The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), in partnership with the Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) have produced a series of videos to support heavy vehicle drivers traversing Cunninghams Gap on the Cunningham Highway in Queensland.
Under the direction of TMR South Coast Region, the concept of producing the videos was developed during the consultation phase with industry on the Cunninghams Gap Reconstruction Project (CGRP).
The CGRP will restore and repair a 2km stretch of Cunningham Highway at Cunninghams Gap which suffered significant road damage during the bushfires in 2019.
Truckies have already been warned that they face delays of up to 30 minutes when travelling through Cunninghams Gap between now until early December while remedial work is underway.
TMR said its team has faced unique challenges posed by the complex topography, requiring extensive design work, including geotechnical and structural assessments, before initiating the reconstruction process.
“With Cunningham Highway being a key freight route, TMR were extremely conscious of the significant impact on road users, in particular, heavy vehicles during this period,” said Transport Minister Mark Bailey.
“TMR South Coast initiated consultation with the QTA to coordinate forums with the local trucking industry in the region to better understand how to manage delays and closures and minimise impacts on freight movements.”
The consultation also uncovered a myriad of challenges for heavy vehicle drivers on this section of road due to the gradient and length of the ascent and descent and the complexity of managing gears and brakes.
As the complexity of the driving task up and down Cunninghams Gap for truck drivers was realised, the idea of an advisory video series was born to assist heavy vehicle drivers safely navigate this road.
“The consultation undertaken by TMR South Coast was exemplary,” said QTA CEO Gary Mahon.
“To have the fleets sit down with the CGRP team in conversation was extremely beneficial. The feedback informed how closures and delays could be effectively managed with the least impact on industry. The creation of the video series will be invaluable for new drivers learning the route.”
The video series, which features award-winning driver-trainer Bill Manton alongside TMR’s principal program advisor for the South Coast Region, Nicholas Lancashire, can also be used generally as a guide for truck drivers navigating roads with long steep inclines and declines, added Mahon.
Click here to view all the videos.