Safety, Transport Industry News

NTI releases dairy tanker safety campaign

National Transport Insurance has released new safety resources for drivers of dairy tankers in collaboration with the NHVR.
Dairy tanker

National Transport Insurance Limited (NTI) has announced a new campaign targeted at dairy tanker drivers that it is launching as a part of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI).

It is releasing a series of multi-media training resources, which came as a response to new research stating that dairy tankers have been up to 2.4 times more likely to be involved in a major crash than other freight-carrying heavy vehicles.

Led by NTI and supported by the NHVR and the federal government, the training resources include a research report, a series of videos and several training modules for drivers.

NTI executive general manager Chris Hogarty says the resources were carefully created with the collaboration and expertise of key stakeholders within the dairy supply chain.

“Dairy tanker rollovers not only endanger the lives of drivers but can also lead to negative environmental impacts that, because of the specific challenges of cleaning and contamination, can be more detrimental than oil spills,” he says.

“It was important for us to understand the unique conditions that make dairy tankers more susceptible to tipping, including varying load volume, unsealed roads, and tanker dynamics that are unlike any other vehicle.

“In a world first, we filmed the milk inside a tanker as it’s being driven. We built a model dairy truck with a see-through tank to demonstrate how that milk moves and how the shifting weight impacts a vehicle’s stability.

“We’re thankful for the wide industry involvement in this project – dairy companies, equipment manufacturers, and transport operators have all worked with us to identify key areas that needed addressing. The resource pack will help fill those gaps and is designed to be integrated into already-existing driver training.”

Hogarty explains that travelling at any significant speed makes dairy tankers much more susceptible to rollovers than any other freight due to the volume of liquid they carry.

While technology has been created to help combat this, understanding the risks will make drivers more aware of the dangers, he says.

“It’s important to note when we talk about speed in this regard, it does not mean ‘breaking the speed limit’ – even at low speed, as we now know, milk tankers can roll,” Hogarty says.

“Speed represented almost a third (32 per cent) of all major incidents for dairy tank rollovers in that time, compared to 13 per cent of regular freight. Our research showed, in a high proportion of major incidents (16 per cent), dairy tanker drivers were ‘not at fault’. That’s compared to 12 per cent of crashes involving other freight vehicles.

“Our research and learning materials has the goal of improving safety across all levels of responsibility.”

You can find more information on NTI’s website at www.nti.com.au/dairy-safety.

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