With exploding trucks in the headlines operators urged to keep fleet in top shape

StuartATAWith national headlines across the country in the last few weeks picturing a Cootes Transport tanker explosion in New South Wales killing two people the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) cautions transport companies to make sure their maintenance people are at the top of their game.

Cootes Transport was forced to take dozens of its trucks off the road after inspections in New South Wales and Victoria found defects in much of its fleet leading to fuel shortages at bowsers and a bad wrap for the transport industry once again.

Now more than ever enforcement agencies have kicked their operations into top gear.

The ATA say it’s the strongest possible reminder of how important it is to keep on top of your maintenance and make sure your fleet is safe.

The ATA is using this to urge the need for operators to attend the 2013 PACCAR & Dealer TMC highlighting the need for maintenance personnel to make sure they’re at the top of their game with technical forums led by industry experts as well as hands-on product training workshops.

ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair says it was everyone’s responsibility to make sure tragic accidents like this don’t happen.

“Delaying or avoiding any part of truck maintenance is a false economy. Keeping your fleet in top shape is essential: for you, your drivers, your customers and the community,” he says.

“TMC2013 is the ideal opportunity for your staff to keep up with the latest issues. In the technical sessions, they’ll share expert insight and advice with industry experts like NTI National Manager Industry Relations Owen Driscoll, leading engineer Dr Peter Hart, and Bob Pearson, the father of the B-double.”

Mr Driscoll says his session would share recommendations on how to minimise the risk of non-impact fires, which he says now account for more truck losses than fatigue.

“These fire losses originated from failed wheel bearings, brakes, engine, cabin electrical wiring and trailer refrigeration equipment. It naturally raises the question of whether the standard of quality and regular equipment maintenance has become less rigorous,” Mr Driscoll says.

“Workshop technicians can remove many of the risk factors for these fires with preventative measures such as installing circuit breaker protection, ensuring proper tyre inflation and checking wiring for rubbing.”

TMC2013 will run from Monday 28 to Wednesday 30 October at the Automotive Centre of Excellence at the Kangan Institute in Docklands, Melbourne.

The event features technical forums on key issues like truck electrical fault finding, parts purchasing and tyre selection and maintenance, as well as showcasing the latest products from leading suppliers at the TMC Marketplace.

Attendees will also go back to work with a certificate signed by TMC and the supplier for each hands-on product training workshop they attend.

For the full TMC2013 program and to register, go to www.truck.net.au/tmc.

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