An innovative safety solution from the Pacific Complete team during its work building the final section of the Pacific Highway upgrade has been applauded by Transport for NSW.
Director North Region Anna Zycki said work on the $4.95 billion Woolgoolga to Ballina (W2B) section of the upgrade has been made safer and more cost effective by this small and relatively inexpensive measure.
“The Pacific Complete team instigated the compulsory use of Wheel Nut Indicators (WNIs) in September last year, after three vehicles lost wheels on site in as many weeks,” Ms Zycki said.
“This was obviously a safety issue first and foremost, but also represented significant costs to the project in terms of repairs and time lost.
“Pacific Complete suspended all heavy vehicle movements across the project and carried out wheel nut inspections before mandating the use of the indicators to help prevent further incidents.”
Wheel Nut Indicators are made of plastic, are usually brightly coloured and are attached to wheel nuts on heavy vehicles to provide an easy method of determining if they have moved or loosened during operation.
They can also help prevent the wheel nuts from falling off and can indicate if a wheel is overheating by having specific melting points.
Ms Zycki said while prices vary depending on size and style, a typical pack of 25 standard size WNIs costs about $40 and they are easy to fit and use, a substantial saving on the costs involved in losing a wheel.
“Many contractors were already using WNIs on the project but making them compulsory across the Pacific Complete supply chain has proved to be a positive move, with no further loss of wheels on the project,” Ms Zycki said.
“It’s been such a success, Transport for NSW is now investigating amending the G22 Heavy Vehicle specification to make them compulsory on all projects.”
The Pacific Highway upgrade, which is funded on an 80:20 basis by the Australian and NSW governments, is on track for completion later this year.