Big bills from the bad roads
SOME $20,000 over 12 months – that is how much cattleman and livestock transporter Joe Mooney has spent repairing his trucks.
The damage was caused after the trucks travelled on rough roads in Gympie.
Mr Mooney owns JD and PA Mooney Livestock Transport, as well as Jomoco Droughtmaster Stud in Glastonbury.
“The roads are atrocious,” he said.
“In the last year I’ve broken two main spring packs, a steering arm and gearbox mounts and we aren’t even driving that fast. It’s just from road-related fatigue.”
He said the road damage on stretches around Glastonbury, Kilkivan-Tansey Road and the Wide Bay Highway (between Kilkivan and Goomeri) were dangerous to livestock and drivers.
“I would have no doubts people have lost or injured livestock while driving on these roads,” he said.
“I haven’t personally but if someone hit the road hard without knowing what it’s like it would cause injuries for sure.
“Some of the wooden bridges have been reduced to single lane because of weight restrictions and sometimes people don’t see the give-way sign.”
Mr Mooney said the road had been getting worse since flooding in 2013.
“It’s taking us longer to do our jobs because we are having to pull up and check our loads more often,” he said.
“A few weeks ago I did a job which should have only taken four hours each way but it took me six – that’s two hours I should have been spending on the next job.
“In a lot of cases there are no alternative routes to go on, so you have to allow the extra time.”
He said the roads were in better condition up north.
“We cringe every time we think about having to drive on the roads,” he said.
“There are bigger trucks that use the roads around Charters Towers and Emerald and the road is better to drive on than it is here.”
While the roads were impacting trucks, Mr Mooney said there was also a financial strain.
“We can’t charge by the hour. We’re getting less income because it’s taking longer for us to do what we have to,” he said.
In a statement provided to Rural Weekly ,a spokesperson from the Department of Transport and Main Roads said reseal projects were scheduled for the Gympie area in the coming months.
“Recent inspections of Running Creek Bridge, Kilkivan-Tansey Road, Wide Bay Highway and GympieWoolooga Road have not identified any areas requiring maintenance works at this time,” they said.
“However we are carrying out planned reseal works in the area over the coming months.”
Works include: ■ Resealing a 200m section and 470m section of Kilkivan-Tansey Rd, west of the Cinnebar Rd intersection
■ Resealing a 2km section of the Wide Bay Highway near the Bruce Hwy intersection and another 680m section near the Bauple-Woolooga Rd intersection
■ Resealing two 100m sections either side of the Running Creek Rd intersection on Brooweena-Woolooga Rd
SEEING RED: Joe Mooney said he has spent $20,000 in the past 12 months to repair damage to his trucks caused by driving on the roads around Gympie.