Brake Testing, B-Triples, Fatigue, Bridges and the Return of the Self-Clearing Defect

The last week in trucking has seen Brake Testing, B-Triples, Fatigue, Bridges and the Return of the Self Clearing Defect make an appearance.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has reintroduced the self-clearing defect notice for heavy-vehicle defects that do not pose a safety risk.

“This category will allow minor non-safety-related defects to be rectified by the operator, including where a vehicle’s number plate is obscured or illegible,” said Sal Petroccitto, NHVR CEO. “A self-clearing defect notice means the operator does not have to present the vehicle to an approved person to clear the notice.

“I believe this new defect notice will improve roadside compliance and reduce the compliance burden for industry. Where a record of the self-clearing defect notice is available it can be checked by authorised officers the next time the vehicle is intercepted.”

Roller Brake Testing

The NHVR has also agreed to extend the current roller-brake testing transition period in New South Wales from 30 June 30, 2017 until 29 September, 2017. This transition period allows heavy vehicles that achieve a brake test result greater than 3kN/t, but less than 4.4kN/t to be given an official warning on first-time detection.

A consistent brake testing regime across all jurisdictions covered by the NHVR is expected to be in place before this extended deadline is reached in September.

B-Triples in Rocky

In excess of 500,000 cattle annually go to the Rockhampton abattoirs, located in North Rockhampton. A review of central Queensland cattle freight operations by Transport and Main Roads (TMR) Queensland identified that the most prevalent transport configuration used by industry to access Rockhampton abattoirs was the Type 1 road train. Currently, the combinations have to be broken up outside of Rockhampton and delivered individually.

The new proposal is to allow Type 1 road trains, including B-triples, access to Rockhampton abattoirs under restricted permitting conditions overnight, between 7.00pm and 7.00am. The trucks will be required to travel a designated heavy-vehicle route through Rockhampton.

Fatigue Stud

The Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity (Alertness CRC), with the National Transport Commission (NTC), is conducting field research to analyse the impacts of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) on work and rest hours on heavy-vehicle driver fatigue. The research will measure sleeping patterns, driver drowsiness and driving performance both on the road during real-world work shifts and off the road in a laboratory/controlled-track setting.

With the development of improved alertness monitoring devices, the researchers now have the capability to undertake research to objectively measure drivers’ alertness across a work schedule, to monitor driving impairment indicators, and to measure the quality and quantity of drivers’ sleep during minimum rest periods, so enabling us to provide quality data and evidenced guidance in support of any future reforms.

Phase 1 is an on-road field trial that will assess drivers’ alertness levels, sleep, and driving impairments in naturalistic/real-life driving conditions. Phase 2 will include a controlled study in a laboratory and on a closed-loop test track that will evaluate how simulated shift patterns, and other features of heavy vehicle work schedules allowed under the HVNL (e.g. placement of sleep and work periods), impact drivers’ alertness levels and driving performance.

Modular Bridges

Old timber bridges in NSW are likely to be replaced faster with the latest development in the NSW Governments Country Bridge Solutions program. The innovative Country Bridge Solutions program aims to fast-track the replacement of old council owned timber bridge structures in NSW using standard modular bridge design.

RMS constructed the first trial bridge at Bookookoorara Creek for Tenterfield Shire Council to test the design and constructability elements. Construction of the three-span, 30-metre, pre-cast, pre-stressed concrete bridge was completed in June 2016.

VTA On The Move

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has announced it is relocating to modern, new office space at Webb Dock. The VTA and the Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA), will be located at Level 1, MIRRAT House, 46 Kooringa Way, Webb Dock.

“After almost 20 years at Fishermans Bend, the opportunity arose to relocate to new premises with modern features and amenity that is much better-suited to our staff and membership,” said VTA CEO, Peter Anderson. “The new office features training rooms and facilities that are better-equipped for the types of programs we are offering, and cater to various sizes and configurations in line with the growing number of participants we are experiencing.”