RMS container checking operation gets more intense

Figures for the four Operation Steel initiatives around ports show more vehicles getting caught

October 16, 2013

New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has released its latest truck compliance figures for Operation Steel, which is focused on shipping container transport.

Following the fourth such initiative, these reveal that duration, interception and penalty notice issuance rates have risen sharply since Operation Steel 1 in August 28 last year.

Days duration are up from one to five, interceptions from 132 to 319, defects uncovered from 132 to 319 and penalty notices from 41 to 278.

In the past 13 months, 40 per cent of all vehicles intercepted were issued with defect notices and 28 per cent of all vehicles intercepted were issued with a penalty notice.

Meanwhile, 6 per cent of all vehicles intercepted had their engine control modules inspected and 20 per cent of those were found to be non-compliant.

Of the containers themselves, 113 were opened and loads inspected, with 13 per cent of loads inspected having load restraint related breaches.

"Roads and Maritime Services continues to work with NSW Police to target rogue heavy vehicle operators," an RMS spokesperson says.

"Roads and Maritime Services carries out the most stringent heavy vehicle inspection regime in the country.

Any heavy vehicle travelling within NSW can be checked, with Roads and Maritime regularly carrying out targeted and random compliance operations."

Australian Trucking Association NSW Manager Jodie Broadbent says it is disappointing so many defects have been found during Operation Steel.

"ATA NSW is committed to guiding our members by developing tools that can help them identify what good compliance looks like and how to achieve that throughout their businesses," Broadbent says.

RMS has pledged to continue the focus on poorly compliant container carriers servicing Port Botany, Port Kembla and Newcastle.

It has issued seven 'simple steps for improvement' that it says will keep operators out of its sights:

  • Ensure you have a regular vehicle maintenance program in place
  • Document your maintenance schedule
  • Ensure your drivers carry a maintenance repair book
  • Ensure defects are repaired in a timely manner
  • Ensure repairs are carried out to the appropriate standard
  • Refer to the Heavy Vehicle Driver Handbook – Chapter 6 "Know your vehicle"
  • Complete pre-departure safety checks.

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