ALRTA News – 1 September 2017


Last year, the ALRTA requested that the NHVR consider improving and expanding the NSW statutory exemption that allows limited personal private use of a heavy vehicle.  In NSW, a driver may clean, refuel or drive a heavy vehicle for up to 1 continuous hour during a 24 hour break provided that the activity:

  1. is not directed by the driver’s employer OR not for fee or reward; AND
  2. starts at least 3 hours after the beginning of the rest break; AND
  3. finishes at least 3 hours before the end of the rest break.

While the ALRTA understands the reasoning behind HVNL fatigue laws, the reality is that, at any time during a daily or weekly work cycle, a fatigue regulated driver is still permitted to drive a smaller vehicle for private purposes (subject to laws prohibiting driving while fatigued).

There is a broad array of reasons why a heavy vehicle driver who is away from home base, ‘out of hours’, and without access to a smaller private vehicle might benefit from some increased flexibility in allowing limited private use of a heavy vehicle.  For example:

  • Buying a meal
  • Washing clothes
  • Visiting friends or family
  • Accessing basic amenities such as shower or toilets
  • Accessing better quality rest facilities
  • Refuelling
  • Dropping off a vehicle for maintenance or tyres

All of these activities can help improve the quality of life for drivers and the restorative value of compulsory rest breaks.  Even something as simple as relief from boredom can be beneficial in many cases.

ALRTA is pleased to advise members that the NHVR has recently commenced consultation with industry and state jurisdictions on this important issue.  If you have a view that you would like to express, please contact the ALRTA or your state association and let us know.



Last week we let you know that work has now kicked off on developing an industry master code of practice.  This work is expected to take at least 12 months to complete.

This week, the NHVR announced a further extension of six current industry codes that were due to expire on 29 January 2018.   The codes will now expire only upon the introduction of new chain of responsibility laws in mid-2018 (exact date yet to be determined), or until they are replaced by a new code.

These ‘transitional codes’ include:

  • TruckSafe Operator Business Rules and Code of Conduct;
  • Retail Logistics Supply Chain Code of Practice;
  • Heavy Vehicle Transport Off-Farm Grain Carriers Code of Practice (SA);
  • Australian Steel Industry Logistics Safety Code of Practice (Vic);
  • National Logistics Safety Code of Practice (Vic); and
  • Refrigerated Warehouse Transport Association of Australia Chain of Responsibility Code of Practice (Vic).

So, it is business as usual until further notice.



The Australian Government will conduct a second review of the Australian Standards for of the Export of Livestock (ASEL) and is calling for nominations to a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

ASEL was last reviewed four years ago but no agreement was reached on implementing the recommendations.  In our view, the last review failed to properly consider issues relating to receival times at port feedlots and timely communication to transporters prior to loading export vessels.

ALRTA welcomes the second review and will nominate a representative to the TAC.



You are invited to provide input into a review of the National Heavy Vehicle Driver Competency Framework.

This Framework defines the competencies required to obtain a heavy vehicle licence and provides guidance on how these competencies are assessed.

Austroads is reviewing two key areas of the Framework:

  1. Appropriateness and adequacy of the competencies, driver qualifications and links to safety outcomes.
  2. Regulatory and monitoring arrangements used in each jurisdiction covering training and licence assessment.

All input is anonymous unless you choose to provide your details. Summarised survey results will be made available to the ALRTA.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Judy Oswin:

To participate click here.  The survey is open until 8 September.



The ALRTA Executive Director participated in a consultative committee workshop to discuss the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework.

The Framework was developed by the Red Meat Advisory Council to support the Meat Industry Strategic Plan 2020.  The Framework identifies 23 priority areas across four key themes:

  1. Animal Welfare
  2. Environmental Stewardship
  3. Economic Resilience
  4. People & the Community

‘Safe livestock transport’ is a central priority in the Animal Welfare theme which is measured across two indicators:

  1. The % of transporters accredited in the TruckSafe Animal Welfare Module; and
  2. The % of compliance with the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock.

While the Framework is a useful start, it does not include other important sustainability factors in the transport sector such as:

  • Road access for higher productivity vehicles (this returns more $ to the farm gate);
  • Quality of loading and unloading infrastructure (this impacts on animal welfare, safety or people and productivity); or
  • Effluent management (vital for protecting animal welfare, road safety and public amenity).

It is intended that the Framework will be used to guide best practice and further research across the beef industry.



The ATA Council met in Canberra this week.  The livestock and rural sector was well represented by:

  • David Smith – LRTASA President and ATA Vice Chair;
  • Linley Miners – LBRCA President & ATA Small Fleet Representative;
  • John Beer – LRTAV Vice President & ATA Owner Driver Representative;
  • Kel Baxter – LBRCA Vice President and Chair of ATA Industry Technical Council; and
  • Mathew Munro – ALRTA Executive Director.

The meeting was primarily focussed on strategic and policy planning.  The aims are to enhance the status and influence of the ATA and to ensure that the ATA policy program is based on a clear vision of the industry we want to be part of in the future.



The ALRTA held a special meeting of the Executive and State Presidents to consider a new national partnership proposal.  Stay tuned for an exciting announcement soon.



Members are advised that the ALRTA will be holding a Council meeting on Friday, 3 November 2017.  Details are:

Start: 8:30pm
Close: 3:00pm
Location: ATA Conference Room, Minter Ellison Building, Canberra.

For more information please contact the ALRTA Secretariat.



ALRTA National Partner, King Bars, advises members that heavy vehicle modification standards are changing.

The changes will occur when version 3 of Vehicle Standards Bulletin 6 (VDB6): National Code of Practice for Heavy Vehicle Modifications comes into force on 1 September 2017.

It will now be more important than ever to ensure that your bulbar provider can meet the new requirements front underrun protection device approval, installation and certification.

Members can access a factsheet on the changes kindly provided by King Bars.



Check out the program and register for the trucking industry’s premier technical and maintenance event, TMC2017, to be held in Melbourne 16-18 October 2017.

TMC2017 is the best money you’ll spend on maintenance all year, with product training workshops from leading suppliers and sessions covering:

  • the new chain of responsibility laws that will apply to maintenance
  • smart braking systems
  • maintenance scheduling
  • slack adjusters, tyre and wheel maintenance, drawbars……..and more!

TMC2017 won’t be all work. Your registration fee includes the PACCAR Parts Fun Night and the Castrol Vecton Awards dinner, featuring the presentation of the Craig Roseneder Award for Technical and Maintenance Excellence and the Castrol Vecton Industry Achievement Award.

Full delegate registrations for TMC2017 are just $595 (inc GST), and include all sessions and social events. Additional tickets for the awards dinner are available.

See the TMC2017 program

TMC2017 is proudly presented by ATA and ARTSA.



Big Rigs the free national transport newspaper has launched a new weekly podcast.

Tune into Big Rigs editor Bruce Honeywill to hear the latest trucking news, discussions with drivers on the road and other key players in the road transport industry.

Go to to subscribe or if you have a podcast app search for “Big Rigs Podcast” and click the subscribe button.