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Big Trucks are cool. Big safe trucks are better. And no truck is safer than The Safety MAN Road Safety Truck.

A gleaming metallic vision, the truck brings together the best road safety technology and highly-trained truck drivers to tour the truck and trailer hosted safety programmes to local communities around New Zealand.

“We’re supporting this innovative programme by installing our vehicle tracking technology, which has multiple safety features. It’s a really engaging and practical initiative that Teletrac Navman just couldn’t say no to,” says Ian Daniel, Managing Director Asia Pacific at Teletrac Navman. “Both the drivers of this truck and the transport managers will be trained to use the safety technology on board, making this one of the safest trucks on New Zealand’s roads.”

"Our truck needs to be pout there every single day, in every school, in every community." says David Boyce, CEO of NZ Trucking Association, who have been driving this bold new initiative.

Safety features include all the bells and whistles available in the MAN TGX 26.640 Euro6 Tractor unit, 640HP, including emergency brake assistant, electronic stability program, adaptive cruise control, anti-spin regulator and a lane guard system. The truck is further fitted with a 360 degree birds eye camera system, LED safety market lights along the truck and trailer, a tyre pressure monitoring system, and Teletrac Navman’s GPS tracking system.

The project was sparked by the closure of State Highway 1 (SH1) between Picton and Christchurch after the November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, and the subsequent alternative route. Traveling via the alpine Lewis Pass, the route is winding, narrow and challenging, and the normally quiet country towns and rural roads have become crowded with heavy vehicles. The additional time and skill to drive the route places extra stress on truck drivers, and crash numbers have escalated.

The North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) alliance was set up to reopen SH1 road and rail, and to deliver a $60m improvement programme on the alternate route. This has included working closely with industry associations, suppliers, and emergency services to develop a Truck Crash / Rollover Prevention Plan to reduce delays and closures, and help everyone get home safe at night. The NZ Trucking Association jumped at the chance to get involved.

"The NZ Transport Agency looked at the rollovers over four months", finding about half were caused by other motorists behaviour, and half by truck drivers who were fatigued, had health problems or who were simply inexperienced with the new route. So we realised there needed to be a two-fold approach,” David Boyce explains.

The Share the Road with Big Trucks programme will educate communities about the size, capacity, weight and capabilities of big trucks. Kids and adults can jump into the driver’s seat to get a feel for the visibility, blind spots and the multi-tasking that truckies are undertaking. In the trailer, the public can watch animations on 12 everyday situations – pulling out, cutting in, wet weather, overtaking, using high beams – to learn more about how to be safe around large trucks.

In reverse, the Healthy Truck Driver programme will upskill drivers around workplace health and safety issues, giving practical advice on fatigue and how to be physically and mentally fit to do the job. Booklets will be produced for drivers to take home (or on the road) to read in their own time.

“We’ve worked with communities before, and people are really wowed when they get the chance to step into the drivers’ shoes. This truck is going to take it one step further, I really do think everyone will be blown away when they see inside the trailer,” adds David Boyce.

Keep up to date with the truck via the website: www.roadsafetytruck.co.nz

And check out how Teletrac Navman can help make your trucks the safest on the road 

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Megan Duncan is a Director of Marketing at Teletrac Navman.

Megan Duncan is the Director of Marketing, Australasia at Teletrac Navman. Megan has 10+ years experience in marketing technology solutions with background in Telecommunications and IT channels.