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Developing a rational
Australia needs a more honest debate about how it can
close the gaps in its transport infrastructure and underpin
national productivity, including a real discussion about
developing a rational transport market, argues Infrastructure
Partnerships Australia’s Chief Executive, Brendan Lyon.
There is a strong consensus between
Australia’s policymakers, the business
community and the public about the need for
more (and better) infrastructure.
The public debate is increasingly focussed
on two broad themes; Australia’s declining
productivity and growing ‘cost of living’
pressures that are impacting households and
businesses. The focus on these themes is
fundamental to Australia’s global
competitiveness; however these themes are
really a discussion of the symptoms, rather
than the lack of infrastructure investment and
inefficient utilisation of existing infrastructure
that is causing these impacts. In short, the broad
consensus about the need for infrastructure
solutions has yet to mature into an honest
public debate about the difficult reforms that
are available to solve these challenges.
In the roads sector, the need for meaningful
and sustained investment and better
regulation is fast becoming acute. Already,
road network congestion costs the national
economy more than $10 billion per annum.
Figure one, below, shows the cost per
kilometre of congestion in Australia’s capital
cities. Without substantial investment and
reform, recurrent avoidable congestion costs
are expected to exceed $20 billion by the end
of this decade. (See Figure 1)
The case for reform toward an efficient
transport market is unequivocal, particularly
when current impacts are considered in the
context of rapidly growing demand drivers.
Figure X, below, shows IPA’s modelling
of national population growth to 2050. Our
research finds that Australia’s population will
reach 37.8 million people over the coming
four decades. More people will naturally
place much greater demands on Australia’s
transport networks. After all, more people
will mean more freight, more journey-to-work
demands and a greater call on Australia’s road
and rail networks. (See Figure 2)
IPA’s research finds that the national freight
task will double by the end of the present
decade; and will triple to more than 1,540
billion tonne kilometres by 2050. Figure X,
below, shows the forecast growth across both
bulk and non-bulk freight. (See Figure 3)
The growth in the broader freight task will
also place a much greater call on Australia’s
road network. Figure X, below, shows that the
tripling in the freight task will have a corollary
tripling in demand on the nation’s roads.
The Federal Government anticipates that the
tripling of the freight task will be accompanied
by an even greater growth in the passenger
task, with an expected four-fold increase in
demand for passenger transport over the
same period. (See Figure 4)
The substantial growth in the nation’s
passenger and freight transport task will
demand significant and sustained
investment in new network capacity. Figure
X below shows IPA’s estimates of transport
infrastructure investment requirements to
2050. Our research finds that Australia will
need to fund at least a quadrupling of current
Figure 1: Average unit cost of congestion for Australian metropolitan centres, current and projected
Figure 2: Figure Australia’s population growth, 1850 – 2051
Unit Costs (c/km)
Source: Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport Regional Economic,
Working Paper 71, 2007
ROADS APRIL/MAY 2012
Year ended June
Source: Urban Transport Challenge: Driving reform on Sydney’s roads,
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, 2009
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Figure 3: Australia’s domestic freight task,
bulk and non-bulk,1961–2050
Billion Tonne – Kilometres
Source: Meeting the 2050 Freight Challenge, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, 2008
Figure 4: Growth in Australian road freight, 1960-2051
Source: Urban transport challenge: Driving reform on Sydney’s roads,
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, 2009
Figure 5: Transport infrastructure investment, 1985-2050
Source: Meeting the 2050 Freight Challenge, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, 2008
The first and most important step is
in beginning a reasoned and mature
public debate about the relative
merits of a national road pricing
scheme – and its potential to change
the way Australia funds and manages
its transport infrastructure.
Capital expenditure, $ billion (F2008 prices)
investment levels to more than $64 billion per annum by 2050, if we
are to maintain current levels of capacity and productivity across the
transport network. (See Figure 5.)
As with any capacity constraint, there are two fundamental
responses; adding capacity and/or managing demand. Historically,
Australia’s response has been limited to the supply side of the transport
equation, with new road capacity added to deal with increased
demand. But the sheer scale of the challenge and the inability to
efficiently add supply to high demand areas, such as Australia’s capital
cities and major freight corridors, will logically drive reform toward a
rational market for transport.
In 2010, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia issued a major
discussion paper examining the role that rational road pricing could
play in addressing our transport infrastructure challenges. Our paper
put forward a model that would remove the array of often inconsistent,
inefficient and invisible road user charges, such as vehicle registration,
licensing and the fuel surcharge; replacing them with a tiered charging
scheme based on the time, location and distance travelled by a vehicle.
Our modelling found that the abolition of all existing road user
imposts in favour of a transparent road pricing scheme – including a
modest increase in the average cost per kilometre – could liberate up to
$10.8 billion each year for investment in transport infrastructure.
In a structural sense, this kind of model is far from revolutionary.
Australia has already largely reformed its other network infrastructure
markets such as water, electricity and gas to reflect actual cost of
use. But we also recognise that this kind of change would make the
cost of use of the road network visible to motorists and represents
a substantial change to the status quo. Australians pay an estimated
$22.8 billion each year in road-related fees and charges.
Under a rational model, prices could be set at a level that achieves
revenue neutrality once existing road taxes and charges are removed;
or at a level which increases revenue to allow expanded investment
in the maintenance and construction of projects that promote a
sustainable transport system, including road, rail and public transport.
By providing better price signals that reflect users own impacts on
the network, a rational pricing model presents a substantial opportunity
to address the demand side of the transport equation and create the
framework of an efficient broader transport market.
The first and most important step is in beginning a reasoned and
mature public debate about the relative merits of a national road
pricing scheme – and its potential to change the way Australia funds
and manages its transport infrastructure.
Australia’s policymakers will have to engage in a much better
informed and honest public debate about the options and tradeoffs; there is no pot of gold at the end of the budget rainbow. New
investment is critical but it is only half the solution. Rational road
pricing will provide new capacity to fund projects, but also drive better
utilisation of existing road assets.
Infrastructure Australia articulated the challenge facing policymakers
in its most recent report to COAG:
“As a country…we are reluctant to increase government debt…
baulk at raising taxes…are uncomfortable with the user pays concept
and against selling assets and using the proceeds to fund other
infrastructure….yet we are concerned about congestion, water,
electricity and telecommunications.
“There is a profound disconnect here.”
Creation of an efficient transport market, including a rational road
pricing scheme is a real option to make meaningful inroads into
Australia’s transport challenges. We need to see Australia’s governments,
business leaders and the community engage with the concept so that
we can begin a real debate about Australia’s transport future.
When roads that
perform are an
you can trust.
The priorities of
Federal Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, has used speeches to
key industry associations to reinforce the government’s commitment to
creating national regulators for the road, rail and maritime sectors, and
its focus on reducing congestion.
Mr Albanese told the Australian Logistics Council Forum on March 29
that it was hard to overstate the importance of the decision to create
single national regulators for the road, rail and maritime sectors from
1 January 2013.
He said it would cut the number of transport regulators across
Australia from 23 to three.
“It is indeed the most important microeconomic reform to the
transport sector since Federation; one that has been considered but
never secured by generations of transport ministers.
“It will mean an end to the various and inconsistent state-by-state
regulatory arrangements which have frustrated operators, stifled
efficiency and acted as a handbrake on productivity. This change alone
will boost national income by $30 billion over the next 20 years.”
Mr Albanese told the forum that reforming regulation was part of
the answer, but it needed to be backed by smart planning. He said that
was where the National Ports Strategy and the National Land Freight
Strategy came into play.
“Both strategies are important steps towards a seamless national
land freight system. The ultimate goal is one national integrated system
that identifies existing and future roads, rail lines, intermodal terminals,
ports and airports, all linking together, seamlessly.
“As a government and an industry, we’ve got to get this right,” Mr
He said since the launch of the draft National Freight Strategy
last year, the government had received 75 submissions which it was
Mr Albanese said a successful land strategy was nothing without
seamless integration at the nation’s ports — facilities that connected
Australia with the world.
“Almost all our exports and imports flow through our sea ports.
Our National Ports Strategy addresses the need for much better long
term planning while acknowledging the strategic connections between
ports, transport corridors and shipping channels. The strategy will be
considered by COAG shortly.”
Mr Albanese said logistic solutions were like a Swiss clock, all parts
must work perfectly and in unison.
“It’s a great metaphor for the work of the Australia Logistics Council
— a national, cross-modal body, bringing together different parties
to focus on improving the entire system. Government policy is the same
— each of our reforms must link in with our investments to produce
ROADS APRIL/MAY 2012
Image courtesy of abc.net.au
On March 14, Mr Albanese addressed the Bus Industry Confederation
Annual Dinner and told them congestion was one of the greatest handbrakes to Australia’s national productivity.
“That means reducing the hours Australians spend behind the wheel
of a car goes to the core our decision-making. It points more than
ever to the need for high-quality public transport that is so reliable,
so frequent and so affordable that it becomes a far better choice than
reversing the car from the garage.”
Mr Albanese said this saturation and even downward trend in travel
was not happening just in Australia. He said a report by the Bureau
of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics Traffic Growth:
Modelling a Global Phenomenon, analysed 25 countries and revealed
declines in kilometres travelled per person in many of them including
France, the United States, New Zealand and Italy.
“Buses are uniquely suited to help ease congestion. You are the work
horses of the public transport network. Figures, also from BITRE, show
that people are taking to buses like never before.
“In 2010, Australians travelled more than six billion kilometres in
buses and the trend is increasing. Your own report Moving People —
Across Australia highlights that the coach sector contributes more than
$5 billion to the Australian economy and supports almost 16 million
nights of tourism.
“In the last five years, Australia has produced $3 billion worth of
buses,” Mr Albanese said.
The minister said one of the interesting things the confederation had
highlighted in its report was that buses provided an alternative to car
travel, and also took up less space on the road.
“This is best highlighted by the often quoted fact that a single bus
lane on the Sydney Harbour Bridge carries more people than all the
other lanes combined. One bus can remove on average 50 cars from
Mr Albanese said the government had committed to at least one
major public transport project in every mainland state — in Queensland
there were two.
“Such improvements free up our roads from congestion making
people’s daily lives easier, and giving them more time with their family,
friends and at their workplace.”
Mr Albanese said keeping Australia’s communities connected
across vast distances in the face of climate change and population
pressures was not easy. He said through the Bus Industry Confederation
the industry sector had a strong and articulate voice representing
“They are also the interests of the Australian people who need and
deserve a first class network connecting us within cities, between cities
and all the towns along the way.”
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Footprint of Roads
The rapidly increasing concern with climate change has led to a marked
increase in the number of organisations seeking to understand their
carbon footprint and the road construction industry is no different.
Historically, road agencies have developed their own greenhouse
tools to suit local conditions; however, these tools do not allow for the
benchmarking of road projects across the jurisdictions due to variations
in the scope and methodologies applied.
Recognising the value of having a consistent approach across all
jurisdictions, the Australian and New Zealand road agencies have jointly
funded a project to develop a common approach to the assessment of
greenhouse gas emissions associated with the design, construction and
operation of a road project.
The final product is the joint effort of six road agencies:
• Road Maritime Services New South Wales;
• New Zealand Transport Authority:
• Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure South
• Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources Tasmania;
• Main Roads Western Australia; and
• VicRoads, Victoria).
It is anticipated the product will be utilised by all road agencies
The project has involved two discrete stages:
• The development of a workbook to document the emission factors
utilised and the assumptions made to develop a standardised
approach for a suite of standard pavement designs over the wholeof-life of a road project; and
• The development of a user friendly calculator known as Carbon
Gauge® to identify emissions associated with each stage in the life
of a road considered to generate materially significant amounts of
greenhouse gas emissions, namely construction, maintenance and
operation (street lights and traffic lights).
Simon Renton, Project Manager of the initiative, said the approach
adopted by the Australian and New Zealand road agencies is unique.
Mr Renton, Senior Engineer Environmental Sustainability with
VicRoads, said that for the first time, proponents can assess the whole
of life emissions associated with a particular road construction project.
A review of overseas literature identified a variety of greenhouse
calculators available in the market or as propriety products for internal
use by specific organisations. However, these calculators were limited
to the construction stage of a project. The UK Highway Agency had
adopted an alternative approach based on materials and fuels used
in construction and maintenance activities undertaken in any one year,
but it did not enable whole-of-life emissions for a specific project.
ROADS APRIL/MAY 2012
“With increasing demand in Australia and New Zealand for emissions
over the whole-of-life of a project to be estimated for use in project
approvals and/or Environmental Impact Statements, there was a clear
need for a different approach,” Mr Renton said.
“There was also an incentive to adopt a standard model to avoid
duplication of effort from agencies, contractors and suppliers and to
provide a more consistent platform for benchmarking.
“The result is a consistent and transparent approach to estimating
greenhouse gas emissions over the fifty-year life of any single
The approach adopted also follows the philosophy of the National
Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act for determining materiality.
The workbook identifies that the design phase of road construction is
not material and is therefore excluded from the subsequent calculator.
Mr Renton said while it was widely acknowledged that decisions
made in the design process (i.e. the alignment, gradients and
materials or equipment selected) can have a significant impact on
the greenhouse gas emissions from the road during its life, the actual
emissions associated with producing the design are not materially
significant. Similarly, the emissions associated with decommissioning a
road are not included, as roads are rarely decommissioned.
“The workbook and the calculator do not address emissions from
the use of vehicles on the road as other tools and processes exist to do
this,” Mr Renton said.
“However, this emission source is able to be considered and included
as an input. Over the 50-year life of a road, vehicle emissions are
estimated to be the largest source of emissions representing in excess
of 90% of the total emission footprint.”
The workbook is available through the agency websites. In addition,
the Carbon Gauge® Calculator is being investigated for its suitability to
become a web-based online tool, which will ensure its ongoing integrity
and avoid obsolete versions being used by interested stakeholders.
This will also enable capture of information for benchmarking
purposes with the potential for setting targets for road construction
projects into the future.
For further information contact the road authority within each State
or the New Zealand Transport Authority. The designated contacts are:
Robert Mitchell NZTA, NZ Robert.Mitchell@nzta.govt.nz
Anne Welsh DPTI, SA Anne.Welsh@sa.gov.au
Con Lambous RMS, NSW Con.Lambous@rta.nsw.gov.au
Louis Bettini Main Roads, WA Louis.Bettini@mainroads.wa.gov.au
Dick Shaw DIER, Tas Dick.Shaw@dier.tas.gov.au
Simon Renton VicRoads, Vic Simon.Renton@roads.vic.gov.au
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Australia’s first rating scheme for sustainable infrastructure projects
can be applied to a broad range of infrastructure types including roads
and bridges, ports, harbours and airports, energy infrastructure, water
storage and supply, communication transmission and distribution.
The Infrastructure Sustainability Rating scheme has been launched
by the Australian Green Infrastructure Council and comprises a rating
tool, assessment process and education and training programs. It
measures the sustainability of infrastructure projects across the triple
bottom line of economic, environmental and social criteria.
AGIC’s Technical Director, Rick Walters, said during a speech to launch
the scheme that the council’s engagement with the infrastructure
sector had told it that sustainability was starting to be recognised, but
people didn’t know exactly what it was.
Mr Walters said wanted the scheme but struggled to describe it in
frameworks, specifications and tenders. As a result, many infrastructure
developers were “doing their own thing creating inefficiencies across
He said the sector often operated in silos and didn’t consider the full
infrastructure lifecycle, from planning and design, through construction
to operation and finally decommissioning or adaptation.
Mr Walters said when AGIC was formed in 2008 such issues were
becoming more and more evident and the business case was crystallising.
He said it was time for the infrastructure industry to at least “do its bit”
or “lead the way to help Australia become more sustainable.
AGIC commenced creating the scheme with a stakeholder workshop
in 2008 where it developed the initial framework. During that year
the council appointed a Project Manager, and with initial funding from
the New South Wales Government developed the Climate Change
Adaptation category in 2010.
In September 2010 the council received more funding and started
further tool development. It engaged category authors to develop the
content of each of the categories and also engaged peer reviewers and
a global review panel.
By mid-2011, a draft tool was produced ready for initial piloting
and two rounds of trials were undertaken between August and
December last year. Altogether, 16 projects have been involved
in pilot trials – representing a range of infrastructure types, locations,
phases and sizes.
The Infrastructure Sustainability Rating Scheme is a voluntary
sustainability rating scheme incorporating a rating tool. There
are 15 categories across 6 broad themes ranging from environmental
issues such as energy and carbon, to social issues such as stakeholder
participation, to management issues such as procurement
There is a process for assessment, independent verification and
certification. Mr Walters said while projects or assets could use the tool
for self-assessment, they must seek a certified rating from AGIC to gain
the right to publicly advertise their rating performance. Importantly, he
said, the scheme covered the infrastructure lifecycle, from project to
ROADS APRIL/MAY 2012
Mr Walters the council offered three rating types:
• A Design rating awarded at the end of the design process which
assessed the sustainability of the design and the planning for
construction. This is an
• ’Interim’ rating and must be replaced by an As Built rating after
• An As Built rating which assessed the design, the measured
sustainability performance during construction and what was built
into the infrastructure asset.
This rating may be awarded after practical completion of the project.
And an Operation rating based on the measured sustainability
performance of the operating infrastructure asset. Both new
projects and existing infrastructure assets are eligible to apply for an
Mr Walters said the scheme used a system of three benchmark levels
for each credit providing a “first step in the sustainability journey for
some, while also rewarding those who lead the industry”.
“IS is designed to be practical; it uses industry language, and it aligns
to industry and government processes and requirements. Our Technical
Manual provides guidance, and AGIC provides support throughout the
assessment process,” he said.
Mr Walters said the council believed the scheme provided a range
of benefits, including a common national language for sustainability in
infrastructure; support for tendering processes; risk and cost reduction;
resource efficiency and waste reduction’; innovation and continuous
improvement; and reputation building.
He said in the longer term, the council looked forward to
sustainability being understood as more than just carbon, water
Mr Walters said the council anticipated the long term view becoming
the primary focus of decision making – using approaches like lifecycle
analysis, whole of life costing and valuing externalities to make the
He said AGIC also looked forward to
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the community as partners.
• Infrastructure projects being welcomed by communities because of
• They bring and the open participation they welcome. This resulting
• Being streamlined and a social licence to operate being granted.
• Lower costs – in tendering, design, approvals, and lifecycle.
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• And greater social benefits – through stakeholder project input,
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Airport Link impact on Leighton’s result
A downturn in the financial performance
of Airport Link (APL) has been identified by
Leighton Holdings Limited during the latest
quarterly reviews of its operating companies.
The deterioration is anticipated to be $148
million before tax for APL.
The same reviews also identified a
deterioration in the performance of the
Victorian Desalination Project (VDP) of
$106 million before tax. That represents
a total reduction in forecast profit of
$254 million before tax which will be
reflected in the current financial year to 31
Leighton Holdings’ Chief Executive Officer,
Hamish Tyrwhitt, said in a statement that
he was deeply disappointed with the results
which represented a significant deterioration
in performance since the December 2011
“Following the December 2011 Quarterly
Reviews, we believed that the operational
performances at both the Airport Link and
Victorian Desalination Project had stabilised,
and that good progress was being made on
both projects. “However, circumstances on
each project have conspired to bring about the
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results which are very frustrating. Wet weather in Brisbane, productivity
below expectations at both sites combined with the complexity of
the commissioning of the integrated systems at APL have seen an
unanticipated increase in forecast costs and denied us the level of
performance that we were expecting or needed on those projects,”
said Mr Tyrwhitt.
“The deterioration at APL is, in part, due to the acceleration of the
commissioning which started in February and it is now forecast to
be more costly than anticipated. Forecast productivity on the site is
not being achieved and consequently we are having to substantially
increase the size of the workforce to deliver the project.
“Unseasonably wet weather since the middle of February has also
caused delays which impacted the completion of the construction of
the tunnel portals and the access ramps, and delayed the asphalting
of the road.”
Mr Tyrwhitt said there were some positives on the project. The
Northern Busway (Windsor to Kedron) section, which will expand
Brisbane’s busway network, was expected to be open on 30 April 2012
in line with the contracted date.
A third major element of the project, the Airport Roundabout
Upgrade, was completed in February 2011, nine months ahead of
schedule. Mr Tyrwhitt said Leighton Holdings was targeting to have
Airport Link open to traffic by the middle of the year.
“Notwithstanding the disappointing performance of these projects,
the Leighton Group has a solid balance sheet, maintains a near record
level of work in hand of around $44.5 billion with a healthy level of
inherent profitability, and a range of opportunities across our core
markets. Given the overall financial position of the Company we have
no need to raise capital.”
Builders shortlisted for Pacific Highway duplication
Three construction companies have been short listed for the
rebuilding of the Pacific Highway from Frederickton to Eungai in
New South Wales.
Abigroup Contractors; Leighton Contractors; and the Thiess/
McMahon Joint Venture were selected by NSW Roads and Maritime
Services after submitting bids for the design and build project.
The upgrade of the Frederickton to Eungai section will involve
duplicating 26.5 kilometres of road as well as building a new
interchange at Stuarts Point Road and installing safe, modern
rest areas on both sides of the Highway at Cooks Lane south
Construction is expected to commence in 2013 and be completed
In addition, three companies were shortlisted for a contract to
undertake the detailed planning and design work on the section of
highway between Woolgoolga to Glenugie.
The consortiums bidding for the plan and design contract
are the ARUP/Parsons Brinckerhoff Joint Venture; the SMEC/Hyder
Consulting Joint Venture; and the AECOM/Sinclair Knight Merz
The subsequent Woolgoolga to Glenugie upgrade will see a further
31 kilometres of highway duplicated as well as construction of an
interchange at Range Road, two new overpasses and bridges over
Corindi Creek and the nearby floodplains.
Construction is expected to commence in 2015 and to be completed
by late 2016.
Image courtesy www.roadtraffic-technology.com
All those shortlisted are submitting detailed tenders and contracts
for both projects will be awarded later this year.
In other Pacific Highway construction work, the final stage of the
Glenugie upgrade has been officially opened, marking completion of
the $60 million project.
The seven kilometre upgraded section is about 15 kilometres south
of Grafton and the road surface used on the project is heavy duty
crushed rock with a sprayed seal wearing surface.
The surface is new on Pacific Highway upgrades and is being used
as a trial to assess if it is suitable for future upgrades in areas with
Sixty percent of Melbourne’s
M80 now being improved
The next section of the $2.25 billion
M80 Ring Road Upgrade is underway
in Melbourne’s north. More than
140,000 drivers use the M80 Ring
Road daily making it Melbourne’s
second busiest freeway.
The six kilometre stretch
involved in the latest upgrade
is between Edgars Road,
Thomastown and Plenty Road,
Bundoora. When completed in
mid-2014, the section will have
three lanes in each direction to
significantly reduce congestion
and improve safety.
Between interchanges there
will also be an additional lane in
each direction to minimise the
congestion impacts of vehicles
entering and exiting the freeway
from adjacent interchanges.
The latest works add to the 16
kilometres of construction already
underway between the Western
ROADS APRIL/MAY 2012
Highway and Sunshine Avenue,
and from the Calder Freeway to
Sydney Road. Around 60% of the
Ring Road is now being improved
and new lanes are due to open
later this year on other sections of
the Ring Road.
When completed, the improved
freeway with extra lanes and better
access will help ease congestion,
and reduce travel times and costs
for commuters, and importantly
for the road freight industry, with
20,000 trucks currently using the
Ring Road each day.
Across the 38 kilometre corridor,
the upgrade will also bring
improvements to key interchanges
and a state-of-the-art electronic
freeway management system.
The Federal Government has
invested $900m in the upgrade
to date, along with $300m from
the Victorian Government.
Widening of Northbridge Tunnel and Mitchell Freeway
Northbridge Tunnel. Image courtesy
Works valued at $57 million will begin soon in
Perth to accommodate a third traffic lane in the
Graham Farmer Freeway tunnel and increase
lane capacity on the Mitchell Freeway.
The works will provide an alternative eastwest route for CBD traffic; adjust merging
arrangements onto Mitchell Freeway; and
redirect traffic exiting at Vincent and Powis
streets to manage the impact of major projects
such as the Perth Waterfront development.
002 Genuine Parts - Nuts about our Bolts_124x182mm.indd 1
ROADS APRIL/MAY 2012
Main Roads WA started consulting in March
with the road construction industry about
procurement options to deliver the works, set
to be completed within the next two years.
State Transport Minister, Troy Buswell, said
the government was overseeing the most
significant transformation of the CBD in decades
and it was inevitable that key redevelopment
projects such as the Perth Waterfront, Perth
City Link and Riverside would change the way
traffic moved in the city.
“The State Government is planning
accordingly to develop transport solutions to
improve the operation of the CBD road network
and address the challenge of Perth’s increasing
population. “Perth Waterfront is one of the
most significant developments in Australia and
will see Riverside Drive realigned to allow traffic
to flow into Barrack and William streets.
“Although traffic will still flow around the
development, traffic modelling on the impact
of the diversion on Graham Farmer Freeway
indicates an additional 14,500 vehicles per day
will be redirected through the tunnel, and it
is the intention that work on the tunnel will
be complete and operational before Riverside
Drive is diverted.”
Associated work would include:
• Increased lane capacity onto Mitchell
Freeway to two lanes at the existing
northbound merge point;
• The widening of Mitchell Freeway traffic
bridges over Powis and Vincent streets and
• Scarborough Beach Road; and
• Construction of an on-ramp from the Loftus
Street exit on to Mitchell Freeway.
Treasurer, Christian Porter, said with
a growing population, the government was
conscious of the need to ease congestion
constraints on roads and build capacity for
“The funds being set aside in the 2012–13
State Budget for this project are in addition
to $30million provided in last year’s Budget
to widen the northbound carriageway of the
Mitchell Freeway between Hepburn Avenue
and Hodges Drive, and the $241million
the government has provided to build the
northern suburbs rail extension to Butler.”
Works on Graham Farmer Freeway
tunnel begin in July 2012 and are expected
to be finished by May 2013, with the
additional freeway works to be completed
by November 2013.
6/07/2011 12:08:44 PM
Upgrade of key link road in
Melbourne’s south east
Construction has started on the
$55.6 million Clyde Road upgrade
at Berwick in Melbourne’s south
east, with works commencing on
a dual divided carriageway from
High Street to Kangan Drive.
Clyde Road is a key north-south
link from the Princes Freeway to
residential and commercial areas
in and around Berwick township
and carries more than 18,000
vehicles each day.
The Federal Government has
committed $30 million and the
Victorian Government $25.6
million to the project.
BMD Constructions is VicRoads’
contractor with works expected
to be completed by late 2013.
By completing the Clyde Road
upgrade, the reliability of bus
journeys will be improved and
travel times will be decreased by
up to 20%.
Contract awarded for Yeppen
The works will improve
safety and assist traffic flow by
separating turning vehicles from
through traffic, and will improve
access to nearby businesses,
shops, schools, child care and
The upgrade will involve
remodelling signalling at
intersections, putting in pedestrian
facilities in the form of pedestrian
phases at the intersections and
providing separate bicycle facilities
along both sides of Clyde Road.
More than 90 advanced oak
trees are being planted along
Clyde Road as part of landscaping
to replicate and enhance the
boulevard feel. Following
consultation with the local
community, Casey Council and
other key stakeholders, most of
the trees on the east side have
The $85 million Yeppen North project in Queensland will be constructed
by Fulton Hogan. The project is scheduled to begin in mid-2012 and to
be completed in early 2014.
It will deliver significant upgrades over a two kilometre stretch.
It will include:
• A new slip lane for traffic entering Rockhampton from
Gracemere, reducing congestion and delays at the roundabout;
• Speed reduction curves at all roundabout approaches to
reduce the likelihood of accident and heavy vehicle rollover on
• Expansion of the roundabout to two lanes between the
Yeppen Bridge entry and Capricorn Highway exit to increase
• A new 420 metre Yeppen Bridge downstream of the existing
structure – the new two-lane bridge will be dedicated to
• Both lanes of the existing bridge will be dedicated to inbound
Upper Dawson Road and Jellicoe Street intersection upgraded to
traffic signals and expanded to cater for oversize loads; and
Reconfiguration of Port Curtis Road Intersection to be left-in-left-out
to address safety and visibility concerns.
The Federal Government is contributing $68 million to the project
and the Queensland Government $17 million.
This ready to use pre-mix bituminous mixture is manufactured from selective aggregates,
bitumen and a co-polymer creating a tenacious bonding material for permanent use and
repairs. Asphalt in a B ag i s an a ll w eather road repair solution. I t can b e applied at - 26
degrees Celcius and will perform just as well during hot and rainy days at temperatures
reaching 49 degrees Celcius.
ROADS APRIL/MAY 2012
up to10% Less Fuel!
Litres of Fuel per Hour
Increased fuel efficiency during boom operation.
Improved fuel efficiency when joysticks
are in neutral.
Automatic pressure adjustments save fuel
during digging and levelling operations.
Auto Idle and Idle Shutdown provides
additional fuel savings.
P BEC – BOOM ECONOMY CONTROL
P AEC – AUTOMATIC ECONOMY CONTROL
P SSC – SPOOL STROKE CONTROL
P IMS – IDLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
P SWC – SWING RELIEF CONTROL
Manages the hydraulic power distribution
for most efficient flow and pressure
Call your local dealer on 1300 99 CASE
SUPERIOR | RELIABILITY FUEL EFFICIENCY OPERATOR ENVIRONMENT SERVICEABILITY
Testing conducted in USA by independent operators. Consistent operations were used for all tests; machines were operated at full load and full
fuel for each test; operation duration 30 minutes to pre-determined depth for each testing machine. Calculated CX300C fuel savings in comparison to CX290B.
ROADS APRIL/MAY 2012
More research on viability of
RCG in road construction
Proposals to improve
Research and development projects into the use of recovered crushed
glass (RCG) in roads has given councils and contractors the confidence
to use the material as a durable and cost effective alternative to natural
sand, according to the Packaging Stewardship Forum of the Australian
Food and Grocery Council.
National Program Manager for the Packaging Stewardship Forum,
Chris Jeffreys, said over 25,000 tonnes of waste glass was diverted from
landfill in the past year into civil construction projects.
Mr Jeffries said AusTox, an independent consultancy specialising in
chemical safety, undertook a risk assessment into the safety in use of
RCG to identify suitable controls and to prepare a Materials Safety Data
Sheet on RCG for users.
He said the study addressed concerns raised about the possible
risks of using RCG in roads. It found that RCG was not toxic, there were
no sharp edges to the final product and it reduced the risk of silicosis
compared to natural sand.
Mr Jeffries said in addition, research by GHD Geotechnics on RCG
samples showed it exceeded the minimum degradation factor
requirements for roads, while modulus testing showed RCG was a
stronger aggregate than natural sand. Its inclusion as a percentage in the
asphalt mix would not impact on the life expectancy of the pavement.
Mr Jeffries said demonstration projects using RCG in asphalt roads
in NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania had established that
RCG mixed with natural sand in road surfaces performed equally as well
as “regular” asphalt. He said there were now several suppliers in the
Australian market that produced and used asphalt containing RCG.
Stirling Highway, Cottesloe
The Western Australian
Government has released for
public comment an amendment
to the Metropolitan Region Scheme
designed to improve the Stirling
Highway over the next 20 years.
Stirling Highway’s configuration
will remain two lanes each way,
but the amendment proposes
some adjustment to the current
road reservation which will
help better meet local traffic
needs into the future. The
amendment identifies more
than 25 hectares of private
land that is surplus to highway
requirements, which iscurrently
included in the roadreservation,
and it proposes to rezone the
land to remove restrictions on
State Planning Minister, John
Day, said the amendment was
an opportunity for the public to
comment on transport planning
and the long-term design of
the highway – the historical link
between Perth and Fremantle.
Mr Day said it would allow for
improved road safety focusing
on pedestrian, cyclist and public
transport amenity, and provide
consistent planning guidance
across seven local councils for
the next two decades.
Warrego Highway masterplan
Award winning patented modular
bridge construction systems
Unibridge over the Brisbane River, Somerset Regional Council
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ROADS APRIL/MAY 2012
To find out more about Unibridge®, visit
www.unibridge.net.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Upgrading of the Warrego Highway
in Queensland will be carried out
under a 20-year Warrego Highway
The highway is the secondhighest trafficked rural highway in
Queensland, carrying more than
23,000 vehicles between Ipswich
and Toowoomba and over 5,000
vehicles between Oakey and
Dalby each day. The number of
vehicles is expected to more than
double over the next 20 years.
The upgrade strategy
includes the construction of
the Toowoomba Bypass, extra
overtaking lanes, upgraded
intersections and widened
stretches of road. It identifies
41 priorities to improve safety,
capacity, efficiency, reliability and
The highway had long been
critical to southern and southwestern communities, and will
continue to play a key role in the
economic development of the
state as the energy sector in the
Surat Basin gathers.
The Queensland and Federal
governments have already
committed over $160 million to
the Warrego Highway for projects
such as a new interchange with
the Brisbane Valley Highway
junction at Blacksoil, new
overtaking lanes between Oakey
and Dalby, a new bridge across
the Maranoa River at Mitchell
and upgrade of the Lockyer Creek
Bridge at Helidon.
The State Government has also
committed a further $164 million
for urgent works including safety
improvements between Ipswich
and Withcott, stage one of
duplication between Toowoomba
and Oakey, intersection upgrades
in Toowoomba and improving the
Macalister to Warra section.
25th ARRB Conference 2012
Registration and program highlights
For 50 years, ARRB Conferences has promoted discussion of issues
relevant to the transport industry, and new research being undertaken
on the local and international scene.
ARRB is hosting the 25th ARRB Conference in Perth, 23-26 September
2012, immediately prior to the 35th Australasian Transport Research
Forum (ATRF), 26-28 September at the same location.
The theme of the Conference is Shaping the future: Linking research,
policy and outcomes.
The conference will explore how the outputs of transport research
support informed decision-making and policy formulation, leading to
community enhancements in areas including efficiency, sustainability,
safety and accessibility. Both the ARRB and the ATRF conferences will
share a joint session day on Wednesday 26 September.
ARRB, and conference platinum sponsor Main Roads Western Australia,
is pleased to announce the three main plenary topics:
Improve productivity or perish!
Australia depends heavily on road freight. It is a world leader in road
freight productivity, but that will not continue if it does not make
improvements. This session will explore the need for change to improve
productivity, from the perspective of the transport industry and the
community, and what actions are needed to meet these challenges.
Balancing sustainability, road safety, network performance and
Balancing road safety and sustainability objectives (including
environmental issues) is challenging, although an essential part of road
network management. This session will build on the themes covered at
the previous ARRB Conference and will explore:
• how the road transport system can be managed to optimise
environmental and road safety outcomes (including emissions in the
• how the road transport system can be managed to optimise network
operations and asset management within a Safe Systems context; and
• network and policy implications.
Shaping cities: The role of transport planning in the future
Many capital cities face challenges in staying or becoming liveable
and accessible cities for all. As a result, it is critical that development
planning addresses issues such as climate change, sustainability,
population growth and social and cultural diversity. This session, held
on the ARRB-ATRF joint day, will highlight the changing role of transport
planning in facilitating the needs of growing city in the 21st century by
focussing on recent major projects in Perth.
Technical tours will be held on Sunday 23 September. Details will be
available on the Conference website www.arrb.com.au/conferences .
Welcome reception will be held on the Sunday at the Pan Pacific
Hotel. The Welcome reception is sponsored by SIDRA SOLUTIONS.
Conference dinner will be held on 24 September at the Burswood
Convention Centre (Astral room) and the Interchange function will be
held on 25 September at the Royal Perth Yacht Club.
You can register online now at www.arrb.com.au/conferences
Technical enquiries: Lydia Chong, Conference Technical Secretary, on
P: +61 3 9881 1555 or email@example.com
Register now! Earlybird savings until 17 August 2012
23-26 September 2012
Pan Pacific Hotel
Perth, Western Australia
The 25th ARRB Conference will focus on research outcomes which address emerging issues affecting the road and transport industry,
and the global community. Topics will include:
• Congestion, freight productivity
• Safe Systems
- road safety engineering
- road user behaviour
- road design
- traffic management
- safe vehicles
- transport network
- transport planning
- freight logistics
- innovative heavy vehicle solutions
- environment sustainability
• Sustainable infrastructure management
• Sustainable infrastructure sciences/technology
- pavement design performance
- pavement construction/maintenance
- materials technology
- concrete structures
- sprayed sealing
Conference sponsored by:
- innovative inventory solutions
- infrastructure assessment
- asset management
- bridge management
- infrastructure maintenance
- local roads.
For more information visit www.arrb.com.au/conferences or call:
Marketing and Sponsorship Coordinator:
Briarlea Green, ph: 61 3 9881 1676
Alana Cox, ph: 61 3 9881 1560
ROADS APRIL/MAY 2012
Broons eCombi Rroller – three years on
It is now just three years since international crushing and compaction
specialists, Broons, released its eCombi roller.
Designed specifically for the patrol grading and resheeting of
unsealed roads, the first purchaser was Wakefield Regional Council in
Since that time the council has grown its fleet of eCombi’s to four
– two of the standard smooth drum units and two with the vibrating
drum option. And, it is pleased with how the units have “done the job”
over the journey.
The eCombi compacts freshly graded surfaces with its centrally
mounted steel roll drum or single row of smooth tread compactor
tyres on the rear that can be hydraulically raised or lowered to suit the
application of the machine.
An optional vibrating roll drum can be fitted in lieu of the standard
static weight version. A sign rack, cutting edge holder and spare wheel
have been integrated into the design if required by the client.
By introducing the eCombi to its range of specialist crushing and
compaction equipment, Broons filled a niche in the market for an
economical patrol grading roller that keeps the features of its proven
Combination Roller, but is cheaper to ease the strain on council budgets.
The eCombi is simple to use and operator-friendly. The change from
roll drum to tyres and back is easily controlled hydraulically from the
cabin of the grader or tow tractor.
The eCombi has a compaction width of two metres on the roll drum
and slightly wider on the tyres. The roll drum is 25mm thick and can be
ballasted with water to increase its weight and compaction pressure.
Fully ballasted the operating weight of the eCombi is around eight
tonnes. The static linear load of the smooth drum is close to 35kg/cm
or 900kg/tyre when ballasted.
Further details can be obtained from Broons on (08) 8268 1988; e-mail
at firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.broons.com
RUGGED ROAD MACHINES
Call now (08) 8268 1988
ROADS APRIL/MAY 2012
| Fax (08) 8268 1576 | email@example.com | www.broons.com/ecombi
Kirpy Road Rippers now in Australia
Rural road construction, rehabilitation and re-sheeting is an integral
part of council work throughout Australia and a tough, reliable tractormounted ripper can be a handy tool in a council fleet in lieu of using
and expensive grader.
International crushing and compaction specialists, Broons, has been
marketing the Kirpy range of rock crushers in Australasia for over a
decade and it has now introduced Kirpy’s super tough NS Road Ripper
to complement the range of crushers.
Kirpy is celebrating 100 years’ in engineering machinery in 2012 and
it’s used all of this experience in developing the new NS Road Ripper.
Designed specifically for rough use on roads, the machine has many
features that make it a standout performer in any shire council fleet.
It can be fitted to the tractor three-point linkage on either the
front or the rear and has a heavily reinforced main frame to take the
punishment of ripping hard road pavements embedded with large
rocks. The Ripper has seven tynes that are also forged from high quality
steel bar to ensure strength and durability, and they can rip to a depth
of half a metre.
The forged tynes are what sets the machine apart from the competition.
Each tyne is hand forged from a single steel bar and has a replaceable
cast boot on the bottom making it the strongest on the market.
Continuing the theme of strength and reliability, the Ripper also has
an additional leaf in each spring to enable it to rip effectively in the
toughest ground. With a working width of 2.5 metres it will be easily
towed by a 120HP (90kW) tractor and minimal maintenance is required.
Boons’ Director, Stuart Bowes, said that bringing the Kirpy Ripper
into Australia meant the company had become a one-stop shop for
road construction and maintenance machines.
“It is now possible to rip the pavement with a Ripper, crush the
rock with a Kirpy Rock Crusher, compact the base with a Vibrating or
Combination Roller, and finish the surface with an eCombi Roller or
Handy Hitch Roller.”
Broons is the Australasian distributor for the Kirpy range and three
model Kirpy machines – the BPB200, the BPB250 and the larger WX300
– are also well suited to road construction.
For further information phone (08) 8268 1988; e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.broons.com.
Call now (08) 8268 1988
ROADS APRIL/MAY 2012
| Fax (08) 8268 1576 | email@example.com | www.broons.com /kirpy_ripper/
1000 Cat® M Series on…and the innovation continues
In 1931, Caterpillar introduced the first rubber tyred motor grader.
Eighty-one years later, they’ve just rolled out their 11,000th M Series
Motor Grader worldwide and their 1000th M Series Motor Grader in
The development of the Cat M Series Motor Grader is one of the
most significant new product rollouts in Caterpillar history and is
underpinned by a long commitment to improvement, innovation and
“We launched the first M Series Motor Graders in Australia in 2007,”
explains Darren Hodge, Motor Grader Product Application Specialist for
Caterpillar Global Construction and Infrastructure.
“Since then we’ve sold over 1000 machines here. To obtain this result
in just a few years tells us we’ve got it right and that operators are
comfortable with the innovations and improvements we’ve made to
the motor graders over the years.”
“Building on the strong heritage of the H Series, the M Series delivers
multiple and innovative technological breakthroughs, setting the new
standard for motor graders.
“We have a history of listening closely to our customers,” adds
Hodge. “Since introducing the M Series we’ve instituted a raft of
class leading innovations as a result of client consultation. Such
enhancements include; more cabin storage, electronically adjustable
arm rest control pods, articulation rod guards, blade lift sensitivity
selectable modes, and front axle steering cylinder hose guards. We
remain committed to making incremental changes to further enhance
our machines and our customers businesses.
“Yes,” continues Hodge, “it was a bold move for Caterpillar to
significantly change the way motor graders had been controlled and
operated for many years. But we didn’t do it lightly. We engaged in
an intensive amount of testing and validation of the product during
development. We spoke with our customers worldwide and took on
board their needs and suggestions. The response to the machine is a
testament to this customer research and provides confirmation from
owners and operators that we have developed a machine that delivers
in the important buying criteria of comfort, control and visibility;
performance and productivity; reliability, easier maintenance, safety,
and lower cost of ownership.”
Looking closely at the M Series, the dedication to operator comfort
and enhanced productivity is immediately apparent.
Most obvious is the inclusion of joystick controls for complete
machine operation. Two joysticks offer precise control and ease of
operation. This revolutionary technology has markedly increased
operator comfort and control, with the potential for greater
productivity. It provides complete steering and transmission control.
Operators consistently report significantly reduced muscle fatigue,
lessened hand/wrist movement and more precise steering. Hand and
wrist movement is significantly reduced compared to conventional
lever controls. An articulation return-to-straight feature allows for quick
and simple turns, further increasing operator comfort.
“The joystick controls have been a major hit” enthuses Hodge.
“Operators are exiting the machines with a big smile even after
12 hours on the job. In fact, more often than not after some time
operating the M Series, operators are saying they wouldn’t like to go
back to traditional machine controls. The productivity and comfort
increases that owners are reporting back to us are significant.”
But it’s not just the innovative operator controls that make
the operator experience exceptional. A lot of work and intensive
engineering has been put into the design of the cabin with regard
The new M Series cab has opened up new sight lines to all
the important areas of operation allowing for better visibility and
reduced movement by the operator. Visibility of the blade toe/heel
and front tandem wheels is significantly enhanced. The blade/linkage
arms have also been redesigned to allow for better visibility. All of
these changes add to operator comfort levels and have resulted,
according to feedback, in increased driver satisfaction and decreased
The drawbar, circle and mouldboard (DCM) components and linkages can
be easily and quickly adjusted without technical expertise, to ensure
exact blade positioning.
ROADS APRIL/MAY 2012
In addition to the above mentioned improvements, drivers also enjoy
the comfort of integrated heating and air conditioning, with a fresh air
filter located outside the cab at ground level. The cab is also isolation
mounted which reduces vibration and noise. Interior sound levels
are extremely low, resulting in the M Series being one of the quietest
machines on the market.
Then there’s the unique AWD system with steering compensation.
Independent AWD pumps to each front drive motor provide
differentiated inner/outer wheel speeds when turning. This reduces
the turning circle in poor underfoot conditions. The exclusive steering
compensation system enables a “powered turn” by adjusting the
outside front tyre speed up to 50% faster than the inside tyre. In
addition, when the AWD system is engaged, the flywheel horsepower
is also automatically increased. This gross power increase offsets the
parasitic losses associated with the AWD system and maximises the net
power to the ground for increased performance and productivity.
But just because the operator experience is much more comfortable
doesn’t mean the M Series grader is any less powerful.
“The 140M provides higher engine horsepower in all gears” explains
Hodge. “This is an imposing workhorse on any site. It’s also highly
visible in just about any environment.”
Of note, is that for all its power, the Cat M Series is also extremely
precise in its exact blade positioning for cutting and spreading.
“For motor graders, when it comes to a quality finished surface,
it’s all about the blade cutting and spreading to within very fine
tolerances,” Hodge continues. “They also need to ensure efficient
power to the ground at the right gear speed. The blade, part of the
complex drawbar, circle and mouldboard (DCM) component linkage
has up to nine areas of potential wear that can impact the quality and
productivity of completing the finished grade.
“The good news is the M Series is designed with low and easy
maintenance in mind. The DCM components and linkages can be
easily and quickly adjusted without necessary technical expertise.
These components that are critical for exact blade positioning include
sacrificial wear components to ensure parent iron is not worn. These
wear items prevent costly downtime and the expense of returning the
DCM to tight tolerance in the linkages for finish grading.
“Such attention to adjustment accessibility is testament to the
Caterpillar commitment to ensuring limited downtime for owners
ROADS APRIL/MAY 2012
“We know downtime costs our clients real money” says Hodge. “Part
of our ongoing commitment to them is that we will continue to develop
world renowned graders that stay on the job for longer with improved
productivity and efficiency levels.”
A significant contributor to this ongoing commitment is to build
“Our dedication to safety is second to none,” adds Hodge. “There is
simply no greater incentive to us as a company than to make sure our
customers are as safe and secure as they are productive.
“We don’t just look at the obvious safety measures either,” Hodge
explains. “Virtually everything we do impacts upon safety, from making
the operator more comfortable and thus more able to concentrate
on the task at hand, to providing exceptional cost of ownership
benefits so owners can feel confident investing in their machines on
an ongoing basis.”
Significant machine safety inclusions comprise; Operator Presence
System (park brake will automatically engage and hydraulics will
be neutralised if operator is not seated), secondary steering,
isolation mounted ROPS/FOPS structure, speed sensitive steering and
Caterpillar’s commitment to safety is paramount. Multiple back-up
systems have been designed into the machine’s steering system for
redundancy in the joystick control signals and wiring harness.
In addition, there is an infinitely variable ratio between the joystick
and the steer tyres as machine speed increases or decreases, and
audible/visual alarms to warn the operator in the event of system
“For more than 10 years Cat Motor Graders have been the
benchmark and market leader in Australia with over 65% share of all
motor graders sold,” concludes Hodge. “Worldwide, over 11,000 of
them work a combined average of over one million hours per month.
We see this as a testament to the machine’s acceptance, durability and
reliability. It also delivers us an enormous amount of real life testing and
feedback from just about every type of grading job you could possibly
imagine. This collective experience and know-how enables us to
continually make incremental improvements and refined enhancements
to these class leading machines.”
For more information about Cat M Series Motor Graders, contact your
local Cat dealer or visit www.australia.cat.com/mseries
ONE THOUSAND M
Stephen Catalano –
B J Catalano, WA
B J Catalano was established in Western
Australia in 1962 by brothers Bill and Joe
Catalano. Since then it has grown to be a highly
successful company, with over 350 employees
and a ﬂeet of over 210 Cat® machines. Joe’s
son Clem and Bill’s son Stephen Catalano
work alongside Bill to oversee the day-to-day
operations of the business.
“We bought our first Cat Motor Grader in 1966
– a 12E, then in 1974 purchased a 14G which
we still own to this day. Bill will tell you it
runs as good today as it did when he bought
it 37 years ago.
“Then in 2007 we bought our first M Series,
a 140M, and in 2009 purchased our first 16M.
Surveyors put all the data required into the
grader and the operators run it through the
machine guidance AccuGrade™ system.
“Purchasing the first M Series with the
joysticks wasn’t a problem because our grader
operator Vince had operated Cat joystick
Around Australia, there are now one thousand
Cat® M Series Motor Graders being put to work.
We’re proud of this milestone but remain focused
on continuing to deliver technology innovations
that make operators more comfortable, worksites
more productive and businesses more proﬁtable.
“I was still a bit hesitant,” adds Vince with a
smile. “I’d been driving the G Series up until
then and I thought the M Series might be a bit
too much of a jump. But after sitting in it for
a few weeks, it actually started to feel really
natural. It’s a very driver friendly machine in
“In fact now we can’t get you out of it!”
“Yeah, I’d definitely find it hard to go back to
the older machine,” agrees Vince. “For a start,
the visibility of the M Series is far greater
than the G Series or H Series. It’s also a lot
SERIES. ONE THOUSAND STORIES. HERE’S JUST A FEW.
Jeff Schwarz Andrew Challen –
Schwarz Excavations, QLD
easier to drive for a longer period of time
because it’s quieter. And I find the articulation
and the quickness of the steering makes it
easier to operate in tight areas. The joysticks
make it an easy, quick operation and the
visibility is good because you can see
obstacles more clearly.”
“The great ergonomics mean the operators like
Vince love sitting in the seats,” enthuses Stephen.
“It’s fantastic for fatigue management and they
can do more hours and a bit more work.
“Some other improvements in the new vehicle
are that the turning circle is significantly
better, the service entry and getting around
the machine is better and the cab doesn’t
get as hot as before. That’s because they’ve
relocated the hydraulics from under the cab
and that’s transformed the heat and noise
away from underneath the operator, which
makes it a lot easier for the operator to sit in
the cab all day, which is very good. All in all
the comfort in the cab is 100% better.
“Our relationship with WesTrac has gone
exceptionally well over the years. Caterpillar
and WesTrac have worked well with us and
our operators. Our company relies a lot on
graders for what we do. With the AccuGrade™
machine guidance system, the M Series is
user friendly and really sophisticated to work
with. The accuracy of the work is excellent.”
Note: Caterpillar makes no warranties, guarantees, or
representations as to the accuracy of information or
timeliness of any information contained within these
articles, and assumes no liability or responsibility for any
errors, omissions or whatsoever in the content.
Greg Walters –
Greg’s Grader Hire, SA
Jeff Schwarz co-owns Schwarz Excavations –
a family business located in Gracemere, just
outside Rockhampton. They currently run over
30 Cat® machines.
Greg Walters and Greg’s Grader Hire in
South Australia have had a relationship with
Caterpillar for 25 years.
“We’ve got two Cat graders at the moment,
the 12H and the newer 160M. They are both
major workhorses. The 160M has already done
over 1000 hours in four months without a single
problem. That’s just unbelievable!
“The biggest cost to me as a business owner
is downtime. If I can’t keep my operators and
machines working, I lose money. With Cat
machines, I don’t have to worry because if I
do need a repair or a part, Hastings Deering
service is just second to none.
“When we first got the 160M, my operator
Andrew was a bit sceptical. He was a bit thrown
by the joysticks and the changes to the cabin.”
“That’s true,” adds Andrew, a grader driver of
seven years. “I loved the H Series and I was a
bit reluctant to change to the M Series.”
“Now we can’t get you out of it,” laughs Jeff.
“Yeah,” smiles Andrew. “It’s a lot more
comfortable. Not having to turn a wheel makes
a huge difference. I get home after a 12 hour
day in the cab feeling great. There’s way less
fatigue. It’s a pleasure to drive.”
“And that’s one of the big plusses for me as a
business owner,” adds Jeff. ”If my operators are
happy, safe and more comfortable, they’re going
to be more productive at the end of the day.
“We’ve also got two AccuGrade™ systems, and
Hastings Deering’s support in helping us use
them effectively has been brilliant.”
“Before I bought the M Series, I had a Cat®
12G for 20 years and I reckon I got about
45,000 hours out of the old girl. It really did
me well. About three years ago I decided to
transition up to the M Series.
“The joysticks were an interesting concept
and it took me about a week of just going nice
and slow, concentrating and getting used to
the joystick principle.
“With the joysticks, the physical effort is very
low so all my concentration is going into the
job – it’s a really comfortable operator station.
“I feel like the overall productivity is greatly
improved because I’m more comfortable. I
can communicate with people onsite because
it’s quieter due to the hydraulic pump being
moved behind the engine. Safety is enhanced
with the reversing camera. It actually makes
me feel like working.
“When you’re an hourly hire subcontractor
like me, you really depend on the turnover
of your machine. It has to be reliable. So
Caterpillar really was the only choice that I
considered. I’ve had such good field support,
sales assistance, and at the end of the day, no
matter how old or new the machine is, parts
can be transferred to me within 24 hours.
“Even when I was out of warranty and had
some questions, they came out and had a look
for no charge which is really good.
“I’ve had the M Series now for three years
and have done over 7,000 hours. If I was to be
taken out of one of these, I would pack it up!”
ITS for M80 Ring Road
An Intelligent Transport System is being progressively installed on
Melbourne’s M80 Ring Road under a $62.5 million contract to equip it
with technology that will help prevent congestion and give motorists
the information they need to better plan journeys.
Visionstream Australia will install an electronic freeway management
system along what is one of Melbourne’s busiest roads, providing
VicRoads the tools to better manage traffic flows as well as respond
quickly to accidents and breakdowns.
Once fully in place along 38 kilometres of road from Laverton
North to Greensborough, the system will use sensors built into the
road surface to monitor the flow of traffic and prevent congestion by
automatically reducing the number of vehicles entering the freeway via
the on-ramps and varying the speed limits along it.
In addition, strategically placed electronic message boards will
provide motorists with real time information on the traffic conditions
which lie ahead along the M80 and also on key connecting roads.
Installation of the electronic freeway management system is part
of the $2.25 billion M80 Ring Road Upgrade being jointly funded by
the Federal ($900m) and Victorian ($300m) Governments, with the
remainder to be sought in future budgets. The project will take five
years to complete.
“It’s all about getting the most out of the infrastructure we
already have, which over time is a far smarter and cheaper option
than simply building more and bigger roads,” said Anthony Albanese,
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister.
“As well as being good for taxpayers, this technology will deliver
faster, safer and less frustrating driving conditions for the 142,000
motorists and truck drivers who use this vital part of Melbourne’s road
network every day.
“Indeed if applied nationwide, electronic freeway management
systems have the potential to greatly reduce congestion and save
Australian families and businesses more than $500 million a year,” Mr
“That’s why in last year’s Budget we set aside funds to assist the
states retrofit their existing motorways with the technology.”
ROADS APRIL/MAY 2012