Army spurns lorry weight curb request

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has rejected a request by transport operators to immediately ease weight restrictions on lorries.

The Thai Transportation and Logistics Association and the Land Transport Federation of Thailand held talks with NCPO deputy chief ACM Prajin Juntong, the council’s head of economic affairs, yesterday.

Association president Worawit Charoenwatanaphan said ACM Prajin told them the 50.5 tonne weight limit on large lorries and 25 tonnes for 10-wheel lorries, imposed at the beginning of the month, still apply.

He said the NCPO deputy chief insisted on clamping down on those who violated the law, but still asked the operators to submit their petition to the NCPO for consideration. 

According to Mr Worawit, the transport operators will list all of their concerns within a couple of days before submitting it to the NCPO.

He insisted new bridges and roads under the supervision of the Department of Highways and Department of Rural Roads can bear weights above the set limits. He also claimed the two departments used information from an old study conducted by Naresuan University.

Mr Worawit said operators want weight limits eased because of high transport costs.

The present weight limit is forcing operators to use more vehicles, which is pushing up costs, while at the same time they are unable to charge customers more as this part of the year is a slack period for transport, he said.

Transport charges could be raised by 10% when the busy period, from November to April, comes, he said.

Department of Highways chief Chatchawal Boonjaroenkij said most operators have cooperated with weight restrictions since they were imposed on July 1.

The limits are unlikely to be reviewed because the Naresuan study last year found over-laden cargo lorries caused billions of baht in damage to roads each year.

Transport operators had promised to accept the results of the Naresuan University study, but now the operators are appealing to the NCPO,  he said.

He said the current weight limits on lorries are already higher than those in other Asean countries, which commonly limit weight to 38 tonnes for a large truck and 21 tonnes for a 10-wheel lorry.

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