Speed, mass management added to TruckSafe kit

A new accreditation kit for TruckSafe sets new standards and systems to help operators remain at the forefront of best practice in the industry, administrators say

A new accreditation kit for TruckSafe sets new standards and systems to help operators remain at the forefront of best practice in the industry, its administrators say.

The accreditation program, a subsidiary of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), has released the latest version of its accreditation kit, TruckSafe 2008.

The update includes new speed management standards for accredited operators, who will be audited against the new standards from January 1 next year.

ATA and TruckSafe chief Stuart St Clair says the new standards will make accredited operators even safer.

"TruckSafe operators are already twice as safe as non-accredited operators, according to independent statistics," he says.

"Speed management is vitally important because inappropriate speed is a major cause of trucking accidents.

"Australia’s governments have all agreed to introduce chain of responsibility speed management laws, which means that trucking companies and the industry’s customers will all have to take reasonable steps to make sure they don’t pressure drivers to go too fast."

The new standards will enable fleets provide customers with independently-audited proof that staff have adequate knowledge of speed limiter technology; are trained to maintain reasonable and legal trip schedules and to detect speed limiter tampering; that equipment or software is used to adjust and lock speed limiter settings, and that companies have management systems to ensure staff comply with speed management policies.

TruckSafe 2008 also includes a new voluntary module covering mass management, which will comply with standards under the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS).

"Until now operators have had to develop their own management systems to comply with NHVAS, or had to seek advice from a consultant at additional cost," St Clair says.

"The TruckSafe mass management module includes everything that operators need to meet the standards, including guidelines, examples and sample forms. Future releases of TruckSafe 2008 will include similar modules on fatigue management and compliance with the Retail Logistics Supply Chain Code of Conduct."

Under the TruckSafe program, trucking companies upgrade their business and safety systems in accordance with the standards in the implementation kit. They are then audited regularly as a condition of staying accredited.

St Clair says joining TruckSafe does involve hard work, but the results are "outstanding".

"Operators often have to change how they run their business," he says.

He says there are a number of benefits to becoming accredited, including insurance benefits through National Transport Insurance (NTI) and compliance with environmental criteria to receive fuel tax credits.

All TruckSafe operators will receive the TruckSafe 2008 CD in the mail in the week of August 25.

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