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Safety alerts

Safety alert: Cardan shaft park brake failures 

Waka Kotahi has issued a Safety Alert for Cardan shaft park brakes (CSB).  

The Safety Alert provides information on the risks associated with Cardan shaft parking brakes, the dangers that owners and drivers must be aware of and the precautions that should be taken to prevent a vehicle rolling away.  

The Safety Alert has been issued because there have been several incidents where the Cardan shaft park brake has failed and the vehicle has rolled away. In the last 10 years four of these incidents have resulted in fatalities and we are aware of other unreported incidents. The alert also advises owners and operators on how the brakes are designed, and what precautions to take when using the park brake.   

Cardan shaft park brakes (also known as driveshaft park brakes) are fitted to many small to medium trucks and a small number of passenger service vehicles.  They are designed to hold the vehicle and its load but have limitations which can lead to the vehicle rolling away.  

The key points of the alert are:  

  • Due to the design of the brake, the vehicle may roll away when parked on a slope, especially if the load is changing and/or the vehicle is parked on an unstable surface.  
  • Avoid parking on slopes or use wheel chocks when parked on a slope and when the vehicle is jacked.  
  • You need to understand the brake mechanism and its limitations.  
  • Vehicle owners are responsible for ensuring the brake is serviced regularly to maintain performance.  

Read our safety alert: Cardan shaft park brake failures [PDF, 290 KB] 

Read more information about Cardan shaft park brakes 

 

Safety alert: Seatbelt extenders failing

Users of seatbelt extenders (extensions) in vehicles should check the product labels following safety concerns.

Testing conducted by the Transport Agency has shown that seatbelt extenders without labels showing compliance with an approved standard are highly likely to fail at loads below a safe standard. This places seat occupants at greater risk in the event of a crash or sudden stop.

If there is no label showing compliance with an approved standard, the seatbelt extender should not be used. The safety alert lists the standards to look for.

Read our safety alert: Seatbelt extenders failing [PDF, 444 KB]

Questions and answers about this safety alert [PDF, 44 KB]

Safety alert: NZ Transport Agency urging further checks of Nissan truck park brake control

Park brake control valve maintenance and operational requirements for Nissan CK330, CW330, CW380, CW400, CM180, CW400 and CG400 vehicles manufactured between 1993 and 2005.

Further to the safety alert of May 2017, the Transport Agency is telling CoF inspectors and operators of these Nissan trucks to urgently and carefully check the park brake. This is necessary because once wear occurs, the lock pin is able to hold the park brake on but it may not be fully engaged. Consequently, the park brake can be unintentionally released by a knock or vibration.

It’s important to check if the park brake lever can sit with the locking pawl only partially engaged. If so, the vehicle must not be operated until the hand control has been serviced or replaced. It should also be failed for any CoF.

Read our safety alert about steps to take to avoid park brake failures [PDF, 399 KB] – May 2019

Read our safety alert: Avoid park brake failures [PDF, 526 KB] – May 2017

Safety alert: Patrick Chu drawbar and drawbeam certifications revoked

The NZ Transport Agency has issued a safety alert advising that drawbar and drawbeam connections certified by Auckland based Mr Patrick Chu (Transport & Structure Ltd) are being revoked.

Read the related media release about Patrick Chu (Transport & Structure Ltd) – April 2019

Safety alert: Tow bars certified by Patrick Chu of Transport & Structure Ltd

The NZ Transport Agency has issued a safety alert advising that tow bar connections certified by Auckland based Mr Patrick Chu (Transport & Structure Ltd) have been revoked from today (21 December 2018).

Tow bars on heavy vehicles [including small trucks, tipper trucks, motor homes and goods’ vans], certified by Patrick Chu (Transport & Structure Ltd) have been revoked from 21 December 2018 due to urgent safety concerns.

Mr Chu applied the wrong assessment standard which means the tow bars were incorrectly certified. This means that during the current period of certification the trailer could detach from the vehicle (including the safety chain).

The vehicles’ ability to tow any load has been revoked until the tow bar is re-certified.

Read our safety alert: Tow bar certifications by Patrick Chu of Transport & Structure Ltd [PDF, 305 KB] – updated February 2019

Questions and answers about this safety alert [PDF, 1.2 MB] – December 2018 (updated 7 February 2019)

Read the related media release about Patrick Chu (Transport & Structure Ltd) – December 2018

Safety alert: Heavy vehicle certifications by Patrick Chu of Transport & Structure Ltd

The NZ Transport Agency has issued this safety alert due to the identification of sub-standard work in certain heavy vehicle specialist certifications (also known as ‘LT400s’) issued by Heavy Vehicle Specialist Certifier (HVSC) Patrick Chu.

Issues have been identified in respect of both towing connections and chassis certified by Patrick Chu. As a result, the Transport Agency has revoked some certifications issued by Patrick Chu. These revocations have been for reasons including that towbars had been certified beyond their viable design life, and chassis had been certified despite being significantly over-stressed.

The Transport Agency is currently analysing certain files relating to certifications issued by Patrick Chu in respect of towing connections and chassis in heavy vehicles. The Transport Agency will update vehicle owners in the event further risk is identified.

At present, certifications issued by Patrick Chu that have not been revoked by the Transport Agency remain technically valid, though for the reasons set out the Transport Agency strongly encourages owners to be extra vigilant as regards safety where components in their vehicles have been certified by Patrick Chu, and to follow the steps in the safety alert.

Read our safety alert: Heavy vehicle certifications by Patrick Chu of Transport & Structure Ltd [PDF, 550 KB] – updated February 2019

Questions and answers about this safety alert [PDF, 568 KB] – December 2018

Read the related media release about Patrick Chu (Transport & Structure Ltd) – December 2018

Safety alert (updated): BVL (Business Ventures Limited) retrofitted seatbelts

The NZ Transport Agency first issued a safety alert in October 2018 advising vehicle owners who have retrofitted seatbelts to check the labels on their seatbelts following safety concerns. We have updated the safety alert and questions and answers following Transport Agency tests and investigations indicating seatbelts imported by Business Ventures Limited (BVL) and manufactured either by Changzhou BWD China or by Jiang Su Jiu Jiu Traffic Facilities Co. Ltd. do not meet an approved safety standard.

Full information is available at: www.nzta.govt.nz/bvl-retrofitted-seatbelts

Read our updated safety alert: Seatbelts imported by BVL (Business Ventures Limited) [PDF, 565 KB] – November 2018

Updated questions and answers about the safety alert: Imported seatbelts [PDF, 40 KB] – November 2018

Safety alert: Towing connections certified by Richard ‘Dick’ Joyce

This safety alert has been issued following issues identified in drawbeam, drawbar and towbar certifications by Dick Joyce (heavy vehicle specialist certifier identification: RJJ).

Read our safety alert about towing connections certified by Dick Joyce identification RJJ [PDF, 586 KB] – August 2018

Questions and answers about the safety alert: Towing connections certified by Dick Joyce identification RJJ [PDF, 46 KB] – August 2018

Revocation of certification of towing connections by Peter Wastney Engineering Limited

Following the February 2018 safety alert (see below), the NZ Transport Agency decided to revoke the PWE certifications of all heavy vehicle towing connections.

If your vehicle has a towing connection certified by Peter Wastney Engineering Limited, read all the details you need to know on www.nzta.govt.nz/pwe-revocation – May 2018

Safety alert: Towing connections certified by Peter Wastney Engineering Limited

This safety alert has been issued following the identification of failures in towing connections involving drawbeams and drawbars certified by Peter Wastney Engineering Ltd.

Read our safety alert about towing connections certified by Peter Wastney Engineering Limited [PDF, 2.3 MB] – February 2018

Questions and answers about the Safety alert: Towing connections certified by Peter Wastney Engineering Limited [PDF, 539 KB] – February 2018

Safety alert: Skid plate failures on refrigerated semi-trailers

This safety alert has been issued following an on-road incident where the skid plate on a MaxiTRANS refrigerated semi-trailer failed due to internal structural cracks, resulting in the semi-trailer partially separating from the towing vehicle.

Read our safety alert about skid plate failures on refrigerated semi-trailers [PDF, 347 KB] – Feb 2018

Questions and answers about the Safety alert: Skid plate failures on refrigerated semi-trailers [PDF, 209 KB] – Feb 2018

Safety alert: Avoid park brake failures

Park brake control valve maintenance and operational requirements for Nissan CK330, CW330, CW380, CW400, CG380, CW400 and CG400 vehicles manufactured between 1993–2005.

The Nissan Diesel Owner’s Manual recommends that the park brake hand control valve is overhauled at 12-month intervals. It also recommends that the valve’s operation is thoroughly checked by a qualified diesel technician when the vehicle is being serviced or if there is concern about its operation.

Read our safety alert information sheet about steps to take to avoid park brake failures [PDF, 526 KB] – May 2017

Safety alert: Transport Agency urging checks of truck drawbeams

The Transport Agency is investigating a catastrophic failure of a truck drawbeam that resulted in a laden heavy trailer separating on 18 October 2016.

Urgent work is underway to identify any other affected trucks so that they can be checked, with one already withdrawn from the same fleet where the drawbeam showed signs of fatigue cracks.

In the meantime, this safety alert is asking truck operators, service personnel and vehicle inspectors to check for signs of cracks in drawbeams.

Read our safety alert information sheet about the Transport Agency urging checks of truck drawbeams [PDF, 796 KB] – Oct 2016

Safety alert: Bolt-in tow-eye security

This safety alert has been issued by the NZ Transport Agency following recent incidents where heavy trailers have separated from the towing vehicle, specifically where the drawbar was fitted with a bolt-in tow-eye which pulled out.

What you should do:

  • Check the security of the towing eye as part of the daily walk around.
  • If there is any sign of it being loose (eg fretting, shiny, rusting etc) the tow-eye and nut must be replaced – under no circumstances is it to be tightened.
  • When the tow-eye and nut is replaced, the nut must be torqued to the manufacturer’s recommendation (including a greased thread) and then if necessary taken to the next castellation – in no circumstances backed off.
  • Following initial installation the nut should be re-torqued at the lesser of 5000km or as directed by the manufacturer. If it moves it must be re-torqued. Note: this is the only time that re-tightening is permitted.
  • One manufacturer recommends checking the tightening torque of the castellated nut every 15,000km. The Transport Agency encourages all operators to follow this recommendation. If the nut is found to be loose the complete towing eye and nut must be replaced.

Read our safety alert information sheet about bolt-in tow-eye security [PDF, 404 KB] – Feb 2016