Australian Road Trains

Hi Everybody!

I’ve always thought that the Australian Road Trains are really amazing! All those trailers behind one semi.

Any other Dopers interested in Road Trains?

Do any other nations use Road Trains?

Here you go:

Hi Askance!!

I still think that Australia’s Road Trains are the neatest!!!

They’re banned in most areas of the USA.

… as they are in built-up areas of Australia.

Yep, except for B-doubles, I think.

I remember living in Charleville in south-west Queensland as a kid and seeing semis with 5 dogs rolling through town! Amazing!

Under the nomenclature “gravel train” they are used extensively in parts of Michigan where the numerous glacial moraines provide an apparently unending source of aggregate and gravel. (A long time ago, Michigan also allowed “double bottom tankers,” but they were built with a high center of gravity and a series of nasty accidents got them banned around 1980 or a bit earlier.)

Most of the two-trailer rigs (general cargo and package, not bulk cargo like gravel) that I have seen follow the turnpikes across Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, but have to disengage and get hauled separately across Iowa which prohibits them. I am not sure where else they are used in the U.S.

B Doubles are also effectively banned in most built up areas. You will see them in the cities, but they are only allowed on designated routes. You can’t drive one down George Street, Sydney.

As for road trains, a push to extend the boundary of operation east of Dubbo was recently knocked on the head by the state government (and rightly so, i think).

Apparently, there’s a place in the Northern Territory where veteran road train drivers get their laughs at the newbies’ expense. There’s an un-signposted fork in the highway somewhere, which catches out the new drivers. You do not want to take a wrong turn in a road train, because you can’t reverse one. Taking the wrong arm of the fork means a long, long time uncoupling, shunting, and recoupling the trailers one by one.

I wandered around Alice Springs in search of Road Trains and managed to find a couple. There was a cool picture of some record setting road train with something like 6 trailers. There were also cool pictures of road trains from what must have been the 50’s.

Out in bumfuck Nevada on the 80 you can see 3 trailer Fed Ex trucks all the time.