ComVec: Brake incompatibility a big safety issue

By: Steve Skinner, Photography by: Steve Skinner

ATA’s Chris Loose updates ComVec on the draft guide to braking and stability performance for truck and trailer combinations

ComVec: Brake incompatibility a big safety issue
ATA senior engineering adviser Chris Loose.


Brake incompatibility and vehicle instability is a significant factor in heavy vehicle crashes, says the Australian Trucking Association.

The ATA is working on a draft guide to help trucking operators make their braking systems as compatible and therefore as safe as possible.

"Each brake system has its strengths and weaknesses, and choosing the right truck and trailer combination can significantly increase the safety of the vehicle," says Chris Loose, ATA senior engineering adviser.

"One of the biggest problems with brake compatibility is the ageing fleet, so when people go to upgrade we advise them to aim for stability control across the combination as this will improve safety," Loose adds.

Loose was speaking about the ATA’s draft Guide to Braking and Stability Performance for Heavy Vehicle Combinations, at the ComVec Heavy Vehicle Engineering and Technical Conference in Melbourne.

"Overall, the aim of the guide is to assist operators with understanding brake compatibility to create a safer heavy vehicle combination," he says.

"Brake compatibility is little understood but its involvement in crashes is increasingly being acknowledged.

"Drivers will often comment on combination handling issues and mechanics will notice different brake lining wear rates when poor braking combinations are put together.

"Wear and temperature remain key issues with brake life and regular checks are still necessary, even with the most advanced braking systems, to ensure they are performing correctly."

Loose says the guide has progressed to the final stages of drafting, and will be trialled before being released to the public.

The draft has been developed by several industry associations, including ComVec organiser Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia. Consultation has included the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator. 



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