Heavy vehicle fire safety program launches at Brisbane Truck Show

The ARTSA Institute (ARTSA-i) today launched the Truck Fires Safety Program at the Brisbane Truck Show.

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 comprises four manuals and six videos aimed at drivers, maintenance staff, fire investigators and transport managers.

The safety program is funded by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI), supported by the Federal Government, and has been developed in partnership with the National Bulk Tanker Association (NBTA), Truck Industry Council (TIC) and ARTSA-i.

Toomey said that the NTI insurance company claims about 10 per cent of its 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.

According to leading forensic expert and ARTSA-i Executive Member, Dr Peter Hart: “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.”

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 according to Hart.

“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,” said Hart.

“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.”

NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto, said the program was a welcome addition to keeping drivers on the road.

“This is another great example of the HVSI program and industry working to deliver important safety outcomes,” he said. “I’m confident this useful and practical guidance material will help contribute to a reduction in truck fires.”

The manuals and videos are can be downloaded here.