Trailer Magazine


Report shows demand for safer livestock unloading infrastructure

  • Posted on Tuesday 19th, May 2020.

A feasibility report into the trial of innovative infrastructure that delivers safer outcomes for personnel loading and unloading livestock has demonstrated there is a quantifiable demand for such equipment.

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport, Scott Buchholz, said that the trial of a Parallel Access Landing (PAL) frame has included a user-pays option for drivers unloading livestock at Kilcoy Global Foods in south-east Queensland.

“Having seen the PAL frame in action, it’s clear that there are big safety benefits for operators as well as for livestock," said Buchholz.

"It provides easy access to the top decks of trailers, keeping drivers safe from falls and separated from livestock at all times.

“The positive result from this trial means that other businesses can now seriously think about this as an option," he said.

The PAL frame is manufactured by specialist engineering firm ProWay Livestock Equipment based in Wagga Wagga NSW. The company has 20 years’ experience in the manufacture and installation of livestock handling facilities for corporate and private farms, livestock feedlots, abattoirs and commercial sale yards across Australia and internationally. All of ProWay’s custom designed products are manufactured in Australia.

Kilcoy Global Foods Limited is an international company with centres in Australia, China and the USA. The Kilcoy meat processing facility, operated by Kilcoy Global Foods Australia (KGF), located just outside of Kilcoy in south-east Queensland, has operated since 1953. The facility employs over 1,600 staff processing an average of 1,400 head of cattle daily. Exports account for 70-80 per cent of production while 20-30 per cent is consumed domestically.

The feasibility study undertaken by the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) on the PAL frame at Kilcoy Global Foods concluded that ‘depending on the type of gantry installed and average daily usage rates, installation and maintenance costs can typically be fully recovered by a higher volume livestock facility in less than three year.

National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) CEO, Sal Petroccitto, said that the project was funded by the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI), supported by the Federal Government.

“Heavy vehicle safety is everyone’s responsibility, and our support for this project is a perfect example of how the NHVR is helping to deliver tangible safety improvements, with the potential for this type of infrastructure to be rolled out nationally,” said Petroccitto.

ALRTA National President Stephen Marley said the trial had demonstrated that transport businesses are willing to contribute to the cost of safer infrastructure via a user-pay system.

“Loading and unloading livestock is a high-risk activity. This trial confirmed that the majority of operators are willing to share the cost if it means safer unloading for drivers,” said Marley.

“Not only have we proven a willingness to contribute, we have also demonstrated that it is technically possible to operate infrastructure on a user-pay basis without impacting efficiency.

“In partnership with (PAL manufacturer) ProWay, this project produced a first of its kind moving gantry that fully retracts while remaining parallel to the ramp and vehicle, so there is a range of gantry systems available to suit all sites.

“Livestock facility owners can now bring forward safety improvements using the user-pay option with full confidence that it is a low-risk proposition accepted by the majority of transporters.” 

Over the course of the trial there were no safety incidents for those operators using the PAL frame.

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