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Old 04-12-2019, 05:15 AM   #1
MrZ
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Default What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

On St. Kilda Road, in Melbourne, there's a sign that says "Vehicles over 2 tonnes gross weight DO NOT ENTER SIDE TRACKS". See here:

https://goo.gl/maps/JKoHNEB4ZxTcEnmp8

I don't understand this at all. Firstly, what are "side tracks", and secondly, vehicles over 2 tonnes gross (or 2000kg) basically describes about 1/2 of the vehicles on the roads these days. Maybe when that sign was first erected (it looks like it's from the 60s/70s era), there were almost no vehicles of that weight, but these days, pretty much all dual-cab utes and large 4WDs weigh that much. "Gross" weight refers to the weight including passengers on board, remember, so even a Commodore with 4-5 people on board will be over 2000kg.

Can someone explain this?

Last edited by MrZ; 04-12-2019 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

You often see those signs in country areas where a dirt road or driveway crosses rail tracks although the weight limits for those are usually much higher. I'd say this one is referring to the slip road and quite possibly because there is a something underneath it although, as you noted, 2T gross weight isn't much these days.
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

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You often see those signs in country areas where a dirt road or driveway crosses rail tracks although the weight limits for those are usually much higher. I'd say this one is referring to the slip road and quite possibly because there is a something underneath it although, as you noted, 2T gross weight isn't much these days.
I think the sign is obsolete. How are vehicles meant to turn left on side streets if they can't enter the slip road?

Pretty sure this sign must be 50 years old or so, because back in those days the only vehicles over 2 tonnes were trucks and buses.
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

Actually I realised the sign must be from at least 1974 because it's metric. Prior to that, it would be imperial "ton".
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

Side tracks - not to be confused with the tram tracks.

Sign was probably erected when they may have been roadworks and a side track over cables plumbing etc. 2 tonne would, be cars only
Id say its never been taken down..
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

Google Earth shows the same sign at the Southbank Boulevard end too. I suspect it's to stop heavy vehicle crossing the tram tracks at right angles and bending them. Perhaps the soil beneath the tracks is very soft and cannot support the additional weight.
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Old 04-12-2019, 02:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

Would it be intended to stop heavier commercial vehicles from using the road?
cars, light vans and Utes excluded?
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Old 04-12-2019, 02:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

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Would it be intended to stop heavier commercial vehicles from using the road?
cars, light vans and Utes excluded?
Why would you make a sign that says 2 tonnes though, in that case? Why not 4.5 tonnes, which is the cut off point at which you need a truck license.

Anyway, trucks have to use the side part of the road in any case, to do deliveries and so on. What about rubbish collection - the rubbish trucks are going up and down that road every week (actually, rubbish collection might be at the rear, but in order to get to the rear, they still need to drive on the side lanes).

By the way Russ, I've been a member for 10 years now - joined Dec 4 2009! Where's my 10 year badge??
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

I know of quite a few roads in Sydney that forbid truck with a tare weight of 3 tons. (yes Tare weight) My mother lives in one. Apparently I'm only allowed to visit her on business.
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

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I know of quite a few roads in Sydney that forbid truck with a tare weight of 3 tons. (yes Tare weight) My mother lives in one. Apparently I'm only allowed to visit her on business.
I thought those signs were only applicable if you are passing by. If your destination is on said street you are fine.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:30 AM   #11
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Default Re: What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

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I thought those signs were only applicable if you are passing by. If your destination is on said street you are fine.
That's what I just stated on business.
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Old 22-01-2020, 05:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

So, I contacted Melbourne city council about this sign, and they said that being a road sign along St. Kilda Road, it'd be Vicroads responsibilty, not the council's. Then I contacted Vicroads, and they said the complete opposite - that it's a council sign. They e-mailed the council and told them this (sending me a copy as well). I am now waiting to hear back from council.
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Old 23-01-2020, 08:51 AM   #13
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Default Re: What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

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So, I contacted Melbourne city council about this sign, and they said that being a road sign along St. Kilda Road, it'd be Vicroads responsibilty, not the council's. Then I contacted Vicroads, and they said the complete opposite - that it's a council sign. They e-mailed the council and told them this (sending me a copy as well). I am now waiting to hear back from council.
And then the sign suddenly disappears.
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Old 23-01-2020, 10:58 AM   #14
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Default Re: What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

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Originally Posted by MrZ View Post
So, I contacted Melbourne city council about this sign, and they said that being a road sign along St. Kilda Road, it'd be Vicroads responsibilty, not the council's. Then I contacted Vicroads, and they said the complete opposite - that it's a council sign. They e-mailed the council and told them this (sending me a copy as well). I am now waiting to hear back from council.
Standard VicRoads/Council shenanigans.

That happens here all the time, they both blame each other and no one does anything.
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Old 23-01-2020, 10:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

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And then the sign suddenly disappears.
They are currently considering the drafting of a recommendation to form a working-party, that would report on the need to form a sub-committee tasked with investigating whether the council could confirm that the sign exists.
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Old 24-01-2020, 11:42 AM   #16
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Default Re: What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

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They are currently considering the drafting of a recommendation to form a working-party, that would report on the need to form a sub-committee tasked with investigating whether the council could confirm that the sign exists.
Is that you Sir Humphrey....
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Old 24-01-2020, 10:32 PM   #17
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Default Re: What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

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Originally Posted by MrZ View Post
On St. Kilda Road, in Melbourne, there's a sign that says "Vehicles over 2 tonnes gross weight DO NOT ENTER SIDE TRACKS". See here:

https://goo.gl/maps/JKoHNEB4ZxTcEnmp8

I don't understand this at all. Firstly, what are "side tracks", and secondly, vehicles over 2 tonnes gross (or 2000kg) basically describes about 1/2 of the vehicles on the roads these days. Maybe when that sign was first erected (it looks like it's from the 60s/70s era), there were almost no vehicles of that weight, but these days, pretty much all dual-cab utes and large 4WDs weigh that much. "Gross" weight refers to the weight including passengers on board, remember, so even a Commodore with 4-5 people on board will be over 2000kg.

Can someone explain this?
The signs may be old but the message is that they donít want heavy vehicles (trucks) on the side roads. It doesnít have anything to do with the road construction, they simply want heavy vehicles in the center as there's a lot of low hanging tree branches there.
They also have signs (6 Tonne load limit in service lane) further down St Kilda road past the town hall to Glenhuntly Rd for the same reason. Of course this doesnít apply for heavy vehicles that are working in the area, such as tippers or furniture removals etc.
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Old 24-01-2020, 11:25 PM   #18
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Default Re: What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

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The signs may be old but the message is that they donít want heavy vehicles (trucks) on the side roads.
Okay, fair enough, but as I already said, 2000kg gross weight is not a heavy vehicle. That's a Commodore/Falcon with a few people on board. The widely accepted definition of a heavy vehicle is over 4500kg GVM. So why can't the sign reflect this?

Alternatively, if they want to keep tall vehicles out of the side roads (to prevent damage to trees), why not simply say "vehicles over X metres tall do not enter side tracks" ?

Last edited by MrZ; 24-01-2020 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 25-01-2020, 07:25 PM   #19
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Default Re: What does this sign mean - "Vehicles over 2 tonnes do not enter side tracks" ?

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Okay, fair enough, but as I already said, 2000kg gross weight is not a heavy vehicle. That's a Commodore/Falcon with a few people on board. The widely accepted definition of a heavy vehicle is over 4500kg GVM. So why can't the sign reflect this?
Mate, that sign is probably 50 years old and has most likely slipped under the radar, along with a lot of the surrounding infrastructure. The point is that the people who its directed at understand what it means.
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Alternatively, if they want to keep tall vehicles out of the side roads (to prevent damage to trees), why not simply say "vehicles over X metres tall do not enter side tracks" ?
Works both ways. They also have to prevent damage to vehicles. The simple rule of thumb is that vehicles that are heavy, are usually higher so it's a lot easier to put a load limit on a roadway.
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