The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is urging operators to check their brakes after recent intercepts in the Blue Mountains region found that 5.2 per cent of heavy vehicles inspected had a brake defect, 14 per cent of which were major.
NHVR director of operations central region Brett Patterson said that the results of these intercepts, which took place at the Mount Boyce Safety Station late last year, were particularly concerning given the road environment in the Blue Mountains.
“A well-maintained braking system with correctly adjusted brakes is essential in any situation, particularly when making descents on the Great Western Highway,” Patterson said in a media release to industry.
“Operators should make sure their brake system components are inspected in the pre-start checks before they start a journey – it may save their life and keep others from harm.”
The NHVR recommends using a daily pre-start checklist, such as the NHVR’s Daily Safety Checklist, before each trip and following the below advice:
- Check for brake faults quickly and efficiently by applying the brake with the engine off and listening for air leaks. Then, with the park brakes released, apply the brake again and listen for abnormal sounds, as this can indicate excessive brake travel.
- Whether they’re minor or major, fix any brake defects before travel.
Additionally, the regulator said it’s important for heavy vehicle operators to:
- Obey all steep decent heavy vehicle speed signage; and
- Always drive to road conditions – the condition of the road can severely impact a vehicle’s brake responses and effectiveness.
For more information on the NHVR Daily Safety Checklist visit nhvr.gov.au/dailycheck.