QLD extends long distance coach life

Queensland’s long distance coach operators will be more price-competitive after a recent vehicle life extension change

QLD extends long distance coach life
QLD extends long distance coach life

By David Goeldner | December 20, 2011

To stay competitive with southern counterparts, the life of Queensland’s long distance coaches has been extended by ten years following a recent state transport regulation change.

QBIC Executive Director David Tape says local long distance operators are ‘over the moon’ at the December 8, 2011 amendment.

"They love it, particularly some of the smaller operators," Tape says.

Prior to December, Queensland operators running coaches under the state’s open classification – typically long distance charter or express services with a range greater than 650km – were forced to retire their vehicles at 15 years.

The change means vehicle life has now been extended from 15 years to 25 years, which Tape says will make Queensland long distance operators competitive with southern states.

"This will give operators a hand economically by not having to buy a new vehicle at 15 years of age," he says.

"They can get some decent usage out of their vehicles from 15 to 25 years."

Leading up to the amendment, long distance vehicles would usually be retired at 15 years and placed in regional or local service under the 650km range to extend service life.

"Depending on what classification you are working in – open class, regional or local – depends on how far the vehicle within that classification was allowed to travel," Tape says.

"It also means Queensland operators would have to buy a new or newer vehicle every 15 years, and would impact on what they could quote for charters."

He says operators in southern states have been able to offer more competitive prices on long distance work due to older age limits up to 25 years in some states, and therefore less frequent vehicle replacement.

"Now that the age limit has been extended it will make our Queensland operators more competitive."

Tape says the change won’t reduce the safety of older vehicles, still required to pass frame inspections and be maintained to a standard that passes six monthly mechanical and safety certificate inspections.

He says the safety of vehicles won’t be compromised with the extension to vehicle life.

"This change has been driven by our Long Distance Tour and Charter Committee, and QBIC has been pushing for this for a few years," Tape says.

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