Motorists learn trucking blind spots

Trucking blind spots .  Transport for NSW have done a great job of making an incisive ad, which gets its point over in a smart and believable way. The vast majority of car drivers not only know nothing about the issues around things like trucking blind spots and visibility in a truck. Many car drivers sit cocooned in their own car, with safety systems turned on and do what they want to do and are surprised when other drivers get upset.

Unfortunately, many drivers tune out the trucks moving around them. They assume the truck driver will be able to cope with their actions and their car will remain untouched. However, if the inevitable happens and the truck and car do collide, the damage and risk to life is much more severe than if two cars were involved.

There is also an automatic assumption from everyone outside the trucking community, the truck must be to blame. The media describe any accident which involves a truck, in any way at all, as a ‘truck accident’, assuming guilt from the get-go.

With thanks Diesel News.

Photo credit – treehugger.com

https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Safety/Driver-guide/Sharing-the-road-with-other-road-users/Heavy-vehicles.aspx

Truck drivers have a certain limitations when it comes to accelerating and slowing down. Heavy vehicles need more room to make turns and their blind spots are much larger than cars. When driving around trucks, keep in mind the following tips:

1. Stay out of the heavy vehicle blind spots

The blind spot diagram, in yellow shade, shows the blind spots are located:

Blind spot around a truck

immediately in front of the truck
beside the truck driver’s door
on the passenger side which runs the length of the truck and extends out three lanes
directly behind the truck.
Blind spot around a truck

Remember: if you cannot see the truck driver’s mirror, the truck driver cannot see you.

2. Travel at a safe following distance

Do not follow a heavy vehicle too closely, as you want to see what is ahead (e.g. debris and other cars). Keep in mind the following when travelling behind a heavy vehicle:

Allow for time to stop safely. The table below shows comparisons of stopping distances for cars and trucks when travelling at the same speeds.

Vehicle Speed Stopping distance (metres)

Car     Truck
60km/h 73      83
70km/h 91      105
80km/h 111    130
90km/h 133    156
100km/h 157  185

If driving in weather conditions such as the wind and rain always leave more than the recommended following distance.

www.torquepower.com.au   We’re for safety.

 

Govt approves almost $20M Landsborough Hwy upgrade

The Australian Government will deliver almost $20 million to upgrade and widen 24.8 kilometres of the Landsborough Highway, north of Longreach, Queensland.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the project aims to improve safety for road users between Longreach and Winton on the highway.

“The Landsborough Highway is the main north-south route serving western Queensland, and I’ve seen for myself the poor condition of sections between Longreach and Winton, with an ageing surface and a number of safety issues,” Mr Chester said.

“The Australian Government’s commitment to addressing these issues is just one way Queensland will reap the benefits of our record $75 billion investment in infrastructure nationwide, which is aimed squarely at helping unlock the potential of our regions in particular.”

Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said the works would support the region’s economy and communities.

“These upgrades are an investment in the productivity and prosperity of western Queensland communities by building stronger road surfaces, wider lanes and better flood immunity—particularly at Dingo Creek and other low-level crossings,” Mr Littleproud said.

“Freight traffic is forecast to double on this route, which makes these works critical to the future success of the grazing and resources industries and the safe and efficient movement of freight.

“The industries of northern Australia, including those in western Queensland, contribute billions to our national economy, and investing in these key arterial roads means they’ll be able to continue developing—creating jobs in our regions and cities, and fostering new and emerging industries for generations to come.

Works are expected to be completed on the joint Australian and Queensland government-funding project by mid-2020.

With thanks, Roads and Infrastructure Australia
Photo Credit – bouygues-construction.com.au

www.torquepower.com.au

$64.8 million Perth interchange project..

Industry has been invited to express interest in $64.8 million Perth interchange project – the third and final upgrade to Wanneroo Road in Perth’s north – the Wanneroo Road-Ocean Reef Road interchange project

 The works will require design and construction of a bridge at the Wanneroo Road and Ocean Reef Road intersection, traffic signalised on and off ramps, drainage improvements and the realignment of paths and pedestrian crossing points.

The project forms part of the $2.3 billion Federal-State infrastructure package, which supports 17 new projects around Western Australia.

The previous works on Wanneroo Road include the widening of Wanneroo Road to Flynn Drive, which is under construction, and the upgrade of the Wanneroo Road and Joondalup Drive intersection, which is currently in the planning phase.

Western Australian Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti said the three upgrades to Wanneroo Road will be integral to the growing northern suburbs communities. 

“Traffic volumes on both Wanneroo and Ocean Reef Roads are expected to grow rapidly as Perth’s northern suburbs continue expanding,” Ms. Saffioti said.

“Upgrading the intersection will relieve pressure on the existing road network and create more efficiency, which in turn, will support economic activity in the area.

“These Wanneroo Road upgrades, along with the METRONET rail extension to Yanchep, will ensure the northern suburbs will have the right transport infrastructure to match its growth.” 

Construction on the project is expected to begin in late 2018, with completion due in late 2019.

With thanks , Road & Infrastructure Australia. Photo credit – www.plantminer.com.au  and Main Roads WA

www.torquepower.com.au

 

INDUSTRY NEWS ; THE DRIVER IS STILL VITAL

The news stories veer from optimistic ‘brave new world starts now’, to some horror story about the dangers of computer-controlled monsters.
Then there’s a future when we don’t need truckies and everything-will-be-delivered-to-our-backyard-by-drone scenarios.This isn’t just hype, there are some serious global players tipping serious investment into the whole area. When you have Amazon, Uber, Tesla, Daimler, Volkswagen, Volvo and many more spending big in research and development, you know something is going change. These kinds of global companies don’t invest large amounts unless they are pretty certain of the outcome.

There is one aspect of this whole area that seems to get missed by most of the reports, and most of the commentators on the topic – this is not all going to happen at once. We are not going to be driving all of our trucks today and then kicked out the cabin to let the robots take over tomorrow. It is a process, quite a long process.

In fact, automotive society SAE International has created five stages of autonomous vehicles, as a guide to understanding where we are now and where we may end up. These have been clearly defined and the demarcations are being used both by those people developing the new technologies and those developing legislation and a framework in which automation can work.

At the moment, we are in stage one, with stage two available in some cases. There is some autonomy, with systems like adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking, but that’s as far as it goes, just for now.

The next step will be in the realm of steering, where lane-keeping warning systems don’t just set off a buzzer, but also intervene and kick the steering back into the lane. Now, we are starting to get into the realm of an autonomous truck, but we are very far from a ‘driverless’ truck. That is much further away.

At this stage, we still need an alert driver in the driving seat able to intervene at any moment. They may not have their hands on the wheel, but they are still needed. The truck, on its own, will keep going at the set speed and keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead. If something stops abruptly or appears in front of the truck, the emergency braking will activate. The truck will stay in the lane it is in without veering off course. That’s it. The driver is still vital to the safety of the truck and other road users.

Even the stage after that will involve considerable driver input. Platooning is one of those technologies that should come into play at this stage in development. The driver of the front truck is in control, often in the same way as in the truck described above. The two or three trucks trailing behind will still need a minder but will simply mimic the action of the front truck in most situations.

If something drastic does go wrong, they will be programmed to bring themselves to a halt as safely as possible. If the problem is less severe, the truck’s driver will be alerted to return to the driving seat and resume control.

Even at this level we are miles away from the ‘driverless’ truck we keep hearing about. Those are not going to be thinkable until we have smart highways where the road signs and traffic signal are all communicating with the vehicles on the road, and all of the vehicles on that road are using Intelligent Transport System (ITS) to run their control systems.

To get some real ITS capability on Australian roads is going to be a project on the scale of the NBN rollout, and we know long some of us are having to wait for that. Driverless trucks are quite some time away, but we need to arm ourselves with the right information about their potential and prepare for their arrival, whenever that may be. With thanks, Diesel News .