Safety alert – certifications for tow bars revoked

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineDecember 28, 2018

Following an ongoing specialist investigation, the NZ Transport Agency has issued a safety alert advising it has revoked the certifications for tow bars on more than 1400 heavy vehicles. These include small trucks, tipper trucks, motorhomes and goods‘ vans certified by Auckland-based heavy vehicle specialist certifier Patrick Chu of Transport and Structure Limited.

“This means that during the current period of certification there is a risk that the trailer could detach from the vehicle, including the safety chain,” NZTA managing partner Steve Haszard says.

More than 1400 heavy vehicles that have a tow bar with a certification issued by Chu are affected and can no longer tow loads until they are recertified.

“The Transport Agency is aware this revocation safety alert comes at a difficult time for some vehicle owners. We apologise for this inconvenience but safety is our top priority,” Haszard says.

The NZTA has started contacting the registered owners of vehicles that had tow bars certified by Chu, but all vehicle owners with a tow bar certified by Chu are strongly encouraged to call NZTA on 0800 108 809.

The NZTA further advises that owners contact an alternative heavy vehicle certifier to check and re-certify the tow bar to ensure it is safe. A list of alternate certifiers can be found at

A separate safety alert issued earlier related to certifications issued by Chu in respect of towing connections and chassis. The latest alert follows further assessment of Chu‘s files and relates solely to tow bars, a small subset of his certifications.

Chu is one of several heavy vehicle specialist certifiers that the NZTA has had safety concerns with this year. The others are Nelson‘s Peter Wastney, Lower Hutt‘s Dick Joyce and Timaru‘s Adam McFarlane. All were suspended. McFarlane‘s appointment has since been partially reinstated.