Moves afoot on side and rear under-run protection


The direction of measures to extend under-run protection to the sides and rear of rigids and trailers has marked discussion at the ATA Technical and Maintenance Conference. <br /><br /> It was one antidote to public doubts about the industry’s attention to the safety of cars around trucks on display, another being increasing visibility of equipment. At the conference sidelines, ATA engineering consultant Bob Woodward tells ATN the Industry Technical Council is working on a technical advisory procedure (TAP) on side under-run protection (SUP) systems and a rear under-run protection system.

Rob McKay and Gary Worrall | October 12, 2011

The direction of measures to extend under-run protection to the sides and rear of rigids and trailers has marked discussion at the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Technical and Maintenance Conference.

It was one antidote to public doubts about the industry’s attention to the safety of cars around trucks on display, another being increasing visibility of equipment.

At the conference sidelines, ATA engineering consultant Bob Woodward tells ATN
the Industry Technical Council is working on a technical advisory procedure (TAP) on side under-run protection (SUP) systems and a rear under-run protection system.

The finished TAP would then provide operators with advice on SUP compliant with ECE R73.

Woodward’s goal is that the TAP would become an Australian standard, rather than a design rule, for ease of update and modification and with a view to the flexibility of industry ownership of the measure.

It is hoped the TAP will be ready in six months.

In an earlier industry question and answer session, though acknowledging that his firm might have an interest in promoting extras on trailers, MaxiTrans Technical Manager Greg Brown pointed out that certain operators had taken a moral stance and applied them to their equipment.

Complicating the issue was the lack of testing and therefore standards for rear protection.

Another aspect was what offsets might be available for the increased weight this entails.

Similar concern about avoiding contact between cars and trucks informed a plea to operators for more use of high-visibility markings on trucks and trailers.

ATA National Policy Manager David Coonan urged operators to take to the roads on rainy days and look for trucks that have such markings and those which do not.

Coonan observed that, for a small outlay, operators stand to save themselves many times more by taking a defensive posture on visibility.

Given that about 85 percent of accidents involving trucks were due car driver error, he suggested that this was the smarter option.

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