CityLink counts the cost of truck breakdowns

Truck breakdowns are occuring regularly on the Melbourne road network, CityLink says, and mechanical failure is the primary cause

By Ruza Zivkusic | March 15, 2011

Two trucks break down every day on CityLink’s roads in Melbourne due to mechanical failure and take twice as long to clear than a car breakdown, CityLink says.

A spokesman for the tolling company, Pat Wilson, says it takes on average just over an hour to clear a truck breakdown, which can cause disruption to traffic flow and congestion lasting up to three hours after the event.

There were 531 truck breakdowns last year, with 157 of those deemed hazardous occurring in a running lane, Wilson says.

"Hazardous truck breakdowns require temporary traffic management to be deployed, which usually includes lane closures and speed reductions to maintain a safe environment for road users, the attending maintenance personnel and the truck drivers themselves," Wilson says.

"CityLink data supports the anecdotal evidence that truck breakdowns on Melbourne’s M1 and Tullamarine Freeway happen regularly, significantly disrupt traffic and undermine the efficiency of the road network and are largely due to mechanical failure occurring when the vehicle is under stress like tackling an incline in congested traffic."

Wilson says 81.5 percent of hazardous breakdowns are due to mechanical failure, with 33 percent happening during peak periods and 56 percent occurring during the inter-peak period.

He cites the Burnley tunnel as one the most serious for truck breakdowns caused by mechanical failures.

"While 22 percent of all truck breakdowns on CityLink occur in the Burnley tunnel, 30 percent of all hazardous truck breakdowns occur in the Burnley Tunnel, almost of which 93 percent are due to mechanical failure," Wilson says.

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