National Transport Insurance. Corporate Portraits. November 2019. Photo by Sarah Keayes/The Photo Pitch

Major truck insurer, NTI, has revealed Australia’s first road safety initiative designed to reduce dairy tanker rollovers has been delivered, with a catalogue of multi-media training resources now complete.

NTI says the initiative was developed after research revealed dairy tankers were 2.4 times more likely to be involved in a major crash than other freight-carrying heavy vehicles.

The  initiative is claimed as a world-first training resource for dairy carriers and drivers and these are now available as a result of the project, which was led by A, NTI, and partially funded through the NHVR Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative, supported by the Australian Government.

The resource pack features a research report, videos (including never-before-seen in-tanker footage), and training modules.

NTI’s executive general manager – strategy and  supply chain, Chris Hogarty, said the resources were the culmination of nearly two years working with key stakeholders in the Australian dairy supply chain, and targeted research.

“Dairy tanker rollovers not only endanger the lives of drivers but can also lead to negative environmental impacts that, because of the specific challenges of cleaning and contamination, can be more detrimental than oil spills,” Hogarty said.

“It was important for us to understand the unique conditions that make dairy tankers more susceptible to tipping, including varying load volume, unsealed roads, and tanker dynamics that are unlike any other vehicle.

“In a world first, we filmed the milk inside a tanker as it’s being driven. We built a model dairy truck with a see-through tank to demonstrate how that milk moves and how the shifting weight impacts a vehicle’s stability.

“We’re thankful for the wide industry involvement in this project – dairy companies, equipment manufacturers, and transport operators have all worked with us to identify key areas that needed addressing. The resource pack will help fill those gaps and is designed to be integrated into already-existing driver training.”

In support of the initiative, the 2023 National Accident Research Centre (NTARC) report, produced by NTI, focused solely on dairy tankers. The data showed from 2019-2022, the leading cause of single vehicle rollovers was speed.

“It’s important to note when we talk about speed in this regard, it does not mean ‘breaking the speed limit’ – even at low speed, as we now know, milk tankers can roll,” Hogarty said.

“Speed represented almost a third (32%) of all major incidents for dairy tank rollovers in that time, compared to 13% of regular freight. Our research showed, in a high proportion of major incidents (16%), dairy tanker drivers were ‘not at fault’. That’scompared to 12% of crashes involving other freight vehicles.

“Our research and learning materials has the goal of improving safety across all levels of responsibility.”

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said NTI’s initiative is helping address a safety gap in the transport and logistics sector.

“Funded through our HVSI program, this innovative safety initiative is ultimately helping to reduce road trauma and save lives,” Petroccitto said.

“With dairy tankers significantly more likely to be involved in a major crash in comparison to any other freight-carrying heavy vehicle, it is critical we invest in projects, like this, to improve safety on our roads.

“At the NHVR, we place a strong focus on education, and I’m pleased to see NTI doing the same through their world-first training resources.”