Know your tankers

One of our terrific researchers spoke to Norco, Blu Logistics (who run the milk tankers) and a couple of others to define what were the milk tanker routes as opposed to the bulk water tankers. Images are at the bottom of the page.

Here’s the full milk story:

Blu Logistics’ milk tanker collection points in the Tweed are:  

  • Friesian milk (bulk) milk is collected from Burringbar (Harnett’s)
  • Tyalgum (Stoddart’s)
  • Byangum (Crosthwaite’s)

and

  •  Dunbible (Kennedy’s)

They then travel north to the Norco Labrador factory for bottling.

In a separate run they collect Jersey milk (higher butter fat content) from 

  • Burringbar (Allards)
  • Murwillumbah (McDonalds, Racecourse Road)
  • and other jersey dairies in Lismore and Kyogle

They then travel south to the factory in Casino for cheese/cream production.

Peak production time is Spring, when more cows are calving, with mid-summer being lower. Annual milk production lasts for about 8.5 months until cows are “dried off” in preparation for the next calving.  Milk volumes vary due to the number of cows calving, drying off and greater production in lower temperatures (increased heat stresses milk production); there are many other factors.

The frequency of milk truck movements is governed by the daytime shift that collects milk every second day while a night shift operates every second night. If production is lower, the night shift amy not operate. A reasonable thumbnail indicator of production is how many calves are seen in the Crosthwaite’s nursery paddock, just in front of the milking shed.

Tanker movements can occur at any time, day or night, due to staffing levels, vehicle or equipment maintenance, roadworks, bridgeworks (such as Crystal Creek bridge maintenance), export/local demand and many others.

Milk spoilage does not occur, because the tankers are insulated so they look a little different to water tankers.

The Blu Logistics contact advised that there would be no doubt that milk tankers use the “short-cut” of Bakers Road between Kennedys at Dunbible and Crosthwaites at Byangum. 

This road, while winding and narrow, is rated to accommodate tankers up to 19m in length, including B-doubles. B-Doubles actually have a shorter turning circle compared to semi-trailers.  All sealed roads in NSW are similarly rated for this type of vehicle.   

The above are milk tankers. No ribs on the outside, ‘squared off’ back end, a lot cleaner. ‘Blu’ logo on the cab.

The above are water tankers. Ribs on the outside, equipment for filling very obvious.