Tankers to carry more milk

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

Fon­terra now has more flex­i­bil­ity to help it man­age the big in­crease in milk flows it is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing across the coun­try.

The co-op­er­a­tive’s tanker fleet will be able to col­lect an additional 1.2 mil­lion litres of milk ev­ery day for the next three months thanks to a tem­po­rary in­crease in load­ing lim­its.

Fon­terra man­ag­ing di­rec­tor trade and op­er­a­tions Gary Ro­mano said govern­ment agen­cies had given the co-op­er­a­tive the goa­head to in­crease the op­er­at­ing weight of its tankers from 44 to 45 tonnes un­til the end of year.

‘‘A one-tonne in­crease in our op­er­at­ing weight means ev­ery tanker can col­lect an additional 1000 litres of milk on ev­ery run. With 450 tankers on the road dur­ing peak pro­duc­tion, that’s a big help.

‘‘Some of the best weather con­di­tions we’ve had in years have re­sulted in a wave of milk com­ing in ear­lier than fore­casted. Man­ag­ing all the ex­tra milk is a huge job and it’s great that we’ve got govern­ment agency sup­port.’’

Mr Ro­mano said that, with the sup­port of Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, the New Zealand Trans­port Agency granted Fon­terra the per­mit in ac­cor­dance with the Land Trans­port Act.

‘‘We’ve got ev­ery con­tin­gency in place to get all the milk from farm to fac­tory and this is the next step. We con­tacted the New Zealand Trans­port Agency to see if we could in­crease our load­ing lim­its and help ease the pres­sure.

‘‘The trans­port agency has given us per­mis­sion to in­crease our op­er­at­ing weight which will help us pick up the ex­tra vol­umes of milk – a re­sult that’s good for both the co-op and the New Zealand econ­omy.’’

Mr Ro­mano said the one-tonne weight in­crease was well within the de­sign ca­pac­ity of the tankers and Fon­terra’s driv­ers were trained to han­dle big­ger loads.

‘‘Safety is our first pri­or­ity and our driv­ers go through ex­ten­sive train­ing be­fore they get be­hind the wheel mak­ing them well equipped to trans­port this additional milk,’’ he said.

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