Our last Brake & Tyre Watch project saw our team return to Bloemfontein to train the cops from the Free State as well as Northern Cape.
The good news is that after the two day exercise , the first day theory and the second practical – over 60 traffic officials were empowered with trucking knowledge. The bad news is that of the 26 trucks taken off the road for testing, 22 were served with Discontinuation of Service notices. That’s an 84% failure rate writes Patrick O’Leary.
Whenever we set off on another Brake & Tyre Watch venture, the team always hopes that we will find improvements. The hope is that instead of reporting on trucking failures, we will discover trucking excellence and best practice. Alas, that has never been the case and we have now done 13 exercises across the country. In the Western Cape, we recorded a 100% failure rate.
What was most encouraging on this one was the pure enthusiasm of the traffic officials towards the learning process. As one of the senior traffic officials commented to us a week or so afterwards:
“I did some post project assessment at various stations around Bloemfontein after the training and have had very positive feedback from the officers. On Friday, one officer suspended two vehicles and his comment was that it feels nice to get up in the morning and know that with his new found knowledge, he can make a difference. Work has changed for him overnight.’
He added that he had, since the project, seen some officers in Bloemfontein suspend a vehicle a day and their comments were that they felt confident in identifying unroadworthy wrecks on the road. “In short, it was a very successful training project enhancing the skills of both local and provincial traffic authorities,’ he said.
FleetWatch wishes that operators would get that same enthusiasm towards ensuring the roadworthiness of their trucks. The following pages show some of the faults found. It just can’t go on like this.
Once again, FleetWatch would like to extend a warm thanks to our partners, without whom none of this would take place. They are the real stars in this. Thanks to Wabco, Bridgestone, HCV, the South African Road Federation and SANRAL. For this exercise, we were also joined by MAN Truck & Bus who brought along a TGS 27.480 to show the cops the superb features of a roadworthy truck tractor. Thank you for that.