National transport insurer NTI delivers Australia’s first driver safety campaign aimed at reducing the high rate of tanker rollovers in the dairy industry
Australia’s first road safety initiative designed to reduce dairy tanker rollovers has been delivered, with a catalogue of multi-media training resources now available.
The initiative was developed after research by NTI’s National Accident Research Centre (NTARC) revealed dairy tankers were 2.4 times more likely to be involved in a major crash than other freight-carrying heavy vehicles.
Analysing 2019-2022 data, NTARC found 80 per cent of crashes involving dairy tankers were single-vehicle incidents compared to 59 per cent for all unit types. This difference likely reflects tankers’ operating environment, with lower traffic exposure than other freight tasks.
Of these, the leading cause was speed. For dairy tankers, they represent one-third (32 per cent) of all major incidents compared to one in eight for all unit types (13 per cent).
NTI found the reasons for the high rate of rollovers in the dairy industry are complex and varied.
Its research – based on extensive consultation with consignors, carriers, drivers, and processors across the country – identified the major issue as the “exceedingly challenging operating environment”.
For one, a dairy tanker has unique engineering and physical attributes, with the sloshing and surging of its liquid cargo affecting the vehicle’s stability and driveability.
Dairy tankers also function in a unique operating environment, often travelling on narrow, winding and sub-standard roads both on and off farm that make them particularly susceptible to rollovers.
NTI’s Executive General Manager – Strategy & Supply Chain, Chris Hogarty, says “when we saw the numbers for dairy tankers, we knew we had to do something about it”.
“Dairy tanker rollovers not only endanger the lives of drivers but can also lead to negative environmental impacts that, because of the specific challenges of cleaning and contamination, can be more detrimental than oil spills,” he adds.
“It was important for us to understand the unique conditions that make dairy tankers more susceptible to tipping, including varying load volume, unsealed roads, and tanker dynamics that are unlike any other vehicle.”
With funding through NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative, NTI’s project team – headed by Research Manager Adam Gibson and Australian Trucking Safety Services & Solutions Director Alan Pincott – spent nearly two years working with key stakeholders in the Australian dairy supply chain, and targeted research, to identify the issues and develop solutions.
Pincott – a former VicRoads transport inspector – led the development of similar programs for the Victorian forestry industry which resulted in a 65 per cent reduction in rollovers, from 29 in a year to FY20 being rollover free.
“We’re thankful for the wide industry involvement in this project – dairy companies, equipment manufacturers, and transport operators have all worked with us to identify key areas that needed addressing,” Hogarty says.
The culmination of the project is a package of resources for dairy carriers and drivers including research reports outlining the key factors behind the high rate of rollovers, a ‘Tanker Basic’ book explaining tanker components, common tanker combinations, and tanker dynamics, a series of videos (including never-before-seen in-tanker footage), and training modules and resources.
The team even built a model dairy truck with a see-through tank to demonstrate how that milk moves and how the shifting weight impacts a vehicle’s stability.
“The resource pack will help fill those gaps and is designed to be integrated into already-existing driver training,” Hogarty says.
“Our research and learning materials have the goal of improving safety across all levels of responsibility.”
To register interest and request access to NTI’s dairy safety training materials visit www.nti.com.au/dairy-safety.
Survey seeks member feedback to improve the value and impact of future state committee meetings HVIA is surveying members to…Previous Article