Side underrun protection under review

Working group to review ATA’s 2012 technical advisory procedure

Side underrun protection under review
Bob Woodward


An industry working group has been established to review the Australian Trucking Association's (ATA’s) Side Underrun Protection Technical Advisory Procedure (TAP) 2012.

Side underrun protection is aimed at increasing of pedestrian and cyclist safety by preventing access into the wheel space of trucks and trailers, while also providing aerodynamic benefits to the truck.

TAPs provide guidance on specific subjects, including stability control, wheel end security and heavy vehicle visibility.

"The ATA and its Industry Technical Council are committed to ensuring our technical advice remains best practice, so we periodically review TAPs to ensure they remain current and up to date," ATA chief engineer Bob Woodward says.

"The existing Side Underrun Protection TAP primarily focuses on trailers. In response to industry demand, the updated version will include content relating to rigid trucks and prime movers."

The working group members will be:

  • Phil Webb, Kenworth
  • Scott Grimme, Fibreglass Transport Equipment
  • Greg Brown, MaxiTRANS
  • Brent Fuge, CMV Truck and Bus
  • Dennis Roohan, AJM Transport
  • Lyndon Watson, Don Watson Transport

"The working group consists of Industry Technical Council members who represent various parties in the supply chain, including truck manufacturers, dealers, engineers and two operators," Woodward says.

The process will involve reviewing European regulation R73 and adapting it into a workable document that meets Australian operations and conditions.

Once the review is complete, the Industry Technical Council will evaluate the procedure before sending it to the ATA Council to be approved and authorised for distribution.

"Our Industry Technical Council is a working committee that was established to enhance the trucking industry’s safety, professionalism and viability by providing technical input and best practice advice to the ATA," Woodward says.

"It brings operators, suppliers, engineers and industry specialists together in a long-term discussion forum, and is always open to new members," he said.

ATA releases new TAP on effective brake adjustment setup, maintenance and compliance. Read more, here


Underrun conspicuity suggestions after crash

There have been suggestions for additional safety measures to improve the visibility of trucks at night following an incident involving a car and truck in Western Australia.

The ABC reported car driver Darren Beer, 46, was driving on the Eyre Highway at night at 110km/h when he slammed into a truck that had rolled over in an earlier collision and blocked the road in both directions.

The speed of the car, combined with the pitch-black conditions and dark underside of the truck without any functioning lighting meant "out of nowhere, no time to react … the only time I knew it was there was when I was on it," Beer told the ABC.

The issue is most pertinent in remote locations without street lighting, and Western Roads Federation executive officer Cam Dumesny tells ATN despite the incident being a rarity, it’s an issue industry may look into.

"Whilst we need to avoid knee jerk responses, we also need to consider the merits of the car-drivers’ idea for warning devices underneath trailers," Dumesny tells ATN.

"We will work with TransafeWA, LRTA-WA and NTRTA to see if there have been similar incidents and agree on a united industry response to the idea."


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