SAFETY FEATURE: The trucks and trailers that you do see with this protection on the nation's roads have been given the added safety features voluntarily by their different operators.
SAFETY FEATURE: The trucks and trailers that you do see with this protection on the nation's roads have been given the added safety features voluntarily by their different operators. Contributed

Side underrun protection update at TMC 2019

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Technology and Maintenance Conference 2019 (TMC) will include info sessions on a host of different topics including the use of Side Underrun Protection.

DESIGNED to help keep pedestrians, cyclists, cars and motorcycles from going under the wheels of trucks and trailers, the use of side underrun devices, isn't mandated in Australia.

The trucks and trailers that you do see with this protection on the nation's roads have been given the added safety features voluntarily by their different operators.

But there has been one major step towards making the systems a requirement with the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority (MMRA) demanding the construction trucks that are helping to build the city's metro project have the guards fitted.

Lyndon Watson is the business manager at Don Watson Transport and a member of the team that has drafted the ATA's Technical Advisory Procedure (TAP) on side underrun protection.

A keynote speaker at the related TMC session on October 15 in Melbourne, Mr Watson has told Big Rigs the MMRA policy could be a window to the future.

"The Australian Trucking Association's Industry Technical Council has developed a Technical Advisory Procedure (TAP) on side underrun protection which explains how to design and install this essential safety equipment," he said.

"At TMC 2019, the ATA will release the second edition of the TAP. It will include guidance about how to fit the devices to prime movers and rigid trucks - including construction trucks.

"This TAP was developed by industry members and has been prepared with significant focus to be as generic as possible as many operators will have requirements not necessarily specifically referenced in the TAP.

"The purpose of the advisory is to encourage the use of side underrun protection devices by making it easier for trailer builders and operators to find best practice technical information about how to build them.

"Cyclists and other small road users can find themselves in danger if they come in too close to the side of a heavy vehicle, particularly if they move into the space between wheel sets.

"By encouraging the use of side underrun protection devices, road user safety can be improved."

For more details on this session, and others, at the TMC in Melbourne from October 14-16, click here.

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