ALRTA News – 2 February 2018


The ALRTA warmly welcomes the National Work and Rest Hours Exemption (Personal Use) Notice 2018 which allows up to one hour of personal use of a heavy vehicle outside of standard hours.

ALRTA National President Kevin Keenan said that the national exemption would harmonise state laws and result in better quality rest for drivers.

“Short-distance drivers can usually make it home to access sleeping quarters, meals or washing facilities, as well as their own private vehicle for personal use.   In contrast, long-distance drivers are often forced to rest at inhospitable locations with no amenities whatsoever,” said President Keenan.

“Uninterrupted sleep, eating well and keeping clean are fundamental to maintaining alertness and vehicle control.  It is also important to relieve boredom during longer breaks in isolated locations.

“This national work and rest exemption will ensure a consistent approach across all Heavy Vehicle National Law jurisdictions and promote better quality rest for long-distance drivers.

“The NHVR must be commended for listening to our concerns and delivering an outcome that improves driver amenity without compromising on safety,” he said.

ALRTA raised this issue during a meeting of the NHVR Livestock and Rural Transporters Industry Operation Group in September 2016 and subsequently wrote to NHVR formally requesting that the matter be included on the NHVR’s work program for 2017.  NHVR commenced formal consultation in September 2017 and ALRTA lodged a detailed submission on behalf of our members in response.

From 1 February 2018, drivers can use up to one additional hour of work time to undertake ‘permitted personal activities’ such as:

  • driving the heavy vehicle to reach accommodation for the driver
  • driving the heavy vehicle to purchase goods or services for use by the driver, such as
    • food and beverages
    • medical support and supplies
    • banking or post office facilities
  • washing or cleaning a heavy vehicle owned by the driver
  • stowing clothes and food in the cab of the heavy vehicle for use by the driver
  • driving the heavy vehicle as part of a historic vehicle event
  • fuelling the heavy vehicle so that it can be used for other permitted personal activities.

The exemption must be used in a single continuous period and is available immediately prior to a long rest break and during a 24hr break.

Several restrictions apply, including:

  • The exemption cannot be used for commercial activities;
  • Employers cannot direct that the exemption be used;
  • The vehicle must be unladen or not towing another vehicle;
  • It cannot be used on consecutive days;
  • It cannot be used in the first or last 3hrs of a 24hr rest break;
  • It is not available to BFM or AFM drivers.

More detail on the exemption can be found here.



Animal welfare will be boosted under new rules allowing Western Australian and South Australian livestock operators to avoid cross loading livestock on the border.

Photo (L-R): Sal Petroccitto, David Smith & David Fyfe (LRTAWA)

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the NHVR had agreed to allow 27.5m B-doubles carrying sheep and cattle to a limited network running from the West Australian border to the South Australian Livestock Exchange in Dublin, north of Adelaide.

“This is an important step forward saving time and improving animal welfare for livestock carriers across Western Australia,” Mr Petroccitto said.

“We spoke extensively to the operators in South Australia and Western Australia and agreed these livestock trucks could operate safely and deliver the benefits for this important heavy vehicle sector.

“This shows the benefits of the NHVR working closely with state governments and responding to the needs of industry groups and operators to deliver consistent cross-borders operating conditions.”

Previously B-double livestock carriers could only operate 26-metre vehicles under the Livestock Carrier Notice in South Australia which required cross loading of up to 650 head of sheep per truck on the SA-WA border.

Travel is now permitted for 27.5 metre long B-double combinations on the PBS Level 3A network, from the border to Dublin, via the Eyre Highway, Victoria Parade (Port Augusta), Augusta Highway, Port Wakefield Highway and Carslake Road in Dublin.

Livestock and Rural Transporters Association SA President David Smith said end of cross loading at the border could save up to three hours.

“This was something we were keen to see happen, particularly due to the benefits it brings for animal welfare,” Mr Smith said.

“I’ve done the trip myself to cross load and it’s a difficult situation, transferring livestock alongside the highway.”

Livestock and Rural Transport Association of WA President Stephen Marley welcomed the change for operators carrying livestock or fodder relating to livestock.

“This amendment gives transporters the opportunity to organise their cross-border trips differently by taking advantage of the flexibility being offered,” Mr Marley said.

“This is a good example of jurisdictions working together to achieve positive results for industry.”

For more information can be found here.



Austroads has commissioned the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) to update the 2005 National Guidelines for the Provision of Rest Area Facilities.
The objective of the project is to ensure that national guidelines used by road transport agencies to design and build heavy vehicle rest areas provide optimum support to the management of heavy vehicle driver fatigue as well as other factors.
ARRB has proposed that improvements will be developed around five themes:

  1. Improved parking layout
  2. Improved traffic flow and interaction with other road users
  3. Rural and urban heavy vehicle rest area (HVRA) designs
  4. Major and minor HVRA designs
  5. Incorporation of 3-2-1 Green Reflectors scheme for informal rest areas into the guidelines

ALRTA will consult with our state members and provide feedback to ARRB.
You are also invited to have your say on rest area design. If you can spare 5 minutes, please take the time to respond via the ARRB survey link below.  The survey will be open until 9 February 2018.

ARRB: Heavy Vehicle Rest Area Survey



ALRTA and ATA have responded to the Australian Government’s 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.

ALRTA National Council supports a move to mandatory ESC and RSC with appropriate exemptions for converter dollies and provision for an off-switch for speeds below 40km per hour to negotiate difficult low-speed conditions such as creek crossing and gate entry.

The RIS has proposed several options, all of which cater for our established position.

However, while the RIS proposes mandatory ESC for all trailers (ABS over 4.5t GTM and RSC over 10t GTM), the government has recommended that mandatory ESC apply only to prime movers.

The ALRTA Executive met last week and unanimously agreed that ESC should become mandatory for all trucks over 4.5t GVM.   This is the safest option, saving 148 lives and avoiding 1,496 serious injuries over 15 years.  This option would also result in net benefits of at least $167m.

If agreed, the following implementation dates are proposed for trucks and trailers:

  1. 1 Nov 2019 for new model vehicles; and
  2. 1 Nov 2021 for all new vehicles.

The new rules would not be retrospective.
Operators also need to be aware that the new rules will also mandate automatic slack adjustors and require that trucks and trailers designed for use in road train combinations be equipped with 24v electrical connectors.



ALRTA is calling for nominations to provide technical input and best practice advice to the centre of the trucking industry’s policy direction.

The Australian Trucking Association’s Industry Technical Council promotes technical excellence in the trucking industry, and provides technical input into the ATA’s policy direction.

As a member of the ATA, ALRTA is entitled to nominate a representative to the ITC. As ALRTA’s representative, the normal ITC membership fees do not apply.

ITC includes trucking operators, suppliers, engineers and other specialists. It produces Technical Advisory Procedures, Safety Alerts, and makes technical recommendations to the ATA. ITC members may also be nominated to represent the industry on government technical committees.

To represent ALRTA on the ITC, you do not have to be a mechanic or engineer, but you do need to have a keen interest in truck technology and maintenance issues.

If you would like to nominate to represent ALRTA on the ITC, please contact or call (02) 6247 5434.

If you would like to directly join ITC, please visit or call the ATA on 02 6253 6900.


ALRTA is making good progress on several issues being progressed by our National Animal Welfare Committee.

We have sought letters of support for our application to Standards Australia to establish a national ramp standard.  We now have letters from eight key stakeholders representing various parts of the supply chain.  Signs are positive that we will receive a few more before making our final submission.

Our application to the Building Better Regions Fund to establish Australia’s first roadside effluent disposal facility has been formally accepted by the Department of Industry and is now undergoing a merits review as part of a competitive process.  We hope to bring you some good news on this later in 2018.

Next week, ALRTA representatives will meet with the host of our user-pay PAL frame project.  We have received a quote for the equipment, installation and transport and will aim to have the PAL frame available for use by mid-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 Market Reforms, infrastructure, network connectivity and plenty more!

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!

Further information is available from the LBRCA and ALRTA websites.