Imperial Road Safety recently attended the first of four Fleetwatch Brake and Tyre Watch events, designed to raise transport operators’ awareness around the subject of efficient brake and tyre checking and preventative maintenance on trucks.
Imperial Road Safety joins a team of founder partners, most of whom have supported the Programme from its inception nine years ago, who give of their time and expertise to train traffic officials around the country. These include Wabco, BPW Axles, HCV, Jost, Bridgestone, SA Road Federation and Standard Bank. These companies have been joined in recent years by Mix Telematics and at each event the team is joined by the road concessionaire on whose road the event is held, as well as a different truck manufacturer each time. The Potchefstroom event was supported by Volvo Trucks and SANRAL.
Imperial made the decision to partner with the Brake and Tyre Watch initiative this year, as the project carries a strong synergy with what the Imperial Road Safety campaign advocates: that road safety starts with each and every one of us especially high frequency road users, such as trucks.
Over the 26 Brake and Tyre watch events held since 2006, there have been a total of 574 trucks tested, with 384 being discontinued as they failed the safety tests translating to a failure rate of 67%! At the Potchefstroom event last week, 30 vehicles were pulled over of which 21 were discontinued. This meant that 70% of vehicles pulled over failed brake and/or tyre checks in this regard.
The project, designed to train traffic officials in identifying signs of unroadworthiness on trucks, and empowering them to become advocates for change themselves in the road safety arena, is also intended to raise transport operators’ awareness around the subject of efficient braking and tyre checks linked to preventative maintenance on trucks.
Imperial believes that the project truly makes a difference to road safety where, given the sheer number of unroadworthy trucks on the countries roads, identifying these trucks as a hazard and pulling them off the road can make a fundamental difference to road incidents.
The first day was theoretical, focusing on the quality of brake maintenance and determining braking efficiency, through to tyre faults, which included a practical check with a roadworthy truck and trailer. The second day was focused on practical examples and training which included trucks being pulled off the main road and put through a ‘Brake Roller Test’ so as to ascertain the state of brakes and braking systems on each vehicle. The vehicles were also checked in the pit for tyre and other faults.
The rationale behind the project is that all too often crashes are blamed on two things, either ‘the brakes failed’ or ‘the tyre burst’. FleetWatch contends that brakes only fail if you fail to put your foot on the brake pedal or when the operator has failed to maintain the brakes with the latter neglect the biggest concern.
Imperial Road Safety was excited to attend and assist with checking and testing the trucks with FleetWatch and the team were inspired by see Patrick O’Leary’s (editor of FleetWatch) passion for truck driver safety and educating drivers, which is nothing short of remarkable. He truly stands for the ideal that road safety starts with each and ever one of us.