Fielders Steel South Australia - Load Lengths (And Possibly Bluescope)

Here's a story and tip that may save OBers a few bucks and hassle when buying steel from Fielders in SA. It may also be an issue at Bluescope.

I ordered a 6m length of gutter from Fielders and went in to pick it up on my roof bars, as I have done in the past. I put a 5m metal sailing boat mast inside the gutter to make sure it doesn't flex when it is strapped to the bars. This time, however, the chap at customer service refused to load the gutter…or let me load it, saying that it was too long for my car. He pointed me towards a sheet provided by the parent company, Bluescope. Among other things, the sheet showed a maximum projection of 1.2m forward of the forward support bar. He suggested that I go to the nearby Bunnings, hire a ute with rack (including a forward bar at the front of the vehicle) for $30, or get the gutter delivered.

I declined to follow his suggestions. Instead, I went home and researched the light vehicle loading regulations in SA. I made a call to DPTI to confirm what I found on the net. The 1.2m overhang allowed at the front is measured from the front of the vehicle, not the front support bar. I can carry 6.4 m lengths on my roof bars….with suitable flagging, of course.

I rang the supervisor and sent her a copy of the regulations https://www.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/8747/MR143... She can see that an error has been made in interpreting the legislation. After all that, I went in today and picked up the gutter - on my roof bars.

Thought this might help somebody else. Bring on the next crusade!

Comments

  •  

    regulations, schmegulations.

    good on ya.

    .

  •  

    I think your link is quite old this 2018 PDF from the NTC would be more accurate 1.2m only applies for WA now. http://www.ntc.gov.au/Media/Reports/(EF72371E-CAE4-D691-C502-076DDEFE53C0).pdf I would recheck with the DPTI (does it even come under their control?)

    •  

      Good document, thanks. It clearly shows that 1.2m load projection is allowed in front of the most forward part of the vehicle (page 10), not in front of the most forward load support point (Fielders' interpretation). This agrees with the SA document (which DPTI assured me is the latest sheet - they are sequentially coded) DPTI is listed in the NTC document as the SA authority (on page 17).

      The 1.2m maximum overhang that now applies in WA only is rear overhang, not front - other states (including SA) use the 60% of wheelbase length past centre of rear wheels for rear projection. It is the front overhang measurement that Fielders and Bluescope appear to have slipped up on.

  •  

    I used to work at fielders, they were pretty strict about load lengths and even stricter now that bluescope has taken them over.

    •  

      My partner suggested that they must have a contra deal going with Bunnings - all that unnecessary ute hire. I'm told that Fielders are going to raise it with Bluescope. If they insist on enforcing an error of interpretation, I might be forced to take my business to Stratco (ughh)

      •  

        Yeah I doubt that. I remember once seeing the dispatch having a screaming argument with a customer over this exact issue. Everyone in the yard could hear it.

        Do you use revolution roofing - that's who I work with now (in WA)?

        •  

          No, I haven't used Revolution. They are a bit out of the way for me compared with Fielders. If Fielders continue to be obstructive, though, I'll give them a go - thanks for the tip. Anything to avoid Stratco - they are champs at messing things up.

        •  

          @Scorpex: Stratco is more than likely just as awkward they refused to sell me a Carport or Shed frame because i was going to put shadecloth on it rather than colourbond claiming they would be liable if it fell down.I just could not get it thru their heads that they were only supplying me the materials.

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