A truck driver is concerned what damage is being done to trucks with the constant stop/go conditions at Cunningham’s Gap.
A truck driver is concerned what damage is being done to trucks with the constant stop/go conditions at Cunningham’s Gap.

Stop, go adds stress for truckers

IT takes 600 horsepower and eight gear changes just to get 60 tonnes of truck moving at 40kmh up the Gap.

Driving a heavy vehicle is tough in the best of conditions, but four ‘stop and go’ points on an eight per cent incline makes it extremely difficult.

Not only is it hard on the vehicle but also causes undue stress on drivers who have strict dead-lines.

The Daily News spoke to a driver from a local trucking company, who wished to remain anonymous, who said the stop and go on the Gap during peak times made it very difficult.

“Four lots of stop and go on the Gap is pathetic in peak traffic hours and it’s extremely hard on the trucks heading up-bound,” he said.

“The truck is put under an immense amount of pressure as it strains the clutch, gearbox, engine and the differentials.”

The truck driver also said an apparent “lack of communication” at times between traffic controls was making the situation worse.

“Not only is it putting strain on the truck but causing congestion which leads to longer waiting times at both ends,” he said.

“Two stop and goes is enough and at current times it seems poorly co-ordinated.

“If there has to be three or four then maybe they should sort out a sequence between them.”

However, the truck driver praised the workers manoeuvring traffic at Clayton’s Gully near the top of the Gap.

“Credit should be given to the traffic controllers at Clayton’s Gully for their efforts and communication with the truck drivers, it makes it a lot easier for us when we know what’s going on,” he said.

“It’s hard when you just get the truck going and 500 metres up the road it’s time to stop again.”

Being one of the major routes between Sydney and Brisbane, the Gap has always been a hurdle that truck drivers have had to face.

Even in the best of conditions hauling a loaded truck up the Gap has been difficult and has always resulted in a slow crawl.

The truck driver said that most car drivers wouldn’t understand what it’s like trying to pull a load up the Gap.

“On a flat surface the weight behind the truck keeps it moving and makes it easier to change gears, however, on the Gap, between gears the truck almost stops when you put the clutch in,” he said.

“It’s all about keeping the momentum going. But when you’ve got to stop four times every couple of hundred metres, it makes it hard.

“Car drivers get frustrated with us, but it’s just as frustrating for us as it is for them.”

The latest

The Cunningham Highway at Cunningham’s Gap remains under stop/go traffic conditions from the helipad to the top of the Gap. Lengthy delays can be expected. Visit www.131940.qld.gov.au


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