Truck and dogs dominate NTI's concerns

Truck and dogs dominate NTI's concerns

Despite the Cootes disaster and its aftermath, the nation’s largest truck insurer says tankers don’t "jump off the page" in its claims book.

National Transport Insurance (NTI) Industry Relations Manager Owen Driscoll (pictured) says that taking tankers of all types into account, he doesn’t lose any sleep over them.

"We don’t have a major issue with tankers at all. They don’t jump off the page," he says.

"On our books the majority of tankers are in a fleet scenario, and we usually find that their history is good, they’re usually well-accredited, their risk management programs are comprehensive, and the gear is good."

However, Driscoll is very concerned about heavy rigids in their truck and dog configuration, which accounted for nearly a quarter of NTI’s major crashes in 2011.

Of these truck and dog crashes, a whopping two-thirds were put down to driver error or inappropriate speed.

A quarter involved rolling over while tipping. Rear-enders are also common in this category.

Driscoll says truck and dogs are performing an increasing share of the freight task, but with arguably lesser skilled and experienced drivers compared to those behind the wheel of semi-trailers and B-doubles.

He adds that they face less enforcement than line-haul drivers.

"A lot of them are just non-compliant on driving hours," Driscoll says.

"Are they as fully compliant as someone who is being monitored on the highway all the time? Of course they’re not."

NTI says it has more than 40 percent of the available heavy vehicle market in the hire and reward sector.

For a decade Driscoll has been compiling a public report every two years on the causes of major accidents involving NTI clients.

His Major Accident Investigation Report examines accidents causing more than $50,000 worth of claims to NTI.

The latest report, released last year, analysed 460 major accident claims lodged during 2011.

Check out the January edition of Owner//Driver for the full story on truck accident research. Click here secure your copy.

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