VicRoads and NHVR take on BP tanker fleet audit


Fuel firm extends truck checks nationally as preliminary detail emerge of vehicles’ status

VicRoads and NHVR take on BP tanker fleet audit
BP has widened its truck checks

 

BP has added contractors’ vehicles to its fleet safety audit and extended it nationally following the tanker trailer triple fatality near Wodonga.

BP Australia president Andy Holmes says that, in addition to fully supporting external investigations into the triple fatality, he has instructed the recall of BP’s full fleet "as a matter of precaution".

"I have instructed the business to initiate an inspection program of BP's trucking fleet with transport regulators across Australia," Holmes says.

"While the precise cause of this tragic incident may not be known for some time, it is essential we do all that we can to understand how this occurred and to ensure that it cannot happen again."

Initially, the safety audit involved about 20 BP-owned and operated units in Victoria.

"The recall of the trucking fleet will involve around 50 BP and contractor vehicles nationally," a company spokeswoman confirms today.

"As a matter of precaution, we have recalled all of our Victorian-based trucking fleet.

"As a further step, we have initiated a national recall of trucks of a similar nature to the vehicle involved in yesterday's tragic incident.

"This involves around 30 vehicles in Victoria and around 20 nationally.

"The majority of BP's haulage is conducted by third parties."

VicRoads regulatory services director Richard Bell says it is checking the vehicles on behalf of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, which is coordinating efforts in other states in a task that will run into the weekend.

About three had been checked so far and any defects found had been minor.

Holmes says the truck and dog combination involved had its full annual service in May and another service on August 1, adding that it was the only one of its sort in Victoria but others are used in other states.

Of the driver, he says the local man had worked for BP for many years and the company had extended him its "full support" in what was a "difficult situation … particularly for him".

Update

By 3pm, VicRoads mechanics had inspected nine trucks and seven trailers.

It said there have been five minor defect notices and two major defect notices issued for routine maintenance issues that include oil leaks, tyres and shock absorbers.

"Today we went through and started full mechanical inspections, and in these thorough examinations we have picked up on maintenance issues which BP will be able to fix within days," Bell says.

"These are common wear and tear issues that all heavy vehicles often suffer while being on the road over a period of time.

"It’s certainly not a concern and we have given them a few days to complete the repairs.

"While the defects identified thus far do not present major safety concerns, we are committed to ensuring the heavy vehicle industry in Victoria is operating safely on the roads."

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