Trailer Lighting Issues

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A new advisory notice has been released outlining issues around a perennial problem, lighting systems on trailers. Installing LED trailer brake lights could mean the difference between a safe stop and a rear end accident reckons ATA CEO Chris Melham.



Melham was releasing the ATA’s new Technical Advisory Procedure on heavy vehicle electrical wiring, which includes guidance on trailer lighting system requirements.


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“At 100 km/h, a LED brake light will come on 4.4 metres earlier than a comparable incandescent light. But in order to achieve this safety gain, heavy vehicle wiring needs to be able to support these products,” said Melham.



The advisory procedure includes extensive technical advice covering heavy vehicle wiring, lighting, voltage levels, connectors, alternators, batteries and the towing vehicle power source.



It also provides specific advice on preventing electrical failures that could spark a heavy vehicle fire.



“As truck electrical systems continue to increase in complexity, there have been a worrying number of incidents where worn or incorrect electrical components have caused truck fires,” said Melham. “Trucks and trailers often experience harsh conditions as they travel across Australia. We’ve listed the key areas that workshops and operators should check to make sure the truck electrical system stays safe and reliable throughout the vehicle’s lifetime.”



This is the latest in the ATA’s series of technical advisory procedures, which are developed by the ATA’s Industry Technical Council. The procedures are available for free from the ATA’s online resource library.