NTI's Driscoll warns of maintenance shortfall risk

Insurer's technical expert says trucks are more likely to be damaged by fire than driver fatigue

September 19, 2013

National Transport Insurance (NTI) is calling on operators to conduct regular vehicle maintenance as trucks are more likely to be damaged by fire than driver fatigue.

The truck insurer's call comes as a truck was engulfed in flames this morning on a notorious stretch of the Pacific Highway at Uranga in New South Wales.

The driver had escaped injuries.

NTI National Industry Relations Manager Owen Driscoll says truck fires are on the rise, with 12 per cent of damaged trucks in 2011 affected by fire, at an average cost of $170,000 per incident.

"These fire losses originated from failed wheel bearings, brakes, engine, cabin electrical wiring and trailer refrigeration equipment," Driscoll says.

"It naturally raises the question of whether the standard of quality and regular equipment maintenance has become less rigorous.

"Workshop technicians can remove many of the risk factors for these fires with preventative measures such as installing circuit breaker protection, ensuring proper tyre inflation and checking wiring for rubbing.

"Truck fires represent an enormous loss to the industry.

"It’s essential that all operators and workshop staff across Australia are aware of the risk factors and work to manage them within their fleet."

Driscoll will appear at next month’s 2013 Paccar & Dealer TMC conference, which
will include sessions on truck maintenance, electrical fault finding, parts purchasing and tyre selection.

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