Truck driver trapped after accident in Melbourne

A truck driver is trapped and traffic has been blocked in both directions in Lloyd Street, West Melbourne.

The Age reports the driver is conscious and emergency crews are working to free the man.

The truck reportedly hit a clearance rail on Lloyd Street at 9am this morning. The truck is said to have tipped, trapping the driver.

North and south-bound traffic is expected to be blocked until the early afternoon.

Police are urging anyone who witnessed the collision to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit

New truck provides haulage of B Double with single trailer handling

Waste management company Ellwaste called on the expertise of Freighter to build a vehicle that would perform like a B-double combination, but handle like a single trailer.
Having long understood that versatile equipment was key to improving productivity in the field, Ellwaste sought to add an extra hooklift container bin to each of their loads.
Voted the ‘Best Trade Business’ at the 2004 Gannawarra Business Excellence Awards, Cohuna-based Ellwaste in Northern Victoria sees itself as an innovator in the waste industry, with recycling at the forefront of its operation. But the subsequent need to boost the performance of its fleet prompted the company to explore ‘left field’ options including the concept of PBS, which factors in the trailer’s actual performance on the road instead of focusing on size and length alone.
According to Stephen Elliott, Operations Manager at Ellwaste, the company had been discussing the concept of a larger skel trailer that could hold multiple hooklift container bins, but built in such a way that the vehicle would perform like a B-double combination, and handle like a single trailer.

To read the rest of the article and how the vehicle operates, click here,

Two men dead after ammonium nitrate truck fire

Two men have died and another is inured after a crash which saw a truck carrying ammonium nitrate catch fire in Western Australia last night.

The crash occurred at about 10:30pm on the Great Northern Highway when a car collided with a truck about 25km north of Wubin.

A police spokeswoman said the driver of the truck and a passenger in the car died at the scene, the West Australian reported.

The driver of the car escaped serious injury and was airlifted to Royal Perth Hospital.

Ammonium nitrate is a fertiliser that is highly flammable.

It is commonly used in the mining industry as an additive to explosives.

The road is expected to be closed until noon today as crews work to clear the scene.

Major crash officers are investigating the accident.

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Coke truck stolen and set alight

A Coca cola truck was found engulfed in flames after being stolen from a Kalgoorlie freight company.

Fire fighters were called at about 12:45pm on Tuesday after the truck was spotted at the intersection of Kwolyin Rd and Frost rd, Kwolyin, 200km east of Perth.

Police said the truck had been stolen from Kalgoorlie some time between 7 and 7:20 pm.

The thieves reportedly smashed an office window to grab the keys before driving the Mercedes truck through metal gates.

The thieves remain on the run.

Police are asking with anyone information to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000


Driver spends night trapped in truck cabin after accident

A man spent the night trapped in the cabin of his truck after he crashed down an embankment near Lithgow.

The truck, carrying bales, crashed through a guard rail on the side of the Great Western Highway before rolling 10 metres down the embankment at 9pm on Tuesday, SMH reported.

Because of the remote location and the fact it was dark, emergency crews only found about the accident on Wednesday morning.

The 64-year-old driver from Young spent 10 hours trapped in the vehicle before he was rescued and flown the Liverpool Hospital. He is being treated for leg injuries and hypothermia.

Police want to speak to anyone who may have seen the accident.


Truck catches fire on Bruce Highway

A truck carrying wheat caught fire on the Bruce Highway near Bajool after two of its tyres blew.

Two Rockhampton fire crews and the Bajool rural brigade were called to the scene, the Bulletin reported.

It is thought the rear tyre on the driver’s side blew first, but that the driver was unable to pull over so another also blew.

Both tyres caught fire.

A Queensland Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said the vehicle was well alight, but crews were able to extinguish the blaze.

It is unknown if the truck driver sustained any injuries.


Truck suspension monitor wins recognition

The Chek-Way Eliminator system, which monitors truck suspensions, has been recognised for its potential on the ABC-TV show ‘The New Inventors’.
Designed by Queensland engineer Roger Sack, the Chek-Way Eliminator system was announced as the invention of the week.
The system works by using Air Pressure Transducers (APTs) connected to truck suspensions to measure their load weight, load distribution and suspension condition. This not only ensures the truck is in full compliance of the law, but can also reduce the damage the truck causes to the road.
But the system has another benefit: it has the ability to record the existing damage to the road. By measuring the G-forces placed on the suspension, any significant road damage is recorded, and through the use of GPS reported to the relevant road authority.
ATA General Council owner/driver representative Rod Hannifey has the Chek-Way System installed on his Truckright Industry Vehicle and said it has benefits for both the trucking industry and governments.
“In simple terms, the device constantly monitors my load distribution and suspension condition, which saves money by preventing damage and ensuring the truck remains on the road,” Rod said.
“To operate under HML we have to regularly check our suspension to ensure it is road-friendly. This system can tell us exactly how the suspension is performing, and when it needs to be replaced.”
According to Rod, the system’s ability to report dangerous road hazards to authorities could change how the trucking industry and governments interact.
“When it comes to the issue of damage to roads, the trucking industry and governments’ relationships has always been a bit us-versus-them,” Rod said.
“We are the usually blamed for all the damage to the road. But if we had properly constructed and maintained roads to drive on, damage wouldn’t be as much of an issue.
“That’s where this system comes into its own. Every time a significant bump in the road is recorded a GPS location is taken.
“When the information is downloaded, it can then be used by the roads authority to accurately record the site, which can then be repaired.
“For the industry, it means we will have better roads to drive on, which will significantly reduce the cost of repairs to our trucks, as well as make our roads easier to drive, which will have a big impact on fatigue."

Fuel prices: worse to come

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has spoken out about the rising fuel prices and the impact this is having on transport companies.

VTA CEO, Philip Lovel said: “The transport industry is carrying the burden of these fuel prices and we need to ensure that transport operators are sharing this burden with their customers, or they will not survive.”

World oil reached a new record price above 120 US dollars a barrel on Tuesday as concerns over the United States economy continue. Oil prices on both sides of the Atlantic have nearly doubled in a year and have continued to soar since the benchmark New York contract broke through the 100 US dollar mark at the start of the year.

Philip Lovel said that the only positive is that the Australian Dollar is at record levels, and if it ever drops below 90 cents to US dollar we are all in trouble!

Supply jitters in Nigeria and geopolitical tension over Iran have added to the price surge. Nigeria has lost about half its oil output amid a strike and rebel attacks. A group of Nigerian militants attacked an oil ship off the coast of West Africa.

Problems continue in Iran, which said on Monday it would reject any offer that violates its right to the full nuclear fuel cycle after world powers said they had prepared a new package to end a long-running standoff over its nuclear programme. Oil players fear the ongoing tension could result in Iran using oil as a bargaining chip. Iran is the second-largest producer in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel.

Mr. Lovel said: “The daunting thing about the recent price rise is that there was no shortage of oil, no sudden embargo, no exporter turning off its spigot. Some attacks on pipelines in Nigeria was all it took. We are in a period of world uncertainty but as an industry we must survive. If the transport operators are not receiving a fuel levy from their customers then they are in trouble. Every company should have a fuel levy in place. The fuel levy is negotiated with customers, and there are also specific levies for sub-contractors.”

The VTA has information on price increases and can assist companies in setting up a monthly fuel levy which is a rise and fall paid one month in arrears. With this system no one loses. For example since May 2003:

• A 3 tonne truck fuel cost percentage has moved from 13% to 19% in the VTA cost model;

• An 8 tonne truck has moved from 13.45% to 19.22%; and

• A 12 tonne truck has increased from 10.95% to 18.01%.

This equates to thousands of dollars that a transport company cannot afford to cover to stay in business. If companies are not adjusting to this change then they are losing margins which they will find impossible to recover. The VTA appeals to all customers to work with their transport providers to agree on how they can adjust to this unprecedented change in fuel costs.

Mr. Lovel concluded: “We can’t have companies living in a false hope that the prices will go down to levels of five years ago. The price of crude is expected to hit US 200 dollars a barrel in the next two years. Trucks play an important role in our economy, and are the primary means of moving our freight and day to day goods. We need to ensure they can still operate effectively.”

What has happened with fuel prices?

Year 1 May – Diesel Cents Per Litre (CPL)

2001 96.81

2002 88.33

2003 92.90

2004 97.60

2005 116.61

2006 145.81

2007 124.22

2008 165.63

For further information on the VTA Fuel Levy please contact the VTA. We are able to work with transport companies and customers to develop individual fuel levies for your business.

VTA member survey

The VTA conducted an industrial relations survey in November 2007 and asked if members charge a fuel levy to customers. Of the 48 total responses, 13 stated they do not (27% of respondents). This figure indicates that many businesses are still not charging a Fuel Levy, despite the rising fuel costs and the impact on their business.


Australian-made reach truck

Crown Australia has introduced a new, locally designed and built SHR5500 Series Crown Power Steered Walkie Reach Truck. The SHR5500 Series is the latest release in the company’s history of developing and manufacturing equipment in Australia for Australian conditions that spans more than 40 years.

This entirely new series has been designed to work effortlessly where space is limited.

All models in the series have standard electronic power steering and brake override features, allowing the units to manoeuvre in aisles as compact as 2.4m, while the high visibility mast, carriage and redesigned reach mechanism improve load handling and positioning.

The redesigned reach mechanism provides the SHR5500 Series with the ability to perform the tasks of a counterbalanced lift truck while retaining the space saving size of a narrow aisle lift truck, plus the ease of manoeuvrability afforded by new power steering.

“Crown understands productivity comes from an ergonomic design that is reliable and durable, ultimately meeting the unique demands of each circumstance,” said product manager Rod Squires. “We often find counterbalanced trucks used in situations where a stacker is really a better tool. This new Australian-made Series brings total flexibility to these situations.”

As with all Crown vehicles, the SHR5500 Series combines the engineering strength and reliability of Crown products with new technology to give customers and operators a unit that is safe, reliable and easy to use.

To mark the introduction of the SHR5500 Series, Crown is offering obligation-free trials of this new unit. Contact Crown Equipment on (02) 8788 0000.

Transport licencing to be standardised across Australia

The nation’s transport ministers have agreed to put in place a single national registration and licencing scheme for Australia’s 375,000 heavy vehicles by 1 July 2009.

This outcome is good news for road safety because one in ten licence holders are truck drivers and this will ensure they all meet the same high qualification standards no matter where they live.

It’s also good news for business because it means they can move their goods around the country without the red tape and cost of eight different registration systems.

Meeting in Melbourne, the Australian Transport Commission (ATC) has given its in-principle support to "A New Beginning for Transport", a national action plan for keeping people and freight moving.

As well as a national scheme for heavy vehicle registration and licensing, the action plan includes:

· A single national approach to maritime legislation covering commercial vessel survey, certification, crew competencies and some operational practices;

· A partnership with industry to attract, train and retain transport workers;

· Progressing work on the establishment of a national road safety advisory council; and

· A report to the November ATC meeting on progressing to a national system for driver license and registration for all vehicles.

According to federal transport and infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese, "Ultimately the measures agreed to today are all about getting products onto supermarket shelves at the lowest cost, supporting the sustainable growth of our cities and giving working families better access to jobs, healthcare, schools and recreational activities.

"It will also do more to prevent road deaths, help Australia meet its international climate change obligations, tackle the regulatory ‘red tape’ hindering national productivity and respond to emerging skill shortages.

"’A New Beginning for Transport’ is more than just a ‘tune-up’. It’s a blueprint for ‘reconditioning’ the engine room of economic growth – the nation’s transport system," he said.

Ministers will do further detailed work on the action plan before submitting it to COAG.

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