ALRTA News – 26 August 2019

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ALRTA President Stephen Marley and Executive Director Mat Munro attended the LRTAV Annual Conference in Bendigo, Victoria 16-17 August 2019.  The event was headlined by Acting Prime Minister, the Hon Michael McCormack MP, who delivered an address on Friday night and presented awards to the LRTAV Young Driver of the Year finalists including runner-up, Darren Gee, and winner, Ben Prendergast.

Acting Prime Minister McCormack presents the Young Driver of the Year Award. 

The Shadow Minister for Road Safety, Senator Glenn Sterle, joined a panel on Saturday morning including Sharon Middleton (White Line Transport), Paul Davies (NTC) and Peter Anderson (VTA) to discuss road safety and productivity.  Over the course of the day, delegates heard presentations from NTI, VFF, NHVR, ALRTA and Member for Ripon – Louise Stanley MP.
The PACCAR Dealer Network Gala Dinner was entertained by Martin Ralph who revived the lost arts of lasso, yoyo and spinning tops. The Shane Knight Memorial Award was presented to Yea Saleyards.

ALRTA was also pleased to present one of our pull up banners to Colin and Carol Bloomfield (Bloomfield Livestock Pty Ltd) who kindly supplied photos of their truck & trailer combination for use in ALRTA promotional material. 

ALRTA National President Stephen Marley (right) presents the ALRTA Banner. 


Members are advised of the election results of the LRTAV AGM on 17 August 2019:

  • President: John Beer
  • Vice President: Sam O’Sullivan
  • Vice President: David Rogers
  • Treasurer: Trevor Fry
  • Secretary: Tom Allen
  • Immediate Past President: Graham Howell

 ALRTA congratulates elected members and acknowledges the passionate work of Immediate Past President Graham Howell over the past two years at both State and National levels.

Graham Howell, Marla Stone and Cathy Taylor preside over the AGM.


ALRTA advises members that a trial of a ‘user-pay’ Crate P.A.L. will commence at Kilcoy Global Foods on 2 September 2019.  Funded through the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative, the trial will explore the potential of a ‘user-pay’ system to facilitate more rapid uptake of safer unloading infrastructure at major livestock depots across Australia.

The new unloading frame at Kilcoy Global Foods.

Over a 12-week period, a Crate P.A.L. will be available for use on a voluntary basis.  For those who choose the use the frame, a fee will be levied via the AVDATA system.  Fees have been determined via two surveys of ALRTA member operators.  The charge will initially be set at $15.00.  Every two weeks the fee will be reduced until it is removed completely.
ALRTA will collect de-identified data on usage rates at different charging levels. A combination of pricing and usage rate will be used to calculate capital pay-back periods (i.e. how long will it take to fully recover the cost of a Crate P.A.L. at different pricing levels?).  If user-pay is proven viable, ALRTA will develop a business case for the rapid installation of safer unloading infrastructure at other major livestock depots.
Full details of the trial are contained in this letter to member operators.
If you would like more information, please contact ALRTA on (02) 6247 5434 or


The NHVR is calling for feedback on the different heavy vehicle loading schemes used during grain harvest across Australia.
NHVR Executive Director Freight and Supply Chain Productivity Peter Caprioli said the Grain Harvest Management Schemes Review Issues Paper called for feedback on the creation of national standards.
“There are currently a range of schemes operating nationally with allowances for mass and operational conditions that vary significantly in each state,” Mr Caprioli said.
“The issues paper looks at the various opportunities and challenges that exist with the current schemes, and options to achieve national consistency.  
“Developing a set of national standards has the potential to increase cross-border access, which would help boost regional industries and economies through better connected regions.”
Different state schemes are currently operating in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. A scheme also operates in Western Australia, which is outside the Heavy Vehicle National Law.
Each scheme allows for a variety of allowances, including increased loads of up to 10 per cent, depending on the state.
Mr Caprioli said the issues paper showed that grain transport costs could represent up to 30 per cent of total production costs.
“The review may recommend developing a set of national standards in relation to Grain Harvest Management Scheme operator accreditation, vehicle conditions, grain receiver processes and other applicable conditions to ensure consistency for operators and businesses,” he said.
“We want to hear from farmers, operators, road managers and drivers about what works well and what doesn’t so that we can get the best outcome for industry.”
Submissions close on October 18. To access the paper visit
For more information visit
ALRTA and our state associations will consider the issues paper and lodge an appropriate response.


The Federal Government is consulting on a proposal to introduce mandatory Autonomous Emergency Baking Systems (AEBS) for heavy vehicles.  
If implemented, mandatory AEBS may commence from 1 May 2020 for new vehicle models and 1 Nov 2022 for all new vehicles.
regulatory impact statement has found that mandatory AEBS would reduce the severity of 15 per cent of all heavy vehicle crashes (predominantly when a heavy vehicle impacts the rear of another vehicle) and would reduce all forms of trauma in such collisions by up to 57 per cent.
If a broad mandatory approach was taken, AEBS could save 78 lives, 2,152 serious injuries and 6,697 minor injuries for a trauma saving of $269m in net present value over 15 years.  This would however involve a cost to business of $213m. 
ALRTA is currently examining the regulatory impact statement and will work with the Australian Trucking Association to formulate an appropriate response.


Australian Transport Ministers have agreed to amend the HVNL regulations to increase the allowable steer axle mass for road train prime movers from 6.7 tonnes to 7.1 tonnes when fitted with 375mm width tyres.  The increase will assist vehicles fitted with long distance equipment such as higher capacity fuel tanks, ice boxes, bull bars, tool boxes etc to meet legal allowances.
ALRTA has sought further information about implementation timeframes and will advise members in due course.


Any changes to fatigue management in the national truck laws must treat drivers like humans – not machines, Chair of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), Geoff Crouch, said. 

The Australian Trucking Association and its member associations collectively represent the 50,000 business and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. Together, we are committed to safety, professionalism and viability. 

“The ATA’s submission to the National Transport Commission on fatigue calls for more flexible fatigue management, simplified rules and record-keeping, and a reduction in the penalties for work and rest hour record-keeping offences,” Mr Crouch said. 

“Drivers have told us that the current system does not work. It is complex, confusing and inflexible. 

“Truck drivers are human, not machines and their fatigue should not be treated with a ‘once-size-fits-all’ approach,” he said. 

The ATA’s fatigue management plan would deliver substantial benefits including: 

  • An extra hour for drivers using the ATA’s new version of standard hours to get home, with sensible risk controls
  • Easier to use work diaries, with less risk of getting fined for paperwork mistakes
  • A length incentive for operators that fit wider sleeper cabs, as proposed by QTA CEO Gary Mahon at the 2019 NatRoad conference
  • More flexibility under a performance-based framework for operators to manage fatigue as a risk 

 Operators in the performance-based framework would need to be accredited under the ATA’s TruckSafe accreditation system or a similar scheme. 

Mr Crouch said the ATA’s approach to fatigue management would: 

  • Increase safety and improve driver health
  • Reduce the compliance burden for both performance-based and prescriptively regulated businesses, and
  • Enable businesses in the performance-based system to adopt new fatigue management technologies, rather than waiting for lawmakers to catch up. 

 “The ATA’s plan would deliver more flexibility for drivers who just want to get home or to a suitable rest area and ensure they are no longer fined for trivial paperwork errors,” Mr Crouch said. 

“At the same time, our plan would provide regulators and the community with the compliance assurance they need,” he said. 

Mr Crouch said that in developing the submission and recommendations, the ATA worked very closely with its members and Safety Committee. 

“The ATA has six committees, each focused on a key industry issue. Our Safety Committee members were heavily involved in developing this submission, sharing their wealth of knowledge and expertise on the issues that matter most to industry. 

“The submission also drew on the outcomes of the collaboration sessions at our Trucking Australia 2019 conference, where our delegates, including truck drivers, came together to share their insights into what the new fatigue laws should look like,” he said. 

“The ATA submission advances practical solutions to the problems with the current fatigue system, backed by legislative drafting to implement our solutions and an engineering analysis of the wider sleeper cab incentive,” he said.  

The ATA is now working with the National Transport Commission (NTC) and trade media to continue to seek feedback from drivers on the national truck law review. The ATA has expressed great appreciation for the NTC’s flexibility and willingness to accept the important feedback after the submission due dates. 

Read the submission


Dean Clarke, Driver Trainer, Hopkins Transport Australia was the winner of the 2017 NHVR/ALRTA Safety Innovation Award.  In June this year he used his prize money to travel to the UK for two weeks on a research trip. Below is a summary from Dean on his trip.

I enjoyed a great two weeks in the United Kingdom in June this year, on a research trip as the 2017 winner of the NHVR / ALRTA Safety Innovation Award.

My first week and a half was spent with Volvo.  I cannot speak highly enough of Andy Collett, and his team of driver trainers who were so helpful in sharing their expertise on Volvo trucks.  I was made to feel so welcome and important (we are a very small customer with only two trucks, yet I was treated as if we were a major customer with two hundred!)  I learnt a huge amount about the vehicles, specifically to do with the setup and driving them for best fuel economy.  I was very impressed with their focus on safety and driver training. In summary of Volvo UK- great people and great trucks.

Dean Clarke with Andy Collett, Volvo Group Head of Transport Solutions UK.

The second week in the UK was with Waitrose/John Lewis Partnership, who are in business as a top end supermarket and department store chain.  Once more I was looked after and had full access to all their driver trainers and operations areas. A very innovative company- they have their own engineering department who have designed trailers for optimum efficiency and are doing some exciting work with gas powered prime movers, which are proving very economical.

Overall, I think the United Kingdom is light years ahead of Australia in terms of its road transport industry. Setting vehicles up for optimum fuel economy and properly educating drivers is a key focus of many transport companies.

The permissible vehicle dimensions/ standards are a lot more real-world: for example 2.6 metre widths, mid-lift lazy axles on prime movers, no height restrictions (just make sure you fit under the motorway overpass) and no weight restrictions on the steer axle, to name just a few. 

All these sort of things makes the transport task more efficient but over here ideas like these get bogged down in red-tape, with the bureaucrats running our major bodies purporting to tell us what is best. It would be really nice and beneficial to everyone to see the Australian system borrow a few of these common-sense, simple ideas.

My thanks to NHVR and BP for the prize money, it was an awesome experience and I have learnt a great deal.  Also a big thank you to Matt Wood, National Fuel Efficiency Manager with Volvo for helping to organise my trip, without his fantastic help it would not have been possible.