ALRTA News – 26 May 2017


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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:

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.