ALRTA News – 13 April 2018

ELECTRONIC WORK DIARIES

ALRTA has made a formal submission in response to the NHVR’s proposed EWD Compliance Policy.

In addition to a range of specific questions and comments on the proposed compliance and enforcement approach, the submission articulates the ALRTA’s general position that:

  1. We support voluntary EWDs but remain strongly opposed mandatory EWDs.
  2. There is now an urgent need to review all heavy vehicle regulations that were designed for a paper-based regulatory system.
  3. There should be common open source platform, rules and standards for all proposed regulatory telematics systems.

Why Does ALRTA Support Voluntary EWDs?
Many ALRTA member operators are already using telematics systems in their businesses.

Under current arrangements these businesses must also keep written work diaries (WWD).

If the NHVR recognises EWDs, business that choose to use an EWD will no longer need to keep two sets of records and manually check WWD pages.

For example, one small fleet operator has reported that his wife spends many hours every week manually checking WWD pages for all drivers.  This task could be automated via EWDs.

EWDs simultaneously calculate all counting periods and will prompt drivers to take action before work or rest breaches occur.  This can improve driver compliance and reduce administrative errors.

Under a voluntary system, only operators that choose to use an EWD will be affected.

Will it Lead to Mandatory EWDs?
There can be no certainty about whether or not governments will in future mandate regulatory telematics, and if so, what form it might take.

On balance, ALRTA considers that it would be better to allow member operators to trial voluntary EWD systems in real world circumstances than to have mandatory EWDs suddenly thrust upon us.

How does the Australian Model Compare with the USA?
Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) have been mandated in the USA.   This has led to mass protests across multiple states with particularly strong opposition from rural carriers.

This is of course of great concern the ALRTA.

However, the current Australian proposal is very different from the USA.  The table below summarises the important differences in the two systems.

USA Australia
Usage
  • Mandatory
  • Voluntary
Data Logging
  • Synchronised to engine and automatically records.
  • Not connected to vehicle.
  • Drivers must agree to begin or stop recording data.
Location
  • GPS based and automatically converted to identifiable location (e.g. nearby village).
  • Can be GPS or manually entered by the driver.

Fundamentally, the record keeping requirements under the Australian proposal are no different to the requirements for WWD.

Other important elements of the Australian proposal are:

  • An EWD can be an app on a smart phone / tablet or a full blown integrated commercial telematics system.
  • Drivers can switch between EWD and WWD at any time.
  • Vehicles can be moved without logging into an EWD.
  • Data is sent to the record keeper and is not automatically sent to authorities.
  • Enforcement officers can access the last 28 days of records on the roadside.
  • An EWD will automatically summarise potential breaches.
  • EWDs record in 1 min intervals but breaches of less than 15min will not be displayed.
  • Work breaches of less than 8 min cannot be prosecuted.
  • EWD records can be corrected by the driver.
  • There is a provision to record comments if needed (e.g. if a parking bay is full).
  • An EWD will alert the driver before a work or rest breach occurs.
  • All current work and rest hours regimes and exemption notices will continue to apply.
  • If a device malfunctions or stops working, supplementary records can be kept.

Further information is available on the NHVR website here.

ALRTA advises members to carefully consider whether or not an EWD is appropriate for your business.

 

NHVR BASELINE SAFETY SURVEY

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) wants to get a snapshot of the way industry currently manage their safety responsibilities.

This baseline measurement will assist in informing decisions around the development of future education and guidance materials.

We encourage ALRTA members to contribute to this important initiative by sharing your experience about working in the heavy vehicle industry.

The survey is open until Wednesday, 9 May 2018 and will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

To participate click here.

 

CROPS AND INFRASTRUCTURE

The Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has recently undergone an internal restructure which has established closer linkages with commodity groups and infrastructure.

This week, the ALRTA Executive Director met with the Crops and Infrastructure Branch to establish a relationship and canvas the scope of our shared interests.

While the Department is certainly mindful of the strong link between infrastructure and productivity in the agricultural supply chain, the meeting was a good opportunity to highlight the fact that it is not economically feasible to upgrade all parts of the road network – so governments must also focus on regulatory solutions for improving access for higher productivity vehicles to the farm gate.

 

FATIGUE STEERING COMMITTEE MEETS

The industry-government Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue Research Project Steering Committee met this week.  ALRTA was represented at the meeting by Tom Allen (LRTAV).

The 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 and better inform future fatigue policy.

ALRTA member operators have been invited to participate in the research phase.

The meeting considered project timelines, budget, progress and communications strategy.

 

INSURANCE BUSINESS AWARDS

nti is excited to be named a finalist across three categories in the inaugural Insurance Business Awards.

The awards acknowledge excellence in the insurance profession by recognising the country’s leading brokers, brokerage businesses, insurers and underwriting agencies for their contribution to the industry over the previous 12 months.

Following a preliminary nomination and successful submission, nti were named finalists in three chosen categories:
– Australian Underwriting Agency of the Year
– Underwriting Agency Claims Team of the Year
– Best Community Engagement Program – Insurer

nti’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tony Clark says 2017 was a big year for the organisation and the submission process offered the perfect opportunity for reflection.

“We expanded our business and extended ourselves in so many ways in 2017 – through our marine acquisition, and our entire rebrand just to mention a few. To be named a finalist is a nod to our people for what we’ve achieved in the last 12 months,” he said.

Winners will be announced at a gala event Friday 4 May 2018, in Sydney. A full list of Insurance Business Awards finalists can be found here.

 

MEETING NOTICE: ALRTA NATIONAL COUNCIL

Members are advised that the ALRTA will be holding a Council meeting on Saturday, 26 May 2018.  Details are:

Start: 8:00am
Close: 12:00pm
Location: Hobart, Tasmania

For more information please contact the ALRTA Secretariat.

 

SAVE THE DATE: LTAT CONFERENCE

You are invited to attend the Livestock Transporters Association of Tasmania (LTAT) conference in Hobart on Saturday, 26 May 2018.

This is the first time in many years that LTAT has held a conference, so it is a perfect opportunity to meet your fellow Tasmanian operators and check out the island state.

The conference will commence at 1:00pm and conclude with a dinner event.

Stay tuned for more information including a program and registration forms.

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