Out of a total of 13 trucks randomly selected from the road for testing in last week’s Brake & Tyre Watch training programme for traffic officials held in the Western Cape, only two trucks passed. No, that’s not a typing mistake – 11 out of 13 trucks tested failed the roadworthy test. Shocking!
When FleetWatch and its Brake & Tyre Watch partners arrived in Cape Town to train some 60 or so traffic officials on how to spot signs of unroadworthiness on trucks, we were hoping the results would be better than the last time we visited the Gene Louw Traffic College in Brackenfell back in in 2009.
During that exercise, we recorded a 100% failure rate with 25 trucks tested and 25 failing. This time it was better – but not by much. Instead of a 100% failure rate, we got an 85% failure rate. I say again – shocking!
The good news is that the cops who attended the training went away highly motivated and determined to put their newly acquired knowledge to work in their daily tasks out on the road. Even the more advanced traffic officials from the Heavy Haulage Squad in the Western Cape – who we were all most impressed with – said they learnt some very valuable lessons which they would be able to implement.
The full report will be carried in the next edition of our FleetWatch magazine but I have included here a few photographs to give a feel for the event. In the meantime, I would like to use this opportunity to acknowledge and say a huge thanks to our partners without whom, none of this would be possible.
FleetWatch salutes Waco, Bridgestone, BPW Axles, HCV, Standard Bank, SANRAL, Mix Telematics, the South African Road Federation, Loadtech (who joined us for the first time), the Imperial Road Safety Programme and Imperial Truck Rental. For assistance in providing a vehicle to transport the team and branding. A big thanks must also go to trailer expert Wolfgang Lehmann and FleetWatch technical correspondent Dave Scott for giving of their time and expertise.
Our manufacturer partner for this event was Mercedes-Benz who provided us with a magnificent Actros 2646 truck tractor through its Mercedes Benz Commercial Vehicles Cape Town dealership which was linked to an equally magnificent ‘tautliner’ brought all the way from Worcester by our trailer partner for this event, GRW. We used this combination on the practical day to show the cops how a roadworthy rig should look like and to show them the various components they had seen on the screen during presentations on the previous ‘theory’ training day.
The enthusiastic participation of all our expert partners makes this such a special project with each partner being there for the right reasons – to improve road safety and reduce the number of deaths on our roads.
We have a saying among our partners: “If all this effort saves just one life, it will have been worthwhile”. We will never know how many lives have been saved through the Brake & Tyre Watch initiative – but we do know it’s more than one. Hats off to all our partners. You are doing this industry and South Africa a great service.
Some moments that were captured… (please mouse over to see the captions)