INDEPENDENT NEWS

Thirty day trial for longer, lower loads on trucks

Published: Thu 18 Oct 2001 09:25 AM
For immediate release 17 October 2001
Thirty day trial for longer, lower loads on log trucks
The Land Transport Safety Authority (LTSA) has approved a limited 30 day trial of 22 metre log trucks, beginning today. The trial will involve seven log trucks operating under special LTSA permits on roads in Northland, the East Coast and the central North Island.
The trial follows a proposal from the Log Transport Safety Council suggesting that safety could be further improved by reducing the heights of certain loads from 4.25 metres to 3.2 metres. This requires some loads to be reconfigured, increasing their length by two metres and putting the overall vehicle length beyond the 20 metre limit.
Computer modeling commissioned to assess the proposal estimated that the reduced load height would improve the trucks' stability and could reduce rollovers by up to 47%. Rollover currently occurs in over two-thirds of log truck crashes.
The trial will put the trucks through a series of handling tests in a controlled off-road environment to see if the results of the computer models can be replicated in practice. On-road video footage will also be collected to assess how the trucks perform around other traffic.
Each truck will bear an 0800 LOG TRUCK sign, and all public comments received from the free phone line will be used in assessing the trial. The trucks are also required to display extra signs and flags, including a high visibility sign on the rear of the trailer reading "22m LOGTRUCK". Each truck is checked by an LTSA Vehicle Compliance Officer before being allowed on the road.
For further information:
Andy Knackstedt Bruce Nairn
LTSA Media Manager Log Transport Safety Council
Tel: 04 494 8751 or 025 763 222 025 943 695

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