On the road with the V8s

Well made video talking to the guys who move the V8 Supercars of the Ford Performance Racing team around Australia.

Dangerous river crossing

This video, apparently from Botswana, shows an unfortunate truck driver trying to ford a river under flood and the dire consequence of losing track of the position of the causeway.

The video below shows how it should be done, as some overloaded timber trucks handle a raging torrent and make it across.

 

This Russian truck driver is described as having balls of steel during the video, a pretty apt description.

Then of course, there’s the Aussie way:

Close calls for truck drivers

Another set of videos, mainly dashcams are doing the rounds again this week, further illustrating the positions drivers are put in, on a daily basis, which compromise their safety through no fault of their own. They are merely driving along doing their job properly when someone else’s accident or sometimes recklessness puts everyone in danger. This video should be shown to anyone towing a caravan on our roads. The occupants were lucky they slewed off the road otherwise they could have had a road train straight over the top of them.

This close call for a car transporter sees another truck lose control in the wet and the truck driver’s skill keeps the truck under control and out of harm’s way.

Oversize load – 1    Caravan – 0

Talking Turkey About Trucking

NHVR permit problems, states in the firing line

Many in the industry may have suspected there was something fishy about the tsunami of permit applications which hit the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator on February 10, the first day of operation of the national permitting system. Anecdotal evidence seemed to point to a slowing down of the permit processing system at a state level in the lead up to the handover of responsibility to the NHVR in Brisbane. However, nobody was willing to put their head above the parapet and suggest such skullduggery took place.

 

Then up pops the ever reliable Duncan Gay, NSW Roads Minister, to imply some jurisdictions may have used this ploy to disrupt the smooth transition over to a national system in an effort to keep state control of the heavy vehicle regulatory system. The disarming Mr Gay tells us, the RMS in NSW would have had nothing to do with this kind of behaviour and have a faultless record.

 

Speaking at the Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association of NSW last weekend, Gay was talking to a friendly audience who have seen him come up with reforms in recent years to give both livestock and bulk transporters some real productivity gains. The permit bungles have affected the sector as well, but the swift return of responsibility for permits to the RMS has quickly decreased the backlog in the state.

 

“The national regulator, it’s something we need, it’s something important,” said Gay at the LBCA Conference. “We have had a hiccup upfront. Can I congratulate the staff at the RMS, having given that load away, our state was in a better position than most when it went over. Some weren’t nearly as efficient as us, they had stopped processing about a month before, which was totally disingenuous, which helped create this problem.”

 

The NHVR may not have been properly prepared, as of February 10, to meet the permit challenge. A staged, sector by sector, introduction may have been a better option, to migrate the trucking industry across from one system to the other. The thing is it is hard to discern who was to blame because, apparently, some of the states were being ‘disingenuous’, but not NSW, of course.

 

There is clearly not much goodwill between some in the state transport bureaucracies and the new boys and girls running the NHVR. They need to sort themselves out pretty quickly. The trucking industry can’t sit around waiting, with loads needing permits to move, for the regulators to work through their territorial squabbles.

 

Yet again, transport operators are working in an inconsistent and unstable regulatory environment, until this is properly sorted out. It is not good for business to have an increase in uncertainty. The NHVR project has to succeed and someone needs to bang some heads together, make the transition to national permitting and take the petty politics between bureaucrats out of the equation.

Spectacular road train vision

Dakar rally trucks hit the road, literally!

It’s that time of year again with the Dakar Rally taking place in South America. many of the major truck makers get involved racing their trucks as support vehicles to the car and motorbike racing teams. The 14 day event takes the trucks through the wilds of South America, starting from Rosario in Argentina, heading north into Bolivia before heading back south through Chile, ending in Valparaiso.

 

This year’s event has separate special stages for the competitors as well as the main route where all of the competitors travel the same roads across the dry wastes of South America. The ruggedness of the route leads to some spectacular spills and this has led to some interesting encounters, including this crashed car being completely ignored and potentially damaged by one truck before being rescued by De Rooy’s Iveco Powerstar.

 

 

Another serious crash sees a truck upside down in  a gully with little prospect of recovery.

 

 

Later we see, in this clip, the recovery was made by a fellow competitor, De Rooy again, and the team were compensated in terms of time lost for being a good samaritan.

 

100 Queensland roads named for review

Safety engineers will review 100 Queensland roads from next month to determine whether speed limits should be raised, lowered or kept consistent.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said this was the first major review that has been conducted since 1997 and was part of the Newman Government’s commitment to improve safety on our roads.

“The list has been narrowed down to 100 roads – 68 state-controlled and 32 local roads following more than 3300 submissions,” Mr Emerson said.

“On almost 70 roads the majority of responses called for an increase in speed limits.

“Expert safety engineers will now conduct inspections to determine what changes need to be made to improve safety and deliver on our commitment to revitalise front line services.

“The review identified roads all over Queensland including the Peak Downs Highway, Warrego Highway, Logan Motorway, Gateway Motorway, Pacific Motorway and a number of sections of the Bruce Highway.

“Roads were prioritised based on frequency of public nominations, crash data, local knowledge and recent maintenance and upgrades.”

Mr Emerson said each road will be reviewed in line with Queensland’s speed limit setting guidelines with consideration given to traffic, pedestrians and infrastructure.

“The review aims to simplify the speed limit setting process and apply consistent speed limits across Queensland,” he said.

The speed limit reviews will be completed by mid 2014 and the results will be published on the Transport and Main Roads website when available.

A list of the 100 roads to be reviewed can be found at www.tmr.qld.gov.au/speedlimitreviewQLD ROAD REVIEW