Truck fires are a growing problem for our industry. In the 2013 National Transport Insurance (NTI) Major Accident Investigation Report, which tracked 461 claims of over $50,000 made to NTI during 2011, more truck losses were attributed to fire than fatigue.
At the 2013 PACCAR and Dealer TMC, NTI National Manager Industrial Relations Owen Driscoll will share his recommendations on how to minimise the risk of a non impact fire in your fleet.
The author of the Major Accident Investigation Report, Mr Driscoll is also the Director of Research of the National Truck Accident Research Centre (NTARC) and Director of the TruckSafe accreditation program.
“It can’t be ignored – in 2011, 12.1% of the major losses reported to NTI were attributed to non impact fires, with an average fire loss of $170,129 for each incident. Undoubtedly, the incident rate of fire losses has increased substantially since we first researched them in the 2005 study,” Mr Driscoll said.
“These fire losses originated from failed wheel bearings, brakes, engine, cabin electrical wiring and trailer refrigeration equipment. It naturally begs the question of whether the standard of quality and regular equipment maintenance has become less rigorous.
“Workshop technicians can remove many of the risk factors for these fires with preventative measures such as installing circuit breaker protection, ensuring proper tyre inflation and checking wiring for rubbing.
“Truck fires represent an enormous loss to the industry. It’s essential that all operators and workshop staff across Australia are aware of the risk factors and work to manage them within their fleet.”
The NTARC is currently running an investigation into all non-impact associated losses registered with NTI in the past five years. In addition the research centre will also launch a nationwide online survey seeking information from all operators, irrespective of where they are insured.