Heavy haulage in Australia is far more complex than routine transportation. It takes insider industry knowledge, experience, established working relationships with a range of stakeholders, and the ability to foresee all manner of potential issues to safely deliver oversized mining equipment across the country.
Heavy haulage is a booming industry in Australia, and with good reason. Many sectors require cross-country transportation including the mining industry. Transportation costs are increasingly accounting for the largest outlay in mining operations, as valuable equipment is delivered to remote locations country-wide.
Mining relies on the assistance of logistic providers and heavy haulage operators to ensure the smooth running of projects and general proceedings. There are many factors that need to be considered when planning heavy haulage transportation, which is why it makes sense to rely upon the knowledge, expertise, and resources of a professional logistics company for all your transportation needs.
Identifying the scope of the project
Heavy haulage relies extensively on accurate forward planning in order to identify the scope of a project. This includes determining potential constraints and issues that may arise throughout the transportation journey.
Considerations that must be taken into account include precise dimensions of the load, the required schedule that must be adhered to, and any other details relating to the freight — material, fragility, and more.
Once these project details have been identified, you can then begin to consider the type of transportation that will be most suitable. Mining equipment is heavy, bulky, and can be oddly shaped and so usually requires the use of specialist oversized trucks. It is usually also necessary to have specialist equipment at the beginning and end of the journey, to safely load and unload cargo.
This kind of information and planning ultimately affects what route is taken.
The importance of sitting down and diligently planning out each aspect of the transportation journey cannot be understated and is another reason why going with a heavy haulage specialist is an excellent decision to make. From the outset, completing a detailed route survey allows for an accurate cost-estimate to be devised, which is important when putting together a project budget.
The route that is taken will be largely dependent on the freight being carried, as well as the destination. Australian mining sites can be found in extremely remote locations, which can make elements of transportation quite difficult.
Identify any potential geographical, meteorological, or infrastructure-related hazards that may be encountered along the way. Consulting with third-parties to confirm these details and get a feel for the local environment can be a valuable exercise as they may be able to provide insider knowledge.
For the sake of the driver (and adherence to Heavy Vehicle National Law), it is vital to plan out a route that includes safe and convenient stopovers. This is particularly important when oversized vehicles are being used, as it may not be possible to stop at regular petrol stations or small country towns.
Finally, it is best to put together a route that creates minimal traffic disturbance to the general public. Oversized heavy haulage vehicles can take up multiple lanes on a freeway, and drive slower than the average-sized truck. In some cases this is simply not possible, which is why it is important to develop strong relationships with government officials and organisations who can lend a helping hand.
Heavy haulage in Australia often requires liaising with government departments, who can provide both advice and assistance in transporting oversized loads to their destination. Pilot and escort vehicles play an important role in ensuring both driver and public safety when oversized vehicles are on the road.
It is also important to obtain all the necessary documentation and permits before commencing the journey. Heavy haulage often involves travelling across national borders and regulations between states and territories can differ. Studying the proposed route and all relevant transportation laws can prevent unnecessary fines and unwanted delays. Logistics providers are experts in this particular area.
Safety is an essential aspect of heavy haulage and cannot be overlooked. It is important for the sake of the driver and the general public that all safety laws and regulations are adhered to. The word safety can be used in reference to many elements of mining equipment transportation, including:
- The condition of the vehicle. Ensure it has been serviced and contains all the necessary safety equipment including a fire extinguisher and spare tyres.
- Driver training. It is important that drivers of heavy haulage vehicles have received the necessary training and feel well supported in their role. This includes planning appropriate rest breaks and overnight stops.
- Firmly securing cargo and machinery.
- Having appropriate equipment to load and unload freight at the beginning and end of the journey.
Given the many considerations regarding heavy haulage in Australia, it makes sense to seek out the advice, expertise, and experience of a professional logistics company. Doing so will go a long way to ensuring that mining equipment and freight are delivered safely and on-time.