ALRTA News – 23 June 2017

APPLY NOW: SAFETY INNOVATION AWARD

ALRTA and NHVR remind members that nominations for $5,000 joint 2017 Safety Innovation Award will close on 30 June 2017.

More information and application forms are available here.

 

LRTASA CONFERENCE

The ALRTA National President and Executive Director attended the LRTASA Annual Conference held at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre over 16-17 June 2016.  Attendance levels were excellent with around 300 delegates at the Saturday gala dinner.

The Conference was opened by South Australian Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, the Hon Stephen Mullighan MP, who focused his address on heavy vehicle charging, infrastructure improvements in South Australia and the progressive handover of responsibilities from South Australian agencies to the NHVR.

Minister Mullighan and the ALRTA are in strong agreement that the current charging system is broken, but it is fair to say we have quite different perspectives about the cause.  While the Minister considers that the main problem is that the revenue collected under PAYGO and the Road User Charge is not quarantined for use on future road spending, the ALRTA considers that the main problem is that Ministers are over-recovering road-related spending that has occurred in the past.

A big change that has occurred in South Australia over the past year is that the NHVR is now responsible for heavy vehicle related prosecutions.  If this was to be extended to other jurisdictions (and I am told that other jurisdictions have expressed a strong interest), then there is potential for a nationally consistent approach and an enhanced ability for investigations to cross borders.

You may also be interested to learn that the NHVR prosecutor is treating state and local governments that operate trucks or make demands in the supply chain in exactly the same manner as commercial entities.   There have been several investigations and at least one local government entity is about to be the subject of a prosecution!

ALRTA congratulates the LRTASA Executive elected at the AGM:

·       President: David Smith

·       Vice President: Scott Quinn

·       Vice President: Adam Pengelly

·       Treasurer/Secretary: Hayley Masson

Every year I have included a photo of the Minister making his opening address, but this year I’ll make a change and show you the fun atmosphere of the dinner and the absolutely delicious lamb chops that I look forward to every year.

 

ALRTA HEADS TO THE TOP END

President Keenan and I headed straight up to Darwin after the LRTASA Conference for the ATA Council Meeting and ATA’s Trucking Australian Conference.

ATA Council Meeting

The livestock and rural sector was well represented at the ATA Council meeting by David Smith (ALRTA), Linley Miners (Small Fleet), John Beer (Owner Driver) and Mathew Munro (ALRTA).

The Council considered fuel tax credits, vehicle width policy, freight and supply chain strategy, development of a master code of practice, ATA election rules and the future of Road Freight NSW as an independent entity.

ALRTA congratulates the ATA Vice Chairs elected at the meeting: David Smith (for a second term) and Austin Vella.

Trucking Australia Conference

Our representatives were joined by many other familiar faces from our industry including LRTAWA President, Stephen Marley, LBRCA Vice President Bulk, Kel Baxter, and two Cummins Scholarship winners Marla Stone and Athol Carter. Yes, the weather was rather hot, but thankfully dry.

Much of this year’s conference was focused on preparing operators for the future.  We heard from a futurist about emerging technologies, the NTC about future regulation, the ALC about the new master code under development, about the new chain of responsibility laws due to come into force next year as well as how to prepare our northern regions for Australia’s transport future.

It was fitting that there was an autonomous passenger vehicle operating just outside the conference venue – a 12 seater bus that does the rounds of the Darwin water front.  It did have an ‘operator’ present inside, but apparently that was just because people are too afraid to use it without a responsible person present!

This years’ Kenworth Legends were Roger Pickering (Pickering Transport Group) and Loraine and Peter Gilbert (Gilbert Transport Services).  While our ‘legends’ have built very successful businesses, they sounded a strong warning about the ever growing level of red tape and regulation that is suffocating their operations.  Even in the context of a ‘future focus’ we ignore the past at our own peril.

The event was topped off by a Gala Dinner on Saturday night and presentation of the Australian Trucking Awards (details of winners next week)

 

TRUCKSAFE BOARD CHANGES

ALRTA congratulates Ferdie Kroon on his election as Chair of the TruckSafe Board.  Mr Kroon is the risk and compliance manager with De Bruyn’s Transport Tasmania.

Stephen Marley (LRTAWA President) has retired from the TruckSafe Board after 17 years in the role, including six as Chair.  Mr Darby Sullivan and Mr Darren Nolan have also retired.

Joining the Board are David Rogers (LRTAV Vice President & DT Rogers Bulk Transport) and Paul Fellows (Fellows Transport).

REMINDER: ALRTA IS MOVING

Members are advised that the ALRTA National Secretariat is moving across Canberra to the centrally located ATA owned building in Barton.  We are planning for the move to occur between 27 June and the week commencing 1 July 2017.

There may be some disruption to our normal services during the relocation due to risks associated with moving our telephones and IT platform.  If you are have not received a response to an enquiry in a timely manner you can contact the ALRTA Executive Director on 0421 082 489.

Our new postal address is:

PO Box 4233
Manuka ACT 2603

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

LRTAWA Conference

The LRTAWA Annual State Conference will be held 30 June – 1 July 2017 at the Light House Beach Resort in Bunbury.

For more information contact: admin@lrtawa.org.au

LRTAV Conference

The LRTAV Annual State Conference will be held 11-12 August 2017 at the RACV Resort in Torquay.

Check here for more information.

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ALRTA News – 16 June 2017

APPLY NOW: SAFETY INNOVATION AWARD

ALRTA and NHVR remind members that nominations for $5,000 joint 2017 Safety Innovation Award will close on 30 June 2017.

More information and application forms are available here.

 

CUMMINS SOUTH PACIFIC SCHOLARSHIPS

The ATA has announced the winners of the Cummins South Pacific Scholarship.

The scholarship recipients will attend Trucking Australia 2017, next week to share their suggestions on how to improve safety or business viability in the trucking industry.

The 2017 Cummins South Pacific Scholarship recipients are:

  • Marla Stone, Agri-Trans (Pyalong, Victoria)
  • Athol Carter, Frasers Livestock Transport (Warwick, Queensland)
  • Hayden Barlow, Unanderra Tanker Hire (Wollongong, NSW)

ALRTA congratulates the award recipients!

 

MINISTER CONSULTS ON CHARGING 

On Wednesday this week, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Urban Infrastructure, hosted a roundtable in Canberra to seek industry views about how heavy vehicle charging decisions are made.

Several industry associations were represented including ALRTA, ATA, ALC, NatRoad, NFF and the Minerals Council.

The consultation follows the release of a government discussion paper on options for independent price regulation of heavy vehicle charges.  The roundtable was a good opportunity to candidly explore the proposed options and gauge government perspectives around how far heavy vehicle charging reform will ultimately go.

The ALRTA is strongly supportive of independent price regulation.  The main problem with the current charging system is thatMinisters do not need to accept the recommendations put forward by the NTC.  This has resulted in close to $1bn of overcharging.

However, the entity that is most appropriate for making the charging determinations will largely depend on what type of system is adopted.   If we stick with a PAYGO type cost recovery system, it may be appropriate for the NTC to continue its current role – but it would make binding determinations rather than recommendations.

If Ministers opt for full economic reform with a forward-looking cost base and a complex charge allocation system (e.g. mass, distance, location), then it may be more appropriate for a body such as the ACCC to make the determinations.  ACCC already has a similar role for other network assets such as gas, electricity and water.

Other important topics of discussion were transitional arrangements, merits review and ensuring national consistency in charges.

ALRTA will consult with members and develop a submission by the closing date of Friday, 14 July 2017.

 

REVISED LOAD RESTRAINT GUIDE

The NTC has released a new draft version (the third edition) of the Load Restraint Guide which is designed to provide drivers, operators and other supply chain parties with practical advice on how to transport a load.  Experience also shows that the guide is referenced by enforcement authorities.

ALRTA has provided input into developing a new section of the guide on the transportation of livestock.  Importantly, for the first time, the guide now includes references to livestock preparation practices and effluent control, specifically stating that this responsibility is shared by all supply chain parties.

The revised guide is open for public comment until 4 August 2017.

You can find a copy here.

 

NTC INDUSTRY ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Last Friday, Mick Debenham (LRTAV) represented ALRTA at an NTC Industry Advisory Group meeting in Melbourne.  Topics included:

  • Update on NTC work program for 2017-18
  • The future of regulation
  • Automated vehicles
  • The Land transport productivity framework

Mr Debenham also took the opportunity to update NTC on the ALRTA’s recent effluent study tour of NZ and discuss options for clarifying the application of chain of responsibility under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

 

PROPOSAL TO REVISE REST AREA GUIDELINES

ALRTA is pleased to advise that on 6 July 2017 the Austroads Board will consider a project proposal to update the Austroads Guidelines on Rest Areas.

The project proposal was discussed by the joint Austroads Freight Task Force/Freight Industry Consultative Group meeting in February 2017 and subsequently approved ‘in principle’ by the Austroads Board.

If final approval is given, ALRTA will commence consulting with members about much needed improvements in the design, location and number of heavy vehicle rest areas.

 

ALRTA IS MOVING

Members are advised that the ALRTA National Secretariat is moving across Canberra to the centrally located ATA owned building in Barton.  We are planning for the move to occur between 27 June and the week commencing 1 July 2017.

There may be some disruption to our normal services during the relocation due to risks associated with moving our telephones and IT platform.  If you are have not received a response to an enquiry in a timely manner you can contact the ALRTA Executive Director on 0421 082 489.

Our new postal address is:

PO Box 4233
Manuka ACT 2603

All other contact details will remain the same.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS 

Trucking Australia Conference

The ATA’s premier annual event ‘Trucking Australia 2017’ will be held 21-23 June 2017 at the Darwin Convention Centre.  The program is a mix of entertainment and business activities featuring the Kenworth Legends Luncheon, chain of responsibility master class and the National Trucking Industry Awards.

Register here.

LRTAWA Conference

The LRTAWA Annual State Conference will be held 30 June – 1 July 2017 at the Light House Beach Resort in Bunbury.

For more information contact: admin@lrtawa.org.au

LRTAV Conference

The LRTAV Annual State Conference will be held 11-12 August 2017 at the RACV Resort in Torquay.

Check here for more information.

Posted in General News | Comments Off on ALRTA News – 16 June 2017

ALRTA News – 9 June 2017

APPLY NOW: SAFETY INNOVATION AWARD

ALRTA and NHVR remind members that nominations for $5,000 joint 2017 Safety Innovation Award will close on 30 June 2017.

More information and application forms are available here.

MORE POWERS FOR AUTHORISED OFFICERS

ALRTA is pleased to advise that Transport Ministers have agreed to strengthen investigation and enforcement powers for police and other authorised officers under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

Back in December 2016, ALRTA lodged a submission with the NTC that made 18 recommendations to make it easier for authorised officers to obtain information, ‘follow the chain’, prosecute across state borders, inspect suspect vehicle fleets, impose immediate injunctions (if required), share information across agencies, publish information about successful prosecutions and share information about driver offences with the owners of heavy vehicles.

Our position was developed after consideration of key issues at ATA Council, participation in an NTC workshop and input from ALRTA Executive and our State Associations.

In general, ALRTA favours stronger investigative and enforcement powers because of the impending shift to a new chain of responsibility regime in mid-2018.  This will establish new primary duties on all parties in the chain and a presumption of innocence, rather than simply deeming all parties in the chain guilty if a primary offence is detected on the road.

If we want chain of responsibility to work, then officers must have the right powers to make it work.

A draft bill be submitted to Ministers for consideration in November 2017.


BLACK SPOT FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Australian Government has been progressively announcing new road projects in various states under the $500m (over 5 years) Black Spots Programme.  On average, black spot projects reduce fatal and injury crashes by 30%.

The announcements include:

  • Western Australia: $6.68m for 34 projects.
  • South Australia: $5.47m for 24 projects.
  • New South Wales: $19.2m for 52 projects.
  • Northern Territory: $1.2m for 4 projects.
  • Queensland: $12m for 42 projects.
  • Victoria: $13.6m for 50 projects.

To find out about individual projects in your local area click here.

 

AUSTRALIAN SUPPLIER PAYMENT CODE

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) has launched a voluntary Australian Supplier Payment Code that commits signatories to:

  1. Pay small business suppliers within 30 days (subject to conditions).
  2. Pay all suppliers on time.
  3. Provide clear guidance about payment procedures to suppliers.
  4. Work with suppliers to improve invoicing and payments practices.
  5. A process for resolving payment disputes and complaints.
  6. Basic reporting on company policies and practices in place to comply with the Code.

At this stage, the list of signatories to the code is limited and so the benefits to small trucking companies are also small.  However, in the absence of regulation requiring payment within 30 days, this is a commendable first step and we can only hope that more large companies will sign up.

 

CROSS-LOADING AT YORKEYS CROSSING

ALRTA welcomes the decision of the South Australian Government to upgrade the intersection at Yorkeys Crossing Road and the Stuart Highway north of Port Augusta.

The upgrade will include sealing of the road and the installation of purpose built livestock cross-loading infrastructure.  The cross-loading pods will provide a bridge between crates for both livestock and handlers so that cattle can be safety transferred from larger northern combinations to smaller combinations entering southern regions.

The SA Government is now seeking tenders to build the cross-loading pods.

 

$1M DONATION FOR HEART OF AUSTRALIA

ALRTA is pleased to report that the Heart of Australia mobile specialist clinic has received a $1m donation from a mystery donor.

Founder of the Heart of Australia service, Dr Rolf Gomes, was a special guest speaker at the joint ALRTA-LRTAQ National-State Conference held in Toowoomba earlier this year.  Dr Gomes delivered a moving address about how he turned his dream of providing cardiac services to patients in regional Queensland into a reality by establishing a 25m custom designed clinic-on-wheels pulled by a Kenworth K200 prime mover.

The donation will allow Dr Gomes to put a second mobile clinic on the road by January 2018.

You can help support the Heart of Australia service by clicking here.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

LRTASA Conference

The LRTASA Annual State Conference will be held 16-17 June 2017 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. The weekend kicks off with a Golf competition at Adelaide Golf Links on the fringe of the CBD followed by pre-dinner drinks and dinner at the Entertainment Centre.   The Conference Sessions are on Saturday followed by a Gala Dinner (with entertainment by the legendary Mick Meredith) and Auction.

Register here.

Trucking Australia Conference

The ATA’s premier annual event ‘Trucking Australia 2017’ will be held 21-23 June 2017 at the Darwin Convention Centre.  The program is a mix of entertainment and business activities featuring the Kenworth Legends Luncheon, chain of responsibility master class and the National Trucking Industry Awards.

Register here.

LRTAWA Conference

The LRTAWA Annual State Conference will be held 30 June – 1 July 2017 at the Light House Beach Resort in Bunbury.

For more information contact: admin@lrtawa.org.au

LRTAV Conference

The LRTAV Annual State Conference will be held 11-12 August 2017 at the RACV Resort in Torquay.

Check here for more information.

Posted in General News | Comments Off on ALRTA News – 9 June 2017

ALRTA News -2 June 2017

APPLY NOW: SAFETY INNOVATION AWARD

ALRTA and NHVR remind member operators that nominations for the 2017 Safety Innovation Award will close on 30 June 2017.

ALRTA National President, Kevin Keenan, has encouraged applications saying that there are many safety-conscious rural transport businesses that deserve recognition.

“There are unique risks in rural transport that require unique solutions,” said President Keenan.

“We operate in unpredictable conditions, work in isolated areas and deal with a wide variety of very different agricultural materials.

“Over the years, I have seen practically-minded operators come up with just about as many solutions as there are problems.  They see a problem, fix it and just get on with the job.

“This award will recognise our operators and drivers who go out of their way to improve their own personal safety and that of their family, employees and other road users.

“I strongly encourage members to consider making an application on your own behalf, or to nominate someone who has helped keep you safe.”

Award Details

  1. The award is a joint initiative of the ALRTA and NHVR.
  2. Nominations are open to all livestock, bulk and rural financial members of ALRTA or affiliated State Associations.
  3. Only individuals can be nominated (the company will also be acknowledged).
  4. Applicants should demonstrate that:
    1. They have identified and controlled a safety risk in their road transport business or the supply chain relating to fatigue, speed, mass, dimension, load restraint, or vehicle maintenance.
    2. They have implemented an innovative control measure that has substantially lessened or eliminated the risk.
    3. They have a proactive approach to a safe work culture.
  5. Completed application form to be submitted to ALRTA by COB, 30 June 2017.
  6. Winner will be announced at LRTAV Conference on 11-12 August 2017.
  7. The prize will include a plaque, certificate and prize to the value of $5,000.

Application forms are available here.

HV CHARGES FROM 1 JULY 2017

Total heavy vehicle charges for 2017-18 will remain frozen at the current level.

Charges allocated to individual vehicles (and per litre of fuel) will decrease slightly because the total national charge is divided across a growing heavy vehicle fleet.

From 1 July 2017:

  • The Road User Charge (RUC) will decrease to 25.8 cpl (from 25.9 cpl).
  • Registration charges will decrease by around 1.5%.

Here are the 2017-18 registration charges for some common vehicles:

Vehicle 2016-17 2017-18
6 axle truck & dog (up to 42.5t) $3,128 $3,076
5 axle semi-trailer $6,334 $6,232
B-double $15,016 $14,776
Double Road Train $15,072 $14,832
Triple Road Train $16,868 $16,601

Table 1: Selection of HV Rego Charges for 2017-18.

INDEPENDENT PRICE REGULATION


The Australian Government has released a discussion paper on options for independent price regulation of heavy vehicle charges. ALRTA has argued strongly in favour of independent price setting for heavy vehicle charges as part of a previous submission on ‘Heavy Vehicle Charges – Options for improving the accuracy and stability of the PAYGO heavy vehicle charges methodology’.

To put this issue in perspective it is important for operators to be aware that:

  • The NTC independently reviewed the PAYGO system and recommended that governments decrease registration charges by 6.3% and the fuel levy by 1.14cpl from 1 July 2014;
  • Governments instead decided to freeze total charges; and
  • This decision has meant that governments are knowingly overcharging operators around $200m annually (a cumulative total now approaching $1bn).

The bottom line is that the current PAYGO cost-recovery system has been broken by the total lack of independence in the Ministerial decision-making process.

ALRTA will examine the options proposed in the discussion paper and put forward our views on behalf of livestock and rural carriers by the closing date of 14 July 2017.

You can find a copy of the discussion paper here.

REPORT: NATIONAL FLEET CONDITION

Australia’s first national heavy vehicle health check shows a sound performance by industry in maintaining vehicles, with some room for improvement.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the results of the National Roadworthiness Baseline Survey would provide further focus on inspection programs and help measure improvements in the mechanical condition of the heavy vehicle fleet.

“The survey covered 7,130 heavy vehicles between August and October last year. As a baseline of the fleet’s condition, the survey’s results will help the NHVR develop a national risk-based inspection approach to address high-risk components, systems, vehicles and operators. It will also help develop a consistent inspection approach,” Mr Chester said.

“We’re working in partnership with the NHVR, state governments, various state organisations and with the heavy vehicle industry to reduce road trauma. These survey results are a great tool for the NHVR to use to improve safety and efficiency in the heavy vehicle sector, which of course improves safety for all motorists.”

The report showed:

  • 7130 vehicles inspected, made up of 11,066 vehicle units
  • Younger vehicles were five times less likely to have a major non-conformity than vehicles 10-years and older, and 11 times less likely to have a major non-conformity than 13-year-old vehicles
  • 11 per cent of hauling units and about 14 per cent of trailers recorded a major non-conformity
  • 147 vehicle units were grounded, making up 1.3 per cent of the vehicles units inspected
  • brakes had the highest rate of major non-conformity, followed by steering and suspension, lights and reflectors, engines, drivelines and exhausts.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the survey results would allow operators to update programs to ensure they addressed high-risk components and systems that are regularly found to be an issue during on-road inspections.

“The NHVR wanted to understand the rate of major non-conformity. Where Authorised Officers found major non-conformities the majority were assessed as safe enough to continue their journey but required repair within a specified period of time,” Mr Petroccitto said.

“The rate of major non-conformities in the Australian fleet compared well to the UK which had a 35 per cent major non-conformity rate and to the US where about one-fifth of vehicles inspected are grounded.

“However, with the average age of the fleet at nine years, reducing the rate of major non-conformity in older vehicles will be an area of focus.

“Interestingly we saw a significant increase in the maintenance performance for vehicles in the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme.

“It is pleasing to see that the scheme is delivering and continuing to demonstrate the value it provides to fleet safety. It is evidence of the NHVR’s hard work in delivering improvements to the schemes operation.

“Another first was the use of the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual to provide nationally-consistent inspection standards. This consistency is something industry has asked for over many years and is a key objective of the Roadworthiness Program.

“I’d like to thank the 407 officers who worked 1049 shifts across 237 inspection sites throughout Australia to deliver this important national safety initiative.”

The survey will be used to develop programs using evidence and risk-based analysis of the survey data. Two such approaches will be a risk-based inspection and a consistent inspection framework.

There is also work being undertaken in the NHVR’s Roadworthiness Program to develop a national approach to the management and clearance of defects.

Further information about the survey results and the full report can be found here.


AUTOMATED VEHICLE TRIALS

The NTC and Austroads have jointly released National Guidelines for Automated Vehicle Trials.

The guidelines support state and territory road agencies in providing exemptions or permits for trials, and give greater certainty to industry on conditions for trials.

The guidelines aim to:

  • provide a more flexible mechanism than legislation to encourage innovation
  • provide certainty and clarity to industry regarding expectations when trialling in Australia
  • help agencies manage trials in their own jurisdictions as well as across states borders
  • establish minimum standards of safety
  • help assure the public that roads are being used safely
  • help raise awareness and acceptance of automated vehicles in the community

It is quite incredible how rapidly automated vehicle technology is coming along.  While I can’t see automated vehicles displacing drivers in the agricultural supply chain anytime soon (no computer can load livestock or yet navigate sketchy bush tracks), it won’t be long before you start seeing automated vehicles out there on the road with you.

Perhaps the day is not far off when you might load up, get yourself back to a main road and switch on the auto pilot?

Of course, that will then raise questions about whether cruising on auto pilot counts as work time or who is at fault in the event of an accident?  There are still lots of tricky questions to work though and trials are just the first step.

You can find a copy of the guidelines here.

FREIGHT AND SUPPLY CHAIN PRIORITIES

The Australian Government has commenced an Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities, releasing a discussion paper for comment by 28 July 2017.

The Inquiry, to be assisted by a four member expert panel, will examine regulatory and investment barriers as well as opportunities to improve freight capacity and reduce business costs.

The ALRTA Executive Director has recently met with the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development to provide our preliminary views.  The scope of the Inquiry is extremely broad ranging, considering road, rail, air and sea and how all of these interact, plus how multi-modal freight can best co-exist with passenger movements.

ALRTA will consider the discussion paper and prepare a response that best promotes an efficient agricultural supply chain.

You can find the discussion paper here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

LRTASA Conference

The LRTASA Annual State Conference will be held 16-17 June 2017 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. The weekend kicks off with a Golf competition at Adelaide Golf Links on the fringe of the CBD followed by pre-dinner drinks and dinner at the Entertainment Centre.   The Conference Sessions are on Saturday followed by a Gala Dinner (with entertainment by the legendary Mick Meredith) and Auction.

Register here.

Trucking Australia Conference

The ATA’s premier annual event ‘Trucking Australia 2017’ will be held 21-23 June 2017 at the Darwin Convention Centre.  The program is a mix of entertainment and business activities featuring the Kenworth Legends Luncheon, chain of responsibility master class and the National Trucking Industry Awards.

Register here.

LRTAWA Conference

The LRTAWA Annual State Conference will be held 30 June – 1 July 2017 at the Light House Beach Resort in Bunbury.

For more information contact: admin@lrtawa.org.au

LRTAV Conference

The LRTAV Annual State Conference will be held 11-12 August 2017 at the RACV Resort in Torquay.

Check here for more information.

Posted in General News | Comments Off on ALRTA News -2 June 2017

ALRTA News – 26 May 2017

FUNDING FOR DEMONSTRATION PROJECT

ALRTA has welcomed the decision by the Transport and Infrastructure Council to provide funding under the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative 2017-18 to investigate the feasibility of user-pay loading and unloading infrastructure.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the program was one of 12 proposals approved for a share of the $3.9 million funding by the NHVR, supported by the Federal Government.

“Landings used for loading and unloading livestock can greatly add to the safety of operators, reducing falls and giving better access to the trailer,” Mr Chester said.

“Livestock is unpredictable, particularly when loading or unloading, and any sudden movement is a risk to an operator who is usually working at heights.

“This trial, proposed by the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) will not only construct and trial a Stock Crate Pivot Access Landing frame at a livestock processer, but also look at innovative funding options and how it might be rolled out at other locations across Australia.

“The rate of falls, injuries and even fatalities among livestock operators is too high and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of this trial to improve both operator safety and productivity in the heavy vehicle industry.”

Chair of the ALRTA National Animal Welfare Committee, John Beer, said that the ‘proof of concept’ project had potential to greatly improve safety and productivity in the livestock supply chain.

“Transport operators have to rely on other parties in the supply chain to provide loading and unloading infrastructure, such as livestock ramps and pivot access unloading frames,” said Mr Beer.

“High quality infrastructure can greatly improve safety and productivity for heavy vehicle operators.  However, economic self-interest usually drives infrastructure owners to provide only the bare minimum to meet their own operational and legislative needs.

“As a result, safety and productivity improvements in the road transport supply chain can lag decades behind what would be otherwise be possible if the costs and benefits of infrastructure improvements were shared more equitably across all parties.

“This project will demonstrate an innovative new funding mechanism that overcomes these market failures and incentivises rapid infrastructure improvements throughout the road transport supply chain,” said Mr Beer.

Project Summary

The project will:

  • Fully fund the construction of a Stock Crate Pivoting Access Landing (PAL) frame at a major livestock processing facility in Australia.
  • Install a billing, reporting, monitoring and access control system on the PAL frame.
  • Promote the voluntary use of the PAL frame.
  • Collect data to enable productivity and safety comparisons.
  • Examine transport operator ‘willingness to pay’ to use the PAL frame.
  • Consider the ongoing cost of administration of the user-pay system and physical maintenance of the PAL frame.
  • Consider if the system should be based on ‘cost recovery’ or whether it is feasible to accumulate surplus funds to incentivise additional infrastructure investments.
  • Examine supporting decision making frameworks for setting usage fees, rectifying maintenance issues and general management of the infrastructure.

At the conclusion of the project, ALRTA will deliver a comprehensive written report to industry and governments examining the feasibility of various options including recommendations concerning any potential for broad scale application of a user-pay model.

BRAKING AND STABILITY GUIDE 

ALRTA is pleased to advise members that a new ‘Guide to Braking and Stability Performance for Heavy Vehicle Combinations’ is now available.

The Guide was launched a special media event at the Brisbane Truck Show.

It was jointly developed by industry partners including ALRTA, ATA, Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association, the Commercial Vehicle Industry Association Australia, the Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia and the Truck Industry Council.

Speaking at the launch, proprietor of Stockmaster Transport, Mr Robert Cavanagh, said that the guide will be of great assistance to trucking businesses that need to mix and match trucks and trailers with different braking systems.

“Braking technologies are continuing to evolve and governments regularly revise minimum standards for new vehicles,” said Mr Cavanagh.


Above: Robert Cavanagh speaking at the launch.

“While professional operators regularly upgrade prime movers, trailers can remain in the fleet for decades.  This can create challenges when mixing old and new braking technologies.

“Understanding how the different technologies are expected to interact will assist operators in optimising braking performance, stability and maintenance outcomes,” said Mr Cavanagh.

ATA Senior Adviser of Engineering, Mr Chris Loose, said that understanding the Guide’s brake and stability ratings for trucks and trailer combinations with varying brake technologies is key to achieving best practice.

“This guide is a product of many hours of hard work, and is based on the collective experience of operators, suppliers, regulators and industry groups. However, it does not replace, vary or modify existing laws and regulations,” said Mr Loose.

“The guide aims to assist anyone who couples a truck and trailer in the Australian road and freight industries, but specifically directed towards operators and suppliers of heavy vehicles.

“It details valuable information on heavy vehicle braking systems, braking and stability terminology, understanding the performance rating tables, trouble shooting, modification and settings for trailer braking – as well as a general background on braking and stability.

“There are a lot of different kinds of vehicles and brake combinations on the market on Australian roads, and understanding their technicalities and their limitations allows everyone to operate more safely and efficiently,” Mr Loose said.

The guide is now available here on the ATA website.  ALRTA will send a hard copy of the guide to member operators with larger fleets in the next few weeks.

ALRTA TO SUPPORT MANDATORY STABILITY CONTROL 

The ALRTA National Council has resolved to support mandatory electronic stability control for all new trucks and trailers.

The decision was made at a general meeting held in Brisbane on 24 May 2017.

At the meeting, the Council considered predictions in road safety improvements, animal welfare, installation and maintenance costs, a large government survey of operators, expert opinions, operators testimonials and the ‘in depth’ discussions that took place during a special panel session held at the ALRTA National Conference in February.

While ALRTA has previously opposed mandatory ABS for heavy trailers as a stand-alone requirement, the case for mandatory stability control including EBS is overwhelming.  Put simply, the likely safety improvements will outweigh the additional costs associated with the technology – even in harsh and remote operating conditions.

The Council does however recognise that there are some circumstances in which stability control can be problematic.  For this reason, ALRTA’s support for mandatory electronic stability control is conditional on any new laws making provision for an ‘off switch’ that can temporarily disable the technology (e.g. to enable a low speed creek crossing) as well as an exemption for road train dollies (because of their natural tendency to move around) with ‘through wiring’ to enable power to reach other axle groups.

ALRTA is expecting the Federal Government to propose mandatory electronic stability control in a regulatory impact statement to be released for public comment in mid-2017.  If agreed by governments, the new requirements will be implemented around 2020 – 2021.

TRUCKCARE REVIEW WORKSHOP

The ATA hosted a workshop in Canberra this week to progress the comprehensive review of the TruckCare animal welfare accreditation system.

Participants included the TruckSafe Board, Dr Nick Hover (Woolworths), Ben Maguire (ATA CEO), Bill McKinley (ATA Chief of Staff), Justin Fleming (ATA TruckSafe Manager) and Greg Harmes (TruckSafe Auditor).  The livestock sector was well represented by Stephen Marley (TruckSafe Chair and LRTAWA President), Graeme Emery (Martins Group of Companies), Athol Carter (Frasers Livestock Transport) and Mathew Munro (ALRTA Executive Director).

Workshop participants considered the key learnings arising from recent meetings with welfare advocates, retailers and processors.  The TruckCare standards were systematically compared with regulatory requirements stipulated in the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Land Transport of Livestock, as well as international accreditation systems.

Upon completion of the review, a revised TruckCare system will be relaunched that better reflects contemporary consumer expectations.

NATIONAL COUNCIL MEETS IN BRISBANE 

ALRTA National Council met in Brisbane on 24 May 2017 at BP Australia.  All member states were represented with four members of the ALRTA National Member Chapter also attending. Special guests included: Simon Cook (BP), Geoff Casey (NHVR) and Chris Loose (ATA).

Issues discussed included operational management, electronic work diaries, effluent, user-pay infrastructure, heavy vehicle braking, fatigue research and the review of TruckCare.

The next National Council meeting and AGM will be in Torquay, 10 August 2017.

BRISBANE TRUCKSHOW

Many of the ALRTA National Council and state association members were in attendance at the Brisbane Truckshow this week.  The event brings together operators, suppliers, associations and regulators while displaying a dazzling array of new products and technologies.

Perhaps the best thing about the Truckshow is how it interfaces with the Brisbane community.  There are trucks displayed in prominent public areas around the Brisbane CBD (even on barges on the Brisbane River!) and you can observe plenty of families looking at the vehicles, talking to the operators and taking photos.


Above: Ross Fraser and Mike Fowler (Cummins).

ALRTA took the opportunity to pop in and see our National Sponsors displays to check out their new products and services.  Honestly, you can’t walk five meters without seeing something interesting or bumping into an industry acquaintance.  If you haven’t been before, make sure to put it on your bucket list.


Above: Craig McPherson (King Bars) and ALRTA VP Graeme Hoare. 

UPCOMING  EVENTS 

LRTASA Conference

The LRTASA Annual State Conference will be held 16-17 June 2017 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. The weekend kicks off with a Golf competition at Adelaide Golf Links on the fringe of the CBD followed by pre-dinner drinks and dinner at the Entertainment Centre.   The Conference Sessions are on Saturday followed by a Gala Dinner (with entertainment by the legendary Mick Meredith) and Auction.

Register here.

Trucking Australia Conference

The ATA’s premier annual event ‘Trucking Australia 2017’ will be held 21-23 June 2017 at the Darwin Convention Centre.  The program is a mix of entertainment and business activities featuring the Kenworth Legends Luncheon, chain of responsibility master class and the National Trucking Industry Awards.

Register here.

LRTAWA Conference

The LRTAWA Annual State Conference will be held 30 June – 1 July 2017 at the Light House Beach Resort in Bunbury.

For more information contact: admin@lrtawa.org.au

LRTAV Conference

The Joint LRTAV – National Conference will be held 11-12 August 2017 at the RACV Resort in Torquay.

Check here for more information.

Posted in General News | Comments Off on ALRTA News – 26 May 2017