Success for Western Freight Management in overloading case

In a second appeal by the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), the New South Wales Supreme Court has ruled that Western Freight Management had taken “all reasonable steps” to avoid a truck from being overloaded while transporting a rock crusher mantle. Associate Justice Joanne Harrison ordered RMS to pay the company's costs when dismissing the appeal.

The case began in January 2012 when Western Freight Management Centre sent a truck to SWP in Beresfield to collect a 4.5 tonne rock crusher mantle. After the mantle was loaded incorrectly, attempts by the driver to find someone at SWP to reload failed as he found no one was available to do the work. The driver set off from the SWP depot, knowing the front axle would be overloaded. The truck was then found to be overloaded at the Mount White checking station on the F3 Freeway.

The judgement stated the company, Western Freight Management had taken reasonable steps to avoid the problem. “It is my view that my earlier orders should not be amended,” said Harrison in her judgement.

“(…) had the matter been properly argued by RMS in the Local Court, there would be no need for the exercise of inherent power; and secondly, there is uncontested evidence that [Western Freight Management Operations Manager] ascertained the mass of the load at the start of the journey and was in possession of sufficient and reliable evidence to calculate the weight of the load on the relevant axle.”

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