Traffic officers get hands-on training in how to spot signs of unroadworthiness on trucks. File photo - Fleetwatch

Cape Town - Out of a total of 13 trucks randomly selected from the road for testing in last week’s Brake & Tyre Watch training programme for traffic officials held in the Western Cape, only two passed a roadworthiness test.

It was the latest shocking result in FleetWatch magazine’s ongoing Brake & Tyre Watch truck-testing programme, which has found that on average between six and seven out of ten heavy trucks on South Africa’s roads are unroadworthy.

The specialist trucking magazine, with the help of provincial governments nationwide, has been staging hands-on heavy-vehicle testing multiple times a year since 2006 in a bid to raise awareness for heavy-truck operators on the subject of brakes, tyres, lights, overloading and general maintenance of safety critical components - all areas which the majority of hauling companies are reportedly guilty of overlooking in the name of stretching profits.

FleetWatch editor Patrick O’Leary said: “When FleetWatch and its Brake & Tyre Watch partners arrived in Cape Town to train some 60 or so traffic officials on how to spot signs of unroadworthiness on trucks, we were hoping the results would be better than the last time we visited the Gene Louw Traffic College in Brackenfell back in in 2009.

“During that exercise, we recorded a 100 percent failure rate with 25 trucks tested and 25 failing. This time it was better - but not by much. Instead of a 100 percent failure rate, we got an 85 percent failure rate. Shocking.”

O’Leary said the good news is that the police who attended the training went away highly motivated and determined to put their newly acquired knowledge to work in their daily tasks out on the road.

The full report will be carried in the next edition of FleetWatch magazine.