Talks to mitigate cane load penalties

Cane lorries wait in line at the Labasa FSC Mill. Picture: FT FILE/LUKE RAWALAI

THE Labasa Cane Lorry Operators Association hopes good sense will prevail in dealing with the restricted gross weight limit of 16.5 tonnes.

The association’s general secretary, Mohammed Idrish, who is in Lautoka for a meeting with stakeholders today over the issue, said the situation had also affected farmers.

Following yesterday’s situation in Lautoka where some cane lorry drivers were fined for overweight of load, Mr Idrish said this was a dilemma and lorry drivers needed to be assisted.

“Currently in Labasa, there are no issues with the weight of cane on trucks, but we need to deal with this issue as soon as possible,” he said.

“So I do hope that after our meeting today, good sense will prevail and we will reach an amicable solution.

“In Labasa, the operators of bigger trucks have refused to supply the cane because of the fine issues.”

The canefarmers or lorry drivers, he claimed, would not make profit as a result of the situation.

“They would be spending more money on the fine of $1000 if they are fined by the Land Transport Authority for overweight of cane.

“We have agreed to the old code of 10 feet width and 11 feet height when loading the cane on trucks.

“We can’t go by the weight because farmers don’t have a machine to weigh the cane so LTA should be realistic on this one.”

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