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How to safely alert road users of a truck breakdown

When it comes to heavy vehicle breakdowns, the most important thing is to keep you or your drivers safe. Whether your truck is broken down in a metro area, freeway or rural road, they all bring their unique challenges to the breakdown scene, but it’s important to remember some key procedures.

Consider the three truck breakdown tips below, and follow them, if safe to do so given your situation.

Put your hazard lights on

It’s the most immediate way to let others know you’re in trouble or that your vehicle has become a hazard for other road users. Hazard lights will alert other road users that there is a potential problem that they need to be aware of.

Move aside

Pull onto the shoulder of the road (in the direction of the traffic) to avoid becoming a hazard. Do this as far to the left as possible to avoid oncoming traffic when exiting and accessing the vehicle. Depending on traffic it may be necessary to exit the vehicle using the passenger door to avoid passing traffic.

Warning triangles

By law any vehicle or combination with a GVM greater than 12 tonne must be equipped with at least 3 portable warning triangles. However, it is widely accepted as best practice for all trucks over 4.5 GVM utilise safety triangles also.

The warning triangles must be used in situations where the vehicle has stopped, has broken down or the load has fallen onto the road. A rule of thumb is to place the triangles twice the posted speed limit in metres in front and behind the truck, in addition to one triangle placed beside the vehicle.

For example:

120 metres ahead and behind of your work site on roads that are 60km/h 
160 metres ahead and behind of your work site on roads that are 80km/h 
200 metres ahead and behind of your work site on roads that are 100km/h 

Find out how we can have your back on the road with Truck Assist’s Roadside Assistance plans or Drive Pack truck insurance. They’re well thought out solutions for businesses of all sizes who are seeking to protect their company vehicle/s. Get your quote today.