HVIA Awards Recognise Innovative Safety Solutions

A pre-start inspection solution for the hire industry, a portable fire-fighting module, and an AI-powered pedestrian protection system are among six innovative products short-listed for the Safety Innovation category in the 2023 HVIA National Awards

Six finalists have been named in the Safety Innovation category of the prestigious 2023 HVIA National Awards, set to be announced at a Gala Dinner at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on November 24 (tickets are available for purchase here).

Chief Executive Todd Hacking says this award is an especially important one given HVIA’s key objective of promoting an innovative and prosperous industry that supports a safe and productive heavy vehicle fleet.

Todd Hacking says supporting a safe and productive heavy vehicle fleet is a key objective of HVIA

“Every year we witness more of our members’ extraordinary innovation and ingenuity being revealed,” he says.

“These awards are an important initiative to recognise that freight is not just a seven-letter word; it’s food, it’s sanitisation, it’s essential fuels, it’s equipment for our hospitals, parts for our machines, the construction materials that build roads, schools, and our shelter – literally the clothes on our backs.

“And whether your role is making a truck or a trailer, selling it, repairing it, making a component or piece of technology to make the task safer or more efficient, we all play a vital role.”

Company: Scully RSV
Region: Scully RSV Pre-Start Inspection
Safety Innovation: Eastern (Qld, NSW, ACT)

When Scully RSV was seeking a simple and easy solution to capture vehicle pre-start inspections for its fleet of refrigerated utes, rigid vehicles and trailers it found most offerings were tailored to owner-operators.

None catered for the nuances of the hire industry, allowing a different user to complete the same asset checklist, on the same vehicle.

The company researched several providers and failed to find an off-the-shelf solution, until it met with SafetyCulture – an Australian-based technology company which specialises in safety solutions.

A simple QR code was created and printed on a sticker that was fixed to its vehicles and when scanned launched an inspection checklist, notifying users of any issues.

Unveiled at the 2023 Brisbane Truck Show, the platform can integrate with third-party applications and be used by anyone in the industry at a much more cost-effective rate than owner-operator models.

Scully RSV is currently rolling out this initiative across its entire fleet of more than 1,000 assets from refrigerated utes to trailers, supporting its mission of having the safest fleet in the industry.

In addition to its own fleet, anyone can access this solution from SafetyCulture. The SafetyCulture platform has a separate OH&S reporting feature accessible by digital format to anyone in the company, further driving safety initiatives across the national network of branches.

The solution also integrates the pre-start inspection with IT platforms, such as the ERP system, ScullyLive and other third-party providers including Inauro. These integrations provide the fleet operations team with a 360-degree view of Scully RSV’s fleet across the entire country, ensuring vehicle performance, safety, service and maintenance data are all monitored and in real-time.

With the internal rollout almost complete, the company is turning its focus to educating its customer base through a simple and effective statement – ‘Safety in Seconds’.

Company: Base Air Global
Production Innovation: Base Air®
Region: Eastern (Qld, NSW, ACT)

Base Air® is a pressure-control system that allows vehicles to operate between single- and dual-circuit air suspension as required, reducing vibration and improving load-share, freight damage, tyre-wear, fuel consumption, and Electronic Brake System (EBS) intervention.

Installed into a vehicle’s existing air suspension, the system uses two custom height control valves (HCVs), one dual-pressure protection valve (DPPV), and air lines of equal length and diameter, are combined with unique ‘Crossflow’ technology.

The HCVs split a vehicle’s total number of air springs into two sets – one left and one right. Both sides are then connected, via a single ‘Crossflow’ line. Special ports within each HCV manage airflow through this line, in response to a vehicle’s environment. On level ground, these ports are open, and the system operates as one circuit, with air evenly managed across both sets of springs.

However, if the vehicle leans more than 1.5 degrees left or right, these ports close, isolating the air either side. This creates two circuits, enabling the HCVs to determine what pressure is best for their respective set of springs.

Importantly, once the vehicle returns to level ground, the ‘Crossflow’ reactivates, allowing air pressure in both sets of springs to equalise.

Independent testing conducted in 2022 at the Australian Automotive Research Centre (AARC) identified three areas that the Base Air® system impacts heavy vehicle safety:

  1. A reduction in driver fatigue: The testing found vibration was reduced for the driver, along with the amount of required steer correction. This is due to a more predictable vehicle response from the stability of the spring over time.
  2. An improvement in load share, maintaining the stability of the vehicle over the long-term: Traditional dual-HCV systems have air spring sets that gradually move out of alignment, with the pressures eventually reading different on the dash. The 2022 testing found that this problem is solved by Base Air®’s ‘Crossflow’ technology.
  3. Uniform deflating on a vehicle, should a complete loss of air spring pressure occur. The testing (and fleet trials) found that should a complete loss of air pressure occur, the vehicle deflates evenly down to the bump-stops. This means increased safety for driver, vehicle, and surrounding motorists.

Base Air® is a near bolt-on replacement of select components in existing products from major suspension OEMs, with average installation time of only six hours.

The system is currently installed on prime movers, trailers, dollies, coaches, caravans, agricultural vehicles, and select SUVs.

Wickham Freight Lines report 20-30 per cent tyre-wear reduction using the system; while Martins Stock Haulage report the typical lifespan of trailer tyres has been extended from 180,000-200,000km to more than 230,000km – plus reduced fuel consumption and freight damage.

MORE: Watch the video

Company: Magnum Australia
Region: Southern (Vic, SA, Tas)
Safety Innovation: Magnum Portable Fire-Fighting Module

Magnum Australia has developed a portable fire-fighting module designed for transport depots, equipment OEM’s and dealerships.

The module has been developed to assist companies mitigate OH&S risk on sites where fuel, equipment and battery storage pose an ever-present fire risk.

The module is fully self-contained incorporating fork pockets so that it can be picked up and moved by forklifts already operating in these environments.

The system can be utilised in reactive and pre-emptive scenarios.

In the instance of fire on site, the module can be used as a first responder by quickly placing it at a safe distance from the fire source (25 metres).

The cannon is then actuated by Bluetooth or RF remote control that has a range of 400 metres and will continuously dose the fire using water or foaming agent for approximately 10 minutes before emergency services arrive.

The module can also be used as a supplemental fire protection device by positioning the device in front of a high-risk area overnight. Equipped with a thermal camera, the system will detect pre-combustion temperature at a target area and once reached the cannon will automatically be deployed.

The system can be fitted in a stationary configuration in a warehouse and adapted to a wide range of mobile devices including track mounted robots and drop in tank systems that immediately covert a tipper into a fire-fighting device.

The solution has been very effective in a variety of industries and the company has multiple contracts pending with global companies in recycling, mining, warehousing, and dealerships.

MORE: Watch the video

Company: National Transport Insurance
Region: Eastern (Qld, NSW, ACT)
Safety Innovation: NTARC National Truck Accident Research Centre

The National Truck Accident Research Centre (NTARC) is an independent research facility wholly funded by insurer NTI. NTI believe effective research is crucial for gaining greater insights into serious heavy vehicle crashes.

NTARC has taken the initiative to use disaggregated and de-identified data which they receive from customers insurance claims to provide yearly major crash investigation reports which are accessible to the public and summarise the state of heavy vehicle incidents in Australia.

Since its inception, NTARC has produced 11 reports (one a year) on major commercial vehicle crash investigations. These reports are critical in raising industry awareness and showing key metrics on the causes of serious incidents.

Over the past 11 years, NTARC has refined its own customer accident database to present data in a meaningful way to highlight critical areas of interest such as driver deaths as a result of crashes and causes of serious crashes such as fatigue, driver error and other key factors.

NTARC in recent years has expanded its safety initiatives to take on programs such as the ‘Spilt Milk’ tanker rollover initiative and provide valuable safety guides for operators on topics such as sleep apnoea, learning from technology, and developing leadership skills. All NTARC initiatives are freely available from its website to the public.

The example set by NTI and NTARC is transferrable as they have found an effective model to turn their data into metrics of significance which can be used to educate and influence key stakeholders in government into targeted action on heavy vehicle safety such as mandating safety technologies through ADRs including advanced braking and vehicle stability functions.

Region: Eastern (Qld, NSW, ACT)
Safety Innovation: MAX-SAFE SideView Pedestrian Protection Safety Solution

The MAX-SAFE SideView Pedestrian Protection system utilises AI-programmed cameras to detect vulnerable road users in the left-hand side blind spot during left-turn manoeuvres, triggering in-cab and external warnings.

This system provides a solution to the high incidence of bicycle, scooter and motorbike riders being hidden from a driver’s view in the left-hand side blind spot and being struck by the vehicle because of a left-turn manoeuvre.

An AI camera is installed on the front left-hand side of the vehicle. The camera’s activation is dependent on the engagement of the left-hand indicator or the detection of a 25-metre radius turn.

Whenever a person is identified within the left-hand side blind spot during a left-hand turn manoeuvre, both the driver and the vulnerable road user receive timely warnings. The driver is alerted through an in-cab vocal warning stating ‘pedestrian detected’, accompanied by a flashing dash-mounted light.

Simultaneously, the vulnerable road user is notified through an external speaker broadcasting ‘caution – vehicle turning left’, accompanied by an external flashing LED light array.

The system was formally trialled by construction company BMD on a project in Victoria which established the MAX-SAFE SideView as highly effective in the detection of both vulnerable road users and site workers alike. Other civil contactors are now conducting their own trials with a view to bring new levels of heavy vehicle safety across the state’s infrastructure projects.

The MAX-SAFE SideView is applicable to all heavy vehicles across all sectors.

MORE: Watch the video

Company: Carmate Electronics
Region: Eastern (Qld, NSW, ACT)
Safety Innovation: Mata7S Multi-Trailer TPMS

Mata7S is a multi-trailer tyre pressure monitoring solution (TPMS) suitable for monitoring tyre pressure and temperature – as well as giving drivers real-time alerts for punctures – on semi-trailers, B-doubles and road-trains. It claims four key features.

Firstly, the system can monitor the truck plus up to six trailers to a total of 110 tyres. Another key feature is that Mata7S enables seamless and unrestricted hook-and-drop between different trucks and trailers. The trailers/dollies can be picked up by different trucks, swapped out or around for maintenance without any additional programming required.

Thirdly, installation is simple and clean with minimal wiring. A head unit in the truck provides onboard monitoring and alerts for tyre pressure abnormality, and a modular system that collects and transmits data for each additional trailer that requires monitoring.

Finally, Mata7S also enables data output for telematics. This makes it the perfect solution for fleet tyre management. If the solution is integrated with fleet management systems, it can send an alert to the operating manager. The driver can either stop or drive to the next depot and have the tyre checked and the issue rectified.

Borne out of what it perceived as a gap in the market for a TPMS for B-doubles, the company now has a full line-up of tyre pressure monitors for trucks of all sizes, from rigids to road-trains.

Launched at the 2023 Brisbane Truck Show, Mata7S has been installed in multiple B-doubles for transporting goods, mining trucks, tree haulage vehicles, cranes and tractors in NSW, QLD, WA and NZ.

MORE: Watch the video

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