Adequate spray suppression has profound effects on safety

When it comes to operating a truck in Australia, regardless of the size of the fleet, safety across the entire supply chain is of paramount importance.

State government initiatives such as the NSW goal of achieving zero fatalities by 2050 saw the development of the 2026 Road Safety Action Plan; focusing on reducing road trauma and creating a safer environment for all road users.

Regulators like the NHVR and industry bodies such as the HVIA provide an information base that allows operators to access relevant information to safety, standards and policy.

The Australian transport industry as a percentage is 4.7 per cent of GDP and as of August 2023 employed over 300,000 people in road transport alone, as published in the Australian Infrastructure and Transport Statistics Yearbook 2023.

The Australian road freight task moved an estimated 241.8 billion tonne kilometres, showing how critical the industry is to the Australian economy in ensuring goods are delivered to just about every corner of the country.

Truckmate Australia has had a long history within the trucking industry, supplying products aimed at ensuring operators and fleet managers alike can be confident that when it comes to spray suppression their equipment is covered.

A common misconception when referring to spray suppression is that it’s just the brush that is fitted on mudguards or along the body. But spray suppression is a collective of parts designed to reduce road spray from a vehicle – and in some cases, the spray suppression is the body of the vehicle itself.

The University of Newcastle has positioned itself as a top institution, ranking in the top 200 of world universities. They boast an impressive array of research facilities covering sustainability, technology, minerals, and their partnership with transport-focused iMove.

Truckmate sought to align itself with a partner that could provide a long-term research benefit, making the University of Newcastle the logical choice.

In 2023 Truckmate Australia embarked on a collaboration with the University of Newcastle to establish the most effective combination when it comes to spray suppression. As a business, Truckmate wanted to bring back awareness of the importance of having adequate spray suppression.

“The benefits of having adequate spray suppression have profound effects on the safety of other road users,” said Truckmate BDM Ross Granger.

The research project utilised several resources including ADR 42/05 mandates and key information from NHVR publications to ensure that each area had been ticked off.

All configurations were simulated in the University of Newcastle wind tunnel using a 1:12 scale model, allowing each one to be measured under controlled conditions and deliver accurate results.

The research project delves into the intricacies of spray suppression systems, focusing on the development and testing of various wheel guard configurations. These configurations, ranging from baseline setups to those equipped with advanced features like spray suppression arches and loop kits, were meticulously examined using a combination of wind tunnel experiments and computer simulations. The findings offer valuable insights into the effectiveness of different strategies in mitigating wheel spray and enhancing road safety.

One of the standout revelations from the study is the efficacy of Configuration 2, which includes full-wheel guards, spray suppression arches, and loop kits. This configuration emerged as a frontrunner in suppressing spray, significantly reducing water plumes. Such outcomes underscore the potential of integrating advanced technologies and innovative design approaches to tackle road safety challenges head-on.

Furthermore, the study emphasises the importance of compliance with regulatory standards, such as the Australian Design Rule 42/05, which mandates the use of wheel guards for heavy trailers. By navigating these regulations while simultaneously optimising wheel guard designs for maximum effectiveness, operators can strike a balance between compliance, and road safety.

“We could not be happier with the results that we received from the university, it reinforces the importance of how the parts work together. It is truly a great time to be a part of the road transport industry, with advances in technology and the opportunity to contribute to safer roads,” added Granger.

As we navigate towards a future of safer roads, it is imperative to build upon the insights garnered from such research endeavours. By leveraging innovation, collaboration, and a steadfast commitment to road safety, we can pave the way toward achieving the ambitious goal of zero fatalities and serious injuries on our roads. The strides made in spray suppression technologies serve as a testament to the power of innovation in creating safer roadways for all.

To discuss your spray suppression needs or collaboration, contact Truckmate Australia on 02 9725 2777.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend