Fuel solutions company IOR has opened a purpose-built cattle cross-loading facility at its Roma diesel stop, adjacent to the breakdown pad to the west of the town.
Its siting at the end of a triple road train route near the largest cattle saleyard in the southern hemisphere is very relevant, given that the traditional method of transferring cattle between road train crates is considered one of the most dangerous activities for both drivers and livestock in the transport supply chain.
IOR's managing director Stewart Morland said it was undertaken to show the company's commitment to the heavy transport industry, a big customer of theirs.
It's the second of its type for the company, which already has a popular cross-loader in use at Port Augusta in South Australia.
According to one of its users, Kenny Kimlin, Hale River Transport, they've been using the Port Augusta facility since it opened in 2018 and found that it significantly improved safety for their drivers, along with the welfare of the livestock being transported.
"Our drivers find it extremely efficient as they also refuel and use the shower and toilet amenities all at the same site," he said.
The cross-loader is available for free for use by IOR customers and other drivers who agree to IOR's access conditions and safety guidelines.
Since its opening in April, up to six road trains use the facility per day, according to a company spokesman, highlighting its need.
IOR started in Eromanga in 1984, with the construction of an oil refinery there, and is owned by Stewart Morland and Ross MacKenzie in partnership.
Mr Morland said the project would not have been possible without support of groups such as RyTrans, Roma Transport Services, the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Queensland, who were strong advocates for the initiative, and the Maranoa Regional Council.
The council contributed quarry material to the value of $110,000 and Mayor Tyson Golder congratulated IOR on coming up with the idea.
"It's been a safety issue and is a very good idea," he said.
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