ATN, 27 July 2015

Transport authority says recent inspections show companies need to lift their game on vehicle maintenance

The message has gone out to Victorian trucking companies to pay closer attention to vehicle maintenance procedures.

Citing the findings from recent truck inspections in Melbourne’s suburbs, Victorian transport authority VicRoads says not enough operators are implementing strong enough maintenance procedures.

It says recent inspections as part of Operation Trishula in Melbourne’s eastern and western suburbs examined more 252 vehicles, 224 of which recorded defects.

“The numbers don’t lie. There are too many heavy vehicle operators ignoring their business and social responsibilities,” VicRoads director of regulatory services Eric Henderson says.

“The majority of heavy vehicle companies operate stringent vehicle maintenance programs, but it is clear from our target testing that some business owners do not regularly maintain their fleet.”

Of the 155 vehicles inspected in the eastern suburbs, VicRoads says 90 had major defects and 44 had minor defects.

It says 97 vehicles were inspected in the western suburbs, with tests showing 57 trucks with major faults and 33 with minor faults.

VicRoads says common faults included steering and brake issues, worn or damaged tyres, broken lights, loose bolts and faulty seatbelts.

It carried out the inspections with Victoria Police and WorkSafe.

“Any unsafe vehicle is a risk, with the potential to cause crashes and road trauma or break down, anywhere, anytime, causing unnecessary hold ups and great inconvenience to other road users,” Henderson says.

“Our message to all road users is to maintain year-round vehicle maintenance and follow regular service schedules. In particular, we encourage heavy vehicle business owners to ensure they operate safe vehicles as we continue our random, targeted, roadside and on-site inspections.”

Vehicles with major faults are immediately taken off the road or give one hour to travel to a repairer.

Minor faults have to be addressed within seven days. Those who do not comply will have their trucks taken off the road.

Extracted in full from Australian Transport News.