Industry News

Heavy vehicle safety workshops to be held in SA

A series of workshops focused on heavy vehicle safety and maintenance will soon commence.

Grain Producers SA (GPSA), on behalf of Primary Producers SA, and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) have partnered to deliver the Roadworthy Heavy Vehicles… Made Easy! campaign.

The campaign has been funded by the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative Program, with the support of the Federal Government.

Theory and practical workshops have been organised to provide attendees with industry-specific information pertaining to the NHVR Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual, with a focus on road safety, compliance and maintenance responsibilities.

Heavy vehicle safety operations conducted by the NHVR and South Australian Police (SAPOL) in 2020 support the need for a greater focus on maintaining heavy vehicle roadworthiness.

GPSA Regional Field Officer, Shane Gale, said SAPOL had issued a significant number of defect and expiation notices in the October 2020 operation, providing a timely reminder for all heavy vehicle owners and operators to ensure they understand their heavy vehicle safety obligations.

“The results from the safety operations reinforces the feedback from the first round of Roadworthy Heavy Vehicles… Made Easy! workshops that there is a strong desire from primary producers across all commodity groups to increase their knowledge and improve their practices,” said Gale.

According to Gale, the first round of workshops in 2020 was highly successful, with about 70 per cent of workshop attendees saying they would be likely to make changes to their business after attending the workshops.

“Many attendees said learning how to assess their current safety management systems and increasing their record keeping capacity were great pieces of advice which they could implement into their business,” he said.

As part of the campaign, participants have the opportunity to access a free heavy vehicle inspection with a local mechanic to gain practical tips on maintenance checks.

GPSA member and primary producer Anthony Pfitzner said he found the practical workshop in Riverton particularly valuable to his maintenance practices.

“We have staff who regularly drive our trucks and I want to ensure they are safe and roadworthy for them,” said Pfitzner.

“We get our mechanic to do annual checks on the vehicles, but we don’t get to sit and go through the inspection and what to look for in great detail with them like we could in the practical workshop.”

According to Pfitzner, whatever goes on the road needs to be roadworthy, whether that be a farm-to-farm truck or a truck carting grain and hay on the highway.

“It’s important for us as farmers to take responsibility for heavy vehicle roadworthiness,” he said.

The first workshop for 2021 will be held at Tanunda on Monday 18 January.

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