Trucking operators paying the price for NZTA failures

  • 05 Apr

The Road Transport Forum is extremely frustrated that once again road transport operators are having to pay the price for NZTA’s decade long regulatory failure relating to the certification of towing equipment

“Today’s announcement that the situation with the Patrick Chu designed drawbars and draw beams is worse than previously thought will come as a significant blow to those road transport operators running the affected equipment,” says RTF Chief Executive Nick Leggett.

NZTA has announced a programme for recertification or replacement of the affected drawbars and draw beams that offers limited exemptions of 3, 6 or 12 months based on a risk-based assessment. However, during the exemption period, trailer operating mass will be reduced to 75 percent of the current mass to provide for a sufficient safety margin on the equipment.

“While the industry accepts that the staggered programme is the only responsible way of protecting public safety, the reduction in operating mass will have significant financial ramifications for many operators and potential wider economic impacts with a reduction in their ability to carry.”

“There is no doubt that the necessary load reductions will seriously impact the ability of many transport firms to fulfil their obligated freight task and will prove very stressful for operators already dealing with extremely tight margins.”

“Operators expect and are entitled to assurance of quality when seeking a professional engineering service on equipment that assists them in safely operating their business and securing their livelihood,” says Leggett. “For NZTA to not have appropriate oversight of these engineering services is pretty unforgiveable.”

“It is now absolutely critical that Minister Twyford and NZTA establish a new regime where such failures can never happen again. The industry is ready and willing to engage on that.”