Six Decks Bound for Darwin

Thanks to James (h/t AVI) for this Australian trucking song. 

Now, I grew up with trucking thanks to my grandfather, but 'I've got six decks' isn't a part of the lingo that's familiar to me from American sources. I'm pretty sure this points to one of the substantial differences between American and Australian trucking:  the road train.

The biggest one of these you're likely to see in the United States is only two deep, what we usually call "a double bottom." In the Australian Outback they often run road trains far larger than any North American setup. One driver can pull a lot of freight a long way. In the song, he's headed with cattle to the seaport at Darwin, where it may be floating to feed hungry mouths in China or elsewhere. 


Douglas2 said...

On my US interstate travels now mostly in the northeast, it is not unusual to see "Turnpike Doubles" -- one tractor pulling two 53' trailers.

I was recently on a highway I don't normally use and was surprised to see several triples -- They all were the short 28' trailers, I don't think I've seen a triple with any longer trailer ever in the USA.

Mike Guenther said...

Out west, you'll often see triple trailers on the interstate. But only on the interstate and only during daylight hours. nd there's only about 13 states that allow it, as I recall.

Anonymous said...

Another nice Aussie song:

Grim said...

Very nice. I have to admit that when someone drops by anonymously with a comment like that, I assume it's going to be a troll; but that was pleasant.

If you drop a signature at the end, so we know what to call you, it'll bring you in line with the usual house rules.

-Grim (like so -- no need to sign in)

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Is it still forbidden to drive a double on that 30-mile section in PA on Rte 90 along Lake Erie? I read years ago that that one section created a lot of increased complication and cost for trucking in the whole Northeast, enough that there were moves afoot to create a private toll highway there that would get around the bottleneck.

Grim said...

I don't know the particular route you're thinking of, but the PA website says that doubles (or 'twins,' as they call them) are permitted only on certain approved routes in their state (and only with 28' trailers).

So rather than having a special rule to ban them, they'd need to pass a special rule to permit it on that route.

Gringo said...

I rather liked that Aussie trucking song.

The "nice Aussie song" (8:58 PM) that Grim likes came from the Bruderhof, a Christian pacifist communal group. Not liking pacifists, the Nazi government expelled the Bruderhof from Germany. From England, some of the Bruderhof went to Paraguay in 1940. The Paraguayan government, wanting settlers in its wilderness areas, has a history of hospitality to communal religious groups. There is a group of Mennonites around Filadelfia in the Paraguayan Chaco. There are also Mennonites in Bolivia. (Ben Macintyre wrote a book on Nietzsche's sister's unsuccessful "Aryan" colony, Neuva Germania, in Paraguay. Forgotten Fatherland: The Search for Elizabeth Nietzsche.)

I knew 2 former Bruderhof members. The one who had grown up in Paraguay married the sister of one of my high school classmates.
DuckDuckGo: Bruderhof Paraguay.
The Bruderhof left Paraguay in 1961, but have returned.

Emmy Barth, a member of the Bruderhof colony in Paraguaym write a memoir: No Lasting Home: A Year in the Paraguayan Wilderness.

Grim said...

Good information, Gringo. Thanks.

Unknown said...

AVI, that i90 Erie bit is a route I use frequently, so this intrigued me.

I can understand desire to limit larger combinations there on account of grade, population-density, traffic density, and typical wind speeds off lake-Erie, but it turns out that the bottleneck is a byproduct of federal regulation. From an Ohio transportation report:

Since passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) in 1991, states have been prohibited
from increasing the size and weight of combination vehicles on the federal aid highway network. Under this
“ISTEA Freeze”, LCVs are allowed by a grandfathering clause only in states and on routes where they were in
operation before June 1, 1991. East of the Mississippi River since ISTEA, turnpikes in five states have allowed
double combinations in the effective form of twin 48’ trailers: Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, and
Ohio. In addition, triple 28’ trailer combinations (characteristic of some LTL carriage) are allowed on the turnpikes
in Ohio and Indiana, but not elsewhere in the east. The accompanying map depicts this, and illustrates the socalled “LCV gap” for turnpike doubles on I-90, between its separation from the Ohio Turnpike around Cleveland
and the beginning of the New York Thruway at the Pennsylvania-New York border.

It looks like the Reason-Foundation did a study for the FHWA published in 2009, and concluded that in spite of the substantial benefits of a truckway to close the gap, the annualized costs of building and operating it were still twice as much as the benefits in any of the proposed tolling and financing options.