THE Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) last week welcomed the release of a new permit allowing baled hay, straw and wool bales to be carted as oversized loads.
PGA economics chairman Garry Hyde said it was reassuring to see Main Roads had worked well with hay producers, contractors and carriers and had resolved the issue of transporting large hay bales for export and interstate markets.
ÒThis situation arose because the baling machines were developed overseas to fit wider trailers in the US,Ó Mr Hyde said.
ÒThe bales were a few centimetres too high and too wide to fit under the old system and it was not possible to make the bales smaller.
ÒCarriers had to take a whole layer of 4ft high bales off the load because they made the load less than 10cm too high and the increase in transport costs was affecting the whole hay industry.Ó
The PGA has been working with Main Roads and baling and carting contactors to develop the new operating conditions.
The conditions will accompany the Class 3 Restricted Access Vehicles - Oversize Divisible Products - Operating Conditions.
ÒThe trial period for the new permit helped the industry to demonstrate we could cart three hay bales high safely and professionally,Ó Mr Hyde said.
ÒThere are still some issues, such as carting wool bales at night, that we will continue to work with Main Roads on, however we are very pleased to have the new simplified permit officially in place for this hay season.Ó