IT HAS been a horror week on New South Wales and Victorian roads.
Following the death of a man in a truck on Tuesday, there have been three other truck drivers killed and one motorist in major truck crashes.
- Early this morning the latest fatality claimed the life of a motorist on the Golden Hwy in New South Wales about 15km north of Sandy Hollow.
Police are now investigating the collision which involved a car and a truck about 5.10am.
It is believed the truck and a Toyota Corolla were travelling in opposite directions when they collided.
Police say the Toyota caught fire and trapped the male driver, despite attempts by other motorists and emergency services to free the man.
He died at the scene, while the male truck driver was taken to Merriwa Hospital for testing.
- Overnight a truck driver died in a crash at Howes Valley near Singleton, NSW.
About 7:40pm Wednesday, the man was driving a semi-trailer north along Putty Rd at Howes Valley when he lost control.
Police say the truck was laden with turf, and it appeared the driver failed to negotiate a bend and rolled the truck onto its side crushing the cabin.
The male driver, believed to be aged in his 30s, was trapped inside the vehicle and died at the scene.
Police from Singleton attended the crash and established a crime scene which was examined by specialist forensic officers.
Investigations into the circumstances of the crash are continuing and police will now prepare a report for the Coroner following the death.
- Also overnight two truck drivers died when their trucks collided head-on in Victoria, see the story here.
Another crash early this morning did not take any lives when three vehicles collided at West Pennant Hills in NSW.
Just before 5am police say two men were both driving utes when they collided with a truck.
The ute drivers both sustained non-life threatening injuries and were taken to hospital, the driver of the truck as not injured.
Investigations are continuing.
- Tuesday's crash, which took the life of a man traveling in a truck (it is still unknown if he was the driver), closed the Hume Hwy in NSW for some time.
The man died at the scene after being involved in the crash with five cars.
Police interviewed 15 people and will now prepare a report for the coroner - read the story here.
Source: Big Rigs
Safety engineers will review 100 Queensland roads from next month to determine whether speed limits should be raised, lowered or kept consistent.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said this was the first major review that has been conducted since 1997 and was part of the Newman Government’s commitment to improve safety on our roads.
“The list has been narrowed down to 100 roads – 68 state-controlled and 32 local roads following more than 3300 submissions,” Mr Emerson said.
“On almost 70 roads the majority of responses called for an increase in speed limits.
“Expert safety engineers will now conduct inspections to determine what changes need to be made to improve safety and deliver on our commitment to revitalise front line services.
“The review identified roads all over Queensland including the Peak Downs Highway, Warrego Highway, Logan Motorway, Gateway Motorway, Pacific Motorway and a number of sections of the Bruce Highway.
“Roads were prioritised based on frequency of public nominations, crash data, local knowledge and recent maintenance and upgrades.”
Mr Emerson said each road will be reviewed in line with Queensland’s speed limit setting guidelines with consideration given to traffic, pedestrians and infrastructure.
“The review aims to simplify the speed limit setting process and apply consistent speed limits across Queensland,” he said.
The speed limit reviews will be completed by mid 2014 and the results will be published on the Transport and Main Roads website when available.
A list of the 100 roads to be reviewed can be found at www.tmr.qld.gov.au/speedlimitreview
Mildura-based transport company F1 Logistics has announced it is now trading under the name G1 to emphasise the close connection to its parent company, GTS Freight Management.
“It’s been a strategic move to align the business more closely with the renowned GTS name,” joint CEO Damien Matthews told CRTNews. “We also wanted to avoid any confusion with the existing Formula 1 franchise.”
Although the corporate livery slightly changed due to the renaming, the company’s service attitude is still the same, said Matthews. “We are a young business but already very successful in our field, mainly because we adopted GTS’ excellent service attitude and strong focus on quality transport equipment. It’s tough to leave a mark when you are a young business in a contested market, so we insisted on using best-in-class equipment when forming G1.”
Only recently, the company purchased 13 Volvo FH16 of the current generation, each equipped with an XXL cab and Volvo’s proven D16G 600-horsepower Euro 5 SCR engine, coupled with the Volvo I-Shift transmission.
All trucks were purchased through Johnson’s Truck & Coach Service in Mildura. According to Damien, G1 has forged a very close working relationship with the local business since G1 was formed in 2011.
The Volvos will be pulling a range of Vawdrey B-doubles G1 added last month to react to growing demand in the line haul segment of the market – effectively doubling the G1 fleet and bringing the total number of B-doubles in the GTS Group to 170.
According to Sales Consultant Bradley Johnson, the Volvo FH16 series is the ideal fit for the young company, as all vehicles are mass management accredited and perfectly suited to pulling the highly specialised Vawdrey equipment.
“Judging from the feedback we received so far, the drivers are very happy with the comfort, noise levels and overall cab finish of the FH, not to mention that it has power in abundance. We also received many comments from the public and other transport operators on the sleek and modern look of the Volvo/ Vawdrey combinations.”
Every truck is fitted with a MT Data GPS tracking system to constantly compare vehicle performance in order to improve fuel consumption and increase driver safety.
“G1 is also part of the Volvo Gold contract maintenance programme, which means we will take care of the every vehicle from front bumper to tail light,” said Johnson, pointing out that all maintenance is carried out locally by Johnson’s Trucks in Mildura. “With Johnson’s workshop situated just across the road the G1 head office, on-going maintenance will be exceptionally fast and efficient.”
He added, “Both G1 Logistics and Johnson’s share the same core values of safety, sustainability and quality, making for a very unique business relationship.”
Source: Trailer Magazine
Australian supermarket chain, Coles, has recently taken delivery of 144 refrigerated and ambient semi-trailers built by German trailer giant and European market leader, Schmitz Cargobull.
According to Schmitz Cargobull, the trailers vary in capacity between 16 and 24 pallet spaces and measure 3.9 to 4.3m in height, depending on the load volume. They will be operating throughout Victoria to supply Coles stores in and around Melbourne with groceries, frozen food and fresh produce.
The Coles job is the largest contract Schmitz Cargobull won since the brand was re-launched in Australia in 2013. Ever since, the company is more active than ever in Australia, promoting a range of transport equipment custom-designed to suit the local marketplace.
According to General Manager, Michael Temminghoff, several structural reinforcements and safety features as well as a new, highly insulating foam have been incorporated to withstand the country’s demanding road network and blistering heat and to keep operational costs low.
To Coles’ Craig Porter, however, the decision to opt for Schmitz Cargobull was mainly driven by safety considerations. “Coles had several key criteria that influenced the decision making process. Primarily, these were safety, sustainability and service – and the Schmitz Cargobull trailers were ideally suited to meet them all. We were especially impressed with the all-around under run protection, designed to maximise the safety of all road users; as well as the standard Schmitz Cargobull inclusion of disc brakes, electronic brake stability and anti-roll over technology to provide better braking performance in a controlled environment for the driver. Having these features as part of our standard specification provides the driver and the public with the optimal benefits of road safety and trailer performance.”
Porter added, “Additional features like the fully recessed load securing rails for maximum internal width within the trailers, retractable rear steps and internal LED lighting also improve the safety of our team members when loading or unloading trailers.”
In addition to what he called a “full safety package”, Craig also had environmental performance and efficiency in mind when making the purchasing decision. “At Coles, we are also focussed on environmental responsibility and operational sustainability of the fleet. To achieve this, we need a trailer design that is highly energy efficient and consistent with road friendly design features.
"The Schmitz Cargobull trailers– thanks to their insulation properties and performance, road friendly suspension and low-maintenance chassis and driveline – are helping us keep operational costs low, while delivering outstanding benefits in temperature control and efficient use of temperature management to reduce our carbon footprint.”
Schmitz Cargobull’s newly appointed Australian General Manager, Michael Temminghoff, commented, “We are delighted to be able to call Coles our customer and to supply them with the latest model from our refrigerated product range. We are working towards making this the beginning of a long-term partnership. That’s also why we continue to invest into expanding our service and repair network throughout Australia.”
Source: Trailer Mag
Truck and trailer parts chain, MaxiPARTS, has relocated its Albury store to a new, purpose built and larger facility in Catherine Crescent, Lavington, NSW.
“The increased range of oil, filters, batteries and transport equipment accessories in the MaxiPARTS business has meant we have had to increase the size of our site,” said National Retail Manager, Justin O’Brien.
“That’s good news for our customers as we continue to expand our product range to be a true ‘one-stop-shop’ for the transport industry and trades in general. From tyres and suspensions to tool kits and portable fridges, our stores have everything covered.”
The announcement is a further expansion for the company after announcing the acquisition of NSW parts business, Central Coast Truck Parts and the relocation of its Moorebank site to a larger facility in Ingleburn just one week earlier.
The new MaxiPARTS branch at 3/115 Catherine Crescent, Lavington, NSW. The facility can be easily accessed from the Hume Hwy Thurgoona Drive exit ramp.
Renault Australia is celebrating a wave of growth in the Australian market with recent sales figures proving the brand has chosen a great marketing strategist to promote its updated range.
“We have welcomed more Australians to the Renault family in 2013 than in any other year,” says a delighted Justin Hocevar, Managing Director of Renault Australia.
“As the VFACTS results have demonstrated, Renault has attracted 6247 customers in 2013 and that’s good for us, and good for them. November 2013 was also our biggest single month of deliveries ever.
“Our aim three years ago was to recreate the Renault brand in Australia, making a very attainable range of vehicles available to a wide range of Australian car and light van buyers. Undeniably, in 2013, this very modern range of cars and light vans is hitting a sweet spot with customers.
“We’re giving them what they want: great cars and vans and unbeatable customer-focused features packaged with Capped Price Servicing, a long 5-year warranty for our passenger cars, and a 200,000km warranty for our working vehicles.
“We were the first to introduce 0% finance last year for European car buyers soon after we launched our Renault finance company, and in 2013 we have added Renault insurance to the range of services.
“We have also added many new dealers this year, bringing Renaults into closer contact with more Australians,” he says.
“The plan is working well. The new Clio is off to a tremendous start. Not only has the Clio TCe120 Expression won Australia’s Best Light Car of the Year but we have a strong order bank on hand and we will be launching the hero of the Clio range; the R.S. 200 EDC within days.
“For the refreshed Mégane range, which now kicks off from $19,990 drive-away, featuring a new advanced downsized turbocharged engine, we’re mixing European chic design with a low emission, low consumption drivetrain. Essentially, this Mégane Expression is the best of contemporary European style and technology at a very affordable price.
“For our more adventurous countrymen and women looking for a beautifully competent vehicle, the just facelifted Koleos has also been quickly picked as a top buy and a top drive, with sales eclipsing previous years so far.
“And for our LCV customers, never before has there been such a wide choice, such a wide reach across the trades and such an appealing product line up, it is not surprising deliveries to date this year have topped 2000 vehicles, our best yet. In November, the Trafic mid-size van was the most popular European in its segment, and Master and Kangoo were both second in their respective market segments.
“Renault is in robust health in Australia. We aren’t saying this just based on sales figures, but the feedback from our customers is very positive and it tells us we’re speaking their language.
“You could say we’ve put the joie de vivre back into motoring in Australia,” Justin says. “Roll on 2014!”
Information sessions on national heavy vehicle regulations will begin from next week in South Australia.
The Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) has issued a reminder to the industry about the six sessions, which will be held from December 9 to 11 in Port Augusta, Adelaide and Mount Gambier.
The sessions are designed to prepare stakeholders for the move to national heavy vehicle regulations.
Each location will hold two sessions: one on what the changes mean for the trucking industry and another on the role of local governments under the new regime.
The industry sessions will explain how to do business with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR). Attendees will also get a look at the NHVR’s new system for dealing with heavy vehicle permit applications.
The DPTI says the forums on local government will give a rundown of the new systems, processes and tools councils will use.
The industry session at Port Augusta will be held on December 9 from 1pm to 4pm at the The Standpipe Golf Motor Inn, with the local government session taking place at the same venue from 6pm to 8pm.
Adelaide will play host on December 10 at the Rydges Hotel. The industry session will run from 1pm to 4pm, followed by the local government session at 6pm to 8pm.
The same start times will apply when industry and local government sessions are held at The Barn in Mount Gambier on December 11.
Those interested in going along to any of the sessions need to contact the NHVR specifying the session they want to attend.
Source: Fully Loaded
More than 2 million passwords for some of the most popular spots on the Internet — including Facebook, Twitter and Google — are now a matter of public record, according to a fresh report from SpiderLabs, a research arm from security firm Trustwave.
SpiderLabs says it uncovered the bounty of potentially valuable (and often ridiculously simple) log-ins during its latest Internet sweep for the Pony botnet controller, a malware-spreading set of programs which the researchers say they're increasingly encountering online. This means the passwords were not leaked by Facebook and the like, but from thousands of infected computers that collected the data when users logged onto their accounts.
Whether or not the passwords are current or out-dated is unknown, but the attack appears to be "fairly global," SpiderLabs reports. "At least some of the victims are scattered all over the world." What's more, many of the passwords were fairly simple, with that old chestnut "123456" topping the list as the password for 15,820 accounts. ("12346789" came in at number two with 4,875 instances.) This could mean extra bad things the 30 to 40 percent of Internet users who use the same password on multiple accounts — say Facebook ... and their bank account.
"Facebook takes people’s information security extremely seriously and we work hard to protect it," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "While details of this case are not yet clear, it appears that people’s computers may have been attacked by hackers using malware to scrape information directly from their Web browsers."
Facebook's recommendation is to engage the site's two-factor authentication, which requires a passcode from your phone as well as your standard password. Twitter, Yahoo, Google and others also have an option like this, so it helps to look into the settings of all of your major Internet services.
But hey, it's always a good day to change your password, too
Source: NBC NEWS
MORE than 70 heavy vehicles were defected in the Riverland last week during a joint operation between inspectors from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) and SA Police.
Operation Riverland Rosat tested 191 trucks trailers using the on-road safety audit trailer (Rosat), or 'Shaker', which checks suspension, brakes and steering.
Trucks were targeted in Waikerie, Loxton and Yamba from Monday to Thursday, November 25-28, with roving patrols deployed to catch vehicles attempting to avoid detection.
In total, 77 (40%) of trucks and trailers were defected for safety breaches, with the majority of issues problems with brakes (44) followed by suspension (26).
"The joint operation between members of the Heavy Vehicle Enforcement Section and our road safety partners at the Department for Planning Transport and Infrastructure was highly successful in identifying a significant number of heavy vehicles that had roadworthiness faults that if otherwise left unmonitored, could have led to or increase the consequences of a serious collision," said Detective Inspector Peter Duance of SA Police's Traffic Support Branch.
DPTI Manager of Vehicle Operations Ken Rickard said the results were disappointing.
"To have 40% of vehicles inspected defected due to safety issues is extremely disappointing," he said.
"We know the majority of operators are doing the right thing, but for those who aren't, the sorts of defects we are seeing in these vehicles could lead to tragedy on our roads".
Source: Big Rigs
BOC has opened a public LNG refuelling station at Tarcutta, NSW, a new link in the company’s planned network of stations for the low-emissions trucking fuel along the Hume Highway.
The refuelling station is designed to meet the changing needs of the Australian transport sector where BOC says awareness of the fuel is growing strongly. The station is the beginning of BOC’s proposed LNG supply chain for trucks along this transport corridor.
The gases and engineering company has other LNG refuelling stations already operating at Preston, VIC and in development at Wetherill Park, NSW with others to open along the Hume Highway in the near future.
Trucking and logistics company Linfox will be amongst the first to use BOC’s refuelling technology, having ordered two purpose-built LNG vehicles to service its Sydney to Melbourne work.
Linfox’s president resources & industrial Ian Kent said the company was keen to be promoting an economical low-emissions fuel alternative for the trucking sector.
“Linfox and BOC share the same commitment to driving innovative solutions which make a difference,’’ Mr Kent said.
“We are very excited to be partnering with BOC in embracing this new fuel technology for our Hume Highway services.
“Like BOC, Linfox sees LNG as an important alternative to diesel from a commercial, economic and environmental perspective,’’ he said.
The new Tarcutta LNG refuelling station, which has been designed by BOC to operate as simply and safely as a regular diesel dispenser, is also the first of its kind to be publicly available for any transport operator with an LNG equipped vehicle.
One of Australia’s leading tyre experts says many trucking operators and drivers are running the wrong pressures in their tyres.
This is aside from the big issue of checking to ensure that the intended pressures are being maintained.
Greg Nielsen is Group Retread Business Manager with Bridgestone, which owns retread specialist Bandag.
Nielsen has been with Bandag for 32 years since he began as an apprentice fitter and turner at the company’s main plant in Brisbane, where he still works.
He’s told ATN that much of the trucking industry has a “100 pound syndrome”, where 100psi (pounds per square inch) is regarded as the norm on tyres all around a truck and trailer combination.
“Inflation pressures should always relate to the load on the tyre, and the size of the tyre makes a difference as well,” Nielsen advises.
“So you need to check tyre size and load and then you calculate the pressure.”
Nielsen says most operators are running maximum loads on the steer tyres, such as up to 6.5 tonnes spread over two tyres. So an R150 tyre on these trucks should be inflated at 120psi.
“But a lot of operators let steer tyres down to get a softer ride. So the tyre’s running under-inflated and that’s where you get the issues of wear,” Nielsen says.
“100psi is 20 per cent under-inflated. That’s huge. That tyre is on the way out, it’s not going to last, and if you get much lower than that, you risk the tyre blowing out. It doesn’t matter what brand it is.”
Nielsen advises that as a rule of thumb on drive and trailer tyres, which carry less load each than steers, the inflation should be 90psi.
He says this is actually a bit on the high side to allow for tyres not being checked as often as they should be.
Apart from the risk of excessive heat leading to blowouts, running tyres under-inflated can cost a lot of money because the damaged casings cannot be used for re-treading.
The second ‘Colour Me Pink’ trailer for Thompson Bros Transport has been completed and will be used to help raise funds for the McGrath Foundation.
According to project co-ordinator, Steven Thompson the new trailer should be able to exceed the original total raised of $230,000. “At this point three years ago with the first trailer we had $120,000 committed,” he said. “We’d like to see it get to $300,000 with this one.”
The 45-foot curtain-sider was painted in its distinctive pink colour by Merv Thompson, the brother of Harold and Noel Thompson who founded the Dubbo based transport company in 1962. Primary construction has been done by Heath Busch Trailers in Dubbo with support from many individuals and businesses both local and national that have signed up as gold sponsors by pledging $1,650 (including GST) over the next three years.
In addition, Volvo Trucks have made a significant contribution by providing a FH 540 prime mover to connect to the trailer for the first six months of activity. The Volvo will also be wrapped with a distinctive McGrath Foundation pink livery by Rice Graphics.
The ‘Colour Me Pink’ trailer and Volvo prime mover will be a feature display at the 2014 International Truck, Trailer and Equipment Show in Melbourne from 3-6 April. All of the funds raised will go to the McGrath Foundation to assist with its work against breast cancer.
Source: Trailer Mag
NSW inspectors have found 185 defective heavy vehicles so far in a week-long blitz.
Police have also revealed they are checking vehicles owned by a company linked to a deadly multi-vehicle smash in southwest Sydney.
Yesterday's crash, involving a truck and five cars on the Hume Highway near Campbelltown, killed the 57-year-old truck driver.
Fourteen others, including a month-old baby and two toddlers, were admitted to hospital.
The TruckSafe safety accreditation program is proud to welcome its newest accredited member, Unanderra Tanker Hire (NSW).
Unanderra Tanker Hire specialises in the transport of bulk chemicals and liquid waste products throughout metro and regional NSW,
and also operates along the eastern seaboard from Queensland to Victoria.
Starting life as a single truck operation 30 years ago, the Unanderra Tanker Hire fleet now ranges from rigid tankers through to semi-trailer and b-double configurations.
JJ Wiedl, the Director of Unanderra Tanker Hire, said the company was proud of its ability to be flexible and to put customer needs first.
“Unanderra Tanker Hire is family owned and operated, with family members involved with driving, compliance and depot maintenance.
Our company is based on family values which provide low employee turnover and a customer focused operation,” Mr Wiedl said.
“By joining TruckSafe, we aim to improve our services, safety, systems and image, as well as align ourselves with industry bodies and companies who are all working to improve the trucking industry.
“We’ve recently taken over our own maintenance, and now have our own workshop and facilities. TruckSafe helps us make sure our maintenance and compliance is all up to standard.”
The Chief Executive of the Australian Trucking Association, Stuart St Clair, said TruckSafe accredited businesses were some of Australia’s safest.
“At a time when communities are seeking reassurance of the safety performance of our heavy vehicles, it’s great to see companies like Unanderra Tanker Hire putting safety first,” Mr St Clair said.
“We’re proud of our TruckSafe operators, and that’s why you can find the full list of accredited operators on the TruckSafe website.
“TruckSafe accredited businesses go above and beyond the safety standards required of them by law. They join because they care about having safe vehicles on our roads.”
Victoria Police will prepare a Coroner’s report on a fiery crash that claimed the lives of two truck drivers and left a third in hospital with critical injuries.
Police are presently investigating the circumstances surrounding the collision at Black Range, near Stawell.
Investigators believe a B-double truck travelling west on the Western Highway and a semi -trailer travelling east collided head on around 11.30pm last night.
A third semi-trailer has then ran into the rear of the semi travelling east, leaving the male driver with life threatening injuries.
All vehicles went up in flames and remained on fire until mid-morning.
Police have located two bodies at the scene which are yet to be identified.
Police says they are receiving a large number of calls from members of the public seeking information on those involved in the collision.
People concerned about the location of their family members who are truck drivers and were possibly in the area last night and who have not heard from them or have been unable to contact them, are asked to contact trucking companies or employers in the first instance.
Any trucking companies with queries should contact Ararat Police Station on 03 5355 1500.
The Western Highway will remain closed for most of the day as the investigation continues.
The ABC reports that one truck was carrying household products, including aerosol cans, and another was transporting cars.
It quotes Northern Grampians Shire Mayor Ken Erwin as saying the area was one where drivers tended to get drowsy and had long been recognised that “it needs to be addressed”.