Two-hour turnaround at new Warrego Hwy truck pad spot
TRUCKIES could be forced to high-tail it to Brisbane due to the time restriction placed at the new truck pads near Gatton.
The truck pads at Lawes, on the Warrego Highway, were upgraded to allow road trains to decouple closer to Brisbane.
A two-hour parking limit is in place at the highway breakdown pads, making the return trip to Brisbane in less than two hours near impossible, according to local truckies.
Both east and west-bound lanes were signposted with the parking limit last week, following the construction upgrades.
Truck driver Terry Dingle says it makes it impossible for drivers to decouple, deliver to Brisbane and return to collect any additional trailers.
"I understand they've had to put a short time frame, because we don't want people banking up and unable to move," he said.
But he said it also limited the rest stops available to truckies.
Transport and Main Roads officials defended the move, saying the facility was never intended to be used as a rest area anyway.
But Mr Dingle says an extra hour was all that's needed.
"If it was three hours, it would allow someone to get into Brisbane and back again," he said.
With the Toowoomba Bypass now open, the Gatton Road Train Transfer Facility allows type 1 road trains and AB triple heavy vehicle configurations to travel closer to Brisbane before they need to disassemble to complete their journey safely.
Previously, they were required to decouple west of Toowoomba.
"The two-hour restriction applies to all vehicles using the site, including prime movers and trailers," the Transport spokesperson said.
Truckies have also reported difficulties leaving the west-bound pads, with decoupled trailers blocking a clear view to approaching traffic.
"On the west-bound side, because the parking lane is between the through-lane and the highway, its very difficult," Mr Dingle said.
"I have driven my B-double through their for a sticky beak and it was difficult to see what was coming up the road."
But Mr Dingle said there were limited places along the highway, east of Gatton, that were suitable to stop.
"It (Lawes) was a convenient place for a quick stop, even an overnight. Now that's not available to any of us," Mr Dingle said.
"I think the only reason it was given a two-hour limit is because its not a large enough breakdown area.
"If there's parking available near the Caltex (at Plainland), that's where I stop. But that's now being occupied by trailers and other drivers because of the time restrictions."