Wednesday April 23, 2008 MYT 6:55:00 PM THE STAR
Higher loads allowed for lorries
By TEH ENG HOCK
KUALA LUMPUR: Lorries will be allowed to carry 20% more load on federal roads after bridges along the routes are repaired and upgraded.
Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed said the move would keep transportation costs down and allow the industry to be more efficient.
The Pan Malaysia Lorry Owners Association (PMLOA) and the Association of Malaysian Hauliers (AMH) lauded the move, saying it would help them maintain the escalating operational costs.
Mohd Zin said the lorries were previously allowed to carry not more than 10 metric tonnes per axle on federal roads, but could now carry 12 metric tonnes per axle.
"The international standard is 13 metric tonnes, but we prefer to stay on the safe side," he said.
He added that there would be no changes to the axle load limit on highways, which is already 12 metric tonnes per axle.
Lorries in Malaysia, depending on size, have a maximum of seven axles.
PMLOA president Er Sui See said he was happy with the move, as he had lobbied for it for 10 years.
"It gives the message that our roads are of international standards. And our lorries are more than able to carry the extra load.
"The price of tyres and spare parts has been rising. This will keep our cost down, and since we can sustain our operations at the existing rates, we do not need to increase our fees," he said.
AMH president Datuk Ahmad Shalimin Shaffie also welcomed the move, saying that it would resolve the issue of lorries overloading.
He said on average, those who overload carry about 30% more than the allowed limit and many would stop doing so as the 20% limit increase would already be cost efficient to the operators.
"With the move, transportation costs can be maintained and we need not need to pass them down to our clients, who will in turn pass them on to consumers," he said.