ALRTA News – 27 April 2018


Saturday 26 May – RACV/RACT Apartment Hotel, Hobart

You are invited to attend the Livestock Transporters Association of Tasmania (LTAT) conference.  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 Hobart.

We will be covering topics including road access, biosecurity, health & welfare, market conditions and compliance & enforcement.

You will even hear a motivational keynote address from David Foster OAM – Tasmanian legend and World Woodchopping Champion for 21 consecutive years (thanks to PACCAR & Dealer and PACCAR Parts).

8:00am – 12:00pm – ALRTA National Council
12:00pm – 5:00pm – Conference Sessions
5:00pm – 6:00pm – LTAT AGM
6:45pm – 11:00pm – Conference Gala Dinner

Register for the conference here: 2018 LTAT Conference Registration Form.  Please register as soon as possible, preferably before 17 May 2018.

Keep checking our web page for more information including a detailed program over the coming weeks.



ALRTA asks all members to review the rest area designs and table of facilities that have been developed as part of the draft Austroads Guidelines for Heavy Vehicle Rest Areas.

Please click here to undertake the survey.  It only takes 5 minutes and will be open until 4 May 2018.

For the first time, the ‘facilities table’ lists livestock effluent dumping sites as a ‘desirable’ inclusion.  ALRTA has been liaising with Austroads and the NTC on this matter for some time and we would greatly appreciate your support for the new addition.

This does not mean that all rest areas must have livestock effluent dumping facilities, but it does mean that reasonable consideration should be given based on need, frequency of use by livestock trucks, characteristics of the site, and potential arrangements for maintenance and effluent removal.

After the survey, the draft guidelines will be finalised and approval will be sought from the Austroads Board to publish the guidelines later this year.



The ALRTA and our state associations were well-represented at the 2018 Trucking Australia Conference held at the National Convention Centre in Canberra last week.  I’d list our notable attendees but that would spoil the surprises below.

Here are just a few highlights from the event:

  • Wednesday: ATA Board, Council and AGM, followed by auction dinner.
  • Thursday: Official opening by Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove AK, MC.  Safety Summit. Canberra showcase dinner.
  • Friday: Address by Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Michael McCormack MP. Meet industry future leaders. Results of Fatigue Hack. National Awards Dinner.

In the words of Wednesday Auction Dinner MC, Tim Shaw, “But wait, there’s more…..”

The ALRTA congratulates the following members recognised at the event:

  • David Smith (D&S Smith Haulage): Re-elected as ATA Vice Chair and finalist in the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Industry’ Award category;
  • Ross Fraser OAM (Frasers Livestock Transport): Winner of the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Industry’ Award category;
  • Andy and Michael Divall (Divall’s Earthmoving and Bulk Haulage): Kenworth Legends for 2018;
  • Dean Clarke (Hopkins Transport): Finalist in ‘National Training Excellence’ Award.

Overall, Trucking Australia 2018 was a top notch event – great job ATA!



The QLD Parliamentary Transport and Public Works Committee has released a report on the Inquiry into the Heavy Vehicle National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 (the Bill).

Together with the Heavy Vehicle National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016, the Bill will result in parties in the chain of responsibility (CoR) having a positive duty to proactively assess the risks arising from their business practices and put controls in place where it is reasonably practicable to do so.

In response to evidence that some parties in the agricultural supply chain were actively lobbying to either be exempted from CoR or that the changes should be delayed, ALRTA made a formal submission to the Inquiry arguing that:

  • Off-road parties in the agricultural supply chain can, and do, influence on-road safety;
  • there is no case for exemptions; and
  • that the Bills should be enacted without delay.

The Committee has recommended that the Bill be passed.

The Committee has also recommended that the Queensland Transport Minister consider a timely review of the HVNL.  This recommendation is very much in line with ALRTA calls for a full HVNL review in light of the recent approval of voluntary regulatory telematics systems (EWDs) – we are rapidly moving into a digital age with a HVNL designed around paper-based compliance systems.

The Committee report can be accessed here.  For further information on the committee’s inquiry into the Bill, please see the inquiry webpage.



A trucking operator recently sent me a link to an interesting online article about the impact of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) which became mandatory in the USA from 18 December 2017.

Before I go any further, I need to point out that an ELD is not the same as an Australian Electronic Work Diary (EWD).  The differences are:

  • ELD: Mandatory, GPS tracked & synchronised to engine (i.e. logging automatically commences/ends at key-on/off).
  • EWD: Voluntary, optional GPS tracked & not synchronised to engine (i.e. logging commences/finishes when the driver stipulates).

According to the article:

  1. Individual drivers are travelling fewer miles and earning less money – drivers must stop when the working limit is reached.
  2. Truck driver employment has grown by 1.4 – more drivers are needed for the same task.
  3. Freight rates have increased by 10% to 30% – lower productivity per truck means greater demand for freight services.
  4. Pressure has increased to load more efficiently or pay demurrage – ELDs expose the real impact of extended waiting times.
  5. Insurance premiums could rise for drivers that are not ELD compliant – the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration publishes individual driver compliance, safety and accountability scores.

It was point 3 that stood out to me the most.

At the 2018 ATA Trucking Australia Conference held in Canberra last week, ALRTA Life Member, Gordon Martin, made a statement from the audience that the biggest challenge facing the industry is that ‘cowboys’ who break the rules push freight rates down for everybody.  Gordon suggested that, despite the perceived negatives, EWDs have potential to be the ‘leveller’ that industry needs.

If the USA experience is anything to go by, Gordon has a pretty good handle on the forces that dictate freight rates in the Australian market.

You can find the full article here.



It is hard to judge whether or not the USA experience with ELDs is transferable to Australia.

But, one thing is for sure, the drivers in the USA are human beings too and can take matters into their own hands when required.  If you doubt me just check out this heart-warming story.

Now that’s not something you see every day!



Registrations are now open for the 2018 LRTAQ Annual Conference to be held 1-3 June 2018 in Charters Towers, Queensland.

The event includes a welcome reception, transport forum, community breakfast, AGM, partners program and the legendary Bull Carter’s Ball.  There will even be pig racing (including a Calcutta) and a classic car display!

Click here for more information.


Members are advised that you should soon receive a hard copy letter from the ALRTA containing an overview of our achievements over the past six months.  We are keen to keep you informed and to invite your participation in our ambitious policy program.

Please get in touch with the ALRTA or your state association if you want to know more.