NSW Silage Transport Exemption Q & A

Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay today (4 July 2013) announced the NSW Government has introduced an exemption to make it easier for dairy farmers to transport silage (fodder) trailers.

A Ministerial Order providing an exemption has been made to allow silage trailers up to three metres wide to carry a load on New South Wales roads. See the full Media Release HERE

Find the Silage Trailer Exemption Order HERE

The follow has been published to assist the understanding of this exemption policy

Questions and Answers

When did the exemption start?

It became effective from Monday 24 June 2013.

How will I know if Iā€™m eligible for the exemption?

The exemption is open to all operators who are able to meet the requirements set out in the Ministerial Order (MO), which is available on the RMS website at:

http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/heavyvehicles/downloads/permitnotices/loaded_silage_trailer_exemption.pdf

How far can I travel under the terms and conditions of the exemption?

Under the MO, a laden silage trailer being towed by a registered or conditionally registered agricultural tractor may travel a maximum distance of 15 kilometres with the starting point for travel being where the silage trailer was parked overnight.

Where more than 15 kilometres of travel is necessary, a specific oversize permit will allow up to 25 kilometres of travel.

Is the exemption only available to dairy farmers?

No. It's available to all farmers and contractors ā€“ it's just that dairy farmers use silage trailers, in particular, to feed their cows.

How will it help cross border trade and business?

The exemption is consistent with that in Victoria (i.e. trailer can be up to 3 meters wide and doesn't require registration and must be towed by a registered or, conditionally registered, tractor).

This makes it easier for interstate silage contractors to come up to NSW to do business here (and vice versa).

Perhaps the key difference with the Victorian policy is that they allow unlimited travel if a silage trailer has pneumatic or spring brakes. NSW does not make a distinction between the type of braking and places a maximum travel limit of 25 kilometres. This is because the trailers are unregistered and can carry large loads.

What silage trailers does the exemption apply to?

The trailer can be a pig or dog trailer; it can be up to 3 metres wide and must meet all safety requirements, all of which are taken from NSW legislation (e.g. lighting, reflectors, mudguards etc).

Are there provisions for wider trailers to travel on roads if necessary?

No, not if they are carrying a load. Wider trailers that are unladen are subject to the Class 1 Agricultural Vehicles Notice ā€“ this is stated in the MO.

Does my silage trailer have to be registered?

No. The legislation does not require the registration of an "agricultural implement" and a silage trailer is considered to be one of these.

What is conditional registration?

It is registration for non-complying vehicles. There is a lot of information on the RMS website about this.

Does it mean we will see more slow moving vehicles in the areas in which they operate, causing delays for other motorists?

No, because they are only permitted very limited travel on the road network and are not allowed to be wider than 3 metres.

What provisions are in place to ensure silage trailers are safe to be on the road if a "rego check" is not needed?

NSW legislation sets out extensive and detailed requirements for such vehicles and every construction requirement (e.g. brakes, lights and reflectors, mudguards, suspension, coupling requirements, tyres etc).

The requirements are fairly robust, so a silage trailer would need to be in good condition to satisfy them. Also, the MO is based on NSW legislation.