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Haulage Safety

Truck Maintenance and Record Keeping

More and more truck incident investigations are being conducted by the relevant State authorities. There is a growing need for truck owners and drivers to be able to demonstrate to these authorities that both the truck and driver were in a safe working condition prior to an incident taking place. Generally the bigger the consequences of the incident the more scrutiny both will come under.
Ensuring that the truck was in a safe working condition is not as difficult if the truck has just been serviced and signed off as road worthy, but this becomes more difficult as the time since the last inspection by a qualified person becomes greater.  The period leading up to the next service and sign off by a qualified person requires more diligence and better record keeping by the owner and driver.  The daily pre-operational checklist must be detailed enough to cover a variety of issues from the function of the truck's safety features to important components of the truck and its trailer(s).  The detail within these checklists may assist both the driver and owner of the truck to demonstrate that, to the best of their knowledge, the truck and trailer(s) were in a safe working condition.
Whether the driver was in a safe working condition will be checked by the State authorities via drug and alcohol testing after the incident.  The recording of driver hours will be scrutinised in depth and the records need to be consistently completed and available for inspection. 
The state authorities will investigate the driver to determine whether the driver was in a safe working condition. If the authorities determine that the driver was not in a safe working condition, the contractor's insurance policy can be void or limited.

Vehicle Inspections:

Please find below a link to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator. The manual outlines key road worthiness criteria. This manual can be used by contractors as reference documents when undertaking their internal vehicle inspections.