ALRTA News – 18 April 2019


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The NTC and the Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity have released the results of a world-first study into heavy vehicle driver fatigue.

The two-year scientific study evaluated alertness monitoring technology and the impacts of work shifts on driver alertness. It analysed shift start time, the number of consecutive shifts, shift length, shift rotation, rest breaks and their likely impact on driver drowsiness and fatigue.

The ALRTA was represented on the project steering committee by LRTAV member Tom Allen.

The results are summarised in the info-graphic below.

The results will assist in informing the HVNL review currently underway. To access the full report click here.


NHVR has released a new tool kit and information package to assist operators in applying for an AFM accreditation.

AFM is the most flexible work and rest hours option available.

Rather than using prescribed work and rest hours, AFM offers the flexibility to propose your own hours as long as the fatigue risks of those hours are offset by sleep, rest and other management practices in a compliant fatigue risk management system.

Opting into an AFM system is easy if you are already in BFM.  The increased flexibility can provide commercial benefits as well as making the fatigue system simpler for drivers.

You can find the new tools here.

ALRTA has worked with NHVR to develop the Livestock Transport Fatigue Management Scheme.

The Scheme provides pre-approved AFM templates designed to give livestock transporters the flexibility to respond to the dynamic, uncertain and complex livestock transport task.

That means that the hard work of designing a new AFM system and proposing risk offsets has already been done for you.  It is easier, cheaper and for more certain than a novel AFM application.

The current templates can allow drivers to work to a 14 day schedule or up to 15.5hrs on non-consecutive days.  The templates were designed in close cooperation with livestock transport businesses.


The Australian Government has asked the Productivity Commission to assess the economic impact of reforms to transport regulation agreed to by COAG in 2008-09.

Those reforms relate to heavy vehicle safety and productivity, rail safety and maritime safety.

The Government has also asked the Commission to recommend further reforms towards a more integrated national market for transport services.

The timing is interesting because the Productivity Commission review will be undertaken against the background of the current review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).  ALRTA is hopeful that preliminary recommendations will be available to inform the HVNL review.

The terms of reference for the review can be found here.


LRTASA and ALRTA cordially invite you to attend our 2019 combined state-national conference.

The event will be held at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, 14-15 June 2019.

The program kicks off on Friday 14 June with 9 holes of golf followed by our National Sponsors Cocktail Reception.

The official opening and formal conference sessions will begin on Saturday morning.

This year we will be focusing on:

  • Review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law: including access, fatigue, enforcement, technology, accreditation and the future of concessional schemes (Grain and Livestock).
  • State Opportunities and Challenges: a closer look at the opportunities and challenges for resolving access, safety and productivity issues in South Australia.
  • National Projects: focusing on how the ALRTA and LRTASA are working together on major projects to establish roadside effluent disposal facilities, develop a code of practice, trial user-pay unloading frames and establish an enforceable national ramp standard.
  • Implications of the 2019 Federal Election: Depending on the 18 May 2019 election result, the road transport sector could be facing sweeping changes to payment rates, contract conditions and access to live export markets.

The conference will conclude on Saturday evening with a gala dinner and fundraising auction.

The first-rate program will also include keynote speakers, awards, trade show, special announcements, roving street magician, juke box, lolly bar, food and drinks!

Look out for registration information soon!


Australia’s leading safety accreditation scheme, TruckSafe, has launched its new standards and accreditation guide, giving all parties in the supply chain more confidence of compliance.

TruckSafe’s world-class business and risk management scheme provides accredited members with best-practice systems.

“With the recent changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law and the newly introduced master industry code of practice, we’ve re-written our standards to give our members confidence of compliance,” TruckSafe Chair Ferdie Kroon said today.

“TruckSafe has built the master code into the 2019 standards to ensure accredited members are compliant with truck safety laws and chain of responsibility requirements,” he said.

Mr Kroon says the revised standards will raise the bar of chain of responsibility compliance and that TruckSafe is committed to ensuring the transition process is as easy and hassle-free as possible.

“TruckSafe has also developed a gap-analysis tool that assists members in their transition from the old standards to the 2019 standards,” Mr Kroon said.

“This tool and the new standards will provide members with easily understandable working procedures and the resources they need to address potential risks.

“TruckSafe accreditation gives customers and the community assurance that operators have responsible work practices, well maintained vehicles, healthy trained drivers, management systems and animal welfare framework that meet their transport needs.”

The 2019 TruckSafe standards are now available for members to download in the TruckSafe online members area.

Are you covered? Join TruckSafe today.


With so much compliance and enforcement attention on heavy vehicles, it is nice to have some of the scrutiny turned back on road managers.  The NHVR publishes quarterly ‘heat map’ reports showing the number of access consents, processing times and overdue consents for states, territories and local governments.

Check how your area is going here.


LBRCA member Baxter Transport has demonstrated a 36.49m PBS AB-Triple at a recent NHVR Demonstration day in Temora, NSW.  There were representatives present from more than 20 councils to witness cutting edge innovation in increasing safety and productivity.

Watch the video here.


National Transport Insurance urges road users to be mindful of increased traffic and retail demands over Easter

With Easter and the school holidays fast approaching, National Transport Insurance – Australia’s number one truck insurer, is reminding all drivers to exercise caution and consideration as road use peaks over the coming weeks.

NTI’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tony Clark says the first holiday break of the year presents an opportunity for professional drivers to lead by example, and for all road users to be mindful of the increased demands across the retail sector over the Easter period.

“NTI’s National Truck Accident Research Centre is Australia’s largest database of heavy vehicle major accidents. We know for a fact that during this time of year, those servicing the wholesale and retail goods industry experience the most misfortune on the roads at this time of year,” said Mr Clark.

“Our aim this year is to encourage all road users – heavy and light vehicles to buck the trend by acknowledging we all play a part in increased retail demands and so it really does pay to exercise patience and consideration on the roads over Easter. Put simply: no trucks, no food, no shopping over Easter.”

The most recent Major Crash Investigation Report suggests many of the incidents occurring at this time of year are avoidable. In fact, among the most common is hit in rear.

“As a starting point, reducing Easter road incidences can be as simple as not cutting in front of trucks that have a much longer braking distance. We remind all road users to travel at safe breaking distances, especially in consideration of weather conditions,” said Mr. Clark.

“We see a trend of merging and hit in rear being an issue at this time of year, so let’s work together to do something about it and make the roads a safer place for everyone. They are easy accidents to avoid – just be patient.”

NTI advises the following points for consideration before taking to the roads this Easter to help ensure a hassle free, safe journey:

  • Give plenty of notice before merging in front of trucks.
  • Account for extra time on the roads. Increased traffic means your journey is likely to take longer.
  • Consider the braking distance for your vehicle, relative to speed, size of vehicle and road conditions.
  • Remember to be patient indicate and consider vehicles around you when making sudden movements in traffic.


Double Demerit points started  Thursday 18 April to Monday 22 April inclusive and again from Wednesday 24 April to Sunday 28 April inclusive.  Tuesday 23 April is the only day that Double Demerit is exempt.

Double demerit points will apply for speeding, seatbelt, motorcycle helmet and mobile phone offences.


Please be aware that New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia have travel restrictions in place over the Easter holiday period for agricultural,  oversize/overmass and special purpose heavy vehicles.

For more information click here.


ALRTA National Council and Staff wish all members a very Happy Easter.  We hope you are able to have a well-earned break with your friends, family and other loved ones.

Please stay safe and be extra careful on the road during this busy period.  The statistics are clear: More than 80% of multi-vehicle accidents involving a truck are caused by the other vehicle.  With so many people heading out of the cities into regional areas who may have little experience on country roads or driving around heavy vehicles you would be wise to drive like you are surrounded by learners – you probably are!

Brisbane Truck Show

ALRTA/LRTASA National Combined Conference