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Vehicle loading crane (VLC) stabiliser safety

Nationally,  there has been numerous incidents where vehicle loading crane (VLC) stabilisers have unintentionally extended during travel, causing fatalities, injuries and damage to roadside property including parked vehicles.  Find out about the compliance campaign undertaken by WHSQ and the Department of Main Roads in 2018, some of the faulty locking devices that were identified during the campaign, and a demonstration on how to ensure your VLC is safe and compliant.

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Instructor: As an owner or person in control of a business or undertaking, you have a responsibility to ensure your vehicle loading crane stabilizers, are always packed, locked, and secured safely for travel. Throughout this video, I will cover the requirements for all manually, operated stabilizers on vehicle loading cranes. Also referred to as VLCs or crane trucks. Regardless of their shape, size or weight. Nationally, there have been numerous incidents where VLC stabilizers have unintentionally extended during travel causing fatalities, injuries, and damage to roadside property; including parked vehicles. Incidents involving parked vehicles, are not always reported to workplace health and safety Queensland, as many are simply classified as vehicle incidents and recorded and processed as insurance claims. To address these reoccurring and serious risks, a VLC compliance campaign was undertaken by workplace health and safety Queensland and the department of transport and main roads in August, 2018. The aims of the campaign were to firstly educate and increase awareness among VLC owners, persons in control of businesses or undertakings and operators about the risks of failing to properly secure stabilizers arms before traveling. Secondly, take compliance action, when the risks of manually operated VLC stabilizers, unintentionally extending were not controlled. When the campaign commenced in August, 2018, most VLCs intercepted, were found to have non-compliant or faulty stabilizer locking mechanisms, stabilizers with no secondary locks, unsecured stabilizers, and drivers not competent to operate the VLCs. During the campaign, workplace health safety Queensland, and the department of transport and main roads issued 489 statutory notices for noncompliant VLC issues. Recent interceptions show VLCs are becoming safer and more compliant. Here are some of the faulty locking devices that were identified throughout the campaign. During one road site assessment, this picture was taken of a damaged carabiner that was being used as a secondary stabilizer lock. In this image, wire was being used as a secondary lock to secure the stabilizer. And in this image, it shows a VLCs damaged secondary lock. While in this image, a spanner was used to hold the primary lock in an open position, making it easier to deploy the stabilizer, as only the secondary lock mechanism needed to be operated this instance. In the absence of fail, safe securing mechanisms, all of these VLCs posed potential risks to life health and property. The following video, will now demonstrate how to ensure your VLC is safe and compliant.

Don Peden: Yes hello, my name is Don Peden. I'm the Managing Director of Truck Cranes Australia. I've been involved in vehicle loading cranes now for 40 years and today, we're going to be looking at the different types of stabiliser leg locks. The primary locks and the secondary locks. And their function and what to look for when we're assessing these. Okay, what we look for when we're actually assessing the cranes, we're checking to make sure the primary leg lock works and the secondary leg lock, which is spring actuated, makes sure that everything's functioning as it should. So, when you deploy the stabilising leg, everything's operational. When you went to, when you want to stow it, you slide it back in, that automatically has to lock with the spring. And then your primary lock then is deployed as well. Additionally, with this, you have on the other side here, we have, we have a micro switch, which operates your audible warning in the cab and also there's a visual warning in the cab. So, when your legs are deployed, straight away there's a flashing light in the cab and a buzzer, which stays on whilst the cranes being used. And it's, it only comes off when the legs, restowed, and the microswitch is triggered. When we're actually deploying the stabiliser legs, we lift the primary, open the secondary lock, and then we drop this one back down again, and you pull the legs all the way up until they lock into position, like that. Then we obviously deploy the stabiliser leg and check the foot pad that it's in good condition and it's operational. When we go to stow the leg back in again, we lift the primary lock and push the leg back in. Then it locks with the secondary lock and the primary lock. and then your legs are double locked. There's obviously a lot of different types of cranes and different types of locking devices. This locking device, you unlock it here first, you rotate the cap lifted up and then you can bring the leg up and then to lock it back in. That's your primary and that's your secondary lock. So, this is a different type. This is another style of stabilising leg locking device. So, you have your primary here with that handle, then you have your secondary here, which is spring activated. Slide the leg out and the spring automatically drops into place. As it locks back in then you lock it at the primary.

Instructor: If you have any questions relating to VLC safety or the VLC campaign, please call or visit our website,