Truck Safety in Western Australia
Western Australia has its own road laws with special compliance standards to ensure driver protection and efficiency with heavy vehicles. While it hasn’t adopted all the heavy vehicle national laws and regulations that the rest of Australia has implemented, the focus on truck safety is increasing. Here are some tips for your trucking, transport and road safety.
An Overview of Western Australian Truck Safety Laws
If you operate your vehicle under a permit, you must carry a copy of the current permit at all times. Your heavy vehicle or single-trailer combination will either have general access to Western Australia’s state road network or — if it does not adhere to standards of dimensions and mass — be a Restricted Access Vehicle (RAV). A RAV has its own permit and classes.
Pilot vehicle drivers must have a heavy vehicle pilot licence. Standards for truck safety are in the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations, while pilot vehicle drivers operate according to the Heavy Vehicle Agricultural Pilot Authorisation.
Once your vehicle is accredited, you will have regular inspections according to the Heavy Vehicle Compliance Calendar. There are also performance-based standards and policies to adhere to. There are road curfews for public holidays with oversize or overmass vehicles and specific operating conditions for peak hour traffic times.
Secure Loading, Quality Truck Tarps & Airtabs
Secure and efficient tarping involves restraining your load properly. The Load Restraint Guide contains Regulation Performance Standards for load restraint systems. Your load must not shift when:
- 80% of the weight of the load forwards (braking)
- 20% of the weight of the load upwards (rough roads)
- Half of the weight of the load sideways (cornering)
- Half of the weight of the load rearwards (accelerating or braking in reverse)
As long as you meet this standard and the restraints are in good working condition, you can use any type of restraining system. There are three methods of restraint: tie-down, direct restraint, and a combination of the two. Tie-down is the most common and works with the friction from tensioned lashings, while direct restraint uses containers and blocking to hold loads such as liquids and mixed items.
The right truck tarp will help keep your load secure and protect it against adverse weather conditions. Here are a few heavy-duty products available at Bee Jays for your transport needs:
- Tenacitex load restraint curtains: light and easy handling, close-fitting
- Mehler 900gsm (PVC) truck side curtains: light and easy handling, close-fitting, super strong grommets, large combing rail wearstrip to reinforce loading
- Polymar 8556 truck side curtains: weather and temperature-resistant
Airtabs improve safety and efficiency for heavy vehicle drivers. It is a product which controls airflow around the vehicle. In turn, it achieves up to 6% fuel economy and cleaner vehicles and trailers. It stabilises the vehicle for less wear and reduces driver fatigue. Since it is the fronts of vehicles which are streamlined, Airtabs streamline the rear by reducing the drag effect or air turbulence. It also bridges the gap between truck and trailer.
Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue Laws
According to the 2014 Heavy Vehicle National Law, heavy vehicle drivers have work and rest limits to reduce driver fatigue. The law applies to all fatigue regulated vehicles with a gross mass of over 12 tonnes or a bus of more than 4.5 tonnes fitted to carry more than 12 adults including the driver. Drivers must take regular breaks and not be under time pressure. They also cannot skip rest breaks to complete their jobs. Drivers must also record their work and rest details in a National Driver Work Diary.
However, since Western Australia has not yet adopted such a law, you are not required to follow it. It is good judgement for you to take regular breaks as a matter of practice since you will be more efficient. Most importantly, you will avoid accidents. Fatal crashes have decreased dramatically with drivers adhering to work limits and taking rest breaks.
Monitoring Use Technology
Thanks to the Intelligent Access Program, drivers receive better access to the Australian road network in exchange for monitoring compliance. Global positioning remotely monitors the operation of heavy vehicles as well as driver performance, including their breaks. The purpose is to prevent fatigue and inattention, especially with freight drivers. It is not mandatory in Western Australia but some freight drivers do use it to attain access to higher productivity vehicles.
Bee Jays Cnvas – Truck Tarp & Airtab Specialists
We manufacture custom tarps primarily for the transport industry. Our truck tarps include roll tarps, side curtains, Airtabs and several other products to ensure the safety and security of you and your task. To learn more about our tarps, contact us or stop by our Welshpool Warehouse.