Jodi Fry, co-owner of Fry’s Cartage, notes down some of the worst roads in the district. THOUSANDS of dollars in damage is being racked up by freight operators as the region’s roads and highways crumble.
Nanjing Night Net

Freight operators who gathered to launch the Roads to Ruin campaign told The Standard yesterday that truck maintenance costs had skyrocketed during the past 12 months.

Eroded road shoulders and deep potholes were cited as the main offenders in causing damage to large trucks and other vehicles.

Shiells Transport owner-operator Peter Shiells said the shoulders on thoroughfares such as the Heywood-Woolsthorpe Road were non-existent along some stretches.

He said he came close to crashing recently when veering to the side of the road in order to avoid a potential accident.

“You expect some form of road shoulder to be there but when it isn’t, you bloody well notice,” Mr Shiells said. “I had to re-adjust my underpants after one near-miss (crash), there wasn’t even an inch of extra gravel on the side of the road. Potholes cause accidents but road shoulders are just as much a cause for concern.”

Warrnambool Cheese and Butter (WCB) representatives told the meeting that extra costs had been incurred due to the poor condition of south-west arterial roads.

WCB compliance co-ordinator Craig Kidd said damage to chassis rails, Z-springs, mudguards, bodywork mountings and other truck parts was far higher than average in the south-west. He said the milk processors maintenance crew had conducted far more repairs during the last 12 months than any other year in living memory.

Murray Goulburn representatives conveyed similar concerns about the condition of arterial roads, with their fleet of trucks also incurring damage due to potholes.

Willatook farmer Russell Bell said small potholes present before last year’s flooding had transformed into deep scars along wide sections of road.

He said wind farm and other major projects had forced more heavy trucks onto the south-west’s roads, yet maintenance levels had failed to keep pace.

The Roads to Ruin campaign is expected to draw up a petition in the coming weeks and will start recruiting members to help with its road funding push.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.