Truck and trailer brake issues sparks ATA warning


Move to require that activating park brake on a truck activates the spring brakes on connected trailers

Truck and trailer brake issues sparks ATA warning
Truck and trailer brake issues sparks ATA warning
November 25, 2013

A string of incidents involving truck and trailer brakes has prompted an Australian Trucking Association (ATA) alert and is likely to see an Australian design rule (ADR)
change.

Trucking operators should only purchase vehicles where applying the park brake activates the spring brakes on connected trailers, ATA National Policy Manager David Coonan (pictured) says.

The ATA is working with the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development to propose amending ADR35 to require that activating the park brake on a truck activates the spring brakes on its connected trailers.

Trucking operators should consider fitting driver door interlocks that sound an alarm if the door is opened when the transmission is in neutral and the park brake is not applied, it says.

The prime movers involved in the incidents included a Japanese 4x2 prime mover and a European 6x4 prime mover rated for B-doubles.

Coonan says the incidents show there were problems with trucks and prime movers that were deemed to comply with the Australian heavy vehicle design rules because they met European standards.

"The problem is that applying the park brake in some trucks and prime movers that comply with the European brake standard will only apply service air to the brakes on its connected trailers rather than dumping release air to apply the spring brakes," he adds.

"It is unsafe to park a trailer on air, because its brakes would release if the air leaked out of its service system. Its brakes could also release if a driver disconnected the air hoses in the wrong order."

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