Motoring News

Truck rollovers: How to avoid losing millions

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Truck rollovers can be devastating. Deaths and injuries, damaged property or roads closed for hours, and the cost of repairs/replacement and the consequent downtime can cost a company millions.

Unfortunately, seldom does a week goes by without a truck rollover being reported by the news media.

The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, believes that, given the the right conditions, a truck rollover happens easily: “Trucks are prone such crashes. Their drivers must contend with their vehicle’s high centre of gravity and centrifugal forces that cause the truck to lean through a curve in the road.

“A number scenarios create a risk of rollover; four create risk for truckers yet, with the correct, drivers can be prepared for what to expect – and how to avoid this dangerous and costly position.”

SCENARIO 1: Speed and cornering

EXCESSIVE speed causes about 45% of crashes in corners and on highway on- and off-ramps. “When negotiating a corner,” Herbert says, ”drivers should use height, load, and configuration of the corner or curve to decide the speed required to take it safely.”

SCENARIO 2: Incorrect loading

THE HIGH centre of gravity requires the load to be secured. “If the load shifts during cornering the loss of balance increases rollover risk. Tankers, articularly, are at greater risk when part-full because the sloshing liquid can upset cornering balance.”

SCENARIO 3: Abrupt or over-steering

ABRUPT OR sharp steering movements is risky. “The high centre of gravity will cause a truck to roll if the driver steers harshly around an obstacle. Drivers should also be cautious of oversteering in certain situations, such as when traction decreases.

”When traction is regained, but oversteering continues, lateral force increases along with the risk of rollover.”

ROLLOVER ONE: A truck loaded with corn goes beyond stability. Image: Supplied

SCENARIO 4: Driver error

A STUDY by international organisation FMSCA suggests that 78% of tanker rollovers are due to driver error. “This can be speeding in bad weather, distracted driving, driving while on medication, or while tired – though there are other dangerous driving habits.”

Once the truck starts to tip, there’s nothing the driver can do to stop it.

“Additionally,” Herbert says, ”drivers may only feel the start of a roll when it is well under way. This emphasises the importance of being aware of risk factors and knowing what is required to ensure that all risks are eliminated.

READ MORE MasterDrive features on Carman’s Corner

“MasterDrive’s rollover prevention training teaches drivers about risk factors and provides guidance on how to avoid falling victim to one. Importantly, the unique engineering of the truck allows drivers to feel what an actual rollover feels like without going all the way over.

”It’s an invaluable opportunity to understand a rollover without the financial implications.”

To book your drivers for rollover prevention training or to see it first-hand, contact MasterDrive on info@masterdrive.co.za .

ROLLOVER TWO – KISSING THE BARRIER: About to roll, but held in place by the roadside ironwork. Image: Supplied

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