At Statewide, we strive to go above and beyond to give our members the best possible outcomes – always.

That’s why our internal teams constantly communicate and collaborate behind the scenes, ensuring that we cover all bases to benefit our councils.

And it was this cohesiveness that recently enabled us to successfully assist Wagga Wagga City Council mitigate risk at the Tarcutta truck stop.

Here’s the full story.

The runaway trucks at Tarcutta

The Tarcutta changeover yard is a busy facility where trucks come to swap trailers all day long.

The site comes under the responsibility and ownership of Wagga Wagga City Council. But it was designed and constructed by Transport for NSW – and features the same layout as all other changeover yards throughout Australia.

There’s only one issue with the Tarcutta site: it’s built on a hill with a 5- to 10-degree slope.

And in the last 18 months, three truck-trailers rolled off this slope while parked – causing damage to vehicle and council infrastructure.

A curiosity that sparked collaboration

When three very similar claims – all relating to infrastructure damage at Tarcutta – came through from the Council within 18 months, JLT’s Claims team took notice.

And that’s when our Accounts team and Regional Risk Manager Damien Connell reached out to Council to see if Statewide could help investigate and fix the Tarcutta site issue.

Council revealed that they were reviewing several possible solutions, one being a complete rebuild of the Tarcutta yard. They’d hoped that a rebuild would prevent more accidents, which they believed were caused by the slope.

That solution, however, would cost Wagga Wagga City Council hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not to mention the time involved to complete the reconstruction.

So before they made a decision, we offered to:

  • Conduct an onsite inspection and risk assessment
  • Consult with stakeholders and users of the facilities
  • Explore other possible risk management solutions

Ruling out the original plan

Rebuilding the site would undoubtedly be financially challenging for Wagga Wagga City Council.

But when we consulted Transport for NSW, we discovered that a rebuild was in fact out of the question.

This is because all changeover yards throughout the country were intentionally designed to ensure consistency and ease-of-use for truck drivers. So no matter which part of Australia they travel to, drivers would know exactly where to go and what to do at every facility.

To redesign Tarcutta would make it the only site with a different design. Which may result in confused drivers – and a higher risk of accidents.

Getting to the root of the problem

The bigger question in our mind: What was the actual cause of the incidents?

Was it just the site design and the slope? Or something else?

So during the site visit, we consulted the users of the facility, including trucking companies and the truck drivers themselves.

And we soon discovered that the incidents were in fact caused by driver error.

The truck drivers didn’t apply the parking brake to the prime mover before attaching their trailers’ air supply lines. This wouldn’t have made much of a difference on flat ground. But because Tarcutta was on a hill, the problem was exacerbated – resulting in trucks rolling off.

(You can learn more in this article by the Big Rigs, which includes a CCTV clip of a near-disastrous incident.)

The solution? A simple, but effective, reminder

After inspecting the site, consulting with stakeholders and gathering facts, we proposed a faster, simpler and more cost-effective solution.

We recommended that Wagga Wagga City Council erects signage to remind truck drivers to put on their parking brake while at the site.

This solution only cost Council $6,000 – and the signage was up on site within eight weeks.

Since then, we’ve received tremendous feedback from the Tarcutta site users. Transport safety experts and advocates have also lauded the action, saying they’ve been pushing for a similar initiative for years.

The best part? Since the signage was up, there have been zero accidents at the site.

Statewide is here to help

At Statewide Mutual, we believe in the six-star service we provide to our members.

This was just one example of how we always have our members’ best interest at heart – and how our team works behind the scenes, together, for our members’ benefit.

Thanks to our Claims, Accounts and Risk teams’ close collaboration and communication, we were able to support Wagga Wagga City Council in resolving the issue at Tarcutta.

Quickly – and cost-effectively.

If you’re having any issues with your assets, or facing major asset management decisions, we’re here to help. Get in touch with your Account or Regional Risk Manager today.

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