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Australian Truck Driver Honoured for Bravery
AUSTRALIA – In recognition of his bravery during a tragic, multi-vehicle collision earlier this year that claimed the life of one motorist, truck driver Renzo Bruschi has been awarded The Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award for selflessly risking his life to save others. On the morning of May 24 Bruschi was part a ten vehicle pile-up on the Calder Freeway when a petrol tanker carrying thirty tonnes of fuel rolled over. Renzo’s truck was one of around 10 vehicles involved in the crash. Renzo jumped out of his truck and into action without hesitation, running over to assist the driver of the tanker who was calling for help. The 52-year-old said:
“There was fuel and smoke everywhere; I just thought it was not a question of if this was going to blow but more a question of when, so I just sprang into action to help get him out as soon as possible before something happened. The tanker was on its side and I initially tried to break the windscreen; and it shattered, but didn’t break, so I had to climb up and pull him out through the door which was facing skyward.”
After assisting the tanker driver, Renzo turned his attention to an overturned car that had spilt fuel running through it. He crawled into the vehicle and helped the traumatised driver from her vehicle “I just did not stop to think at that point, I just did all I could to help,” he said.
Renzo was presented with the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award at the Castrol Awards Dinner during the Technical and Maintenance Conference held in Melbourne on October 25. The award honours the great community service performed by professional truck drivers who go above and beyond the call of duty to assist those around them during their regular work. Andrew Moffatt, Bridgestone Australia and New Zealand Managing Director summed up the trucker’s response, saying:
“Renzo’s actions say a great deal about the kind of person he is. In his mind, putting other people’s lives before his own wasn’t a unique or special act, it was just something he had to do. To the community, and specifically those he helped that day, Renzo’s heroism is without question and we are extremely proud to call him our latest guardian of the road.”
Funding For Parking Bays
In last week’s Diesel News we erroneously described Rod Hannifey as receiving funding for parking bays. Of course, the funding for improving parking bays has been announced by the various state authorities, in part, as a result of the tireless work Rod puts in, lobbying the road authorities on the state of our road infrastructure, especially around parking bays for trucks.
According to Rod, not one of Australia’s major highways meets minimum required standards for rest areas and 60 per cent of the highways inspected were seriously deficient.
Included in the new funding is $5 million in NSW allocated to upgrade rest areas, in this financial year, a step in the right direction for truck drivers. This allocation includes upgrades to Warkworth, Uarbry, Dunedoo, Elong Elong, Boothenba, Denman, Comialla.
As Natroad stated last week, “Rest stops aren’t just an added extra to a main highway, they are an essential part of safety and fatigue management for drivers, trucking companies and for all road users.”
The Victorian Government are also coming to the party, with VicRoads heavy vehicle services director Eric Henderson saying, driver fatigue was the most common cause of road crashes involving heavy vehicles.
“Rest areas provide drivers with a safe area to stop and rest, which helps improve safety and reduces driver fatigue,” said Henderson.
To get a handle on where truck rest areas are, or aren’t, check out the various state authorities website where the official facilities are listed:
VIC – Vic Roads
Western Australia – Mainroads Western Australia
DP World and Tasports reinforce Burnie message
International container port very much on agenda, pair say
Stevedore DP World Australia and Tasmanian and the Tasmanian Ports Corporation (Tasports) have reiterated that their Burnie international container port development plans still stand.
The failure of the federal Coalition’s shipping reform earlier this year led to speculation on the project’s future but the partners are making positive noises about it.
"There is a firm proposal on the table being negotiated in good faith between the two parties which is commercial in confidence at this point," they say.
Tasports and DP World propose to provide a staged investment in new port infrastructure and capacity enhancements for the terminal, worth an initial minimum of $20 million.
The phased approach will allow large ships access to the Tasmanian market and provide Tasmania exporters with greater choice and access to world markets.
Tasports CEO Paul Weedon welcomed DP World Australia’s renewed commitment to progress plans to develop a full-service international container terminal in Burnie.
"The Port of Burnie is a strategic piece of port infrastructure required for the future of Tasmania," Weedon says.
"Tasports’ 30 Year Port Plan clearly identifies Burnie as the State’s future largest natural gateway for container freight into and out of the State."
DP World Australia MD and CEO Paul Scurrah insists a successful development will mean economic boosts for the town and the state.
"We are committed to connecting Tasmania with the world economy," Scurrah says.
"Tasmanian exports are set to grow as soon as we can get direct shipping connections to major international ports, and the cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.
"The project is fantastic news for Burnie, the local economy and its citizens. We are proud to be associated with the town.’’
DP World Australia chief commercial officer Brian Gillespie reckons allowing greater access to regular international container services would significantly reduce shipping costs for export and import containerised freight.
DP World Australia expects to recruit a new workforce with 40 new positions required at launch.
Operation Sirius targets NSW operator after crashes
NEW South Wales police have targeted a truck company today after a number of its vehicles were allegedly involved in several crashes.
Officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command conducted the compliance operation, supported by inspectors from the Roads and Maritime Services.
They inspected 45 trucks and trailers, issuing 21 defect notices and 18 traffic infringement notices as part of Operation Sirius.
Police say two drivers were issued with field court attendance notices for fatigue breaches and three of the defect notices resulted in a major grounding of two trucks and trailer.
NSW police target a trucking company after their trucks were involved in a number of serious crashes.
One truck was found to be speed non-compliant.
Acting Commander of the State's Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, said the responsibility to manage fatigue and to have all vehicles compliant and safe to operate lies with heavy vehicle owners, operators and drivers.
"We will work with the Roads and Maritime Service to ensure the industry is meeting the safety standards expected of all operators," Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.
Acting General Manager of Compliance Paul Hayes said vehicles operating with defective brakes or with seatbelts not properly secured poses a severe road safety risk to the driver and other road users.
"Roads and Maritime message is clear, drivers and operators must ensure that their vehicles are safe to use and are regularly serviced and maintained," Mr Hayes said.
"Heavy vehicles found with such serious safety faults will be removed from NSW roads until repairs are carried out and are reinspected for the safety of all road users."
Revealed: Australia's top 10 selling trucks
Aussie-built trucks lead heavy-duty market but Isuzu still the stand-out performer
Judging by sales figures to the end of September, 2016 certainly won’t be remembered as a boom time for truck makers.
However, the good news is that the two biggest players in the premium heavy-duty category – Kenworth and Volvo – continue to manufacture or at least assemble their trucks in Australia.
What influence the ‘Aussie made’ factor has on customers’ buying decisions and actual sales volumes is difficult to quantify.
Yet it’s perhaps fair to assume that with Kenworth entrenched at number one in the heavy-duty contest and Volvo an increasingly close number two (with Brisbane-built corporate cohort Mack at number four), local engineering plays a significant role in tailoring trucks to Australian conditions and subsequently meeting the distinctive requirements of this market’s truck buyers.
Kenworth and Volvo are not, of course, the only brands putting trucks together in this country. Iveco continues to make and assemble a number of models led by the home-grown ACCO.
Of course, ACCO’s numbers are not what they once were and with Iveco holding just 5.1 per cent of the heavy-duty market up to the end of September, the brand’s performance is well short of inspiring.
Nonetheless, the sales of all locally built or assembled models from Kenworth, Volvo and Mack, and Iveco, amount to as much as 50 per cent of all the heavy-duty trucks sold in Australia.
Still, as the Truck Industry Council (TIC) recently commented, the heavy-duty sector continues to struggle for sales while down the weight scale, light and medium-duty markets are notching solid results.
According to TIC, the 2016 heavy-duty market "… is lagging 2015 results by 3.8 per cent with only 6947 heavy-duty trucks sold in Australia to the end of September this year".
Meanwhile, the total market for trucks is actually tracking up 2.4 per cent over the same period last year.
At the end of September Kenworth’s place at the head of the heavy-duty pack stood at a formidable 20.7 per cent with Volvo in second spot on a healthy 16.2 per cent.
Volvo Group Australia also stacks up best in the contest for corporate supremacy with its three brands – Volvo, Mack and UD – holding a collective 26.3 per cent of the heavy-duty contest to the end of September with the Paccar pairing of Kenworth and DAF on 23.6 per cent.
However, the big achiever in the heavy-duty stakes is third placegetter and overall market leader Isuzu.
Along with its powerful 43.1 per cent leadership of the light-duty market and 38 per cent domination of the medium-duty sector, Isuzu up to the end of September also held a respectable 13.8 per cent of the heavy-duty category.
From there it’s a quick slide into single figures with Mack on 8.6 per cent, then a congested scrap for minor placings: Scania on 6.4 per cent, Freightliner 6.2, Iveco 5.1, Mercedes-Benz 4.5, Fuso 4.1, Western Star 3.8, Hino 3.0, DAF 2.9, MAN 2.1, UD 1.5, and Cat and Dennis Eagle with just 0.7 and 0.3 percent respectively.
Yet despite all the attraction and emphasis of the heavy-duty truck business, it’s the smaller end where the Australian market remains strongest and where Japanese brands continue to hold absolute domination.
Powerhouse. Isuzu remains comfortable leader of the total truck market. Strong heavy-duty result is due in large part to a range of six and eight-wheeler models tailored to Australian requirements.
Four people have been injured after a truck, bus and van crash in Melbourne's north-east.
Emergency services were called to the intersection of Foote and Williamsons Road in Templestowe just before midday.
Ambulance Victoria said there were only a small number of people on the bus at the time.
One man aged in his 40s was trapped in the bus for about an hour.
He was later taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital in a stable condition with a leg injury.
Another man in his 60s was taken to the Austin Hospital in a stable condition with minor injuries.
A woman in the bus was treated by paramedics at the scene.
The van driver aged in his 60s was taken to hospital in a stable condition.
I need a wee
With news that truck platooning is coming to WA, Scotty Douglas considers where his dignity will go should nature call
There comes a point where no amount of wiggling, squirming or leg crossing will make a difference. At the end of the day, when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go.
Call it laziness, but I’ve always resented making an unscheduled pit stop. We all have our favourite wee stops. Usually a parking bay at the top of a hill where you can get back up to speed without too much in the way of cog swapping.
One of the disadvantages of existing on a diet made up largely of complex carbohydrates and caffeine is that it makes me wee, especially in winter. And nobody pays me enough to try and wee in a bottle while on the move and anyway, the price of failure is a little nasty. So when nature calls I’ll answer as soon as possible.
Which can be a bit of a challenge sometimes. I try and be civilised and use a toilet block rather than lurk in the bushes beside the truck. But sometimes there’s not a toilet block to use. One afternoon, with no other alternative in sight I pulled up in a nice country roadside area and began writing my name in the dust several times over.
Unfortunately, while I was mid-stream the local school bus showed up and pulled and disgorged a bunch of high school kids. It made for some fancy footwork on my part! The kids yelling at me out of the bus seemed to find it amusing anyway.
And that’s where I struggle with the concept of platooning. The idea of platooning is that a whole line of trucks effectively lock onto each other using radar and slipstream their way up the highway.
Each truck tucks into the other’s slipstream reducing fuel burn and takes up less space on the highway. The trucks effectively talk to each other and the drivers get a video display of the road ahead inside the cab as they sit in the driver’s seat and buy stuff on eBay. Or maybe watch funny animal memes. Or update their Facebook status.
The trucks can potentially be less than one second behind each other as the truck essentially drives itself using lane departure cameras to keep between the lines and radar cruise to stay with the truck in front. New This isn’t the stuff of fiction; it’s here already. Platooning has been trialed extensively in Europe and Western Australia has just signed up for a trial.
After a close call I had one night recently I’m not actually complaining. I was overtaking a car park when all of a sudden it lurched across the white line at me. I had to take a little drive half on the dirt shoulder before I got around the moron.
As the truck in question wobbled around in its lane though I could see the glow of a laptop computer open on the dashboard. I do not want my last words in this world to be PMSL.
But what I really want to know is, what happens if you need to use the loo while you’re platooning?
All of a sudden new technology means that you can happily sit there drinking a drum of coffee as you stare at the back doors of the truck in front. Surely you can’t expect everyone to pull up just because you need to go?
I’ve worked with some guys that pride themselves on the size of their bladders. It almost seemed to be a macho statement. One guy in particular seemed to be an actual bladder on legs, as much for what came out of his mouth when he spoke as for his ability to seemingly drive from Melbourne to Brisbane without needing to relive himself.
So what happens when you’re stuck in a platoon with this guy at the front?! Clearly you send a message to the rest of the platoon that you’re dropping out for a toilet stop. So then they all keep going and you have to explain to the boss why you dropped out of the platoon and as a consequence used more fuel? Or the whole platoon stops and hangs shit on you while you go? And could you even fit a platoon of B-doubles in a parking bay anyway?
Maybe the driver of the future will wear adult nappies to maximise drive time? Or maybe platooning prime movers will be fitted with toilets enabling the driver to go while on the move? I don’t know about you but I really wouldn’t want to be sitting on the crapper with my pants around my ankles at 100km/h when a steer tyre blows. And I certainly wouldn’t want the legacy of last night’s curry wafting around the cab either!
I’m all for technology and efficiency just not at the expense of a driver’s dignity. As it stands currently there’s already a lack of clean amenities and decent parking areas on Australian highways. And as I’ve said before, I’m not pissing in a bottle for anyone who isn’t a doctor!
Operation targets transporter in NSW
A heavy vehicle operator in New South Wales has been the focus of a police and highway patrol operation yesterday.
The operation, which is believed to have targeted Scott’s Transport, came as a result of its vehicles being allegedly involved in several crashes in the state, a police statement says.
Inspecting 45 trucks and trailers, Operation Sirius saw the road authorities issue 21 defect notices and 18 traffic infringement notices.
Three of the defect notices resulted in the major grounding of two trucks and a trailer, the statement says, and two of the company’s drivers were issued court attendance notices for fatigue breaches.
One truck also failed to be speed-compliant.
NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) acting general manager of compliance Paul Hayes says trucks cannot be operating with brake and seatbelt issues.
"Roads and Maritime message is clear, drivers and operators must ensure that their vehicles are safe to use and are regularly serviced and maintained," Hayes says.
"Heavy vehicles found with such serious safety faults will be removed from NSW roads until repairs are carried out and are reinspected for the safety of all road users."
Working with the RMS in the operation, NSW traffic and highway command’s acting commander and assistance commissioner Michael Corboy says both authorities will continue to work to ensure fatigue and vehicle compliance is maintained across the industry.
"We will work with the Roads & Maritime Service to ensure the industry is meeting the safety standards expected of all operators," Corboy says.
Scott’s Transport has been contacted for comment.
Bigger Is Not Always Better
The new engine in the Isuzu F Series shows us how bigger is not always better. When the new F-Series was launched earlier this year with a fancy light and projection show, the story was all about the headlines, new engine, improved telematics, better transmission and new variants. Apart from that, the grille of the trucks has received a facelift and the way the trucks are named on the door has changed.
Approaching the new trucks with a casual eye tells the viewer this is just another new Isuzu. The grille has been changed and the smile at the front is now toothed, but not particularly aggressive. There is certainly clearer information on the door. Gone is the engine specifying badge, replaced by just two numbers; one denoting GVM and the other approximate engine horsepower.
Opening the door reveals the familiar Isuzu cab interior, although the functionality available via the double DIN entertainment system seems to increase as each small change is made in the Isuzu line-up. There is also the new AMT (automated manual transmission) and its controller, which we are likely to be seeing more of in the future judging by the performance of the transmission in this test.
Starting the engine and setting off down the road gives the driver a chance to assess two new aspects; the new four cylinder engine and the torque converter automated manual transmission (TC AMT). On first appearances both look as though they will have a profound effect on the type of truck Australia will be buying.
The new four cylinder engine is the 4HK1. It’s a 5.2 litre unit with a two-stage turbo and intercooler. Available in two power ratings of 210 hp (154 kW) and 240 hp (177 kW), the new engine is a redesign of the four cylinder engine from Isuzu with much improved power and torque. Torque levels are 726 Nm (535 lb ft) and 765 Nm (584 lb ft). The two-stage turbo is all new, the first is a low pressure item and the second a variable geometry (VGT).
Emission control is achieved using EGR and a diesel particulate diffuser. The engine actually meets the Japanese PNLT emission control standard. This means it complies with the highly stringent levels of the planned limits set in ADR 80/04, expected to be introduced here sometime after 2020.
The beefed up outputs signal the Australian arm of Isuzu now believes the power plant is up to the task of handling GVM ratings up to 14 tonnes. The power and torque ratings are deemed substantial enough to handle the task at hand.
Truck manufacturers like Isuzu have learnt over the years to be very conservative when specifying engines for the Australian market. Erring on the side of caution has seen the truck maker going with the higher displacement engine if there is any durability or power concerns.
Brisbane Truck Show's half century
Announcing a series of new features and improvements for the 50th anniversary of the iconic Brisbane Truck Show, the Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) says the iconic event is a great reflection on the innovation and resilience of the Australian heavy vehicle industry.
The event will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) from May 25-28 next year.
"The show has come a long way from its humble beginnings when twenty-one truck, trailer and component manufacturers and suppliers came together at Haulmark Trailers’ premises in Rocklea in 1968," HVIA chief executive Brett Wright says.
"The 2017 Brisbane Truck Show is the fourth that will be held at BCEC, and will feature up to 300 exhibitors displaying the latest trucks, trailers, components, equipment, accessories and technology.
"As part of the celebration HVIA will be featuring an innovation, manufacturing and workforce development display on the Plaza level.
"The improvements we’ve made for the 2017 Brisbane Truck Show range from online ticketing to the exhibition layout.
"As previously, visitors can enter BCEC from any of three points however the main foyer entry will no longer interfere with visitors moving between the main halls and the upper floors."
Originally known as the Queensland Truck Show, the event was first organised in 1968 by the Commercial Vehicle Industry Association of Queensland, the predecessor of HVIA.
The 2017 show is expected to host up to 300 exhibitors and more than 35,000 visitors over the four-day period.
For more details about the event, visit the Brisbane Truck Show website.
Taylor warns of lethargy over driver shortage
Isuzu director’s “two pedal” concern raised after Volvo highlights labour shortfall issue
A senior Isuzu executive has raised the likelihood of a driver shortage crisis – the second such intervention this year.
Isuzu Australia Limited director and chief operating officer Phil Taylor believes the looming hole in driver numbers, just as road transport industry is "undergoing a seismic operational shift", has been exacerbated by lax industry attitudes.
In particular, it has been marked by "the historic lethargy in Australia’s take-up of two-pedal operated trucks" and this has "contributed to a stifling labour shortfall within the industry".
Taylor’s intervention comes five months after Volvo Group Australia (VGA) president and CEO Peter Voorhoeve led its charge on the shortage issue with the launch of its report, report, Professional Truck Driver Shortage: How driver availability impacts the transport industry & Australian society.
With the freight task predicted to triple by 2050, "generating an all but unquenchable thirst for a stable and flexible driver workforce", Taylor puts complacency in the frame.
"Short-haul metro freight is showing a particularly dramatic increase," he says.
"It already stands at 28 per cent of the total national freight task, so it’s not over-stating things to suggest that we, as manufacturers and as an industry, have a genuine battle on our hands to meet growing demand."
He suggests one simple option in the phasing-out of the clutch pedal at the lighter end of the market – "an adjustment which will drastically lengthen the list of potential employees for Australian businesses".
"We’ve witnessed, and indeed reacted to, the two-pedal trend as it’s swept across Australia’s automotive markets, but unlike the Americans and Europeans, it’s taken far too long for Australia to adjust." Taylor says.
He couches his observations in the burgeoning ecommerce trend, pointing to a recent NAB Sales Index Report showing year-on-year growth in online shopping of 13.5 per cent, with a current value of $20.1 billion dollars a year.
"Consumers are highly informed and they demand immediacy in their transactions," Taylor says.
"The simple fact is, this shift in consumer behaviour brings with it a critical need for easy to operate light trucks and more drivers to operate them."
This reinforces the need for a re-think of what type of vehicles and labour force are undertaking that ‘last mile’ urban delivery task.
In reflecting on the state of the light-duty segment, the numbers prove there’s been some response to demand.
"There’s been very strong growth in the light truck segment in recent times," Taylor says.
"The segment has shown the strongest growth in the last couple of years, jumping to over 12,000 registrations in 2015."
He points to Truck Industry Council (TIC) figures reveal that just over 55 per cent of light-duty trucks sales in the year to date have been of the two-pedal variety.
"This is up over seven per cent of last year’s figure and up 16 per cent on 2013 two pedal sales," he says.
"These TIC numbers prove we’re on the right track, but whilst the numbers are good, there’s a raft of other factors that highlight the need for even more two-pedal light trucks, and more drivers to operate them."
But manufacturers are not off the hook in Taylor’s critique.
With light trucks especially said to be shouldering 77.3 per cent of the urban freight task, they need to be active also.
"This demonstrates very clearly the task at hand, and the need for a sharper focus for manufacturers on ‘ease of use’ and overall ‘accessibility’ when it comes to product development," Taylor says.
"Whilst Australia has slowly cottoned-on to the two-pedal trend, we have a way to go before we see the sort of take-up rate that we need to ensure industry labour demands are met.
"We must ensure that driving trucks is a genuine and secure career path for prospective employees and employers, and part of that journey starts with the product and its applicability to the end user.
"There’s a patchwork of other issues feeding into Australia’s driver shortage, but without some considered thought at this base level, we’re doomed to be forever reactionary."
In a snapshot of contributing factors, Isuzu notes:
Keeping brakes compatible
There will soon be plenty of guidance for getting the best out of not only foundation brakes, but the much more complicated electronic systems as well
Chris Loose reckons English is a second language for a lot of engineers.
And that’s why Loose and numerous other technical experts who have been working on a guide to braking and stability performance for heavy combinations, are trying to keep it simple.
"We don’t want to overcomplicate it," says Loose, senior engineering advisor with the Australian Trucking Association. "Every operator who tries to read an engineering book won’t go past the title.
"We made it is as easy to understand as possible. An operator will focus on three key tables, and that’s probably all he’s going to have time for"
Those three tables are in the draft document which still needs real-world testing by operators.
The tables involve ratings across four classes of brake systems and three types of braking conditions.
The first class of brake system is what are called "dumb" brake systems, which are air only. The second type is load sensing valve brake systems, which are mechanical and air. The third is anti-lock brake system (ABS); and the fourth – and smartest – is electronic stability control.
These systems are rated against light or "normal" braking; heavy or "harsh" braking; and cornering or roll stability.
Smart truck and dumb trailers
The truck might have stability control, and the trailer might have TEBS (trailer electronic braking system) with roll stability, which would give the combination the top rating for both braking and roll stability.
But if the operator doesn’t plug in the power, it’s a dumb trailer.
Loose adds that with longer combinations you have to make sure the power goes right down to the back end -- at least 9 or 10 volts at the last control unit. "Without electrical grunt it’s (also) a dumb trailer."
And don’t try to stick a 24 volt lead into a 12 volt ABS system: "That will blow it up."
The tables apply equally to trailers attached by both fifth wheels or drawbars. However truck and dogs are inherently more unstable than semitrailers or B doubles.
Semis are connected by the fifth wheel, and are therefore roll-coupled. "A truck and trailer will tend to roll together," says Loose. "There is a link, so stability system on one of those units will help understand what’s going on with the other unit.
"With drawbar units though, between a dog trailer and a rigid or another trailer, they’re not roll-coupled, so one can roll independently of the other."
Loose adds that there are lots of different warning signs that there’s a brake compatibility problem, for example uneven brake wear; different brake temperatures; and wear on the kingpin.
Chris Loose says fleets should try and standardise their brake technologies, because they are often mixing and matching trucks and trailers.
That advice applies both to the electronic overlay systems as well as the foundation brake systems themselves.
Re foundation brakes: "If you have got disc brakes on the truck, put disc brakes on the trailer. Get the foundations to match. It just makes life easier."
While on the subject of foundation brakes, the ATA has just released a 15-page technical advisory procedure on slack adjuster setup and compliance to the new National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual.
Meanwhile in May the ATA released the second edition of its 24-page technical advisory on ESC and the similar RSC (roll stability control).
Truck drivers trapped after NSW smash
Two truck drivers have been trapped for an hour before being flown to hospital after a horrific smash on a major NSW highway.
At 11.15am, a B-Double truck crossed the road and collided with a northbound truck on the Pacific Highway about 120km north of Newcastle, police were told.
The two male drivers were trapped inside their trucks for an hour as emergency services fought to free them and they were sent by helicopter to hospital with head and limb injuries.
Passengers from other cars were also caught up in the crash, with four more patients from a car towing a caravan and another car checked by ambulance crew but found to have no major injuries, NSW Ambulance said.
All northbound lanes of the highway and two of the three southbound lanes have been closed.
Truck falls into pit at Chandler rubbish dump
A truck laden with concrete has overbalanced to flip into a rubbish pit, crushing its cabin, at a dump in Brisbane.
The driver was lucky not to have been in the truck when the accident occurred at the Chandler Transfer Station on Saturday morning.
Witness Peter Zamecnik said it appeared the truck was overweighted with concrete in a skip on the back tray.
Mr Zamecnik said the skip had been loaded back-to-front, so was hard to empty.
"It flipped backwards upside down and completely smashed the cab.
"The guy is very lucky he was outside, working the controls, because the cab is non-existent, it's been crushed."
The Brisbane City Council understands the incident was caused by driver error.
"The rear stabilisers were not engaged, causing the heavy load to lose balance," a spokesperson said.
"Safety is Council's top priority, and Council's resource recovery centres adhere to strict safety procedures."
Drivers warned against electronic braking complacency
Some are pushing trucks fitted with electronic stability control to the limit, experts say
The experts say that electronic braking and stability technologies are about control, rather than absolute stopping distances.
They say the technologies are great for already-safe drivers who might encounter a sudden emergency situation, and of course there are plenty of those possibilities with idiot car drivers alone.
However advocates of electronic braking acknowledge there is a risk that drivers will become complacent and push the envelope, thinking the technology will save their bacon if they go too hard.
"It’s the guy behind the wheel 9 times out of 10 who controls the destiny of the vehicle, not the technology," says the Australian Trucking Association’s Chris Loose.
"And what we are tending to find is there is a small group of guys who will drive to the limit of the technology. So by having the technology, it’s fantastic, but physics is physics, it will not save them all the time, we still have to ensure that they have the skills."
Isuzu’s Romesh Rodrigo joined Loose in also warning about driver complacency at this year’s Comvec technical conference in Melbourne.
Rodrigo says drivers need education in the new electronic wizardry. He says while in some applications there have been less rollovers with stability control, there’s also been more wheel end damage.
"The drivers are now just driving to the limit, pushing these vehicles, and there’s a light flashing there but ‘Oh, gee, my truck hasn’t rolled over yet, so that’s a great thing’," says Rodrigo.
"But we’re not teaching the drivers that if that light is flashing, if that (ESC) plug falls out, that truck will be on its side."