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Truck safety ramped up at southern meatworks

MODERN FACILITY: Crane Livestock Transport director Rusty Crane, Naracoorte, on the new ramp with Teys Naracoorte plant manager Bill Adcock.UNLOADING cattle at Teys Australia’sNaracoorte abattoir has become much saferand less stressful ontruck drivers, abattoir staff and cattle.

Last month,a new two-deck highcattleunloading facility, costing $750,000, became operational.

It is part of a $3million-plus upgrade to animal welfare and refrigeration on the site in the past year.

The first of its kind in SA,the 20-metre-long fixedplatformisdesigned tohandle a wide configuration of stock crates from B-doubles andsemi trailersto single axle trucks,accommodating the 4500 to5000 cattledelivered each week.Heavy vehiclescan either be side or rear unloaded.

The cattle quietly walk off the truck ontoa 90-degreeincline curvedramp with non-slip concrete floor. Thisleadsinto a covered round yard filled with 500 millimetres of bark chip soft flooring.

Along the length of the platform andramp there is a walkway for stock people and driversto keep the cattle moving without having direct contact with them.

Teys Naracoorte plant general manager Bill Adcocksaid truck driver safety wastheir number one priority,butthere were many otherbenefits, includingfaster turnaround for drivers andgoodanimal welfare.

“We had a truckie have a bad fall off a truck here 2.5years ago, so it was important we found a way (where) truck drivers werenot climbing up their crates,” he said.

“The old ramp has served us well for more than 20 years, but we needed to maintain modern safety standards.”

The investmentis also part ofTeys’ commitment to minimise stress on cattle and maximise their grading for high quality brands underpinned by MSAand the Pasturefed Cattle Assurance System.

“We had someslipping with the old ramp, butthe cattle are calm walking off andwe will get less dark cutting andbetter meat quality,” Mr Adcock said.

The 3m-wide rampwill alsoreduce the instances of bruising,with cattle moving freely through rather thansqueezing down the 1.5m-wideold ramp.

“We unloaded a B-double in eight minutes yesterday, rather than the 20 minutes or longer it took on the old one,”Mr Adcock said.

Crane Livestock Transport director Rusty Crane said the modern unloading facility was working well.

“It doesn’t get any better than this,” he said.

“The safety side is bar none and while somedrivers were unsure at first, theyhave adapted to the new system easily.

“One size does not fit all when it comes to trucks, but Teys’ willingness to listen to our input and make some changes has been excellent.”

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