According to council insiders, bin lorry crews have been given lessons since the tragedy on how to stop vehicles in an emergency.
The training sessions were allegedly given for refuse workers who do not normally drive.
A local authority source told The Sunday Post that if they had pulled a handbrake on the dashboard it would have stopped the lorry.
He added: “It's as simple as showing staff where it is and how to pull it. But very few of the non-driving staff, if any, knew about it.”Remember, folks, the sort of councils that demand residents shut down fountains over the minuscule risk of Legionella, interfere in every aspect of private industry, and worry about the lampost-damaging qualities of wool don't bother to teach all their employees how to potentially halt a runaway multi-tonne vehicle.
The compensation lawyers will be having a field day. And sadly, the taxpayer will foot the bill again.
"If they had pulled a handbrake on the dashboard it would have stopped the lorry"
Showing them how to put the automatic transmission (fitted to virtually all refuse trucks these days) into neutral would also be a good idea. Expecting the brakes to halt a 20+ ton truck being propelled by 300hp of turbocharged diesel engine is no certainty of success.
No, sorry, you can't do that. Pulling handbrakes is the driver's job under section 49 subsection B of this month's agreement between the Union of Bin Lorry Drivers and management.
Neutral? Surely Park.
I have never seen a bin lorry doing a hand-brake turn.
Could be amusing.
"Neutral? Surely Park"
I think not - the clue is in the name. "Park" with auto boxes usually involves a simple mechanical pawl which locks the output shaft to prevent rotation. It is NOT designed to stop a vehicle already travelling at speed. Whilst this might work on a relatively light RWD car, the chances of major parts failing on a heavy truck are much higher. A U/J or propshaft flying off would just make the risk of injuries to pedestrians even worse. Even if it did engage without damage, you would then have a locked drive axle, with the consequent risk of the truck slewing sideways.
Putting it in neutral AND THEN applying the parking brake means the engine would no longer be accelerating the vehicle, allowing the brakes to stop it very quickly. All diesel engines are governed, and it would simply run at maximum designed revs until turned off. This approach means all the onboard systems (such as ABS) continue to work, and effectively, all that happens is the vehicle performs an emergency stop - the same as you have to do during a driving test.
I don't care whether the other operatives are drivers or not - giving them basic training to carry out this procedure in an emergency should be mandatory, regardless of any complaints by unions...
"Showing them how to put the automatic transmission (fitted to virtually all refuse trucks these days) into neutral would also be a good idea. "
"No, sorry, you can't do that. Pulling handbrakes is the driver's job under section 49 subsection B of this month's agreement between the Union of Bin Lorry Drivers and management."
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