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How Advantia’s latest pilot tool is helping make trucking safer than ever before

Advantia Transport Consulting’s Victor Trumper discusses with ATN how the brand’s latest Payload Pilot can take the next step in securing road transport safety

For years, safety has been an overarching focus in the Australian transport industry. While many companies have sought to create technology that mitigates risks involved in heavy vehicle transport, Advantia Transport Consulting has constantly been looking at ways to make life easier for operators.

“We’ve been highlighting ways to provide safety benefits to any heavy vehicle in Australia,” Advantia Transport Consulting managing director Victor Trumper told ATN.

“We want to spread the safety benefits of Performance Based Standards (PBS) across as many vehicles and fleets as possible.”

Trumper says initial National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) statistics highlight the safety benefit that PBS has introduced to the nation’s industry, with safety metrics suggesting there’s up to 60 per cent lower fatality rates associated with PBS vehicles compared to prescriptive alternatives.

Image: Advantia Transport Consulting

Just a couple of years ago, Advantia successfully submitted to receive funding from both the NHVR and the federal government to introduce improved safety technology across Australia’s heavy-vehicle market. Motivated by the NHVR’s PBS statistics, Advantia’s driving force in securing funding was to make safety outcomes more conveniently available to operators at no cost to the industry.

“With our latest Payload Pilot tool, people can either determine what their existing fleet dynamics are in terms of safety payloads and speeds or use it to work out how a new item of equipment purchased can impact performance,” Trumper says.

“That capability has been built into Payload Pilot. For example, if an operator goes for a different suspension on their truck, they can see how this will change speeds and safe payloads.”

The evolution of Advantia’s systems to the latest iteration of the Payload Pilot was organic. According to Trumper, the brand quickly found it had a unique ability to answer problems in the transport industry, so it began a journey as a business to provide free access to crucial information through its PBS toolbox, which is still an existing feature on Advantia’s website.

With that tool, operators can assess their options and determine what they can and can’t run on certain routes.

“We found we were able to do this and accommodate options without impacting the existing road infrastructure,” Trumper says.

“We then evolved it further and developed calculators to ensure people operated within the legal limits of weight.”

These systems have allowed a wider range of operators to protect against rollover risks and other road user dangers. While these calculations became a great tool for the industry, Advantia wanted to “pry it open further”.

“Courtesy of the funding we received, our Payload Pilot is now a live environment we’re providing as a simulation system to provide vital reports for the industry,” Trumper says.

“It’s been our journey to date, and it’s important we get this system right and recognised by authorities so it can be put to action and adopted broadly by industry.”

Image: Advantia Transport Consulting

The newly unveiled Payload Pilot can complete detailed payload assessment, measuring important data against PBS parameters and providing speed and height limitations to keep operators and vehicles safe. Under Chain of Responsibility (CoR) regulations, the pilot can help ensure everything is loaded safely to meet all guidelines without drivers having to complete high-end mathematical calculations on their own.

“It’s unrealistic to require drivers to do this on their own without a tool like Payload Pilot,” Trumper says.

“We want to put this tool in the hands of the industry to help them access safe payload information individually. They can then take it further and work out safe speeds on certain routes based on different turning scenarios.”

Trumper’s goal was to apply Payload Pilot further so that it acts as a changing of the guard for heavy vehicle drivers who may not have as much experience in the industry. Motivated by the new generation of operators entering the sector, Trumper wants to ensure all drivers around Australia can learn the safety information they need to be prepared to fulfil long routes.

Payload Pilot allows these drivers to not learn the hard way and gain vital knowledge in the process. While the Payload Pilot is Advantia’s latest evolution on its safety path, Trumper knows there’s always more that can be done.

“Payload Pilot is a nice guide to help drivers understand the impact that different curvature and speeds will have on their vehicles,” Trumper says.

“We’ll now continue to complete extensive testing on the pilot and monitor it to ensure there’s no user experience issues – we aren’t about setting and forgetting.

“We’re also looking to possibly add extra body types to the system. One thing is for sure – the pilot won’t stand still and will continue to be enhanced for users.”

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