Truck loses tipper trailer in NSW

Police say truck that lost its trailer and is a timely reminder to industry about the importance of maintenance

November 18, 2013

A truck that lost its trailer in central west New South Wales shows the importance of heavy vehicle maintenance, NSW Police says.

Authorities say they were left amazed no-one was killed after the trailer broke from its chassis and spilled tonnes of wheat onto the road near Condobolin yesterday.

The B-double was rounding a corner about 8.30am when the tipper broke away from the chassis, while the chassis of the trailer overturned.

"Maintenance is a critical component of any vehicle and this incident could have had tragic consequences. It is just fortunate that there were no other vehicles in the vicinity of the truck at the time," NSW Police Assistant Commissioner John Hartley says.

"Whilst this matter will be fully investigated by the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), it serves as a timely reminder that maintenance is critical in the heavy vehicle industry and particularly in harvest transport."

Hartley says investigations will focus on the maintenance of the trucking company involved in the incident.

The truck driver was not injured.

The accident occurred only days after NSW Police and RMS completed a blitz on the M7 near Blacktown and Cecil Hills.

During the operation on November 15, a total of 89 trucks and 46 trailers were inspected at four different sites on the M7.

Authorities sent 11 to the RMS heavy vehicle inspection station at Wetherill Park for further checks.

One vehicle – a prime mover and trailer with tipper – was grounded for having no brakes pads, along with a faulty coupling between the two units.

A total of 57 defect notices were issued during the operation for mechanical faults such as bald tyres, oil leaks, broken headlights and damaged axles.

Police also detected nine vehicles with improperly restrained loads, one over its weight limit and one with a non-compliant speed limiter.

Drivers were also issued with 65 traffic infringement notices or performance infringement notices.

The action was part of Operation Eli, which was formed earlier this year in the wake of a number of heavy vehicle crashes.

It is an ongoing initiative with the aim of achieving a 100 per cent compliance rate among heavy vehicle operators and drivers.

"We will continue to run joint operations like this until the message sinks in: there is no excuse for driving heavy vehicles with fault equipment, and there is no excuse for irresponsible driver behaviour," NSW Police Superintendent Stuart Smith says.

"I have not ruled out running another operation of this kind before Christmas."

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