A new road safety device can help to prevent road tanker rollovers and enhance the safety of delivery fleets. Shell Chemicals has developed an early ‘Rollover Warning Device’ (RWD) to alert drivers to the risk of rollovers, in collaboration with automotive components manufacturer Bertocco and engineering company Studio Merli. The RWD is now available to transport fleet operators around the world, following successful trials in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
While rollovers are rare, reducing the chance of incidence is a major safety and supply chain priority for companies like Shell. The most common cause of a rollover is the driver misjudging their vehicle’s rollover threshold when negotiating a bend or roundabout. The RWD provides drivers with an early visual warning and audio alarm when the vehicle is approaching its rollover threshold, enabling the driver to take immediate corrective action. In 2010 the RWD was recognised for its valuable contribution to safety, and Shell and Bertocco were awarded an EuroTra Safety and Innovation Award by the Freight Transport Association.
Jack Eggels, Shell’s General Manager for Global Land Logistics, said: "We took the initiative to collaborate with our business partners to develop the Rollover Warning Device , because we want to do all we can to reduce the risk of road tanker rollover. We did not do this just for ourselves, but also to help customers and other transport operators across the globe make roads safer. Safety is a top priority for Shell and we recognise it has a direct impact on our customer service. We want our drivers to deliver products safely and return home to their loved ones."
Shell is promoting the RWD with its contractors and encouraging them to adopt the device for their fleets. Tristar Transportation, a transport operator working with Shell and other companies across Africa, the Middle East and Asia, is fitting the device into its Shell-contracted vehicles in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, and plans to extend it to its wider fleet.
Tristar CEO Eugene Mayne said: "We trialled the Rollover Warning Device in our fleet last year and I am really convinced of its benefits. Our drivers said they feel safer because they have greater awareness of the rollover threshold of their vehicles. There is no doubt that this simple yet effective device really makes our fleet safer, and that helps me sleep better at night."
The RWD is now available for fleet operators to order through Bertocco. The device can be fitted within hours on road tankers of any type, shape, configuration or age, and is relatively inexpensive.
Shell Chemicals approach to supply chain safety.
Shell is committed to working with contractors and customers to improve supply chain safety. Shell Chemicals are one of the world’s largest petrochemical operators with 125,000 consignments, or over two million tonnes of chemical products, delivered to customers globally each year by road.
While the RWD can help to reduce the risk of rollovers, driver behaviour remains the most important factor in logistics transport safety. Shell is incorporating the RWD into its road safety training, which includes a comprehensive package of defensive driving, journey management, fatigue and behavioural safety.
Other initiatives range from chemical ‘spill-drill’ exercises to trialing product innovations, such as fall protection systems. Shell also uses GPS to monitor selective deliveries, conducts random spot-checks, and holds regular ‘Hearts and Minds’ safety discussion forums for drivers, particularly in developing countries that present infrastructure and logistical challenges.