ATA call on design rules factoring in older trailers

Woodward urges DITRDC to expand scope of emergency braking rules

ATA call on design rules factoring in older trailers
Bob Woodward


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) recommends the federal government change its draft design rules on advanced emergency braking to add requirements about how these systems handle older trailers.

The ATA made the recommendation in its submission to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Cities (DITRDC) on draft ADRs 35/07 and 97/00.

The draft Australian Design Rules (ADRs) would extend the existing requirements for electronic stability control to new rigid trucks and require new rigid trucks and prime movers to have advanced emergency braking, ATA chief engineer Bob Woodward says.

"Advanced emergency braking systems from different manufacturers handle applying trailer service brakes through the air lines differently," Woodward says.

"Some products apply full braking. Others signal pulse the air lines. Still others only activate the engine brakes.

"Our members warned us that these different approaches were creating confusion on the road.

"We need a performance standard in our rules so that all the AEB systems used in Australia do the same thing when a prime mover is towing older trailers," he said.

How ATA's technical council is tackling drawbar trailer safety, here

 Woodward’s points include:

  • provisions of the exposure draft of ADR 97/00 relating to mandatory AEB for new prime movers should be amended to add a performance-based requirement for the application of the service brake control line for non-ABS equipped trailers.
  • the proposed requirement would create uniformity in the performance outcomes from AEBS when towing non-ABS trailers. The broad approach implemented by truck OEMs could cause confusion or safety issues with drivers becoming familiar with one AEBS functionality and then changing to vehicles with a different AEBS functionality.
  • ATA would seek to work with manufacturers and other interest groups to provide a proposed standard for Government consideration.
  • government should further develop and publish an indicative timeframe for requiring integrated camera and other technology in any AEB mandate.

The submission also recommends the government communicate better with industry about how AEB works.


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