Over the last weeks we have experienced a high increase of serious transport accidents with large components. In most of the cases tower transports have been tipped over.
What to expect from transport companies and anyone else involved?
Truck / Escort Drivers must immediately STOP the transport whenever in doubt:
- road or weather conditions might not be as planned
- technical or operational issues may occur
- in case of communication errors between truck and escort car driver
Transport company must always ensure to follow the process requirements for each transport of heavy- and oversized Wind Turbine components:
- roads and bridges must be thoroughly checked before transportation starts, e.g. by a trial / test run to prove the route
- all areas where special assistance from the pilot cars / steering operation is required shall be identified in advance. Drivers should also be informed and prepared for the route
- establish a clear process of communication between the truck driver, the steersman and the escort car involved in the operation
- adjust driving speed also based on changed weather or road conditions, day or nighttime, but also based on the experience of each driver in driving the specific component
- under NO circumstances the steersman shall be forced to do multi-tasking during the transport
The Working Group Wind Industry Safety Culture has categorised transport accidents and near misses into 3 categories:
(1) Human Error (driver mistakes, improper steering & communication between truck and escort car driver / steersman)
(2) Insufficient Site- and Road Modifications
(3) Technical or Equipment Failures (incl. packaging)
Besides the continuous focus by all OEM’s on BEHAVIOUR and the creation of AWARENESS, the VDMA Working Group Wind Industry Safety Culture will be working on a check-list to be established and implemented for each wind component transport to get in place to also establish process wise a further automated awareness. Furthermore, the time of digitisation must additionally be used to create for instance early alarm signals. It has also been identified that the escort car driver does have multiple roles, which must be reviewed (lack of awareness & reaction time) to develop further concrete action items.