Media Release

New Australian Technology To Tackle Truck Crashes


AutoTest Products Pty Ltd and MacGregor Logistics

Prediction of Truck Rollovers to Increase Driver Safety 'Every Driver Deserves to Go Home Safely'

The Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Darren Chester on Wednesday received a briefing and demonstration on the latest Australian technology aimed at cutting the number of heavy vehicle rollovers and fatal crashes.

Right: Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Darren Chester receives
a demonstration on the AutoMonitor by David Jenkins, Director of AutoTest Products Pty Ltd
at MacGregor Logistics in Derrimut.

The AutoMonitor has the capacity to revolutionise the safety management of the Australian heavy transport industry with low cost technology which can be fitted to existing trucks in a few hours.

The AutoMonitor, developed by Melbourne company, AutoTest Products Pty Ltd, based in Port Melbourne, includes a world first predictive rollover warning system developed for the US Military. The AutoMonitor was released at MacGregor Logistics, a major transport company in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said it is pleasing to see industry improve the safety on our roads for truck drivers and other motorists.

"This technology will change lives and save lives and I look forward to seeing it implemented by operators across Australia," Mr Chester said.

"We want people to be travelling in the safest vehicle possible on the roads."

Left top: Wendy Smith, Chairman and Executive Director, Vipac Engineers and Scientists
and Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Darren Chester. 

Bottom left: Christina MacGregor, Managing Director, MacGregor Logistics
with David Jenkins, Director, AutoTest Products Pty Ltd
during an inspection of the truck's cabin and the AutoMonitor installation.

David Jenkins, a Director of AutoTest Products Pty Ltd who has led the project said, "In the case of an impending rollover the AutoMonitor warns the driver with a flashing traffic light system on the dashboard and a loud alarm, allowing the driver to take corrective action to prevent a crash.

"The AutoMonitor safety system can be easily installed in any truck allowing fleet managers to check the performance of the vehicles' brakes and the shock absorbers while the truck is moving."

Mr Jenkins said that fleet managers are able to check the roadworthiness of the vehicles on the road, schedule maintenance accordingly, track all vehicle locations and the manner in which they are being driven. Combined these management tools provide a major safety and economic benefit to large and small transport companies.

The AutoMonitor replaces the drivers' written log book and can automatically generate and print the full history of any trip including petrol consumption, the weight of loads at any time and records the required legal rest stops for drivers.

Crash Investigations
The AutoMonitor provides information on a vehicle's performance seconds before a major incident providing crash investigators, Police and Coroners with valuable information for collision investigations, especially if the vehicle is badly damaged.

Apart from fatalities and injuries, heavy vehicle crashes are a significant cost, not only to the owners of the vehicles but also to the general community and businesses when truck crashes can block major roads and freeways. The size of articulated trucks and the difficulty of their removal can create major financial losses for truck owners.

"Many of the crashes involving heavy vehicle rollovers occur on curved on and off ramps of major freeways or bridges," Mr Jenkins said.

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, Vipac Engineers and Scientists Mobile: 0417 329 201

Commonwealth of Australia Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development Fatal Heavy Vehicle Crashes Australia-Quarterly Bulletins
March quarter 2017: at a Glance
During the 12 months to the end of March 2017, 217 people died from 196 fatal crashes involving heavy trucks or buses. These included: 118 deaths from 104 crashes involving articulated trucks, 87 deaths from 77 crashes involving heavy rigid trucks and 25 deaths from 24 crashes involving buses. 
Fatal crashes involving articulated trucks: increased by 7.2 per cent compared with the corresponding period one year earlier and increased by an average of 0.9 per cent per year over the three years to March 2017.
Fatal crashes involving heavy rigid trucks: increased by 4.1 per cent compared with the corresponding period one year earlier and increased by an average of 2.5 per cent per year over the three years to March 2017 

Australian Industry Snapshot

  • More than 500,000 registered trucks
  • Approximately 41,000 businesses
  • More than 250,000 people employed
  • More than $13 billion in annual wages
  • Approximately 17,000 million kilometres travelled each year Approximately 70% of all operators only have one truck in their fleet and approximately 24% have two to four trucks. Less than 0.5% of all operators have fleets with more than 100 trucks.
    * * Survey of Motor Vehicle Use - ABS 2012 Australia Trucking Association, 2004, Trucking - Driving Australia's Growth and Prosperity.

Background -
David Jenkins, Director- AutoTest Pty Ltd David Jenkins has been with Vipac for 33 years, during which time he's been instrumental in establishing and growing AutoTest Products Pty Ltd. With David at the helm, AutoTest has developed, manufactured and sold over 50,000 products worldwide including Australia, Europe, South Africa and the South Pacific region. David helped design Australia's first brake meter and subsequently assisted writing New South Wales' regulations relating to it. He possesses a strong affiliation with CITA, the International Motor Vehicle Inspection Committee, with a focus on emissions and braking, and has also developed a gas analyser. David is involved in compliance testing for the British Government with regard to Roadworthy Rules for the UK, and he is an expert in vehicle dynamics having designed a rollover warning system for the US Army.