Livestock carters happy with trailer brakes decision

RL12740 Mat Munro RL12740 Mat Munro

ALRTA says it has won two key exemptions on mandatory ABS for trailers

The Australian Livestock and Regional Transport Association has welcomed the new design rules on trailer braking safety.

Last week the Federal Government announced it would require all new heavy vehicle trailers to be fitted with anti-lock brakes (ABS) or load proportioning brakes.

The new standards will take effect from July 1, 2014 for all new model trailers, and January 1, 2015 for all new trailers. They were announced by Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs.

The ALRTA has been concerned about the reliability of ABS on trailers in harsh environments.

However, ALRTA Executive Director Mathew Munro says: "Through our representations to the Minister and to the Vehicle Standards Section of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, we have won two very important exemptions from the ADR requirements."

Munro points out that ABS (or variable proportioning brake systems) will not be required for road train converter dollies or trailers that can already meet the unladen braking standards. 

He says that heavy trailers with a tare mass exceeding 2.5 tonnes per axle (or 7.5 tonnes on the tri-axle, which includes most stock crates) should meet the unladen braking standards and will therefore be exempt.

"It is also important to note that the rules for prime movers include provision for an ‘off-switch’ so that the technology can be temporarily disabled from the cabin in problematic situations such as creek crossings," Munro says.

"Mandatory ABS is an important braking improvement for most on-road applications and has the potential to prevent more than 50 deaths over the next 30 years. 

"The ALRTA supports the Australian Government’s intention to commence work on mandating electronic braking systems (EBS) during 2014 and we will be seeking robust trials of this technology in harsh environments to identify and iron out any issues early in the process.

 "The ALRTA will also continue to work with governments and industry to progress the development of guidelines for mixing and matching ‘smart’ and ‘dumb’ trailers in larger combinations."

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