BTS21: ARTSA-i launches truck fire prevention guidance


Series of safety manuals and videos addresses industry problem

BTS21: ARTSA-i launches truck fire prevention guidance
Photo from one of the documents of an engine compartment fire in a cab-over prime mover

The Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association Institute (ARTSA-i) has launched the Truck Fires Safety Program aimed at reducing heavy vehicle fires in Australia.

The fire safety program consists of four manuals and six videos aimed at drivers, maintenance staff, fire investigators and transport managers.

ARTSA-i chair Martin Toomey cites National Transport Insurance (NTI) data that about 10 per cent of its serious insurance claims are truck or trailer fires, which can destroy businesses, cause massive inconvenience, considerable environmental damage and put drivers and the public at risk.

The safety program is funded by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR)’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI), supported by the federal government, and is developed with partners the National Bulk Tanker Association (NBTA) and the Truck Industry Council (TIC).

"Fires are all too prevalent and prevention measures are sadly lacking. It is time that more was done to promote the often-simple actions for prevention," leading forensic expert and ARTSA-i executive member Peter Hart says.


How a spate of fires in early 2019 heightened industry concern, here


Insurance data also shows that 32 per cent of fires were in the engine bay and truck cabin area and the balance were mainly due to wheel and tyre issues.

Electrical failure is a big issue, Hart adds.

"If the road transport freight industry can embrace and follow this guide, the prevalence of truck and trailer fires could be halved over the next five years.

"That would be a saving of about $12 million per year, not to speak of the trauma experienced by drivers and operators and the disruption caused to other road users."

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says the Truck Fires Safety Program is a welcome addition to keeping drivers safe on our roads. 

"This is another great example of the HVSI program and industry working to deliver important safety outcomes," Petroccitto says.

"I’m confident this useful and practical guidance material will help contribute to a reduction in truck fires.

The manuals and videos are available via www.artsa.com.au/fires.

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