ALRTA News – 19 January 2018

SETTING A COURSE FOR 2018

Welcome back to the first ALRTA newsletter of 2018.  We do hope that you have taken some time to catch up with your loved ones over the Christmas and New Year period and are feeling refreshed and energetic.

2018 promises to be another big year in rural road transport.   The ALRTA is looking forward to building on our achievements in 2017 and tackling the next wave of regulatory reform that we know is heading our way.

Here is a summary of how your national association travelled in 2017:

Effluent Management

  • Sent a delegation to NZ to examine effluent management policies and infrastructure.
  • Worked with NTC to develop options for improving chain of responsibility.
  • Developed a new livestock section in the Load Restraint Guide.
  • Secured a grant to develop an industry code of practice for effluent management.
  • Lodged a grant application to establish Australia’s first roadside effluent facility.

Fatigue

  • Achieved more flexible driving hours via the National Livestock Welfare Work and Rest Exemption Notice 2017 (No.1).
  • Worked with NHVR to develop a formal proposal to allow limited Personal Private Use of a Heavy Vehicle, including lodging a formal submission in response.
  • Participated on a major fatigue research steering group.

Safer Infrastructure

  • Secured a grant to establish a user-pay pivot access landing frame demonstration project.
  • Applied to develop a National Standard for Livestock Ramps and Forcing Yards.

Safer Vehicles

  • Published a Guide to Braking and Stability Performance for Heavy Vehicle Combinations.
  • Adopted a clear policy position supporting mandatory ESC on trucks and trailers.
  • Wrote to Safe Work Australia seeking a National Crate Standard.

Mandatory Minimum Rates and Taxation

  • Assisted LBRCA to ensure that rural carriers remained exempt from mandatory minimum rates under proposed changes to the NSW General Carriers Contract Determination.
  • Assisted LRTAV to respond to proposed changes to the Victorian Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act.
  • Worked with ATA to overturn reductions in the amount of travel expenses that can be reasonably claimed without receipts.

Fairer Charging

  • Lobbied Ministers ahead of 2018-19 and 2019-20 charging decisions.
  • Issued media statements in response to disappointing decision.
  • Lodged a formal submission seeking independent price regulation.

Productivity and Regulation

  • Achieved more flexible options for road train and long vehicle signs via the Heavy Vehicle Standards (Warning Signs) Exemption Notice 2017 (No.1).
  • Lodged submissions on proposed national notices for HML, B-doubles and road trains.
  • Facilitated a meeting between ALRTA, NHVR, NSW RMS, QLD TMR and QLD Police to discuss sensible alternatives to IAP.
  • Participated in an interview with NTC on regulatory telematics.
  • Responded to the Australian Government Inquiry on National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities seeking greater investment in regional agricultural and tourism roads.
  • Nominated John Beer to the Steering Committee to review the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock.
  • Worked with the Australian Government and NHVR to establish a National Registration Database.

Better Accreditation Systems

  • Worked with ATA to review the TruckSafe Animal Welfare Module.

General Advocacy

  • Observed two meetings of the Transport and Infrastructure Ministerial Council.
  • Participated in Ministerial Roundtables on Road Safety and Charging.
  • Met with the Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister on two occasions and liaised with Advisors regularly.
  • Met with more than 15 other Federal Ministers and parliamentarians.
  • Four meetings of the ATA Council.
  • Two meetings of the NHVR Livestock and Rural Industry Operators Group.
  • Four meetings of the NHVR Industry Reference Forum.
  • Two meetings of the NTC Industry Advisory Group.
  • Met with ATA, NatRoad, NFF and more than 40 other associations, local governments or supply chain stakeholders on specific issues.
  • Issued formal media statements and participated in interviews.
  • Published 48 weekly newsletters.

Events

  • Held a joint National-State Conference with LRTAQ.
  • Contributed to conferences for all other member state associations.
  • Attended ATA conference.
  • Attended Federal Nationals Conference.
  • Held four ALRTA National Council meetings, plus many teleconference of our committees (Executive, Member Chapter, Animal Welfare, Marketing and Secretariats).

Recognising High Achievers

We congratulate our national award winners in 2017:

  • Liz Schmidt (LRTAQ) – ALRTA Life Membership.
  • Dean Clarke (LBRCA) – NHVR-ALRTA Safety Innovation Award.
  • Mark Collins (LRTAQ) – Craig Roseneder Award for Technical and Maintenance Excellence.
  • Marla Stone (LRTAV) and Athol Carter (LRTAQ) – Cummins Scholarships.
  • Smith Haulage (LRTASA) – Woolworths Carrier of the Year (small Transport Partner).

Strengthening Your Association

  • Secured new partnerships with Byrne Trailers and Lowes Petroleum.
  • Expanded membership of our National Member Chapter to include five of the largest rural carriers in Australia (Frasers, O’Sullivan’s, StockMaster, Trans Australian Livestock and StockTrans).
  • Assisted in the election of Lynley Miners (LBRCA) and John Beer (LRTAV) to the ATA Council.
  • Moved the ALRTA office into the ATA Building.
  • Conducted a major review of our financial arrangements.
  • Commenced work on a national member database.

The ALRTA is already off to a flying start in 2018.

Our National Executive will meet via teleconference next week to consider responses to:

  • Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement on the National Heavy Vehicle Braking Strategy Phase II – Improving the Stability and Control of Heavy Vehicles; and
  • Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for EWD Policy Framework and Standard.

We are also working closely with LBRCA to prepare for the joint National-State Conference in Coffs Harbour 23-24 March 2018.

With so many irons in the fire from 2017 we know that 2018 will be another big year.  Not only will be dealing with a raft of government driven reforms, we will also be progressing our own major projects on user-pay charging, chain of responsibility, codes of practice, effluent infrastructure, ramp standards and developing a national database.

Look out for more announcements and opportunities to have your say in coming editions of the ALRTA Weekly News.

 

HEAVY VEHICLE BRAKING

The Australian Government has released a regulatory impact statement (RIS) relating to the National Heavy Vehicle Braking Strategy Phase II – Improving the Stability and Control of Heavy Vehicles.

The RIS identified six possible options:

  • Option 1: No intervention.
  • Option 2: User information campaigns.
  • Option 3: Fleet purchasing policies.
  • Option 4: Codes of practice.
  • Option 5: Mandatory standards under the Competition and Consumer Act.
  • Option 6: Mandatory standards under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act.

After initial analysis of benefits, costs, savings and technical considerations, the RIS concludes that only Options 1, 2 and 6 are viable. Options 1 & 2 do not meet the government’s safety objectives and so Option 6 is identified as the preferred option.

Three variants of Option 6 are then examined:

  • Option 6a: Mandatory ESC for new trucks over 4.5t GVM.  ABS for trailers over 4.5t GTM, with the addition of Roll Stability Control (RSC) for trailers over 10t GTM.
  • Option 6b: Mandatory ESC for new trucks over 12t GVM.  ABS for trailers over 4.5t GTM, with the addition of RSC for trailers over 10t GTM.
  • Option 6c: Mandatory ESC for new prime movers (i.e. not including rigids) over 4.5t GVM.  ABS for trailers over 4.5t GTM, with the addition of Roll Stability Control (RSC) for trailers over 10t GTM.

The following implementation dates are proposed for trucks and trailers:

  • 1 Nov 2019 for new model vehicles; and
  • 1 Nov 2021 for all new vehicles.

The ALRTA National Council has previously adopted a policy supporting mandatory ESC with an exemption for converter dollies.   All of the Option 6 variants include an exemption for converter dollies and therefore align with our established policy.

The variants differ significantly with regard to the application of mandatory ESC on trucks.  At one end, Option 6a would apply ESC to all trucks (including rigids) while Option 6c would apply only to prime movers.

Broader coverage of mandatory ESC results in the best safety outcome, however the high costs associated with including rigid vehicles greatly reduces the expected net cost:benefit ratio.

The ALRTA is currently considering the proposal and is consulting with all member state associations.  We would welcome your feedback on the proposals, either directly to the ALRTA or via your state association.

Consultation closes on Friday, 2 February 2018.

 

ELECTRONIC WORK DIARIES

The NHVR has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for EWD Policy Framework and Standard

It is important to note that at this stage, EWDs will be a voluntary alternative to a written work diary.

There are currently no approved EWDs that can replace a written work diary.  The NHVR notice of proposed rulemaking will establish the rules and standards under which technology providers can apply to NHVR for approval.

The notice explores three possible options:

  • Option 1: Retain the current embargo on approvals.
  • Option 2: Centralised EWD System Manager Model (i.e. like IAP).
  • Option 3: Adopt the EWD Policy Framework and Standards.

As the saying goes ‘The devil is in the detail’ and it is fair to say that both the proposed policy framework and standards are complex documents.  They system will also need to be supported by additional policies, not the least of which is the compliance and enforcement policy which has yet to be released.

One the primary considerations will be whether or not adopting an EWD will leave a driver and operator more exposed to prosecution.  After all, any system that makes it easier for the driver and record keeper to see potential non-compliances will also make it easier for enforcement officers.

The ALRTA is currently considering the NHVR proposal and is consulting with all member state associations.  We would welcome your feedback on the proposals, either directly to the ALRTA or via your state association.

Consultation closes on Friday, 9 February 2018.

 

FATIGUE RESEARCH: VOLUNTEERS WANTED

The ALRTA is seeking volunteers to be involved in ground breaking fatigue research.

The research will use alertness and sleep monitoring devices, as well as driving impairment indicators, to measure sleeping patterns, driver drowsiness and driving performance both on the road during work shifts and off the road in a laboratory setting. Utilising the expertise of the Alertness CRC allows for the collection and analysis of data to determine if there are measurable differences in fatigue impairment and operational safety risks.

The research is being undertaken by the Co-operative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity (Alertness CRC), in partnership with the National Transport Commission (NTC).  Partners in the Alertness CRC include Monash University, Institute for Breathing and Sleep, Victorian Workcover Authority, Transport Accident Commission and the CSIRO.

Click here for more information on how you can participate.

 

MAKE SURE IT IS FIT TO LOAD

Drivers and operators are reminded that the Land Transport Standards stipulate that:

SA4.1 Livestock must be assessed as fit for the intended journey at every loading by a person in charge.  An animal is not fit for a journey if it is:
i) unable to walk on its own by bearing weight on all legs; or
ii) severely emaciated; or
iii) visibly dehydrated; or
iv) showing visible signs of severe injury or distress; or
v) suffering from conditions that are likely to cause increased pain or
distress during transport; or
vi) blind in both eyes; or
vii) known to be, or visually assessed to be near (within two weeks)
parturition, as specified in the species requirements, unless time off
water and journey is less than four hours duration to another property.

SA4.2 Any animal assessed to be not fit for the intended journey must only be transported under veterinary advice.

SA4.3 The consignor must only supply animals that are fit for the intended journey.

SA4.4 A person in charge must not load, nor permit to be loaded, animals that are not fit for the intended journey except under veterinary advice.

SA4.5 If an animal is assessed to be not fit for the intended journey before loading, a person in charge must make appropriate arrangements for the care, treatment or humane destruction of the animal at the first reasonable opportunity.

Additional information concerning whether particular species are fit for an intended journey can be found in Attachment B of the Standards.

Meat and Livestock Australia have also published a handy reference guide.

 

MAKE SURE IT IS FIT TO LOAD

Drivers and operators are reminded that the Land Transport Standards stipulate that:

SA4.1 Livestock must be assessed as fit for the intended journey at every loading by a person in charge.  An animal is not fit for a journey if it is:
i) unable to walk on its own by bearing weight on all legs; or
ii) severely emaciated; or
iii) visibly dehydrated; or
iv) showing visible signs of severe injury or distress; or
v) suffering from conditions that are likely to cause increased pain or
distress during transport; or
vi) blind in both eyes; or
vii) known to be, or visually assessed to be near (within two weeks)
parturition, as specified in the species requirements, unless time off
water and journey is less than four hours duration to another property.

SA4.2 Any animal assessed to be not fit for the intended journey must only be transported under veterinary advice.

SA4.3 The consignor must only supply animals that are fit for the intended journey.

SA4.4 A person in charge must not load, nor permit to be loaded, animals that are not fit for the intended journey except under veterinary advice.

SA4.5 If an animal is assessed to be not fit for the intended journey before loading, a person in charge must make appropriate arrangements for the care, treatment or humane destruction of the animal at the first reasonable opportunity.

Additional information concerning whether particular species are fit for an intended journey can be found in Attachment B of the Standards.

Meat and Livestock Australia have also published a handy reference guide.

 

NTI RESTORATION PROJECT

We’re at it again – NTI are looking for a truck with a story worth sharing… Perhaps it has a history tied to your community or it played an important role in your town.

We’d also like you to tell us where you think the truck should live once it has been restored to its former glory. Maybe a heritage museum or regional town centre?

In order to be considered, the truck needs to be available for restoration and, at the very least, have a cab and chassis.

Our aim is for the truck to be restored, donated to the community and put on display for everyone to enjoy.

Do you know where our next restoration project is? Is it sitting in your backyard? Did you see it in a truck graveyard during your travels?

Jump onto the NTI Facebook page or Truck Assist Forum and tell us about it so we can create a shortlist; the truck for restoration will then be chosen by a public vote!

 

NHVR NEWS

The NHVR’s “On the Road” E-newsletter contains articles this week on:

  • EWDs
  • Safety Grants
  • OSOM compliance
  • Lucinda Drive Bridge at Port of Brisbane off limits
  • NHVR Truck Driver Info Day at Goondiwindi
  • Notices and Updates

Click here for more information or to subscribe.

 

2018 CONFERENCE DATES

The ALRTA advises the following conference dates for 2018:

  • 23-24 March:  Joint National-State (LBRCA-ALRTA) Conference – Coffs Harbour
  • 18-20 April: ATA Trucking Australia – Canberra
  • May (TBC): LTAT
  • 31 May-2 June: LRTAQ – Charters Towers
  • 15-16 June: LRTASA – Adelaide
  • 20-21 July: LRTAWA – Bunbury
  • 17-18 August: LRTAV – Bendigo

Now is the time to start planning your trip to one of these informative, productive and fun events.

Posted in General News | Comments Off on ALRTA News – 19 January 2018

ALRTA News – 22 December 2017

KING BARS TO SUPPORT STATES IN 2018

We would like to take this opportunity to thank King Bars for all of their support as a Platinum Partner of the ALRTA.

King Bars will be supporting our states directly next year. Our members have always been fond of King Bars products and we believe that the business relationship will long continue at the state level.

On behalf of the ALRTA, thank you.

PM RETAINS ACE THEN RESHUFFLES DECK

The Turnbull Coalition Government has retained it’s one seat majority in the House of Representatives after John Alexander was re-elected in the Bennelong byelection held last Saturday.

Less than a week later, the Coalition has reshuffled the front bench and Cabinet.

There are several changes that affect the transport, agricultural and regional portfolios.

  • The Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce MP, has vacated the Agriculture and Water Resources portfolio and replaced Darren Chester MP as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.
  • The Hon. David Littleproud is now Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.
  • The Hon. John McVeigh is now Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government.  Minister McVeigh replaced Senator Fiona Nash who was disqualified from the Federal Parliament over dual citizenship.
  • ALRTA National President welcomed the new appointments and thanked Darren Chester for his contribution to rural transport and road safety more generally.

    “There is a wealth of talent within the National Party and the rural transport sector will be well served by the new Ministerial appointments”, said President Keenan.

    “Minister Littleproud has a background in banking and finance while Minister McVeigh has previous experience as a former Queensland Minister for Agriculture.

    “The appointment of the Deputy Prime Minister to the Infrastructure and Transport Ministry just demonstrates the importance placed on this portfolio in the broader Australian economy.

    “On behalf of the rural transport sector I must acknowledge the excellent work of Darren Chester MP during his time as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.  Mr Chester took the time to meet with our elected representatives on several occasions, attended our National Conferences and always made his staff available to our Secretariat.

    “Mr Chester clearly understood rural transport and was a passionate advocate for improving regional roads and road safety.  I know that ALRTA will remain in close contact with Mr Chester to progress our shared passions”, he said.

ALRTA APPLIES TO BUILDING BETTER REGIONS FUND

The ALRTA has made a formal application to the Australian Government’s $482m Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) to build and operate Australia’s first roadside effluent disposal facility on the Warrego Highway in Queensland.

We are seeking a BBRF contribution of 33% of the total estimated project cost, with the remaining 66% committed by the Queensland Department of Main Roads.

If successful, this project will be a game-changer for livestock effluent management in Australia.

Management of livestock effluent on public roadways is important for protecting road safety, animal welfare, biosecurity, amenity, environment and business interests.

According to the ABS publication Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, 2015-16 the total value of ‘Livestock slaughterings and other disposals’ is approximately $21b annually.  The vast majority of these livestock will have been transported by road on at least one occasion.

The Red Meat Advisory Council estimates that from paddock to plate, the red meat and livestock sector comprises 75,000 businesses involving 405,000 jobs and growing at 11% annually by value.

Livestock can lose up to 5% of their weight as effluent during transit.  Currently, there are only two possible outcomes.  Either effluent is lost from the vehicle onto the roadway during transit or drivers must find places to dispose of material accumulated in effluent containment tanks.

Image 1: Unmanaged Effluent Disposal

In Australia, there are currently no roadside effluent disposal sites. Livestock processing facilities are not required to provide disposal areas and primary producers will not accept it onto their property due to biosecurity concerns. Drivers depositing material in public places risk fines of up to $8,000.

In other countries such as New Zealand, National and Regional Governments are jointly funding, building and operating purpose-built livestock effluent disposal facilities on public roads.  This is exactly what is needed for the Australian livestock supply chain to co-exist and grow alongside expanding urban populations.

The Warrego Highway is Australia’s most important cattle transport route because it connects broadacre and intensive production zones with several large processors located in the SE QLD area.


Image 2: Cattle Transport Routes in Australia 

The CSIRO TRANSIT model estimates that there are more than 20,000 semi-trailer equivalent cattle movements through the Lockyer Valley annually.  Effluent loss in this corridor is creating a local environmental problem with potentially national consequences.  This is because effluent is a known vector for the transmission of pests and diseases of national significance such as parthenium, giant rats tail grass and foot and mouth disease.

Modelling estimates that the construction of a managed roadside effluent disposal facility on the eastbound side of the Warrego Highway would capture 2,500,000 litres of livestock effluent annually.  Instead of being lost onto the road corridor, this material can become a valuable resource that is redirected for other purposes such as irrigation to farmland, soil composting, worm farms or energy generation.


 Image 3: A Vision of a Cleaner Future

As the first facility of its kind in Australia, this project will serve as a foundation model while also delivering immediate benefits for road users, livestock producers, transporters, processors and all regions that rely on the livestock supply chain in South East Queensland.

The ALRTA would like to thank the following stakeholders who provided a formal letter of support for our BBRF application:

  1. Lockyer Valley Regional Council
  2. Toowoomba Regional Council
  3. Federal Member for Wright – Scott Buchholz MP (covering the location of the site)
  4. NHVR
  5. NTC
  6. National Farmers Federation
  7. AgForce
  8. Australian Lot Feeders Association
  9. Red Meat Advisory Council
  10. Australian Meat Processor Corporation
  11. JBS
  12. TEYS
  13. Australian Country Choice
  14. Kilcoy Pastoral Company
  15. Highchester Meats
  16. Frasers Livestock Transport
  17. Martins Group of Companies

We expect a decision on funding via the BBRF around June 2018.  In the mean-time, we will continue to work with industry, governments and commercial partners to plan for the construction and operational phases.

STABILITY CONTROL FOR HEAVY VEHICLES

The Australian Government has released a consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) which considers the case for mandating electronic stability control (ESC) for heavy trucks and buses and roll stability control (RSC) for heavy trailers.

If agreed, the changes would occur via ADRs 35/06 and 38/05.

The RIS considers six options:

  1. No intervention
  2. User-information campaigns
  3. Fleet purchasing policies
  4. Code of practice
  5. Mandatory standards under the Competition and Consumer Act
  6. Mandatory standards under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act

After assessing these options, the RIS recommends a variation of Option 6.

Under this option, a new ADR 35/06 would be implemented to require ESC for newprime movers greater than 12 tonnes GVM; and a new ADR 38/05 would be implemented to require ABS for new trailers greater than 4.5 tonnes GTM, with the addition of RSC for new trailers greater than 10 tonnes GTM.

It is important to note that the new requirements would apply to both air and spring suspension. Exemptions from fitment of both ABS and RSC would apply to converter dollies.

The proposed implementation dates for trucks and buses are:

  • 1 November 2019 for new model vehicles; and
  • 1 November 2021 for all new vehicles.

Proposed implementation dates for heavy trailers are:

  • 1 July 2019 for all new model vehicles; and
  • 1 November 2019 for all new vehicles.

The ALRTA National Council supports a move to mandatory ESC – with appropriate exemptions, including for converter dollies.   ALRTA has worked closely with the Australian Government and ATA in the lead up to the release of the RIS.

ALRTA will examine the detail contained in the RIS and provide a submission in response.

We invite members to consider the proposal and provide your views to either the ALRTA or one of our state associations early in 2018.  You can find the relevant documents here.

ELECTRONIC WORK DIARIES

The NHVR has released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making – Electronic Work Diary (EWD) Policy Framework and Standards.

The proposed EWD Policy Framework and Standards establish the coregulatory framework for administering the EWD provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law.  Basically, these will be the rules that enable the NHVR to approve devices that operators can use to legally replace paper work diaries.

NHVR are seeking responses to the proposal by 30 January 2018.  ALRTA will prepare a submission and we would welcome your comments.

You can find more information, including fact sheets, a proposed policy framework, proposed policy standards and a feedback form here.

It is important for operators to note that the NHVR is not proposing to mandate EWDs.  Only Australian Transport Ministers could together make such a decision.

However, members need to be aware that America has recently mandated EWDs (or ELDs as they are known) with enforcement to commence from 1 April 2018.  Systems must be approved by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration and generally cost around $40USD per month.

The new laws do not change the underlying fatigue rules and there are exemptions for:

  • drivers who use paper logs no more than eight days during any 30-day period.
  • certain tow drivers
  • drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000.

A 90 day phase in period has been granted to the agricultural supply chain in response to concerns raised about managing waiting times to load vehicles.

The new requirements have been broadly supported by the American Trucking Association and the safety lobby.

NATIONAL RAMP STANDARDS

The ALRTA has written to key supply chain stakeholders and safety authorities seeking formal support for a National Ramp Standard.  The letter follows external consultations undertaken by the ALRTA and our state associations.

We will continue to progress this issue in 2018 by lodging a formal submission, including letters of support, to Standards Australia.

CHANGES AT THE TOP OF NTC

Following the resignation of NTC Commissioner and former Chair, David Anderson, Ministers have ratified several changes to the Commissioner line-up:

  • Former Deputy Chair, Carolyn Walsh has been appointed as NTC Chair;
  • Nola Bransgrove moves into the Deputy Chair position; and
  • Steven Kennedy has been appointed to the Board;
  • Reece Waldock has been appointed to the Board; and
  • Neil Scales has also been reappointed for a further three-year term.

BRYNE TRAILERS – THE STAINLESS STORY

Byrne Trailers have been at the forefront of livestock trailer development for over four decades.

Their innovative approach has been well received by the livestock transport industry.  Most livestock trailers today are either built by Byrne Trailers, or they look like a Byrne trailer.  But true to form, Byrne Trailers have not stood still, they have continued to listen to customers and their current offerings address one of the biggest enemies of livestock trailers – corrosion. Byrne Trailers General Manager, David Byrne tells the Byrne Stainless story:

“My first real job after finishing school in the early 90’s was in the steel industry. One of the first things you learn is that all steels aren’t the same, and you need to be very careful to use the right steel for the job.  When I did join the family business, we looked at a new structural stainless steel that was just hitting the market.  It was only available in sheet form, so we offered it as an option for the floors on livestock trailers, because these are the first areas to rust out.  The first trailer with this spec was delivered almost 30 years ago.  We found that the steel is strong and durable and extremely corrosion resistant, but the adjoining areas of the trailer frames continued to rust out.  So the next step was to build the whole superstructure with this material, which we now do with tube sections that are made to our specifications.  This Stainless Steel alloy is as strong and ductile as the carbon steel we had been using for decades, but is 250 times more corrosion resistant. That means it rusts 250 times slower. Because we purchase the stainless steel sheet and tube from a first world country, the quality is spot on.  It complements the Byrne Trailers brand very well.”

Byrne Trailers have been offering full Stainless Steel trailers since early 2016, and most of the livestock trailers they have built since then have been with this latest material. To find out more, click the link below:

Posted in ALRTA Weekly News, effluent, NHVR, NTC | Comments Off on ALRTA News – 22 December 2017

ALRTA News – 15 December 2017

CALLING FUTURE LEADERS

The trucking industry faces great change. To deal with it, we need a new generation of industry leaders.

In conjunction with Daimler Truck and Bus and the Australian Trucking Association, the ALRTA will help deliver a career-defining professional development program to a hand-picked group of 18-40 year old trucking business owners and employees.

In 2018, the program will consist of:

  • Two days of intensive workshops in Canberra on 27-28 March 2018
  • A take-home leadership project
  • A digital check-in meeting
  • Participation in Trucking Australia 2018, to be held in Canberra from 18-20 April 2018.

Participants will:

  • Learn how government policy is developed and how businesses and industry associations can have an influence in an effective and ethical way
  • Learn how to handle media interviews
  • Develop a leadership project on a key industry issue with facilitation and mentoring from Wisdom Learning. Participants will present the results at Trucking Australia 2018.

Daimler Truck and Bus will pay the full cost of the program, including travel, accommodation, delegate fees and meals.

To apply for the ALRTA vacancy in the program, send an email office@alrta.org.auby 1 February 2017 with the following:

  • Your full contact details
  • Your age
  • The outline of a leadership project you would like to undertake.

Before applying, please check out the factsheet for details or visit www.truck.net.au/futureleaders

 

NATIONAL HEAVY VEHICLE CHARGING PILOT

The Australian Government has invited the heavy vehicle industry to participate in road reform trials.  Selected participants will be involved in a program to test a new charging system that would replace registration and fuel-based charges with a direct user charge.

The pilot will run until 2020 and enable operators to test and influence outcomes.

The first two stages of the pilot will be research-based, focussing on options development. It will not involve participants paying additional or alternative charges as part of the trial.

The Australian Government will also be establishing a business case program for location-based trials of distance charging for heavy vehicles.

Under this program, which will commence in 2018-19, the Australian Government would fund business cases for trials in specific geographical regions – where there may be an appetite by the heavy vehicle industry to agree to additional per kilometre charges, over and above what they are paying through the fuel excise system, where those charges are linked to specific benefits to the heavy vehicle industry.

The Australian Government has stated that reform of heavy vehicle user charging has the potential to deliver substantial net benefits for the Australian economy, estimated to be between $8 billion and $22 billion over 20 years. For more information visit https://infrastructure.gov.au/roads/heavy/charging-trials/index.aspx

 

EXECUTIVE ENDORSES GRANT TERMS

The ALRTA National Executive met via teleconference this week and agreed to apply for grant funding under the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).  Our application will propose that ALRTA, Queensland Transport and Main Roads (TMR) and the Australian Government will cooperate to build and operate a roadside effluent disposal facility on the Warrego Highway on the following terms:

  • TMR will contribute ‘in kind’ land and a ‘cash’ contribution towards road infrastructure
  • BBRF will contribute cash for specific infrastructure including grid, pipes, tanks, storm protection – and if feasible: de-watering plant & processed material holding areas
  • ALRTA will operate the site for a minimum of 3 years under an MOU with TMR
  • ALRTA will contract out effluent removal and maintenance services
  • An AVDATA system will be installed with costs recovered via a user-charge

The finer points of the application have been agreed after another round of meetings in South East QLD this week involving ALRTA, LRTAQ, TMR, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, civil contractors and five potential commercial partners.

ALRTA is now preparing the formal application for lodgement by Tuesday next week.  While the application is under consideration, ALRTA will continue to work with industry, governments and commercial partners to plan for the construction and operational phases.

 

LIGHTS ON THE HILL MEMORIAL

While in Gatton this week I stopped by the ‘Lights on the Hill’ Queensland Truck & Coach Drivers Memorial for drivers who have lost their lives while working.  I was the only one there and it was late in the day with various types of birds calling all around the nearby lake.

It was a moving experience being in the presence of the impressive monument and reading the stories and poems about the lives of individual drivers and the family businesses they often left behind.  Such things make me proud to be part of an association like the ALRTA that works so hard to improve safety both on and off the road.

 

CHANGES TO ROAD VEHICLE STANDARDS

The Australian Government has released exposure drafts of a package of legislation that will modernise the laws governing road vehicles when first supplied to the Australian market, along with a draft of the Rules to be made under the legislation.

This legislation will replace the existing Motor Vehicle Standards Act which has been in place for nearly thirty years and was written at a time when much of today’s vehicle technology was not available.

The new legislation, to come into effect from 2019.  The government has stated that the new laws will provide a modern, strong regulatory platform for vehicle standards that will better protect the community, provide more choice for specialist and enthusiast vehicles and be responsive to emerging technologies.

It is anticipated that the reforms will save businesses more than $68 million a year in regulatory compliance costs—a significant saving on annual regulatory costs under the current framework which stand at around $250 million per year.

It will provide increased consumer choice through expanding and improving the pathways for importing specialist and enthusiast vehicles—including performance, low emissions, and mobility access vehicles.

The Bills will also give the responsible Minister strong powers to mandate the recall of vehicles if serious safety issues arise. The powers will apply to all road vehicles supplied in Australia, whether for private or commercial use, providing the Commonwealth Government with the necessary powers to uphold national safety standards.

The Road Vehicle Standards package of Bills and information on the consultation process can be found on the Department’s website at infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/mv_standards_act.

 

WA REGIONAL ROAD SAFETY PACKAGE

The Australian Government has signed off on its $44.2 million contribution to Western Australia’s Regional Road Safety Package, to be rolled out over the next four years in partnership with the state government.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the funding was part of the Australian Government’s $1.6 billion contribution to a $2.3 billion road and rail infrastructure package that would improve safety, ease congestion and keep the state’s economy moving.

“The 16 individual projects will include improvements to major regional routes such as the South West Highway, Boyanup-Capel Road, Indian Ocean Drive, Brand Highway, the Great Northern Highway and the North West Coastal Highway,” Mr Chester said.

“Through this package, we are committed to tackling dangerous roads across the state by investing in road widening, shoulder sealing, new overtaking lanes, intersection improvements and other safety upgrades.”

“The projects included in the package have been prioritised based on factors such as economy of scale, deliverability and cost effectiveness, with the Western Australia Government committing $11.05 million towards them.

“The various projects are progressing well, with a contract recently awarded to deliver the $11 million Albany Lake Grace (Chester Pass Road)—Amelup Curves project, which will improve safety and make life easier for heavy vehicle operators, benefitting the entire Great Southern regional economy.”

Project values range from $1.5 million toward the Goldfields Highway and the Great Northern Highway, to $11 million for curve improvements, intersection upgrades and two new bridges on Albany Lake Grace (Chester Pass Road)—Amelup Curves.

The various upgrades will be undertaken between 2017–18 and 2019–20. The Australian Government has committed a total of $44.2 million and the Western Australian Government a total of $11.05 million to fund the package.

 

SHARE THE ROAD THIS CHRISTMAS

Australia’s leading transport and logistics insurer, NTI, is urging truck drivers to stay safe by sharing the road and being aware of less experienced drivers this Christmas period.

NTI Chief Executive Officer Tony Clark said the company has seen a 3.7 per cent increase in the number of serious truck accidents over the past 12 months, as well as a 7.3 per cent rise in the total cost of accidents.

“The lead-up to Christmas is a very busy time with cars often travelling on roads the driver isn’t necessarily familiar with,” Mr Clark said.

“At the same time, transport operators are working hard to ensure shelves are stocked – this is a peak time for them.

“Fatigue, inappropriate overtaking, and underestimating the road conditions can all be a recipe for disaster. All drivers must be mindful of other road users and do their part to ensure everyone reaches their destination safely.”

Mr Clark also urged the trucking industry to step up over this busy time. “With greater congestion on our roads over Christmas, NTI urges our professional drivers to remain acutely aware of road conditions and the threat of less experienced road users as they deliver supplies for the Christmas holidays,” he said

NTI recommends motorists keep in mind four tips when sharing the road with trucks this Christmas:

  • Don’t cut in: Trucks are heavier than cars, so need more space when stopping. At 100km/hr a truck needs an extra 30m to come to a stop compared to a car travelling at the same speed.
  • Give trucks room to turn: Some trucks need extra room at corners, intersections and roundabouts. Trucks over 7.5m must carry a sign saying “Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle”. This means the truck can legally use two lanes to make their turn, and may need to turn left across your path to turn left.
  • Be aware of blind spots: Remember – if you can’t see the driver’s mirrors, he/she can’t see you!
  • Overtake with care: It takes about 25 seconds to overtake a large truck on the open road – a long time if you’re on the wrong side of the road. Make sure you have the time and clear visibility.
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ALRTA News – 8 December 2017

ALRTA MEETS SUPPLY CHAIN IN SYDNEY

The ALRTA Executive Director, Mathew Munro, and TruckSafe Manager, Justin Fleming, met with several important supply chain parties in Sydney, including:

  • Australian Meat Industry Council;
  • Meat and Livestock Australia;
  • Australian Lot Feeders Association;
  • OSI International Foods; and
  • Australian Meat Processor Corporation.

Woolworths’ Animal Welfare Manager, Dr Nick Hover, accompanied us at several of the meetings and Mr Munro also met with RSPCA in Canberra later in the week.


Photo: Mathew Munro, Nick Hover, Robert Barker (AMIC) and Justin Fleming.

The main focus of the meetings was to invite participation in our review of the TruckSafe Animal Welfare Module, but we also took the opportunity to explain and seek support for several other important ALRTA initiatives such as establishing road-side effluent disposal infrastructure, ramps standards, user-pay unloading frames, improving NVDs and reviewing the fit-to-load guide.

 

FLEXIBLE WARNING SIGNS

The NHVR has published the Heavy Vehicle Standards (Warning Signs) Exemption Notice 2017 (NO.1) allowing the use of flexible road train and long vehicle signs.

The option to use flexible signs was previously only available in Queensland.  It is important to note that conventional signs may still be used.

ALRTA strongly supported this change when proposed as part of the Heavy Vehicle National Law maintenance process.

The new rules will eventually become part of the Heavy Vehicle National Law.  NHVR has published the notice as an interim measure to expediate the process.

 

ALRTA COMMENDS DRIVERS AND POLICE

ALRTA National President, Kevin Keenan, has commended the professional manner in which drivers and police handled vegan activist protests outside a pig processing plant in Victoria for five days this week.

“I have been thoroughly impressed by the actions of Victorian Police in protecting our livestock supply chain from a small minority of individuals who would prefer it to stop entirely,” said President Keenan.

“Protesters were crowding closely around moving trucks and even sitting on the road in the path of oncoming vehicles.   The good men and women of Victoria Police calmly removed problem individuals and enabled each truck to reach its destination with minimal delay.

“These are testing circumstances for our drivers and for the police.  Some protesters would like nothing more than to provoke a negative reaction.  I was dismayed to see some protesters openly refer to the police actions as violent – which video evidence clearly shows was not the case.

“On behalf of the entire livestock transport sector I commend the responsible conduct of our drivers and the professional measured actions of the Victorian Police,” he said.

 

EWD FACT SHEET AND STANDARDS TIMELINE

The NHVR has released the latest Electronic Work Diary (EWD) Fact Sheet, ahead of the next round of industry consultation.

NHVR A/Executive Director of Safety and Productivity Darrin Rasmussen said the Fact Sheet would prepare heavy vehicle operators and technology providers for the EWD Policy Framework and Standards release on December 18.

“The Standards will be publicly available for comment until early February 2018,” Mr Rasmussen said.

EWDs is a voluntary electronic recording system approved by the NHVR to monitor and record the work and rest times of a driver.

Following the nine-week consultation period, the NHVR expects to commence assessing and approving EWDs as a voluntary alternative to the written work diary in the first half of 2018.

“We’ll also be calling for technology providers and transport operators intending to develop EWDs to register their interest with the NHVR from December 18,” Mr Rasmussen said.

“This will allow electronic devices or systems already in use that meet the EWD Standards to be assessed and approved.

“The introduction of EWDs for heavy vehicle operators will be an important step forward in how we monitor driver fatigue across Australia.”

Authorised Officers will only have the same access to EWD information as they currently have to written work diary entries.

TRUCK WASH FUNDING APPROVED

The Australian Government’s share of funding for an innovative scheme to build and upgrade truck wash out facilities across New South Wales has been approved.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester joined Member for Page Kevin Hogan on-site at the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange in Casino to confirm the Australian Government’s contribution of almost $4.6 million to the jointly funded program.

Mr Chester said building and upgrading 26 existing truck wash out facilities around the state would reduce the frequency of effluent spills and improve road safety.

“We are going to deliver these upgrades to truck wash facilities in partnership with the NSW Government, one of them being Casino’s Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange,” Mr Chester said.

“The Richmond Valley Council has been a big supporter of the project, and it’s good to know our joint investment is going to support the local region’s economy, as well as wider New South Wales livestock industry.

“A total of 26 truck wash projects throughout the state will be funded under the program, and I’m looking forward to finalising arrangements with the NSW Government in the near future.”

Mr Hogan said the Coalition election commitment to upgrade truck washes throughout the state would help target key livestock routes or effluent ‘hotspots’ where existing wash out facilities needed improvements to meet the demands of industry.

“Upgrading the Casino facilities is expected to come in at approximately $360,000, with works looking to start early next year and take around three months to complete. We will also see an upgrade carried out at the Grafton Regional Livestock Selling Centre, and having better facilities at the truck washes is going to deliver important flow on benefits to the region,” Mr Hogan said.

“Here in Casino, we are looking at a facility upgrade and the installation of another B-Double wash-out bay, which means average truck wash and wait times will be halved. Once the upgrade is done, B-Double trucks will no longer need to reposition their trailer mid-wash—reducing the time drivers will need to allocate for their end-to-end trip planning.

“The livestock industry is vital to this region and our local economy, and providing better truck wash out facilities for transport operators will save them time, improve the quality of livestock transport operations, and help keep our roads safe.”

The project is being delivered by the Australian and New South Wales governments on a 50/50 split.

 

NHVR NEWS

NHVR’s “On the Road” E-newsletter contains some interesting articles this week on:

  • Chain of responsibility
  • Christmas / New Year travel restrictions & business hours
  • SA Class 1 permit applications in SA
  • Draft EWD policy framework
  • NHVR portal tips

Click here for more information or to subscribe.

 

REMINDER: BUILDING BETTER REGIONS FUND

Applications are now open under the Australia Government’s $481.6m Building Better Regions Fund.  There are two parts to the BBRF:

Infrastructure Projects Stream
Provides organisations with grants of between $20,000 to $10 million to support projects which involve the construction of new infrastructure, or the upgrade or extension of existing infrastructure that provide economic and social benefits to regional and remote areas.

Community Investments Stream
Provides organisations with grants of between $5,000 to $10 million to fund community activities in regional and remote communities.

Applicants must have an ABN and be either a local governing body or a not-for-profit organisation.  Applications close at 5pm AEDT, 19 December 2017.

Previous successful applications under the fund have included new or updated saleyards and truck washes.

For more information click here.

 

 

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ALRTA News – 1 December 2017

NATIONAL-STATE CONFERENCE 2018

Does the thought of kicking off your boots and swapping them for thongs for a few days sound good?

The LBRCA and ALRTA are delighted to invite you to Opal Cove Resort, Coffs Harbour on 23-24 March for our 2018 combined conference, which means that your voice will be heard louder than ever!

We’re covering topics ranging from CoR, effluent and load restraint, Land Transport Reforms, industry infrastructure, network connectivity and telematics including IAP and EWD’s.

These are in addition to the briefings by respected government speakers from both the NSW and National arenas.

And of course, there will be plenty of time network and enjoy the social aspects of the event including happy hours, a welcome reception, Friday night Blue Ribbon Surf & Turf dinner and entertainment, Saturday night National Sponsors Dinner and entertainment, the auction of a new Kenworth T610SAR courtesy of Brown & Hurley Coffs Harbour and a golf gala.

So why not grab your thongs, your partner, pack a few clothes and get ready to mix a little work with a lot of pleasure!

Enjoy the sand between your toes, the ocean at your doorstep and leave the rest up to us for a few days!

Register Today:

  1. Complete the registration form and return the LBRCA!
  2. Book your accommodation directly with Opal Cove Resort, quote LBRCA upon booking!

STAY OUT OF THE WAY, TRUCKING INDUSTRY WARNS PIG PROTESTERS

Activists planning to join the pig protest next week should stay safe and out of the way of the industry’s trucks.

The Chair of the Australian Trucking Association, Geoff Crouch, and the President of the Australian Livestock Transporters’ Association, Kevin Keenan, issued the warning today.

Vegan activists are set to protest outside a pig processing plant in Victoria for five days next week.
Mr Crouch said that protesters should stay well away from livestock trucks to keep themselves safe.

“Heavy vehicles have blind spots immediately behind the trailer, immediately in front of the bonnet and to the left and right of the doors,” Mr Crouch said.

“Protesters need to stay out of these blind spots and away from our equipment for their own safety.”

He said that protesters should remember that the industry’s professional drivers were subject to tight fatigue controls.

“In the run up to Christmas, our hard-working professional drivers do not have the luxury of taking time off to protest. They are hard at work and have to comply with the NHVR’s fatigue requirements.

“Even a short delay in getting to their destination could mean that they have to spend another night away from home and their families because they are out of work hours.”

Mr Keenan said that the livestock sector took a proactive approach to safeguarding animal welfare and now has an end-to-end system in place.

“Caring for live cargoes is a unique part of the rural road transport task that is under constant scrutiny by markets, governments and the community,” Mr Keenan said.

“During the past three years, our National Animal Welfare Committee has examined our role in the supply chain and championed several important new initiatives. For example, we have published national guidelines on the safe design of ramps and forcing yards, conducted a thorough review of the TruckSafe Animal Welfare Module and established LivestockASSIST – a 24hr national hotline dedicated to coordinating emergency responses.”

“On top of that, all supply chain parties must adhere to the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Land Transport of Livestock and we have taken a strong stance to support mandatory application of electronic stability control on new trucks and trailers to reduce on-road risks.”

“Our sector now has a holistic approach to promoting positive animal welfare outcomes that commences with vehicle selection, livestock preparation, through loading, transport, unloading and emergency responses in the rare event that things go wrong.”

“We are proud of who we are and what we do. We expect our member operators to uphold the highest possible animal welfare standards at all times.”

“Unfortunately, some individuals with a philosophical opposition to meat production would rather ignore the positive action being taken by industry.”

“Climbing on trucks, yelling and shining bright TV lights is not only unsafe but is also incredibly stressful for the animals.”

“If the activists must, I urge them to protest peacefully and at least have some regard for their own safety, the safety of our drivers and the immediate welfare of the animals,” he said.

The ALRTA National Animal Welfare Policy can be downloaded from the ALRTA website: www.alrta.org.au

 

SEVERE WEATHER ALERT

On 22 November 2017, our National Sponsor NTI issued a media article urging proactive planning for the storm season.  The article outlines prudent steps that your business can take to plan for protecting your people, premises and equipment.

Well, NTI’s timing couldn’t be better with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology issuing a severe weather alert for eastern Australia for this weekend.  Significant and widespread thunderstorm and flooding events are predicted with localised falls of up to 300mm possible.

Now might be a good time to check out the NTI tips and put a plan in place for your business.

 

MANDATORY PIG MOVEMENT REPORTING

New legislation that will come into effect from 1 February 2018 will mean drivers must play their role to ensure pigs can be traced quickly in the event of an emergency disease outbreak.

The rules require truck drivers to ensure all pigs they transport are identified with a tattoo or an approved pig tag and are accompanied by a PigPass National Vendor Declaration (PigPass NVD) unless exempted by a state government issued permit – a valid copy of which must be carried by the driver. In addition, Australian Pork Limited is urging drivers to complete Part D of the PigPass NVD before handing the document to a pig receiver. A receiver could be a producer, saleyard operator, agent or abattoir. Failure to complete this step could result in state and territory governments taking compliance action.

You can download a copy of the rules from the PigPass website.

ALRTA and TruckSafe urges you to schedule a toolbox talk with your drivers about this new requirement.

 

ALRTA MEETS CHESTER ADVISER

The ALRTA Executive Director met with a new Adviser to the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport (Darren Chester) at Australian Parliament House.  There have been several changes in the Minister’s Office recently following the departure of a staff member and a temporary transition of responsibilities from the Regional Development Portfolio following the disqualification of former Minister Nash.

In some ways this is quite convenient for the ALRTA given our strong interest in the infrastructure, transport and regional development portfolios.  This meeting was a great opportunity to keep our interests on the map while the transition is underway.

 

PROGRESS ON EFFLUENT INFRASTRUCTURE

The ALRTA is making great progress on our quest to establish Australia’s first roadside effluent disposal facility in South East Queensland.

After a series of face-to-face meetings over 2017, we have secured strong support from more than 30 key stakeholders in the supply chain (producers, transporters and processors), community advocates and local, state and federal governments.  Importantly, in cooperation with QLD Transport and Main Roads, we have identified a preferred site on the Warrego Highway in the Lockyer Valley with a construction target of December 2018.

This week, our office obtained critical data from the CSIRO’s ‘TraNSIT’ strategic investment tool relating to the number of semi-trailer equivalent cattle movements past the preferred site.  This information has enabled us to calculate that, if constructed, the site will prevent up to 2,500,000 litres of livestock effluent from escaping into the road corridor every year.

We are now preparing a formal funding submission and liaising with potential commercial partners who are interested in removing and processing the effluent as part of their business operations.

 

HAY SALEYARDS

The ALRTA, LBRCA and LRTAV have jointly written to management of the Hay Saleyards outlining our concerns about certain practices and infrastructure.  Hay associated agents (Elders and Landmark) have acknowledged our concerns and will meet this week to consider each of the issues raised.

 

FATIGUE RESEARCH PROJECT

Tom Allen (LRTAV) represented ALRTA at the 5th meeting of the Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue Research Project Steering Committee.

The $828,000 project is a collaborative effort between NTC, NHVR, Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity, universities and industry.  The aim of the research is to assess the current fatigue framework with a particular focus on the increased risk (if any) of nose-to-tail shifts.

The meeting was focused on managing project risks and refining phase 1 research methodology.

 

ALRTA ANIMAL WELFARE COMMITTEE

The ALRTA National Animal Welfare Committee met via teleconference this week to discuss a range of issues including: ramp standards, user-pay unloading frames, effluent management, saleyard procedures, the review of the TruckSafe Animal Welfare Module.

 

NATIONAL-STATE SECRETARIATS

The ALRTA National & State Secretariats met via teleconference this week.   These meetings are a great way for our family of associations to share information at an operational level.  We are currently focussed on the development of a national database, improving data exchange and processes around sponsor arrangements.

 

FMD TRAINING IN NEPAL

WoolProducers is sponsoring trainees for FMD Real Time training in Nepal during 2018.

Training is scheduled for 12-16 March 2018 and 19-23 March 2018 with further training in November 2018.

WoolProducers encourages young people with good networks in particular to get involved in this training but all suitable applicants will be considered – including growers, shearers, agents, transporters, vets and others in the wool supply chain. There is a need for those who have completed the training to be from varied geographic regions.

Nominations will close on 18 December 2017.

Click here for more information.

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