Safety alert issued for Vehicle Loading Cranes (VLCs), after incident with Palfinger stabilisers


Safety alert issued for Vehicle Loading Cranes (VLCs), after incident with Palfinger stabilisers

Matt Turner | Managing Director


In another stark reminder to ensure robust risk assessments and inspections are regularly conducted on your equipment, despite a focussed safety campaign, another serious incident has occurred.

After a fatal initial incident occurred in 2018, there was a concerted effort to improve safety of Vehicle Loading Cranes (VLCs) – which we covered at the time.


What’s going on now?

After another safety incident in 2020 involving a Palfinger, Workplace Health and Safety QLD (WHSQ) have released an alert about the risk of stabiliser legs on VLCs extending unintentionally.


What happened?

Last year, the left-hand stabiliser leg of a PK 10000 VLC extended while the truck was being driven. Fortunately, nobody was injured – but another truck was damaged. The incident had the potential to be fatal.

It is a requirement under Australian Standard AS 1418.11:2014, which covers cranes hoists and winches, that VLCs are equipped with a visual and audible warning to alert the operator when the stabilisers are extended. But in this case, one was not fitted.

Had such a device been fitted, this incident would likely have been avoided. 


Lessons learned

Fortunately, in this case, nobody was injured. But incidents like this one can cost more than repairs – there can be fatal consequences, such as the incident that occurred in 2018.

It is critical that operators are trained correctly on how to use the specific make and model of the VLC they operate, and know how to ensure the correct deployment of stabilisers in accordance with safe operating procedures.

To comply with legislation, Section of AS 1418.11 includes details on the design of the warning systems associated with stabiliser locks, and says:

‘Cranes, with manually operated stabiliser extensions, shall have a warning visible and audible from the transport driving position that indicates when the stabilisers are not locked in the transport position. The audible warning may be silenced by an acknowledgement button or by a signal that the parking brake of the vehicle is engaged.”


Time to assess

Safety alerts such as this are a good reminder to proactively ensure your machines are up to code, with a robust risk assessment. 

You can also see if your machinery safety systems are up to scratch with our free health check, which walks you through each area of your safety systems and shows you how to improve.

Download Now


Here to help

To speak with a member of the Plant Assessor team on how we can help you manage your machinery safety and compliance processes, call 1300 728 852 or email


Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. This is not intended as legal or expert advice for your specific situation. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the content of this information.

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