The ARTSA Institute (ARTSA-i) launched the Truck Fires Safety Program at the Brisbane Truck Show today.
The heavy vehicle fire safety program aims to tackle heavy vehicle fires occurring each year in Australia.
Martin Toomey, ARTSA-i Chair said that the fire safety program consists of four manuals and six videos aimed at drivers, maintenance staff, fire investigators and transport managers.
The Safety program funded by the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI) has been developed with partners the National Bulk Tanker Association (NBTA) and the Truck Industry Council (TIC).
Toomey said that NTI data reveals that about 10 per cent of serious insurance claims are truck or trailer fires. Heavy vehicle fires can destroy businesses, cause massive inconvenience, considerable environmental damage and put drivers and the public at risk, he added.
“Fires are all too prevalent and prevention measures are sadly lacking. It is time that more was done to promote the often-simple actions for prevention,” said ARTSA-i executive member Dr Peter Hart, a leading forensic expert.
Insurance data also shows that 32 per cent of fires were in the engine bay and truck cabin area and the balance were mainly due to wheel and tyre issues. Electrical failure is a big issue, Hart said.
“If the road transport freight industry can embrace and follow this guide, the prevalence of truck and trailer fires could be halved over the next five years. That would be a saving of about $150 million per year, not to speak of the trauma experienced by drivers and operators and the disruption caused to other road users,” he said.
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the Truck Fires Safety Program was a welcome addition to keeping drivers safe on our roads.
“This is another great example of the HVSI program and industry working to deliver important safety outcomes. I’m confident this useful and practical guidance material will help contribute to a reduction in truck fires,” Petroccitto said.