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Prime Mover Magazine


NBTA partners with ARTSA for heavy vehicle fires prevention strategy conference

Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association (ARTSA) and the National Bulk Tankers Association (NBTA) have been selected by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) to lead an Australian project aimed at reducing the occurrence of heavy vehicle fires.

Executive ARTSA member, Dr Peter Hart, said today that the common causes of fires in heavy vehicles were well known, but little has been done by the government, operators and some truck manufacturers to address the issues. An action plan is needed.

It is estimated that about 10 per cent of large-loss loss insurance claims are for non-impact fires. This translates into about 200 major fires and several thousand minor fires, per annum. Each fire causes economic loss for owners and considerable road disruption. There is a particular risk to the community occurring from dangerous good tanker fires.

Dr Hart will highlight the key causes of truck fires at a heavy vehicle fires conference on 15 August at Royal Randwick in Sydney. See http://www.artsa.com.au/conferences for registration details.

A stakeholder workshop will be held during the conference to develop a strategy to reduce truck fires nationally. Key stakeholders have been invited including major operator organisations and other peak bodies, manufacturer peak bodies, responder and safety related organisations including the Competent Authorities Panel (CAP), AFAC, Police and others

Dr Hart, who is a leading forensic expert, said that heavy vehicle fires are preventable and ARTSA has a 10-point plan for manufacturers, operators and drivers to follow that, if followed, would reduce heavy truck and trailer fires by 90 per cent. The event will launch an updated fires advisory that will be useful for all parties involved in manufacturing, operating and maintaining heavy vehicle equipment.”

The Conference day will develop recommended changes to technical standards (ADRs, Australian Standards and roadworthiness rules) to directly tackle known fire risks.

Dr Hart highlights that in some cases the truck driver can play a role in averting a disastrous truck fire by being better informed about the danger signs and by performing simple checks at rest breaks. Drivers should not ignore burning smells especially around the engine compartment.

The conference is a project under the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiatives program.

For more information contact ARTSA Executive Director Greg Rowe on 0407 825 132 or exec@artsa.com.au

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