Waste fleet blitz uncovers serious shortfalls

NSW authorities damn maintenance failures but drivers return clean tests

Waste fleet blitz uncovers serious shortfalls
Waste trucks line up for inspection in Eastern Creak.


Good and bad news have attended a New South Wales safety and compliance operation on waste management trucks in western Sydney’s in Eastern Creek.

The good news was that of 94 drug and 107 alcohol tests, not one driver was recorded a ‘positive’ result.

However, of 120 trucks inspected, 40 defects were issued for body/chassis issues, ancillary equipment and oil/fuel leaks.

Of note, one truck had loose wheel nuts with the tyre unsecured, another had a bald tyre and one was leaking fluid.

The Traffic and Highway Patrol commander, acting assistant commissioner Bob Ryan, says it is critical that these vehicles operated safely.

"Waste management is a critical part of keeping our society moving and must be done with the highest level of safety," Supt Ryan says.

"Recent events in NSW, and other states involving waste vehicles, highlight the need for safety and compliance on our roads.

"While relatively few defects were found during today’s operation, one vehicle with loose wheel nuts and another with a bald tyre is a serious concern and should be a warning to the industry to take note of their actions.

"We will continue to work with our partner agencies to ensure that safety is the priority for all road users."

Roads and Maritime Services general manager compliance operations Paul Endycott says the operation could well have saved a life.

Endycott was particularly exercised by the maintenance system failure of the unnamed company involved.

"The dangerous condition of the truck, with an unsecured wheel with loose wheel nuts that could be turned by hand, was extremely concerning and could easily have had a catastrophic outcome," he says.

"Critical failures of this type by some operators are totally unacceptable and more care must be taken to ensure vehicles travelling on our roads are safe.

"We will be taking this up with the company.

"These very important waste collection vehicles regularly travel down our suburban streets coming into contact with our children, other vulnerable road users and motorists.

"Our message this year has been very clear. If trucks deliver loads to or from your business and if risk is identified, the Joint Task Force will intervene to ensure road safety is not compromised.

"All parties in the chain of responsibility including directors of companies must ensure this culture of poor loading and load restraint, poor safety and shoddy maintenance is eliminated.

"We will continue to carry out these very important operations to ensure vehicles are as safe as possible, so a safe day travelling on our roads is a matter of good management, not good luck."


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