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INDUSTRY FOCUSHEAVY HAULAGE


Europe, not just the military.” With local governments around Europe struggling with very tight budgets and spending cuts, the development of heavy transport corridors means that expensive infrastructure upgrades can – in theory at least – be focused on a relatively limited number of coordinated routes.


Klijn added: “It is increasingly clear that we need to increase the pressure on both the European and national authorities, because in many cases they do not understand the problems faced by the heavy transport industry or our importance to the wider European businesses and national economies.”


Loss of expertise A further problem facing ESTA members is that following the financial crash in 2008 and subsequent cuts in government spending across Europe, many local government departments have lost a lot of their in-house infrastructure and engineering expertise. This has meant that some authorities are forced to “play safe” and delay – or in some cases even refuse – permits for abnormal loads because they do not have the expertise to take an informed decision about the safety of structures such as bridges.


In Germany, ESTA member BSK has long expressed concern at the state of the country’s roads and bridges and has been campaigning hard for both the


implementation of heavy transport corridors and a reduction in the time taken to obtain the necessary heavy transport permits. ESTA has member associations in 19 countries and the moves on heavy transport


SC&RA moves for harmonisation


The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association has launched its Uniform Permit Transport 2021 (UPT2021) initiative, which aims to establish harmonised overweight/oversize vehicle configurations across all 50 US states. The USA’s heavy haulage industry has the burden of negotiating varying requirements and weight thresholds when travelling across state lines. Meeting the requirements of each state leads to delays and ultimately, added costs for the consumer. UPT2021 aims to tackle this issue, advocating widespread acceptance of more comprehensive and representative permitted weight configurations issued under routine or auto-issued permits.


Automated permit issuing is one of the main goals 122 May/June 2018


Our clear goal is to get exceptional transport much higher up the agenda of the relevant authorities. – Ton Klijn, ESTA


and the SC&RA will encourage all US states to auto-issue permits that fall under specific thresholds. Currently, more than 30 states use systems that automatically issue permits, in some cases for cargoes measuring 4.78 m wide, 4.78 m high and weighing 250,000 lbs (113.4 tonnes).


SC&RA has proposed 11 configurations that make up the majority of typical overweight permits issued by states in the USA. The selected configurations are already approved in several states. “Lack of uniformity among states is costing our member companies millions of dollars annually,” said Steven Todd, SC&RA vice president. “Manufacturers pay more for transporting their products and those costs are passed along to consumers.”


Safety on the road is one of the primary benefits of the UPT2021 initiative. According to SC&RA and industry representatives, a higher percentage of heavy hauliers would legally obtain and run on state-issued


corridors are the latest in a series of actions being taken by the organisation and its members to overcome the problems being faced by heavy transport operators throughout the continent.


Profile raising As part of this strategy, ESTA has recently joined the IRU – the international road transport industry association – as an affiliate member in an attempt to increase the organisation’s profile and influence with the European Commission and international road transport authorities.


Klijn said: “Our clear goal is to get exceptional transport much higher up the agenda of the relevant authorities, and the IRU can help us do that.


“The IRU is a highly professional lobbying organisation and by joining them, ESTA will have much more clout than we could have on our own.”


permits. Other benefits include increased revenue for states to be used on infrastructure due to the higher volume of permits being issued. “Beyond the consumer, the lack of uniformity among states’ permitted weight allowances has a very real impact on the nation’s infrastructure as oversize/overweight loads are re-routed thousands of additional miles, causing more stress on roads and bridges,” explained Todd. “This is why SC&RA is committed to working towards uniformity in allowable permitted weight configurations. UPT2021 is one of the most important initiatives we have undertaken because, while the goal of uniformity across 50 states is possible, it is formidable. But the consequences of doing nothing are no longer tolerable.”


Under the UPT2021 initiative, SC&RA hopes to achieve 100 percent compliance across the country by the year 2021.


www.heavyliftpfi.com


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