Complete fleet pulled from Vic and NSW roads

In a move of good faith, Cootes Transport has pulled its entire fleet off the roads in Victoria and New South Wales. Following inquiries into the safety of their vehicles, Cootes and parent company, the McAleese Group, have begun an extensive program of repairs and services on their entire fleet.

This ongoing inquiry has highlighted the need for Australian fleet managers to ensure fleet maintenance is kept up to date to protect the safety of their staff and all other road users.

After a fatal accident involving a Cootes tanker occurred on Sydney roads in October last year, New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services has requested full compliance inspections be carried out on all Cootes gas and petrol tankers that operate in the state.

These inspections have already uncovered major defects in a number of vehicles, resulting from a failure to comply with fleet maintenance requirements.

After these defects were discovered, the McAleese Group released a statement outlining their plan to repair and rectify all vehicles to an industry standard.

"The company continues to work diligently to improve its fleet and maintenance processes and its board and management remain committed to running the business to the highest safety standards," the December 5 statement explained. 

This repair schedule included appointing an external advisor to review the Cootes vehicles, investing further capital into their fleet maintenance program and increasing the frequency of repairs and services.

Despite this program to bring their vehicles to industry safety standards, Cootes Transport has taken a proactive approach by removing their trucks from the roads in Victoria. 

"McAleese is fully committed to ensuring the highest safety standards for employees and road users in general," a company spokesperson explained in a February 15 statement.

While removing a full fleet from the road is the last thing a fleet manager would want for their company, this could be easily avoided with a comprehensive fleet management program dedicated to adequate repair and services on all vehicles.