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Peak body condemns tampering, AdBlue servo prices skyrocket

Australia’s peak body representing truck manufacturers, importers and major component suppliers is calling for calm amidst growing disquiet around the looming AdBlue shortage.

In a media statement yesterday, the Truck Industry Council (TIC) also reminded industry that it is illegal to turn off the emission system of a truck.

“Tampering with such a system should be condemned by all within the industry,” said Mark Hammond, TIC chief technical engineer.

“These vehicle emission regulations are in place to protect the health of all Australians.

“Untreated exhaust emissions can cause breathing problems, including asthma, headaches, eye irritation, loss of appetite, corroded teeth, chronically reduced lung function and cancer.”

Hammond said the TIC “stands as one” with the regulator to ensure that this illegal activity is exposed and that offenders are prosecuted.

Tony McMullan, the TIC CEO, stressed that the biggest threat to the industry is from hoarding of supplies, and reiterated the need for calm, a clear message from this week’s roundtable to discuss the issue.

“Attempts to secure long term supply and production, beyond the current stocks available, were well in hand by diesel exhaust fluid (DEF)/AdBlue suppliers, also, it is noted that increased support has been offered by the federal government in sourcing from new markets across the world,” said McMullan.

“The real risk is, and has always been, the potential for operators to start hoarding DEF/AdBlue, which ultimately could result in an unnecessary shortfall in supply.”

One issue surrounding the hoarding of DEF/AdBlue is its relatively short shelf life, especially in summer, warned Hammond.

“Hoarding DEF/AdBlue will be counterproductive for operators,” he said.

“DEF/AdBlue should not be stockpiled. It has a shelf life of approximately one year if stored under the right conditions, however, in hot summer months, its shelf life is more than halved.

“Stockpiling DEF/AdBlue beyond standard business use requirements could lead to it spoiling and becoming unusable, ensuing financial losses for operators.”

Hammond, however, said there is a clear need for DEF/AdBlue to be regulated for quality and supply.

“The situation we are currently exposed to highlights how vital this regulatory action is,” he said.

At the recent roundtable, TIC said stakeholders were reassured that DEF/AdBlue supplies were held in sufficient stock across the country to match demand, provided unnecessary panic buying does not take place.

But it seems that message isn’t reaching the industry’s frontline.

Social media is rife with stories of hoarding, AdBlue price hikes and rationing at servos of 50 litres per customer.

Former truckie, now WA senator Glenn Sterle, has also been inundated with calls from concerned truckies and operators in the last few days, and has experienced the price increases himself, paying $3.50 per litre during another charity run to the north of the state this week.

“The security of our national supply chains are at risk over global shortages of urea/AdBlue,” Sterle added on his Facebook page.

“The transport industry has been warning the government for weeks about this issue but Morrison is asleep at the wheel. It’s an absolute disgrace!

“Truckies are already seeing the price of AdBlue increase in response to the global shortage.

“And where is the money going to come from to cover the extra costs associated with this price rise? It’s going to come straight out of the pockets of hard-working owner-drivers and transport companies. Here we go again, more gouging and no cost recovery!”

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