to, the DC doesn’t allow 30m A-doubles to use the facility because when backed into the loading docks, they protrude 4m over the yellow safety walkways at the front of the cab, which is against occupational health and safety rules.
The only way around the rule, says a truckie we spoke to, is to make a time-consuming split on the road and go in as one trailer, if the load size permits.
“Someone forgot to put the walkway out far enough,” the frustrated driver told us.
“They need to do a footpath redesign so we can go in there with an A-double.
“Everyone knows that trucks are getting bigger, so they have to do something about this.”
Even the weighbridge on site doesn’t accommodate trucks longer than 26m, adds the driver, who hasn’t received a response from Coles about why it doesn’t allow for A-doubles at the site.
He says his company doesn’t have this same issue at Woolworths or IGA DCs and can’t understand how Coles has got this so wrong.
Another driver believes the simple solution for A-doubles on the site would be to have them park alongside the fenceline with the walkway running alongside.
Coles has not responded to a request for comment.