State inspection heavyweights admit inconsistencies

By: Steve Skinner

Unprecedented gathering of heavy vehicle roadworthiness inspectors in frank discussion with industry players

State inspection heavyweights admit inconsistencies
John Wroblewski acknowledges an interpretation issue.


State heavy vehicle inspection heavyweights have admitted inconsistencies within and between their jurisdictions.

The upfront comments were made at a session titled "What the Inspectors See" during the recent Technical and Maintenance Conference in Melbourne.

For the first time at a TMC – and maybe anywhere – operators and workshop managers sat together with government truck inspection chiefs from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

In the end there was a surprising level of agreement, most notably on the key issue of consistency – or lack of, which the inspectors were completely upfront about.

John Wroblewski, acting general manager for transport regulation in Queensland, told TMC delegates: "You are absolutely right, there is inconsistency."

"We have five regions of inspectors, and we have the Queensland Police Service who also provide inspections to some degree on the side of the road.

"Even within a region, trying to train people to the same level and have the same appreciation of what a standard means, what a requirement means, is really complex.

"You think about that from your perspective, I'm sure you guys have the same problem in your workshops.

"You can sit down and explain something to six different people, you can show them a diagram, you can talk about some issues, but that diagram ends up being interpreted six different ways.

"I would hazard a guess … that the other jurisdictions have tried to do the same thing, that is, get consistency.

"I would assume we also have inconsistencies between the jurisdictions. I mean, given that we couldn't work it out in our own state, I'm sure we haven't worked it out up and down the eastern seaboard.

"If we don't get towards a national approach towards all this stuff, we are never going to get that degree of consistency."

Senior Queensland transport inspector Peter Garland agreed with his colleague and made a surprising revelation.

"I've been with TMR [Department of Transport and Main Roads] 12 years and it's the first time I've sat side-by-side with the other agencies," he said.

"From here we’re hoping to network more often now, build this network of contacts up for that reason, that goal [of consistency]."

The TMC is organised by the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and the Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association (ARTSA), with major sponsor Paccar.

Check out much more from the Technical and Maintenance Conference in the December issue of ATN

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