Prime Mover Magazine

WA tow truck regulations amended to lift standards

The Western Australian Government has made recommendations to enforce stricter regulations on tow truck practices.

Amendments were approved this week by the Department of Transport after it undertook what it calls significant consultation with stakeholders and industry to review the standards in which public feedback was sought on the changes being made.

According to the Government, results from the consultation reflected a majority agreement and following discussions with industry representatives and minor revisions, gained overwhelming industry support.

Under the recommended amendments to regulations operators must provide the maximum tow and storage fee payable on a signed statement provided to the consumer before their vehicle is towed.

In addition to this all tow trucks are to be fitted with number plates identifying it as being a licensed tow truck; all first time registered tow trucks must be built to comply with relevant Australian Standards.

The amendments relating to tow trucks within the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014 include new mandatory annual roadworthy and safety inspections for all licensed tow trucks and will come into effect by late 2020, while further moves to protect consumers that would require specific legislation is being scoped by Consumer Protection.

WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the community had been asking for changes to make the tow truck industry safer and these steps were going to ensure it would happen.

"Most people would have all heard stories or witnessed questionable conduct by parts of the Western Australian towing industry," she said.

"This simply isn't a sustainable situation for consumers and it's not fair for those in the towing industry who are doing the right thing.

"These regulation amendments will ensure regular checks on tow truck vehicles and make it compulsory for operators to provide a maximum fee prior to taking a vehicle," said Saffioti.

She continued, "It is important all Western Australians have safe access to towing services and that dodgy behaviour be stamped out."

Brisbane-based All Purpose Transport has launched an electric vehicle for its IKEA operation, the first of its kind in Queensland.

The family-owned business, using a modified Hino converted from diesel to electric will join a fleet of commercial vehicles that averages 8000 deliveries a week.

In March IKEA announced it was committing to renewable energy and the delivery of the Hino 917 powered by a SEA electric drivetrain will run deliveries between the warehouse and its customers.

The truck takes four hours to charge and has a 200km range with a 3.5 tonne payload. It is initially expected to deliver up to 20 orders daily.

IKEA launched its first EV truck in Melbourne last year.

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey who attended the event said it was great to see All Purpose Transport leading the way by supporting clean energy.

"EV is coming, we're behind the rest of the world because of a lack of national policy on this, in Europe people are moving to EV in a big way," he said.

IKEA Australia Store Manager Renea Robson said the truck represented a breakthrough for the company as it focused on achieving zero emissions for its last mile operations by 2025.

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