With changes to Chain of Responsibility laws coming in mid-2018, it’s crucial that fleet procurement personnel Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws coming in mid-2018
understand their responsibilities in terms of tow coupling safety. Allan Bartlett, Managing Director of Bartlett Integrated Towing Systems, was recently featured in the Trailer Magazine highlighting the issues and steps involved with meeting the new CoR laws.
To say Bartlett Equipment is just another towing equipment brand would be an understatement. The Hallam-based family company has established a reputation as one of the safest equipment suppliers in Australia, last year celebrating its 70th anniversary of service to the transport and logistics industry. Since its inception in 1946, Bartlett has firmly focused its constant tow coupling developments on improving the critical component’s safety features. As such, the company has become a reliable source of compliant equipment – a requirement that is becoming all the more important with the changes to Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws due mid-2018.In some vehicle purchasing situations, the responsibility for towing system safety is ‘offset’ from the vehicle supplier to the equipment supplier creating a chain of compliance responsibilities.
However, Bartlett says this may not stand up as a defense under new CoR laws, where the onus on understanding equipment specification falls to the first link in the chain – the buyer. Fleet safety officers can take charge of their compliance and be the first controlling link in the CoR by specifying Bartlett towing systems, the company says. “It is time for fleets to take charge of towing system build specification and Bartlett is the one company in Australia that specialises in towing system compliance with a holistic approach,” Bartlett says. Bartlett provides a detailed rating report that explains the safe towing capabilities of the truck and towing system – a level of information it says no other manufacturer provides to the vehicle operator. Every Bartlett towbar also has a serial number for traceability and the towbar rating plate is generated by collecting specific data relating to the vehicle and towing equipment, then processing it to provide a safe and accurate placard for vehicle-operator reference.
“Fitting a Bartlett towbar kit on a typical rigid truck is a logical and straightforward task, and customisation is possible for vehicles with geometric constraints,” Bartlett says. “Approved Vehicle Examiners (AVE, ed.) can also reliably input Bartlett’s Component Registration Numbers (CRN, ed.) to streamline the approval process. “ Just as the CoR is a chain, so is the towing system. Typically, the buyer will first ask for a preferred type of trailer coupling to connect a truck and trailer. Bartlett designs and manufactures a wide range of complete towbar kits that are made to suit the majority of mainstream trailer coupling types, and there are models to suit virtually all truck configurations. Fitters can respond to a client’s coupling type request by matching it with a corresponding Bartlett towbar kit to guarantee a compliant towing system, the company explains. Trailer couplings are highly regulated devices often made from precision machined, forged or cast components. Assemblies are dynamic fatigue–tested in laboratories to prove that the device will withstand the types of loading that it will experience in service, and appropriate maximum ratings are applied. Two other devices in the towing system are equally regulated on paper but often not so much in the field. In widespread practice, many of the regulatory requirements for towbars and safety chain systems are overlooked, however Australian regulations call for maximum test forces in several directions for safety-chain attachments. Without evidence of compliance, these fabricated devices are worthless to a fleet safety manager and dubious with respect to their ability to restrain a breakaway trailer. Bartlett says its safety-chain attachments are designed and tested to meet Australian regulations and the range extends from the lightest trailers right up to maximum Performance-Based Standards (PBS) applications. “If you specify a Bartlett towing system, you know that you comply and you are in control of towing safety.”
For more information about how Bartlett products and solutions can help you prepare for the 2018 CoR changes contact email@example.com Ph (61) 3 9796 3222. For more information about Trailer Magazine click http://www.trailermag.com.au/