We have developed a Haulage Code of Behaviour with our haulage contractors which covers travel on roads in Victoria's State forests.
This Code has been signed by all of our haulage contractors and outlines details such as which forest roads can be used by loaded log trucks and when this travel can occur.
Log trucks are entitled to use public roads and must adhere to the same road rules as other drivers. We develop Haulage Plans to minimise disruption to residents and help to maintain safety for both the general public and our truck drivers.
Haulage plans are specific to the relevant area and include information such as when and where school buses operate.
Below is the Haulage Code of Behaviour which normally sits within the Contractor Information Handbook.
Haulage Code of Behaviour
15.6 Driver Codes of Behaviour
For the majority of the community the only contact that they have with the logging industry is when the trucks are travelling on Shire and VicRoads roads. To minimise impact on local communities and road users, and to promote a courteous and professional image, haulage contractors must operate under the agreed Code of Behaviour. In addition to this there may be location specific codes, which outline additional behaviours for a certain area/township that may be included with the Monthly Plan.
15.6.1 Use of Engine Brakes in Towns
Engine brakes will not be used in residential areas during the hours between 7.00pm and 7.00am. Farmhouses and other single residences on remote roads will also be taken into account. Engine brake usage will be kept to a safe but minimum amount in residential areas at all other times.
15.6.2 Dropping of Dust
When operating on dusty roads haulage contractors will do as much as practicable to drop as much dust as possible before reaching towns. This may include stopping at the end of dusty roads and backing up or tapping rims with a mallet. As each destination has its own issues and opportunities to stop and drop dust these will be taken into account during the journey.
15.6.3 Load Security
When loaded, care will be taken to ensure that loose pieces of wood and bark are unable to fall from the vehicle. Once the truck is unloaded all remaining loose debris will be removed before leaving the dump or sawmill. The VicRoads Load Restraint Guide will be observed and loads will be limited to half a log height above trailer stanchions.
15.6.4 Use of UHF CB Radio on Common Channel
All trucks will be fitted with a UHF radio. A nominated channel (usually Channel 1 or 40) will be used while operating on roads away from Logging Coupes. The nominated channels will be displayed on most Shire and DEPI/VicForests roads or by arrangement between contractors and VicForests’ staff. Individual contractors will have their own nominated UHF channel displayed at coupe entrances for truck operators and visitors to call before they enter a coupe to obtain permission to proceed. The airwaves will be used in a responsible and courteous manner and offensive language will not be used.
15.6.5 Allowing Traffic to Pass
Haulage contractors will as much as practicable (when safe and appropriate) slow down and pull to the side of the road to allow traffic to pass. When travelling behind another truck, the passing opportunities for other vehicles will be taken into account by not travelling too close together.
15.6.6 Mass Limits
Haulage contractors will load trucks to keep within legal mass limits. Liaison with VicRoads and Municipalities will be carried out to ensure that no bridge or road mass limits are exceeded. For vehicles allowed to travel at higher mass limits, care will be taken to ensure that appropriate permits are obtained.
15.6.7 Travelling on the Correct Side of the Road
Travel will be on the correct side of the road at all times where possible taking extra care on narrow windy parts of the forest through roads.
15.6.8 Road Works
Haulage contractors will take extra care when travelling through roadworks and behave in a courteous and responsible manner.
15.6.9 Travelling Trough Towns and School Crossings
When travelling through small towns extra care will be taken to keep speed and noise down particularly in the vicinity of school crossings.
15.6.10 Times of Travel
When any increase in traffic flow occurs this will be taken into account and travel times or driving behaviour will be adjusted to suit. Haulage contractors should also familiarise themselves with School bus travel times on remote roads and take due care.
15.6.11 Load Height
Load height from the ground must not exceed 4.3m unless specific restrictions apply. e.g. the maximum permissible load height, along the Omeo Highway and the Great Alpine Road is 4.0m for all salvage wood. SEFE will monitor load height at their mill, VicRoads on the road and the logging team leader or VicForests at the landing.
15.6.12 Driver Inexperience
Particular care should be taken by all drivers (especially inexperienced drivers) to ensure that they drive in a manner suitable to the conditions prevailing at the time. As part of driver induction, VicForests will provide a map for drivers outlining the routes to coupes and UHF call signs applicable to the area. The map will also outline suggested points along the route where load restraint systems could be checked and locations close to townships where excess dust could be removed.
15.6.13 Fatigue Management
The Road Safety Act requires all parties in the supply chain to ensure that drivers of heavy vehicles do not drive while impaired by fatigue and do not drive in breach of prescribed work and rest times. All parties must ensure drivers comply with the level of fatigue management accreditation they work under, being either:
- standard hours
- basic fatigue management accreditation
- advanced fatigue management accreditation.
To further assist, guidance can also be found in the Fatigue Management Guidelines for the Forestry Industry. Drivers should aim for the majority of driving to be done during daylight periods, where possible avoiding night and early afternoon periods of low alertness, and ensure that trip planning takes account of typical delays and road conditions.