The point of no return

A study conducted by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) says that 9.4% of all fatal traffic accidents on South African roads involve heavy load vehicles. Additionally, statistics attribute between 80 and 85% of truck crashes to human error. Added to this, 73% of the people killed in truck crashes are occupants from other vehicles.

The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says truck rollovers do not require major increases in speed or serious misjudgement of a corner. “In certain situations it only takes an extra 5km/h to cause a rollover. What is more concerning is that when a truck starts to roll, a driver will not be able to feel it until it is too late. In just two seconds, the truck will reach a point of no return.

“While 50% of rollovers can be attributed to speed, this is not the only cause. Incorrectly loading the vehicle can affect the balance of the truck resulting in it overturning. Fatigue and distraction also play a major role in trucks overturning.”

Preventing a rollover depends on understanding the ‘mechanics’ around it. “Speed is a major culprit because the front wheels turn faster than the cargo which offsets the centre of gravity and causing the load to shift. A full understanding of the centre of gravity and its effect on rollovers is essential.

“Practical demonstrations are an effective way to understand how a rollover happens. MasterDrive’s Rollover Prevention Training delivers on this by taking drivers to the edge, utilising specialised rigs that simulate ‘stretching the envelope.’ The programme is designed to allow truck drivers to experience exactly what it is like at that moment – before a crash.”

Seasoned truck drivers are left astounded after their experience in the training truck. “From the time that the truck starts to tip, it takes approximately two seconds for the driver to even feel that a rollover is happening. Only once the outriggers on the truck make contact with the road, is one aware that things went wrong. By this point, there is no stopping a rollover from occurring.

“Experiencing a rollover without going all the way over will have the greatest impact in motivating change. Practical examples are the most effective way to create understanding. It also has a deeper impact on minds and, consequently, driving skills. This also results in drivers retaining what they learn and apply it when encountering high risk situations.”

MasterDrive’s Rollover Prevention Training is the only-of-its-kind in Africa. “The training vehicle is specially designed with outriggers that allow for not only theoretical classroom training but an applied understanding of rollovers.

“Reading about how easily a rollover can occur is not as powerful as feeling it for yourself. For this reason, MasterDrive regularly invites organisations to join the team to experience it for themselves. Fleet owners and managers will leave with a better understanding of the challenges their drivers face as well as the vital importance of equipping drivers to significantly reduce their risk,” says Herbert.

If you are interested in a live demonstration inside the Rollover Prevention Truck, contact MasterDrive by calling 086 110 0618 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..