A recent NewsHub article where trucking businesses bemoaned the state of our “dilapidated roads” tallies with our experience when working with these businesses to assist them with their HPMV routes and permits.
For the uninitiated, HPMV stands for: High Productivity Motor Vehicles, these are trucks that are able to operate at a higher weight limit than normal under permit.
The HPMV system is probably a net benefit for New Zealand, as allowing these bigger trucks on our roads reduces the number of truck trips needed to move the same amount of freight, leading to economic and environmental benefits for producers, customers and our communities.
Anyway, going back to the Newshub article, the gist of the piece is that truckers are, “finding shock absorbers torn from their trailers and steering joints failing more often,” and they blame this on the worsening state of our highways.
"Maintenance bills are going through the roof year on year. Some of the bridge abutments you drive over those and it's just an horrendous bang as you go through it,” says one veteran operator.
This claim of increased costs is supported by the Road Transport Forum (via its own survey) showing a 55 percent rise in truckers' maintenance costs nationwide in the last five years.
The Newshub article also suggests that industry players and associations, as well as government agencies, all seem to agree that our roads are in a bit of a state and have suffered from under investment – but of course opinions differ on where a finite budget would be best spent…
Due to the lack of appropriate funding, industry lobbyists claim that one way NZTA is responding to poor road quality (and high crash rates) on some highways by simply moving to reduce the speed limit and not addressing the underlying design or maintenance issues.
While this may ameliorate safety concerns, reducing speed limits does nothing for productivity (as I have previously covered here) and just further increases operating costs for transport and freight businesses.
The whole situation leaves many transport & trucking operators in a bit of a pickle when it comes to routing and navigation.
So, while HPMV trucks have to stick to the tightly defined roads detailed in their permits they (and the smaller trucks in a vehicle fleet) would also benefit from knowing which stretches of road to avoid (due to poor condition or reduced speed limits) if they can.
With the condition of our highways and roads unlikely to improve markedly any time soon, NationalMap have the perfect solution for any transport or trucking businesses looking to reduce maintenance costs. Not only can we help you reduce overheads with optimal routing, but we can also improve your operational efficiency with "turn by turn" navigation for your entire fleet to make complex navigation & routing simple.
You can read more on our HPMV Solution here or just get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help your business get on the road to increased productivity (and lower maintenance costs!).