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How to avoid a downhill disaster

How to avoid a downhill disaster

Trucks and buses must use low gear. Obeying these few simple words as you approach a very steep descent could save your life and the lives of other road users. That’s the message from the South Australian Government and others in the wake of last year’s fatal crash in Adelaide involving an out of control truck.

It’s the law: What is rule 108?

Truckers, particularly in heavy transport, will be well aware of the risks associated with transporting heavy and wide loads, particularly that of brake failure. Under the Australian Road Rules, regulation 108 requires the driver of a truck of bus driving on a road with the sign “trucks and buses must use low gear”, to drive in a gear that is low enough to limit the speed of the vehicle without using the primary brake.

How to descend safely?

Staying alert is crucial because on seeing the “trucks and buses must use low gear” sign, drivers must start slowing down and switch to low gear. Choosing the right gear before starting the descent means using the engine or exhaust brake instead of relying on the foot brake. This will give you good control and help avoid danger the whole way down the hill.

Why is it important?

These road signs are in place for a reason. Negotiating a steep descent at a safe speed gives you time to react and make controlled manoeuvres to avoid any unexpected hazards. In addition to the safety factor, failure to obey Rule 108 could land you some serious penalties. You could face fines, demerit points, licence disqualification or even imprisonment. There are many reasons not to risk it, so slow down and obey the law.

Safety reminders like this one feature strongly in our regular toolbox talks. At National Heavy Haulage, we operate no accidents, no damage and most importantly no worker injuries. For safe and reliable heavy haulage in Australia, contact our friendly team on 1300 79 22 49 today.

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