3 Ways to Prevent Truck Power Line Strikes

Truck drivers are being warned to look up as the number of power line strikes continues to rise across Queensland. With electricity providers like Ergon Energy reporting as many as 66 incidents per year where trucks have struck or brought down power lines across QLD alone, heavy haulage and road freight operators are being urged to take extra care when route planning and for drivers to be more vigilant with oversize transport.

Power line safety for truck drivers

When transporting heavy haulage, power lines are a daily hazard for truck drivers. Besides the most obvious driver safety considerations, the indirect costs to business if a truck strikes power lines can be staggering when you think of the cost of replacing equipment, down-time, litigation, additional wages overtime and much more.

The nature of high voltage however, means that drivers and their freight may be in danger without even coming in to contact with the wire itself. The fact is that electricity can arc or "jump" through the insulating space between a wire and a conducting object like a truck or a ladder. The higher the voltage, the more likely it is for an arc to occur. The only way to keep safe is by keeping a safe distance.

So, what can drivers do to protect themselves and their rigs?  Here are three easy steps to remember.

Step 1 – Be Aware of All Power Lines

Know you transport regulations when it comes to transporting high loads. Know your proposed route, your times for transport and the exact load dimensions. For heights over 4.6m the route will need to be scoped by relevant authorities, which may include electricity providers and state transport authorities, and relevant approvals sought.

Step 2 – Know Your Safe Limits

It’s suggested to keep at least 3m away from all power lines (or more, depending on the voltage) and avoid parking under power lines entirely.                                                                                                                         

Step 3 – Get a Signaller

You must use a signaller who can warn you when any part of the equipment or load approaches the minimum 3m safety distance. The signaller should stand at least 10m away from the vehicle in the event of contact.

Committed to heavy haulage safety

National Heavy Haulage has an enviable safety record with robust route planning and staff training. Our reputation for safety combined with our modern fleet of heavy transport vehicles has earned us preferred supplier status for Australia’s leading mining and civil construction firms. To ensure your oversize transport needs are met backed by a “safety-first” mindset, contact National Heavy Haulage for a quote today on 1300 79 22 49.

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