Line haul trucks emerged as the safest heavy-duty vehicles on Australian roads, according to a National Roadworthiness Baseline Survey.
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator conducted the poll, which covered 7,130 vehicles that consist of 11,066 vehicle units. A team of 364 inspectors evaluated these heavy-duty carriers and transporters, including semi-trailers and B-doubles, between August and November 2016 at roadside checkpoints, state inspections facilities and operator depots.
Based on the poll, line haul operations mostly operating B-double and road train combinations are the safest. The results debunked the sector’s critics that continually hold a negative impression on trucks. Industry opponents argued that an average truck’s age in the country is 14 years old, using this as a basis for the risks involved in an ageing fleet on public roads.
However, the survey countered these claims by revealing that the average age was based on the dates of vehicle registrations, as opposed to the actual number of trucks that travel along highways.
The poll also showed that Australia garnered better results in terms of fleet health compared to the UK and U.S. The results will help Australia’s heavy-duty transport sector in placing greater focus on inspection programmes and devise ways to improve mechanical equipment, according to Darren Chester, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.
According to the survey and some additional notes from MFI Service Bodies, whether or not they are equipped with a custom service body, line haul trucks and newer vehicles are less likely to have major non-conformities on fleet health — particularly by five times compared to those that are 10 years old and above. However, brakes accounted for the highest rate of non-conformity for the heavy-duty vehicles.
Trucks have had a negative reputation on the road, partly because of their intimidating size. However, the survey proved that heavy-duty vehicles are fit to be driven on public roads with the right equipment and trained personnel.