Oudomxay province: — China has asked Laos to consider increasing the allowable weight limit for heavy trucks on the nation’s rods, with large numbers of Chinese trucks operating, especially in the northern provinces.
Currently, a weight limit of 11 tonnes per axle is imposed throughout the country and Chinese goods transporters would like to see this increased to allow larger trucks to operate in Laos.
Director of Oudomxay provincial and Industry and Commerce Department, Mr Khamphao Sylisouk, told the press on Saturday that representatives from China raised this matter at a meeting of the northern provincial industry and commerce sectors on December 8, which was hosted by Luang Namtha province.
In that meeting, a representative of the northern provincial industry and commerce department answered that the roads in Laos could not withstand loads of more than 11 tonnes per axle, Mr Khamphao said.
The roads in Laos are quite small in the northern parts of the country, so if the trucks carrying loads of more than 11 tonnes per axle are allowed to operate, it is expected the roads will quickly start to deteriorate.
Despite the ban, some larger trucks are operating anyway. Some 12-wheeled trucks are known to be carrying loads of up to 20 or 30 tonnes per axle between Laos and China.
“We did not allow them but goods truck operators take it upon themselves to exceed the 11 tonnes per axle,” Mr Khamphao said.
Nowadays, there are about 26 weigh stations across the country, but previously there were many more.
Right now about 400 cars and heavy trucks from Laos, China and other countries are crossing at the Boten International Checkpoint in Luang Namtha province. Weigh stations are important for controlling overloaded trucks, but not all national roads around the country have them, with only some operational.
The government closed some of the weigh stations in 2011, and since then many roads have been damaged due to the proliferation of heavy vehicles.
In order to protect the nation’s roads, repairs should begin as soon as the first cracks in the surface appear because they rapidly deteriorate in the rainy season, especially in areas that are heavily used by trucks.
The capital Vientiane has four weigh stations located around the city at Chaengsavang village on Road No. 13 North, Khoksa-aath village on Road No. 13 South, Dongphosy village at the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge and at Nongda village on National Road No. 11.
Source: Vientiane Times