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How to 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 

Get back on the Road with Truck Roadside Assistance

Once you’ve alerted other road users to your broken-down vehicle, contact your roadside assistance provider to help you get moving again. Don’t have truck roadside cover? Find out how we can have your back on the road with Truck Assist’s Roadside Assistance plans or Drive Pack Plus 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. Please note appropriate insurance cover will depend on your business, so please consider whether Truck Assist’s product is right for you and your business needs and consult the relevant PDS and TMD.

Prevent Future Breakdowns with Regular Maintenance

By getting your truck checked regularly, you're not just avoiding surprise breakdowns; you're also making sure it stays in the game for the long haul. 

How often should you show your truck some love? Every six months is a good rule of thumb. It's like a spa day for your truck – it keeps things running smooth, prevents unexpected hiccups, and unexpected downtime from breaking down.


  • Look out for warning signs like unusual noises, changes in engine performance, warning lights on the dashboard, or issues with braking and steering. These can indicate potential problems that need attention.

  • While basic checks like fluid levels and tire inspections can be done by drivers, it's important to have professional mechanics handle more complex tasks during routine services to ensure comprehensive and accurate maintenance.

  • Having a reliable roadside assistance provider may help get you back on the road quickly. Learn more about our truck roadside options here!