When it comes to understanding compliance and regulatory procedures, things aren’t always too clear, so we need technical resources by industry for industry, reckons Bob Woodward, Australian Trucking Association Chief Engineer.
Leading industry innovation and playing an important role in the creation of easy to understand Technical Advisory Procedures (TAPs) is the ATA’s Industry Technical Council.
Bringing together operators, suppliers, engineers and industry specialists, the ITC raises technology and maintenance standards and improves the operational safety. It is the trucking industry’s brains trust that solves issues and saves lives.
Covering topics such as wheel end security, stability control, side underrun protection and truck visibility, each TAP is developed by the ITC member experts, including operators and suppliers with leading expertise in truck technology.
ATA Chief Engineer Bob Woodward says each TAP is created to meet the needs of industry and fill the gaps in the vehicle standards.
“TAPs are established to provide guidelines on specific subject and are intended to be informative at basic, intermediate and advanced levels,” says Bob. “The ATA and ITC are committed to ensuring our technical advice remains best practice, so we periodically review TAPs to ensure they remain current and up to date.”
In developing and reviewing each TAP, the ITC establishes a working group with representatives of various parties in the supply chain who will work together, sharing their knowledge and expertise.
“Once the working group has developed or reviewed a TAP, the procedure is evaluated by the ITC then the final document is independently peer reviewed before it’s then sent to the ATA Council to be approved and authorised for distribution,” says Bob. “Each TAP is freely accessible on the ATA website and can help when people are unsure of how to best meet their compliance requirements, technical interpretations or work as efficiently as possible.”
Providing informative and clear guidance and advice to industry members, Bob says not only do companies use the material to improve their current practices, it is also used for training purposes.
“We find that companies and training organisations across the country incorporate our TAPs into their training material to ensure that all the bases are covered,” says Bob.
The most recently released TAP is a set of updated side underrun protection guidelines, which were developed following a review by an industry working group.
“Side underrun protection devices reduce the chance of a cyclist or pedestrian falling under the wheels of a truck. They are already a requirement for some construction trucks involved in the Melbourne Metro project and will be required more and more,” says Bob. “The procedure explains how to design and install this essential safety equipment and includes guidance about how to fit the devices to prime movers and rigid trucks, including construction trucks.
“The process included reviewing European regulation R73 and then processing the requirements into a workable document that meets Australian operations and conditions.”
In additional to its TAPs, the ATA also has a range of Safety Alerts that share best-practice advice and handy tips on issues such as trailer safety chains, mixing brake airlines, truck emergency breakdown and road safety guidelines, and the use of sleeved wheel nuts with selected axles and wheels.
“Each safety alert and TAP is developed by those real industry members who deal with these issues on a day-to-day basis and have extensive knowledge,” says Bob. “The knowledge bank within the ITC is truly remarkable and unfound anywhere else within the transport industry.” he said.
View the ITC’s Technical Advisory Procedures and other industry resources at www.truck.net.au/latest-resources
For more information about the ATA Industry Technical Council or to join, head to www.truck.net.au/ITC