NZTA to pay for Drawbar Repairs
Posted: 05-May-2018 |

The New Zealand Transport Agency will pay for repairs on cracked drawbars and plans to re-certify them.

NZTA has ordered owners of more than 800 trucks to stop using drawbars certified by Wastney Engineering due to poor certification practices.

Despite the Transport Agency working with Heavy Vehicle Engineers group at Engineering New Zealand it is hard to gauge how long the repairs will take. The backlog is quite extensive and the lack of qualified certifiers in New Zealand may result in a dragged out process. Despite this, the NZTA says that it will be doing its best.

"This will include temporarily relocating additional engineers qualified certifiers at temporary sites in Blenheim, Nelson, Greymouth and Westport to fast-track inspections and re-certifications in order to minimise disruption for the industry.

"We'll be working together with Engineering New Zealand's HVE group, the Road Transport Forum and the Truck-Trailer Manufacturers Federation to help meet demand and get these vehicles safely back on the road as soon as possible," NZTA said.

"While there is no legal liability to do so, in order to minimise interruption the Transport Agency will cover the cost of the re-certification and, where necessary, repair or replacement of towing connections."

Whilst this is a start and a relief to many that the NZTA will fit the bill for the recertification. It does not reimburse operators for all the cost in lost productivity up until now, and until their truck is certified. Certification of all affected vehicles could take upwards of two years.

Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley pulled NZTA up for not keeping on top of the problem. At one stage the RTF was considering class legal action against Peter Wastney Engineering, "but I suspect the well will be dry", he said.

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