When some people think of Australia, what do you suppose comes to mind? Beaches? Surfing? Kangaroos? Maybe it should be trucking. Trucks in Australia are a big deal, and some of these trucks get to haul loads trucks in other countries could only dream of (if trucks could sleep, of course).
Road Trains in Australia
The largest of loads in Australia are hauled by road trains, which are not a type of truck, but more like a concept where a tractor pulls more than one trailer at a time. In other countries, they are usually referred to as Longer Combination Vehicles. So, while they do exist elsewhere, the Land Down Under does it bigger than just about any other country, with trucks in Australia legally being allowed to pull up to six trailers at once.
Most of the monster road trains, those with three or more trailers, can be found rolling through the sparsely populated Outback region of Australia. They usually aren’t allowed within densely populated areas; just imagine a truck with six trailers on it trying to make tight turns in a city like Sydney. It’s not a pretty picture.
Western Star Trucks in Australia
Western Star trucks actually pull some of the most demanding loads of the Outback, just check out this link. As for the more populated areas, they’re usually allowed to haul two or three full-length trailers, which is still nothing to yawn about.
Western Star trucks in Australia aren’t just hauling around massive loads in a trucking version of a strong man competition. These huge road trains are actually an important part of the Australian way of life. See, the middle of Australia is mostly dry and arid, and very sparsely populated. Most of the people, about 90 percent, live in coastal cities and towns where conditions are more manageable. This means that many times, a freight hauler needs to get goods from a city on one coast all the way across the country to a city on the opposite coast. It’s much more efficient to have one driver haul four trailers filled with goods, than having four drivers use four trucks to haul the exact same load. Road trains keep the Australian economy moving.
North American Doubles and Triples
Road trains can be found in other countries including the United States where they’re called doubles or twins as a rule, and don’t reach the length of their Australian counterparts. Terms like Rocky Mountain Double or Turnpike Double might ring a bell for North American readers. There are even a few US states that allow three trailer “triples” but it’s rare. So, while trucks in North America get to flex their muscle a bit, they don’t carry the length of load that trucks in Australia do.
If you have some experience driving a road train, turnpike double, or any other multiple trailer configuration, tell us about it in the comments!