Red tape issue
Mobile cranes are used for a wide variety of purposes in construction, including fixing unplanned damage (e.g. where a storm that damages the parts on a wind turbine). Despite some improvements in the process for authorising routes by VicRoads and local councils, businesses and mobile crane companies may be forced to wait up to 28 days while VicRoads, councils and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator determine a route and provide a permit. It is possible to allow companies to access roads where access has been approved for similar vehicles, and where assessment for ‘no go’ structures is not required. This can help businesses to respond to maintenance and safety issues.
There is currently a major project underway to fix this, involving VicRoads, councils, MAV and other road managers. VicRoads has developed a registry and map of pre-approved Local Council roads for 4 and 5-axle cranes. It is expected that by June 30 2016 VicRoads will expand the 4 & 5-axle crane map to include Regional Victoria. This map will include approved arterial and Local Government roads. Once this map is published the operator of a 4 & 5-axle crane will only need to obtain a permit if they want to operate on roads that have not been approved. VicRoads, though, has developed a widespread network that provides links between all the major regional areas.