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Cotton Transport Survey helps target key issues for growers
03
Oct '11
Responses to the on-line 'Cotton Module & Harvest Machinery Transport Survey' have been analysed. The information obtained from the 46 survey respondents will be used to focus Cotton Australia's advocacy efforts on behalf of its growers and other members towards maintaining road access and alleviating the regulatory burden; particularly that associated with the movement of cotton modules, bales, heavy vehicles and machinery on roads.

Cotton Australia closely monitored this most recent cotton harvest in all valleys, in particular the loading, restraint and transport of conventional and round modules, and the movement of cotton pickers and other associated harvesting machinery on roads.

A summary of the responses to the on-line 2010-2011 'Cotton Module & Harvest Machinery Transport Survey' is presented. Information obtained from the 46 survey respondents will be used to focus Cotton Australia's advocacy efforts on behalf of its members towards alleviating the regulatory burden particularly that associated with the movement of cotton modules, bales, heavy vehicles and machinery on public roads.

Profile of survey respondents. n= 46
39 (57%) of survey respondents were growers. Of those 39 growers, 13 (28%) also provide contractor module transport and/or harvesting services to other growers
5 (11%) of the survey respondents were module transport contractors only, and
2 (4%) of the survey respondents were cotton harvest contractors only

Modules produced and/or transported last season
15% reported round modules only
48% reported conventional modules only, and
37% reported both round and conventional modules

Cotton regions represented from survey results
While almost every valley was represented by the survey results, predominantly the regions most represented were the Gwydir, Namoi, Darling Downs and Southern NSW areas.

Distances reported that modules were typically transported form farm to gins were:
28% reported over 100 kms
26% reported between 50 – 100 kms
26% reported less than 25 kms, and
20% reported between 25 – 50 kms

Type of trailer/s used to transport modules to gins were reported as:
63% reported chain-bed trailers
59% reported road trains
26% reported single flat-top trailers, and
26% reported drop-deck trailers

All reported incidents involving module transport and machinery movement on roads, including compliance checks by RTA enforcement officers were followed up with growers, their contractors and the road transport authorities.

It should be generally acknowledged that given a record cotton harvest, widespread increase in the use of round bale cotton pickers and the significant number of both round and conventional modules transported from farms to gins on various trailer types, the performance of the cotton industry in managing relevant compliance matters; not the least road transport safety has been very good as evidenced by only a small number of infringements across cotton regions.

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