10 October 2009

Here comes the roadtrain: Subic to launch cost-efficient trucking system via SCTEx

A trucking system popularly used in Argentina, Australia, Mexico, United States and Western Canada to efficiently transport bulky loads will soon be seen for the first time along the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).

Expected to hit the SCTEx in the fourth quarter this year, the so-called road train or “triples,” as it is known in the U.S. and Canada, will be introduced by the International Heavy Trucks Center (IHTC), a Subic-registered enterprise.

The roadtrain consists of a conventional tractor pulling not just one trailer, but two or three using a trailer truck dolly. A trailer dolly is a single-axled articulated fifth wheel that connects two or three trailers pulled by a tractor head.

IHTC said the use of the roadtrain at the SCTEx was arranged through continuous coordination with Philippine National Construction Corporation.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) administrator Armand Arreza said that the use of trailer truck dollies via the SCTEx “will mean big savings and provide more efficient means of transporting goods between Clark and Subic.”

“We’re sure that the trailer dollies will attract not only more investors and port users in Subic and Clark Freeport zones, but also other importers and exporters from Central and Northern Luzon,” Arreza said.

He explained that the introduction of the trailer dolly would also lower freight cost because two or three more trailers can now be connected behind the main trailer.

Arthur delos Reyes, SBMA consultant for special projects and economic development, said the IHTC will initially be using two trailer dollies that are about 90-feet long each.

The trailer dollies are “very safe and road worthy,” he added.

“Being the first in the Philippines, this cost-saving mechanism is expected to encourage heavy port users in Central Luzon to use Subic, thus increasing shipments in the Freeport,” Reyes said.

Reyes also said that the new transport concept will be used only in the SCTEx, which connects the free ports of Clark and Subic, because the roads leading to the ports of Subic and Clark are wider and hardly have any traffic problem.

The truck dollies, however, cannot be used presently in the North Luzon Expressway or South Luzon Expressway, he added. (SBMA Corporate Communications)

The roadtrain, a cost-efficient trucking system expected to lower freight cost, will be introduced at the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway.