A stolen fertiliser truck that crashed into a building at Singleton in the Hunter Valley today is a wake-up call for drivers to secure their vehicles at all times, says Australian Trucking Association CEO Ben Maguire.
‘News reports that the truck was stolen from a service station at Murrurundi are a shock and have hit home amongst the Australian trucking community’, said Mr Maguire.
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the driver, those injured, and the Singleton community.
‘An incident resulting from an unsecure truck as we have seen in Singleton today, can have a devastating impact.
‘Trucks and other commercial vehicles are easy to access, and this is a warning to all drivers and operators that trucks and loads must be secured at all times,’ he says.
‘Keeping your trucks safe and secure is absolutely essential in today’s heightened security environment, no matter where you are, how small the rest stop or how safe you feel. Sadly, this has become our new norm.’
Mr Maguire says there has been an increase in truck theft since 2014 with around 1200 trucks stolen each year from a national fleet of 500,000.
‘Truck security can be simple and that complex regimes don’t have to be implemented. ‘We need to talk to our mates and make security a normal part of our routines,’ he says.
‘Be aware of your surroundings, lock your truck at all times and keep your keys safe. Know where your vehicle is and who has access. If you’re hiring drivers, always do a check for the right licence and other genuine documents.
‘Truckies also need to know their loads. Check your load regularly, especially when you’ve been away from your vehicle. Always make sure your load is secure, particularly if it’s something of value, like fuel.’
Mr Maguire says all truckies should have a security plan so drivers know what to do if something happens. ‘It may be as simple as checking in regularly as part of your fatigue management plan to make sure people know where you are and what you’re doing’, he says.
‘And if you don’t already, then consider using a reporting system during or on completion of a job to make sure people know you’re safe and the location of your vehicle.’