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Truck Stop

TRANSPORT Stepping Into The Future

Importance of ‌ The HUME

The Hume Highway/Freeway is Australia’s most important and notable interstate highway, which runs for 880 kilometres inland between Sydney in New South Wales, and Melbourne in Victoria.

For many decades now, the Hume Highway has been the main inland link between the two largest cities in the Australian.

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It is part of the AusLink National Network – a major Australian initiative designed to improve planning, decision-making and funding for Australia’s national land transport infrastructure. This is a vital link for Road freight to transport goods to and from Australia’s two largest cities.

The AusLink network and its connections to the broader transport network are the passenger and freight backbone of Australia and are the focus of the Australian Government’s planning and funding responsibility. The smooth and efficient operation of this network is a crucial element to integrate all transport modes and support economic development.

A key component of the AusLink process is the development of a strategy for each corridor within the network. These corridor strategies take a broad view of the operation of the transport corridor; and look at both freight and passenger movement, plus making highways safer.

Over the past twenty years, the Federal Government has outlaid billions of dollars to ensure the highway is of a suitable standard for freight and traffic. Of the 880 km. length of the highway, the majority of the corridor is dual carriageway or ‘Freeway’ standard in NSW, with mostly two lanes in either direction. [In total, $1,398 million has been budgeted for the NSW section for completion by 2012, to raise the highway to ‘Freeway’ status]

The Sydney-Melbourne corridor is vital to the Australian economy. And the Hume Highway provides an essential road link that services freight and passenger flows between Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra – which also serves regional centres such as AlburyWodonga, plus Wagga Wagga and interstate through traffic to and from South Australia and Queensland.

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The route in Victoria is categorised as ‘Freeway’ by VicRoads. However, some of the route is of similar design to the duplicated sections in New South Wales.

Speed Limits: Like most roads in Australia, the Hume Highway is speed-limited. As such, The majority of the highway from Sydney to Melbourne is 100 or 110 km/hr. All of the 280-km rural section of the highway in Victoria is dual carriageway.

Function of the Hume: To transport the bulk of Australia’s freight in a fast, cost-effective and safe manner between the two most-densely populated cities.

To provide a safe, efficient means for motorists travelling Australia’s most populated route.

Road Duplication: The objectives of the Hume Highway duplication are to strengthen the major transport link connecting Australia’s two major cities and to improve safety and travel conditions.

At present, it is not feasible for a truck driver to pull off the highway to a smaller service town service town which has been bypassed by the freeway.

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With the modernisation of the highway the infrastructure to support heavy trucks means now that the service people have to attend the vehicle - as in a lot of cases. However, the freeway restrictions prevent larger vehicles driving into workshops for repairs.

Benefits of the Hume: The Hume Highway being duplicated to dual carriageway along its entire length has enabled a greater array of large vehicles. The semi-trailer configuration on the highway now is 20% ‘Single’, and 80% ‘B-Double’, allowing an increase in productivity and savings to the transport industry.

The completion of the duplication and all the bypasses, will open the way for the ‘B-Triples’ to be used between Melbourne and Sydney, which will enhance productivity and reduce costs. The current configuration of the semi-trailers is now probably 15% ‘Singles’, 50% ‘B-Doubles’ and 35% ‘B-Triples’.

The benefit of the duplication is that it will allow drivers to travel between Melbourne and Sydney much more safely, and with reduced travel times.

Even so, long-haul drivers are still required to make their compulsory stops – with Tarcutta being the mid-point along the way.

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Map of Hume Freeway and Service areas by Major Towns

TARCUTTA Just south of the junction of both the Snowy Mountains Highway and the Sturt Highway, Tarcutta is the ‘half-way point’ on the Hume Highway between Sydney and Melbourne.

Due to its position of being located almost exactly half way between Australia’s two largest cities, it has been a popular stopover and change-over point for truck drivers making their way between the two cities.

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With the improvements to the Hume Highway (which cuts travelling time from Sydney to Melbourne to less than a day), the town’s importance to the average motorist has diminished. However, to the long distance semi-trailer driver, Tarcutta’s location is crucial to streamlining movement of freight between the two cities.

For decades, Tarcutta has been a popular stopover point for truck drivers making their way between the two east coast cities of Melbourne and Sydney.

It has also tragically seen more than its share of accidents, with many drivers killed on the Hume Highway.

A plaque on the town’s established monument is dedicated to ‘the memory of truck drivers who have been accidentally killed while performing their duties in the transport industry’. The monument is a frightening reminder of how many drivers have lost their lives on the Hume Highway.

As Tarcutta is the midway point on the main highway route between Melbourne and Sydney, it is a common changeover point for drivers and trucks conveying loads between the two cities.

At present, truck drivers arriving both south from Sydney and north from Melbourne unhitch their trailers – for the Melbourne driver to take the re-hitched load from Sydney south on the last leg to Melbourne, and the Sydney driver to take the load which has come north from Melbourne, on the last leg north to Sydney.

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This is currently carried out in the middle of the Tarcutta township and at other locations close to Tarcutta (ie: on the side of the road).

It is this practice that has resulted in an acknowledged need for the facility at both the local, state and federal government levels in terms of road safety and driver fatigue.

In 2008 the Local, State and Federal governments provided additional parking for 40 trucks in the middle of the Tarcutta Township. But this is a short-term solution to a growing need.

Road transport has gone from being unregulated to a sophisticated part of the national economy, which has brought with it a range of mandatory regulations covering management and Occupational Health and Safety. Over a period of time, due to the high number of fatalities, the authorities have introduced maximum driving standards to all drivers and companies.

Driver Rest Requirements and the Law: The current practices for interstate drivers: Melbourne and Sydney based companies have purchased trucks with sleeper facilities. This allows drivers to take their rest periods to comply with the driving times required by statutory authority.

See attachment: Road Traffic Authority. (Sept 2008 Pub 08.30.08) “New Regulations to Manage Driver Fatigue, Standard Hours�

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Many companies have at their depots, driver sleeper rooms where a driver can get a proper rest in his ten-hour compulsory break. The new facility at Tarcutta will provide driver sleeping quarters where drivers can meet their legal rest requirements.

This will allow companies when ordering new trucks (running between Melbourne and Sydney) to be purchased without sleeper requirements. This will have a dollar saving of about $15,000 per vehicle for future Truck-fleet purchases – depending upon the manufacture

Overall Benefit: On completion of the freeway and the bypasses, the location of the Truck Stop at Tarcutta will mean that drivers can leave either Sydney or Melbourne and be in Tarcutta within five hours of their shift. And technically, can have three-four hours rest at Tarcutta before their return to Sydney or Melbourne.

These state-of-the-art Facilities will ensure that drivers will get undisturbed rest breaks.

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Fuel Facility: The fuel facilities will supply a range of: 



Petrol fuels

LP Gas

LNG Gas (natural gas that has been converted temporarily into liquid form for ease of storage and transport, and is predominantly methane.) .

In conjunction with BOC Gases and vehicle manufacturers, this site will become a major outlet in the future for re-fuelling LNG fuelled trucks. BOC has indicated that they will consider establishing a batch plant in Wagga Wagga, NSW for LNG. This would also service the local companies, in pursuant of a greener footprint (Reference Drawings DA101, DA102 and DA103)

Tyre Shop: This facility will provide a range of services to companies that run the interstate vehicles. In Melbourne and Sydney, there is always a problem in arranging tyre checks or replacement tyres within the normal working day due to trucks not being in the relevant depots inside normal work hours. The tyre shop will allow companies to program tyre changes, repairs or replacements within the journey of the vehicle.

This facility will offer companies a changeover of their wheel during the driver’s rest period or the swap of wheels that may have received punctures on their trip.

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Taking into account the current vehicle traffic, there will be in excess of 10,250,000 wheels per month go past the site. Tarcutta will be the only site on the highway that will be offering this type of service.

Statistically, if there was one sixteenth (1/16) of one per cent (1%) required puncture repairs, this would equate to in excess of two hundred (200) tyre repairs per day. Allowing for twenty (20) minutes for each repair requires 8.5 tyre fitters to be employed per day.

This does not take into account, tyre replacement or general servicing of tyres. (Reference Drawings DA501 and DA502)

Workshop: This will provide staff to carry out road-service repairs for minor jobs. Where a vehicle requires major repairs, it will be towed to the workshop.

The workshop will offer the following services: 

Acting as an outlet for Enzed Hydraulics.

Provision of their range of servicing for hydraulic hoses/power steering hoses (as well as airline repairs and replacements).

Provision of a range of services under the Shell banner:

o ‘A’ and ‘B’ inspections which will include approved oil o changes using Shell vacuum methods and oil analysis. o Provision of brake calibration between the truck and trailers.

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To support the transport companies’ vehicles travelling the Hume Highway, the Workshop will hold the following spare parts: 


Starter motors


Range of air valves


Lights and fittings

Air bags


Examples of the type of support the workshop offers: 

Assistance when the vehicle has flat batteries, workshop provides a jump start.

If a driver forgets to disconnect the trailer light plugs, the Workshop will repair.

Because of the benefits of having the workshop facility at the changeover location, this will enable work to be carried out during the driver’s rest period. (Reference Drawings DA501 and DA502)

Truck Wash: The truck wash facility has been designed to wash four (4) ‘B’ Triple combinations, and pre-wash four (4) ‘B’ Triple, concurrently under the one roof. With each wash taking 30 minutes each, companies will be able to book a vehicle in so that a wash is carried out in the drivers’ rest times. (Reference Drawing DA601 & DA602)

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Call Centre: As part of the Australian Roadside Services facility, the Call centre will provide: 

A national presence to the Transport Industry.

An Australia-wide breakdown service.

A national database of vehicle history, makes and models.

Acting as the Management Centre for the Tarcutta Truck Stop … Transport firms will be able to book in their vehicles for service, tyre replacements, and up-dates on vehicles’ arrival and departure times. (Reference Drawing DA201, DA202 and DA203)

First Aid: The Centre will have its own First Aid facilities to accommodate all the workers’ needs. This will include future potential of having a nurse on site at given hours. (Reference Drawing DA201, DA202, and DA203)

Drivers’ Accommodation: The drivers’ accommodation block comprises: 

32 single rooms

5 double rooms with own shower (these rooms are designed for drivers who are accompanied by their partners).

Common shower and toilet facilities.

Common coffee and tea facilities at four (4) locations. (Reference Drawing DA401 and DA402)

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Shops: Provision has been made for four individual shops: 

Retail outlets.

Take-away food outlets.

Shops, which will specialise in servicing and supporting local interests (artists’ work, souvenirs, etc). (Reference Drawings DA201, DA202, and DA203)

Display Area and Large Shop: Below the Call Centre, there is facility for a large retail outlet that could provide a range of spare parts and accessories for both the truck industry and general public.

The floor’s display area can be used for truck manufacturers to display their latest vehicle. (Reference Drawings DA201, DA202, and DA203)

Restaurant: The Restaurant will cater for: 

Sit-down and take-away meals for drivers.

Sit-down and take-away meals for the general public.

Breakfast facilities for drivers staying overnight.

Breakfast facilities for the general public staying overnight.

A viewing area – upper level provides viewing of truck arrivals and departures. (Reference Drawings DA201, DA202, and DA203)

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Drivers’ Amenities Blocks: There will be two (2) amenities blocks, each comprising six (6) individual toilet and shower rooms, located in the truck parking area. (Reference Drawing DA701, DA702, DA801 and DA802)

Caravan Park: 

Provision for fifteen (15) caravan sites for short and term and/ or overnight travellers.

Amenities block will contain Male and Female toilets, showers and laundry facilities.