Does ShuRoo work?
ShuRoo is an electronic device emitting high frequency sound and was designed as an early warning alert for kangaroos and other wildlife. ShuRoo is not designed to scare or panic animals. It has been described as a “police siren” for kangaroos to alert of an approaching vehicle. This is because the sound emitted continually ramps up and down through a range of frequencies that alert and disturb wild animals. It is a sound that is not normal in their natural environment.
Why scientific testing in controlled environments is flawed when testing ShuRoo
Trials on captive animals do not replicate the response wild animals display. Captive animals that are hand-fed, used to external noises – traffic, vehicles delivering feed, tourist buses etc – react vastly differently to animals in their natural environment. They are in no fear of injury or attack from any natural predator and as such are not nearly alert as wild kangaroos. In the wild kangaroos are usually not exposed to other external noises and are always on alert. ShuRoo is used in uncontrolled conditions against wild animals in varied areas at varying speeds and varying weather conditions and cannot be tested successfully in controlled conditions.
Ultra sonic sound
Frequency range is not the only indicator as to whether sound can be effective in deterring an animal from collisions with vehicles. Sound pattern or “song” is by far the most important aspect in getting a response from animals. Wild animals obviously hear in a range of frequencies. What is important is the amount they are affected by the sound pattern they are listening to and the attention gained by varying the frequencies. If the right equipment is not used to measure this sound, it will simply measure a selected frequency and miss the continually rotating frequencies – simply appearing as a blip and not registering the continually rotating frequencies that cause the animal to respond to ShuRoo.
If you point ShuRoo at an animal it will not sit bolt upright and run away. This is not our goal and we have, over time, come to realise that with these products you do not want to panic the animal. ShuRoo is a warning siren for the animals, which alerts them of a coming danger, and they are then aware you are there. You pass safely and they return to normal.
Field tests offer the only definitive answer
Over 27 years many individuals and fleet operators have field tested Shuroo – testing in the only “laboratory” that counts – the open road.
A million miles of field tests
This is a sample of just some of the success fleet operators are having in reducing damage and downtime. The many individual unsolicited endorsements have not been included here, but rather the reported results from fleet operators who have analysed the statistics of vehicles with and without ShuRoos over long periods of time and over all sorts of terrain and driving conditions. These real life situations are unable to be repeated under controlled testing with semi-tame animals.
We have been installing Shuroos on our vehicles since 2002, over that period based on previous data we have maintained a 70% reduction in accident damage cost relating to animal strikes, we currently have 127 vehicles fitted with Shuroos. The financial savings far outweighs the cost of installing Shuroos on Hydro Tasmania vehicles.
Alan Johnson, Fleet Manager – June 2013
We are utilising ShuRoos on our 9 mainline vehicles, our two superintendent vehicles and our 4 deep dale vehicles. The majority of these vehicles do about 9000km a month on harsh access roads. We have had the ShuRoos fitted for approximately 6 to 9 months now and we have had very minimal impact from roos. With the combination of stronger and larger spotlights, combined with the ShuRoos, night time driving is becoming much safer and we are having a lot less incidents.
Michael Lenehan – Dec 2012
Contract Management Supervisor, Cape Lambert Rail Operations
Shire of Plantagenet
Since 2011 we have had 15 accidents with kangaroos. We have now started to install ‘Shu Roos’. The vehicles that have Shu Roos installed have not had an accident with kangaroos. This has resulted in savings financially and downtime of vehicles.
Administration Officer, Works and Services, Shire of Plantagenet, Western Australia. November 2013
The Australian Railroad Group
The Australian Railroad Group (ARG) is one of the largest private rail operators in Australia. ARG has a fleet of 406 vehicles and driver safety is of a critical importance to ARG as we pride ourselves on being the safest railroad company in Australia. In 2004 at our ARG Kalgoorlie depot, we had 23 kangaroo incidents creating problems with having so many job specific vehicles out of service. In 2005, ARG installed Shuroo systems into 16 vehicles with immediate effect, for the remainder of 2005 we recorded one kangaroo incident. This reduced our vehicle down time by 95% but more importantly, our employees are driving in a safer vehicle. In September 2005, ARG’s Occupational Health and Safety department completed a driver safety analysis with results clearly showing the benefits of the ShuRoo electronic vehicle protection system. A decision was made by ARG to roll out the installation of the ShuRoo system throughout our vehicle fleet during 2006 – 2007.
Paul Wylde – ARG Fleet Manager, Australian Railroad Group, Welshpool WA
Ambulance Service Victoria
During the period 10th to 22nd of April a ShuRoo unit was fitted to Car 505 for trial. This unit is designed to assist with clearing kangaroos and wallabies from the roadway immediately in the path of the approaching unit by the generation of sound waves which are annoying to some animals. This trial was conducted mainly at night through areas known to have high kangaroo / wallaby populations. The type of roads varied from major State Highways through to gravel bush roads, some of these being Western and Henty Highways, Wail Forest Road, Halls Gap / Horsham Road, Bolte Highway and Black Range Road. The other area used was the Stawell Airfield which is known for its kangaroo population.
In the early part of the trial the area at Wail Forest was chosen to allow the operator to become familiar with the affect the unit had on kangaroos or wallabies. This was achieved by driving along roads in the forest area until kangaroos were located. The unit was then turned on in all cases the animals stopped what they were doing and looked directly at the vehicle which at this point was 400 to 500 metres away. As the vehicle approached the animals, some moved quietly clear of the area of travel, whilst others moved rapidly off into the bush.
Subsequent tests on secondary roads all gave similar results with kangaroos and wallabies moving quickly away from the area in front or to the side of the vehicle, even if this meant crossing the road to reach cover. At no time did an animal come any closer than 100 to 150 metres. These tests where carried out at speeds ranging from 20kmh to 100kmh.The ShuRoo was just as effective on kangaroos and wallabies on major highways, though large numbers were observed on the roadway and road side, they either moved off the roadway clear of the vehicles path or those on the roadside watched the vehicle and made no move to cross in front of the vehicle. The animals on the roadside only moved away when the vehicle was driven on the gravel edge closer to them. These tests were carried out at speeds between 80 to 120 kmh.
The third part of’ the trial was conducted at the Stawell Airfield where a large number of kangaroos were observed both on the runway and grass areas. I proceeded to the eastern end of the runway, turned the unit on and then turned onto the runway’s left hand side and travelled the length of the runway at speeds between 100 and 140 kmh. All kangaroos moved clear of the vehicles path with at least 50 to 100 metres separation of animal and vehicle on reaching the western end of the runway. A U-turn was executed and I then proceeded back along the length of the runway with similar results, though as speed increased animal reaction time decreased, but at no time was avoiding action required. During all stages of the trial no animal came toward the front or sides of the vehicle as is common with kangaroos or wallabies. On four occasions whilst the unit was operating sheep were observed moving clear of roadways though they did not react as rapidly as kangaroos. As a result of this the unit was tried whilst passing through a flock of sheep on the roadway. This resulted in the sheep clearing the roadway in the vehicles path.
The ShuRoo is designed to operate at normal speeds with the driver taking due care, especially in areas that may reduce the sound pattern such as cuttings, curves and crests. They are not designed for high speed road clearance of animals but may still be of some benefit in reducing chances of impact with kangaroos, sheep and birds. The unit is designed as an aid to drivers in areas with high populations of kangaroos by making the animal aware of the car so they will move away from its path or not move into the vehicles path. I consider these units would be of benefit, if fitted, to cars stationed in areas with high kangaroo populations such as Stawell and Edenhope. There would be some value in fitting one to the Warracknabeal cars as these vehicles cover night transports through areas with high kangaroo populations whilst on transports to Ballarat or Mildura.
M Wilson Senior station Officer, Horsham.
Ambulance Service Victoria Western Region, 1992
Russ Equipment Pty Ltd
I have just returned from a 10,000 kilometre sojourn through the far western and central regions of Queensland and I just thought I might drop you a quick line to say how very impressed I am with the latest ShuRoo system. A fair bit of my driving happens during the dark hours of the night. I have to say after driving through what is commonly known as a bad area for roo strike, without incident, I would have no hesitations in recommending this product. We have been using the ShuRoo almost from the first version and have seen the progress first hand the system has undertaken. One thing I did notice with the new system, you need really good driving lights to witness the ShuRoo actually doing its thing. The bouncy things tend to be warned and move off well out in front of the vehicle so there is more time to slow, stop, take evasive action etc. Thanks for an exceptional product that makes my life on the road so much safer and more enjoyable.
Ken Russ, Special Equipment Manager, Russ Equipment Pty Ltd
Western Australian Government Water Corporation
… For example, incidents involving collisions with kangaroos led to the adding of electronic kangaroo avoidance devices in particular areas. … Recommendations emanating from previous incident investigations have resulted in the fitting of Shu-roo’s (high frequency safety zone device), day-time lighting and reverse sensors to Corporation vehicles.
Extract from Western Australian Government Workplace Road Safety Booklet, Case Study: Water Corporation
Department of Transport Roma
The above device was fitted to this District’s vehicle in early December last for test purposes. Since the fitting of this device I have driven to all locations in the Roma District, a total distance of approximately 10,000 km. The roads varied from highway to rough dirt with associated speed restrictions in accordance with conditions. The ShuRoo originally fitted was replaced by other units over the trial period. All devices performed in accordance with the claims of the Manufacturer.
General Comment: I found the device to be an asset especially when driving during the early morning or at dusk. At these times, kangaroos are more prevalent on the roads. I noted that kangaroos took evasive action and moved off the carriageway or the shoulder area of the roads from a distance of two guide posts, or approximately 100 metres from my approaching vehicle. I hit only one roo during the test period. It came out of low scrub right next to the shoulder of the dirt road on which I was travelling. Flocks of birds on roads in this District are a hazard. No damage occurred to the aerial, light guards, or the windscreen of my vehicle during the test period. While taking part in the testing of the ShuRoo I became aware of the security it provided.
P.M. West, Asst Senior Transport Inspector, Department of Transport, Roma Qld, 1988
Formway Pty Ltd
We recently had a ShuRoo installed on our new Range Rover vehicle: and we wanted to thank you for your product. Since the installation we can’t tell you the difference it has made to not only to our safety, but our pocket and peace of mind whilst driving through some of Australia’s renowned Roo country. Our work entails us to drive across Australia continually, driving! approx. 160,000 kms a year. Over the years we have had some rather expensive run-ins with the roos, and all of them in expensive cars mainly Saharas and Range Rovers. In December ’93 we had a run in with a roo in our 12 month old Range Rover which had the heavy duty bull bars on the front. This not only cause me great inconvenience but it also cause damage to the value of $15,000.00 (parts alone), consequently necessitating me to purchase another new Range Rover, only this time with the bull bars came the Shu Roo MK II. It has been one of the best investment we have made in years. Since installation we have driven approx. 20,000 kms and have seen hundreds of roo’s in our path, but now they don’t come towards the moving vehicle, they seen to hop away from it. This has made our lives so much easier, we no longer dread the drive in roo country, we simply switch on the ShuRoo when were in their territory.
Luigi Finizio, Formway Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW 1994