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Pacific Highway Upgrade sees the emergence of lifesaving fleet technology, helping children get home safely

5th August 2020

Roadworks were well underway on the Woodburne to Coraki Road section of the $4.3b Woolgoola to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade when community concerns were raised about safety issues relating to construction vehicles using the same 100kph road zone as local school buses.   

The project’s major contractor, SEE Civil engaged their vehicle and equipment telemetry provider The Fleet office to develop a solution that would prevent the risk of injury or death, and allay the community’s concerns about the safety of the school buses that used the same stretch of road. 

Jim Lee, founder and managing director of The Fleet Office said his team was given a brief to create new software and devices and have them tested and successfully installed within 25 days. 

The Fleet Office team created The Truck and Bus Avoidance System (TBAS) which tracked the location and speed of both the school buses and trucks regardless of the direction it was travelling.  

An audible alarm could also be triggered in the truck when it approached a bus travelling in the same direction that was within 500 metres, while different audible alarm was triggered in the truck when it approached a bus travelling in the opposite direction that was within 800 metres.  

Another feature prevented a truck from overtaking or being within 50 metres of the bus without an alert being triggered so when the truck stopped, so did other traffic and this provided even further safety for the local community. 

Mr Lee said TBAS was installed in each of the SEE Civil subcontractor’s truck fleet and was a resounding success with zero accidents and zero near misses recorded when the project concluded.  

What was originally set out to overcome the safety hazard on the Pacific Highway Upgrade was now being deployed in other scenarios whereby Telemetry could be utilized to prevent collisions.  The Truck and Bus Avoidance System (TBAS) evolved into Ultrashield, a solution that could be used across other at risk mobile assets and mobile workers. 

Queensland based earthmoving, bulk haulage and quarry materials specialists, VE Group have also engaged The Fleet Office’s next-generation version of the TBAS software, Ultrashield at Anglo American’s Dawson mine site in Moura. 

Ultrashield provides additional safety to prevent near misses and incidents for mine and construction workers while on foot, operating machinery or driving. Every worker and machinery operator are provided with their safety alert radius and 360-degree, bird’s-eye view while on site. 

VE Group Director Nathan Howell said Ultrashield provided additional safety onsite with the coverage to see every piece of plant on the screen including blind spots and other impediments. 

“You physically get to see the equipment before it comes into the view of the operator. By embracing Ultrashield technology in all worksite safety procedures it will improve risk management unlike anything the industry has seen before,” Nathan said 

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