Trailer Magazine

Critical tanker maintenance explored at Bulk Tanker Day

  • Posted on Wednesday 18th, September 2019.

At the recent Bulk Tanker Day held at the Brisbane Showgrounds, Dave Ingham from EPA NSW enlightened delegates on essential tanker check lists and critical maintenance that must be adhered to for safe DG transportation.

Ingham began by explaining that EPA NSW is the regulatory body responsible for dangerous goods (DG) transport in that state. He said the organisation has had a sharply increased focus on DG tanker safety since the Mona Vale tanker disaster in 2013.

“Upon investigation of this extremely serious incident we identified very poor performance from the company involved in terms of properly maintaining its tankers, and more broadly there were issues with the maintenance of tankers,” said Ingham.

He went on to say that after much work and consultation, the NSW EPA released the Dangerous Goods Tank Vehicle Inspection Manual V2.0 (DGTVIM V2.0) in August 2018. This consists of a comprehensive set of guidelines designed to be easily understood by workshop managers and personnel.

Copies of the DGTVIM were handed out to delegates during the presentation and Ingham stated that this information is also available on the NSW EPA website.

“A key message we have been reiterating is that the more dangerous the goods the better the vehicle and its maintenance needs to be,” said Ingham, adding it is a must that tankers no longer able to meet the high standards DG transport requires are relegated to non-DG bulk liquid roles.

He went on to stress that the age of the tanker does not necessarily preclude it from DG work, stating that he has inspected older well-maintained tankers that were able to fulfil all the requirements. He said that the most likely reason a tanker will be unsuitable for DG work is if the barrel has been repaired or patched multiple times.

“The standard AS1665 applying to welding of aluminium structures simply cannot be met where there have been multiple repairs in the one area,” he said “This is because the multiple welding changes the grain structure of the metal making it prone to fatigue cracking over time.”

Ingham made it clear during the course of his presentation that it was not the intention of the EPA to force operators into spending mega bucks on new equipment rather than maintaining or upgrading suitable older equipment to the required standards for DG.

Indeed, he cited an example of an operator who bought a tanker for $26,000 and spent a further $28,000 to refurbish it to the required standards.

“Therefore, for just over $50,000 this operator has a perfectly suitable and compliant DG tank vehicle, which I think is money well spent and worth doing.”

Ingham also highlighted several other examples of petrol and LPG tankers that had been involved in fiery accidents and subsequently repaired, tested and re-certified, allowing them to be put back into regular service hauling DG.

The next topic on the agenda was roll stability program (RSP) which is required by law to be both fitted and operational on all DG tank vehicles that operate within NSW.

“The legislation states that consignors must not load vehicles which do not have RSP fitted and operating correctly,” he said. “The consignor can sight the EBS sticker on the vehicle as sufficient evidence that RSP is fitted. There are also a number of basic checks that consignors can undertake to ensure the system is operable.”

In related news, Toll Fuels and Energy National Transport Compliance Manager, Shane Falkiner, stressed the necessity for every dangerous goods (DG) and bulk liquid carrier to have an up-to-date and well-rehearsed transport emergency response plan (TERP) relevant to the product being carried. 

(Image: Dave Ingham, STO, EPA NSW.)

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