Beating up Austrans

These two videos reinforce the point Diesel News has to return to again and again, the reputation of the trucking industry is not just besmirched by truckies doing the wrong thing. The general media also cause endless problems by exacerbating the negative and ignoring the positive aspects of stories. Here we have an example of the way a major TV channel will do a beat up on a story about the trucking industry.

Firstly, we have the actual interview with the Minister and the Deputy Commissioner responsible for Austrans talking to all of the media at the roadside.

Here is what is done to the interview by Channel Nine to up the ante and make the issue sexy for their viewers. Of course this kind of selective editing creates more fear and tension between truckies and car users by keeping them in the dark about the facts, but highlighting the worst excesses. No wonder people are unwilling to talk to the media!

Here are some of the actual facts about the results of the, national, Operation Austrans in Queensland:

The operation started at 12.01am May 12 and concluded at 11.59pm on June 8.

More than 12,500 heavy vehicles were inspected and officers issued 216 speeding infringement notices and 127 fines for driving without a seat belt.

794 fatigue related offences were detected, in these, a total of 280 drivers were found to have exceeded their work hours and failed to take a required rest break.

In 1,077 roadside drug tests, 20 drivers returned alleged positive readings. From 11,369 roadside breath tests, 11 drivers returned alleged positive readings.


Keeping it close

This promotional video for a truck platooning system shows just what this kind of system can and cannot do. Studies have shown there is a 4.5 per cent fuel saving for the truck in front and a 10 per cent saving for the following truck.

This example, by a company called Peleton in the US, keeps the trucks ten metres apart and the driver of the second vehicle still steers the truck. The linking system just controls acceleration and braking of it’s followers to ensure a  safe gap. The drivers of the following vehicle get a video feed from the front truck so they can see the road ahead. To break the link the following driver simply touches the brakes.

This European system, being tested in Spain, takes the whole concept a good deal further with control of steering also handed over to the driver of the front truck, they are in complete control.


This probably needs a much bigger psychological leap to use, as the driver hands over complete control. Currently, we are happy to hand over some control to the cruise and some will use the proximity control to keep a safe distance to the truck ahead. But giving it all up and reading a mag, is this a step too far?

Special driving skills

Truckies around the world have to be up for many difficulties. It is never an easy job but there are some occasions when the drivers really have to come into their own. This video is a case in point, the mountain road is not only ridiculously narrow but also very steep. The truck is able, with a high level of skill shown, to get the truck down off the zig zag road in one piece.

This second video just shows an amazing level of skill. I think this guy must have been practising because the driving is so precise, especially the 360 degrees turnaround to reverse back into the slot. Amazing!

This last video shows a tanker coming through some incredibly tight road in Norway. It looks like they are going to be a while getting through!

Keeping a truck on its feet


Here is a spectacular save by a crazy agitator truck driver in Russia. How the truck stays up right is anyone’s guess. But they don’t always come out of it quite so well, here is an agitator, in Texas, losing it and nearly destroying the car which recorded the incident.


Surviving blow outs

Here is an extreme example of surviving a blow out to the front tyre on a truck. This particular driver was extremely lucky to survive and kept the truck on its feet and on the road by the skin of his teeth. There are easier ways of course, rigourous tyre maintenance. It’s so easy to forget about tyres and looking after them, yet incorrect inflation pressures cost us thousand of dollars each year in extra fuel and not checking tyre condition could lead you into a ‘driving on two wheels’ situation like this.


Getting naked for trucking

Will this get the general public’s attention? This advert concentrates on the drastic shortage of truck and diesel mechanics in the US. The problem is exactly the same here. The question is, who is going to get naked to get more technician’s in the trucking industry? Any volunteers?

The great escape

This video has gone viral this week. It shows some amazing footage as a truckie manages to get a truck back on its feet from a, seemingly, impossible position. To time the turn just right, as the trailer is just about to flip is either incredible skill, instinctive timing or just dumb luck. The driver was also lucky enough to be driving on a stretch of road where it was possible to turn straight into a paddock.

The truck was traveling somewhere in Colorado in high winds when the following car’s camera picked up the unfolding drama. It makes you wonder why the truck was out on the road in such high winds anyway. However, I have seen trucks blown over in parking bays in really wild conditions.

Check out this close call in high winds:

This is what happens when it does go over:

Trucks becoming obsolete

High flying claims by Amazon about replacing their truck based delivery systems with drone based delivery are a little far fetched but they do make for interesting viewing. As the number of drones increases around our cities, as the sky becomes filled with variations on the octocopter, air traffic control is going to become a nightmare.

We are currently concerned about the safety issues around moving goods from A to B on land transport. If the goods are all zipping along over our heads the public should, perhaps, start to prepare to protect themselves from flying debris from colliding drones.

Thinking about load restraint

We need to see short videos like this on a regular basis just to remind everyone about the importance of ensuring a load is safely secured. Admittedly, incidents like this are not regular occurrences but the consequences of failures can be tragic. Luckily no-one in this incident, in Russia, was hurt, but a few seconds before and the result could have been fatal.

More dash cam mayhem

The value of fitting dash cams into trucks is illustrated by this incident with a Toyota Prius pulling out into the path of a fully loaded truck at highway speed. The consequences could have been much worse for both the car and truck.

After the police saw this footage from the truck the car driver was fined for providing a false statement to police.

Further illustration is provided by this  vision of a Volvo driver completely oblivious to other vehicles on the road surviving as a result of the driving skills shown by the driver of the fuel tanker involved.



In the name of balance, this clip of a truck driver who is clearly not paying attention was picked up on a South Australian traffic cam.

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