Among the topics in the news this week from Diesel News are ESC, PBS, Linfox, Truck Classes and Roller Brake Testing.
The Australian Government should require new trucks and trailers to be fitted with stability control technology and should do it fast, according to the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA).
Geoff Crouch, ATA Chair, said electronic stability control is a vehicle safety system that monitors the stability and sideways acceleration of a heavy vehicle, and kicks in to brake the vehicle if it detects a rollover starting.
“It’s a vital safety technology and should be mandatory for new trucks and trailers,” said Crouch.
The President of the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of South Australia, David Smith, said that mandatory stability control was in the best interests of the trucking industry, including rural operators.
“For us, adverse conditions are an everyday occurrence. Our gear cops an absolute pounding from rutted roads, stones and sticks along with the dust that gets into absolutely everything,” said Smith. “While running costs are always higher in these environments, there are still net benefits for operators who install the latest generation of stability control systems.
A evaluation of the Performance Based Standards(PBS) scheme is being carried out by the National Transport Commission (NTC). It is expected to look at ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the PBS scheme, and in doing so respond to Australia’s growing freight task.
Findings outlined in Assessing the effectiveness of the PBS Scheme show PBS vehicles:
- were involved in 46 per cent fewer major crashes;
- had a reduction of 440 million kilometres in truck travel and saved at least four lives in 2014-2016;
- delivered 24.8 per cent productivity gains across all commodities;
- delivered a 6.2 per cent gross tonne-kilometre saving for 2016;
- saved about $65 million in road maintenance expenses; and
- saved 94 million litres of fuel in 2016 and reduced CO2 emissions by 250,000 tonnes.
“Road freight is projected to increase by 26 per cent in the next 10 years. PBS vehicles are well placed to assist industry and government in coping with this forecasted growth,” said Paul Retter, NTC CEO. “Since 2007 when the world-first scheme started, PBS vehicles have been involved in fewer crashes, carried more freight with fewer trips, generated lower emissions and reduced road maintenance expenditure. We need to continue improving the scheme to promote greater uptake of these vehicles.”
Linfox and Pacific National
Linfox has entered into a consortium with Pacific National to purchase the containerised freight haulage and end-to-end freight forwarding capability on Queensland’s northern freight line. Forming a consortium with Pacific National is the first step towards purchasing these assets that are currently owned by Aurizon Queensland Intermodal.
Pacific National will be working with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to gain clearance for the acquisition of other assets of Aurizon Queensland Intermodal. Linfox has said it will support this process.
If the Pacific National transaction is cleared by the ACCC, Linfox will acquire and use the rail haulage capacity supplied by Pacific National to supply intra-state and interstate freight forwarding services to customers in Queensland and Northern Queensland.
Truck Classes Chart
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has released a Classes of Heavy Vehicle chart to assist operators to match common heavy vehicles with the three categories used under the law.
“While the NHVR and operators use common terms such as B-doubles, low loaders or mobile cranes for Restricted Access Vehicles, they are classified into classes under the HVNL,” said Roger Garcia. “For example, pick and carry cranes commonly fall under the Class 1 heavy vehicle category, and this can be easily determined from our new easy-to-read chart.”
The new chart illustrates other common examples from the three different classes of heavy vehicles, such as oversize, over-mass vehicles, special purpose vehicles, agricultural vehicles and vehicles under the Performance Based Standards (PBS) scheme.
Roller Brake Testing
Trials of roller brake testing methods were conducted at Marulan Heavy Vehicle Testing Station ahead of next month’s end of transition arrangements in New South Wales. Coordinated by the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), the joint initiative involved Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA), New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).
The testing will allow further comparison of different roller brake testing methods and will inform the development of national requirements to align with the increased brake performance standard set in the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual (NHVIM).
The latest version of the manual reflects a correction to the brake performance standard in line with Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) achieved through ATA and industry representation.
New CoR Forums
The second phase of the NHVR’s Chain of Responsibility (CoR) education program will kick off in October with 26 forums across Australia. NHVR Chain of Responsibility Manager Michael Crellin said the forums would build on the awareness sessions for industry conducted earlier this year.
“This is a four-phase process to support the changes to CoR coming in mid 2018,” said Crellin. “We had great engagement during the first phase. We’ve worked our way through the feedback and are currently developing materials to provide practical help for industry.
“The materials will provide users with information to identify risks relevant to their operations and install systems that meet the requirements of the law and improve safety.”