Trailer Magazine


Bulk Tanker Day unpacks new tanker standards

  • Posted on Thursday 5th, September 2019.

Held at the Brisbane Showgrounds on 4 and 5 September, the 2019 Bulk Tanker Day provided delegates with a thorough explanation of the revised Australian Standards AS2809 that are coming into force next year, among a host of other topics.

The first session highlighted major changes in the new code and subsequent ramifications for new equipment once it’s implemented.

The code comprises six parts, part one being for bulk tankers in general, and part two covering flammable liquids. Subsequent parts cover compressed liquefied gases, toxic and corrosive substances, bitumen-based products and cryogenic liquids.

Opening speaker for the session was Safe Load Program (SLP) Manager, Lee Stringer.

SLP is a joint venture business of BP, Caltex and Viva Energy. It is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for providing dangerous goods (DG) and tanker drivers with training programs and ID passes for entry to terminals.

The company also provides a vehicle certification program for AS and DG compliance carried out at 116 independent inspection locations, in addition to 60 self-inspect facilities, around the country.

Stringer said the SLP will be conducting the last of its public comment reviews of parts one and two of the new code, which cover the majority of bulk tanker operations, in September this year.

“We are hoping to see the documents, parts one and two, released in December this year,” said Stringer. “We then expect to see these new standards come into action around March 2020 when the next Australian Dangerous Goods (ADG) code is released.”

Stringer explained a lot of the changes have been implemented to make it easier for the standards to be met, without lowering them in any way. He also said the new code will only apply to new equipment manufactured after the implementation date and won’t be retrospective.

Next to speak was Truck Industry Council (TIC) Technical Officer, Chris Loose, who said one of the most important changes with AS2809 will be the mandating of stability control on all DG vehicle combinations encompassing trucks and trailers from next year under the respective ADR35/06 and ADR38/05 standards.

Loose explained that off-road tanker vehicles such as those operated by the Defence Forces will be exempt from the new standards.

He then proceeded to highlight another important change which deals with the shielding of hot areas of a truck, explaining that previous requirements were proving detrimental to the longevity of wiring and other components due to excessive heat buildup.

“Rather than shielding everything at the back of the cab we’ve created a test that defines a ‘hot’ component as anything over 180°C,” said Loose. “So anything that remains below that temperature at all times doesn’t need to be shielded when carrying diesel fuel.”

Further to this, he outlined the less onerous exhaust outlet location requirement which states that it must not discharge closer than one metre from any fuel connection, vent or component opening.

The third speaker was tanker manufacturer Holmwood Group Technical Director, Jason Stables, who described changes to the battery isolation switch to align with European standards.

“The new standard states that battery isolation switches on DG vehicles must activate within 10 seconds, and the rollover battery isolation switch must activate within three seconds after detection of a rollover,” said Stables. “This is to allow the European trucks to shut down in a way that won’t do physical damage to them.”

There is also now a requirement for a battery isolation switch to be mounted and clearly labelled in the cab so that in the event of an emergency the driver can isolate the battery before opening the door.

These and other changes associated with the new AS2809 standards are designed to reduce the complication of the existing standards while enhancing the safety and operability of DG tankers in Australia.

(Image: Chris Loose, Jason Stables, Lee Stringer.)

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