Ground-breaking project to improve ag vehicle safety

Representatives from primary production, machinery retail, logistics and government have come together as part of a new project led by Grain Producers SA with the united goal of improving road safety and making compliance easier for primary producers.

The Moving Ag Machinery … Made Easy! project will gather feedback from across the commodity spectrum to help inform improvements, training and resources aimed at primary producers who access the NHVR Portal for permits.

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said improving safety and productivity for those working in the agricultural industry was vital to ensure essential commodities could be delivered safely across the country.

“Our commitment to investing in road safety initiatives like Moving Ag Machinery … Made Easy! ensures the agricultural industry keeps moving and the economy keeps growing,” Assistant Minister Buchholz said.

“Agricultural machinery is often bigger and slower than traditional heavy vehicles, so it’s important to understand the limitations and complexities of these vehicles when they’re travelling on the road.

“We don’t have all the answers, which is why it’s crucial to hear from those at the coalface so genuine and tangible improvements can be made for the sector and all road users.”

South Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Corey Wingard said providing safety and transport solutions is integral to South Australia’s growing agribusiness sector.

“Keeping South Australia’s agriculture industry moving is vital,” Minister Wingard said.

“This project will provide a clear picture of farm-to-farm movement and amplify the voices of primary producers on their concerns and ideas for safer road access.

“To all farmers throughout the state – have your say in improving road safety.”

Managing the project is GPSA Regional Field Officer Shane Gale, who said the project has the potential to help in the development of similar initiatives nationally.

“As farms increase in scale, so too does the size of machinery. This presents issues for not only motorists unfamiliar with slow moving agricultural machinery but also for machinery dealers and producers if they cannot access the appropriate exemptions to operate that machinery on public roads in a timely manner,” he said.

“With this project, we want to know what issues producers have in understanding the The National Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle and Combination Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice 2020 (No.1) and, if their machinery falls outside of the notice, educate them on accessing the relevant permit through the NHVR Portal.

“It will also be an important feedback mechanism for all levels of government to understand the issues facing everyone moving agricultural vehicles and combinations to meet statutory requirements.”

A steering committee chaired by strategy and marketing specialist Michael Neale is overseeing the project, with members including:

  • John Gilbert, NHVR
  • Brad Perry, GPSA
  • Caroline Rhodes, Primary Producers SA
  • Dion Woolford, grain and livestock producer
  • Robert Brokenshire, Livestock SA
  • Anthony Pfitzner, grain and livestock producer
  • Adrian Flowers, SA Forest Products Association
  • Lindsay Crouch, Pringles Crouch
  • Tim Glover, Ramsey Bros
  • Tom Hage, Hage Tractors & Implements
  • Sami Gilligan, Wine Grape Council of SA
  • Toni Clarke, Local Government Association
  • Jarrod Beilby, Regional Development Australia

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said Grain Producers SA has leveraged their HVSI funding to create safety initiatives for industry, by industry.

“Grain Producers SA is casting the net wide to hear from as many stakeholders as possible to inform what tools and resources are most needed to improve safety on our roads,” Mr Petroccitto said.

“HVSI grants enable the NHVR, industry and other stakeholders to deliver innovative solutions for heavy vehicle safety and those that operate them.”

Mr Neale said it was clear there is a significant appetite to improve the ease of compliance and the safety of all road users around agricultural machinery movements.

“This is an important project because of the significant benefit agriculture brings to the South Australian economy and to regional communities, but there is a safety and compliance issue that also needs to be addressed,” he said.

GPSA will conduct surveys and focus groups to gain a broader understanding of the issues facing producers, with producers from across all commodity sectors strongly encouraged to participate.

This information will be captured in an action plan that will inform workshops, training and educational resources for primary producers.

“This project will address road safety in an industry-wide, evidence-based way through engagement with those who need to access public roads all year round,” Mr Neale said.

The Moving Ag Machinery … Made Easy! campaign has been funded by the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative Program, with the support of the Federal Government.