ALRTA News – 31 January 2020

ALRTA recommends Byrne Trailers.

A proud family owned and operated business, Byrne Trailers is recognised as the leading manufacturer of specialised Livestock and Bulk Cargo Transport Equipment in Australia.

To learn more about Byrne Stainless Steel Trailers and check out their latest products please visit:


The ALRTA National Office landline in Canberra is now working with a diversion to the mobile phone. This will be in place until the NBN is installed. This has been a slow process and ALRTA apologies if we have missed any calls due to the transition.


The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Australia (ALRTA) recommends the use of the National Guide for Safe Design of Livestock Loading Ramps and Forcing Yards (National Ramps Guide) if livestock producers are rebuilding fire affected livestock ramps or forcing yards.
The National Ramps Guide and was published by ALRTA in 2015 and developed in consultation with producers, feedlots, transporters, saleyards, agents, processors and welfare advocates.

ALRTA Vice President and Chair of ALRTA National Animal Welfare Committee, Mick Debenham, said that following the ALRTA guide will improve worker safety and animal welfare, as well as assist ramp owners in meeting new ramp standards expected to be published by Standards Australia in 2020.
“Loading ramps and forcing yards are the most dangerous part of livestock handling facilities.  In 2020, livestock producers, handlers and transporters can no longer accept the unnecessary risk of crushing, lacerations and slips, trips and falls, and tragically, sometimes death.”
“There is consensus within the industry that improved safety can be best achieved by keeping livestock and people separated, a guiding principle that is reflected in the ALRTA National Ramps Guide. By improving safety for workers, we also improve the safety and welfare of our livestock – the two go hand in hand.”

“The National Ramps Guide is strongly supported by the livestock supply chain and has been used as the basis for developing a draft Australian Standard for the Design of livestock loading/unloading ramps and forcing yards (DR AS 5340) which is expected to be released by Standards Australia for public comment soon.  Those who have followed the National Ramps Guide will generally meet the new standard,” said Mr Debenham.

ALRTA National President Stephen Marley said that it is always a good time to improve worker safety, improve animal welfare and future-proof businesses against evolving standards.

“ALRTA member operators have been at the coalface during the disaster recovery effort moving affected livestock, and in many cases volunteering their services for emergency fodder deliveries.”

“The sudden loss of critical farm infrastructure such as livestock loading ramps in bushfires has the potential to paralyse livestock production activities right when livestock movements are most urgent. In some circumstances, rebuilding ramps and forcing yards will be a priority.”

“ALRTA recommends that everyone designing or rebuilding livestock loading ramps and forcing yards now or in coming months consider the ALRTA National Ramps Guide in anticipation of the new standard,” said Mr Marley.

Free copies of the ALRTA National Ramp Guidelines can be obtained here.


The ALRTA National Council will meet in Melbourne, Victoria, next week on Friday, 7 February 2020. The National Transport Commission will attend the meeting to deliver a presentation on the options contained in the Heavy Vehicle Charges Consultation Report released in December 2019.
In November 2019, Ministers considered an option to increase charges by 11.8% compounding over three years. In response to intense industry lobbying, Ministers instead expressed a preference for smaller increases.  Under this proposal:

  1. Registration charges will increase by 2.5% in 2020-21 and again in 2021-22.
  2. RUC will increase to 26.4 cpl on 1 July 2020 and to 27.1 cpl on 1 July 2021.

 If no final decision is made by Ministers a 3.7% increase will automatically apply.

ALRTA will lodge a submission in response to the NTC consultation paper following the deliberations of National Council.


Toll Group has told the Transport Research Board in Washington USA that one in five fatalities involving a Toll truck is likely to be ‘suicide by truck’. In other words, a driver of a third-party vehicle has intentionally placed themselves in the path of a truck for the purposes of ending their life.  
Toll has stated that this chilling statistic is a complex multi-sectoral problem. It fundamentally challenges the notion that all road incidents are preventable.


On Tuesday this week, ALRTA participated in a Bushfire Response teleconference chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, the Hon Michael McCormack MP.  ALRTA was pleased to advise the DPM about the grassroots efforts of members in affected states who are volunteering their services to deliver fodder and other essential supplies. For example, the Victorian Farmers Federation and LRTAV are cooperating to match transport services for at least 136 available fodder donations across Victoria.
ALRTA is proud to work on behalf of our dedicated and generous grass roots members.


ALRTA encourages transport operators to check the current status of fires and road closures. You can find the primary links here:

NSW Fire information
NSW Road Information
VIC Fire Information
VIC Road Information
QLD Fire Information
QLD Road Information
WA Fire Information
WA Road Information
SA Fire Information
SA Road Information
TAS Fire Information
TAS Road Information
NT Fire Information
NT Road Information
ACT Fire Information
ACT Road Information


To keep up to date with the latest NHVR news click here
If you require advice on a specific situation, call the NHVR Hotline on 1800 696 487.

For information regarding available assistance, head to


The Australian Trucking Association’s accreditation scheme, TruckSafe, has this week called for fast action on accreditation to be included as a critical part of the Heavy Vehicle National Law review. 

An industry initiative, TruckSafe is a world-class business and risk management system aimed at improving the professionalism and safety of trucking operators nationwide and delivering competitive advantages to accredited operators. 

The TruckSafe Board of Directors met yesterday, raising questions about the recommendations and outcomes of the 2018 Medlock Analysis of Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Schemes in Australia.  READ MORE


At the recent meeting of ALRTA’s Animal Welfare Committee it was recommended that ALRTA’s Project Officer, Sue Davies, obtain user feedback about the new P.A.L. frame installed and trialled at Kilcoy Global Foods processing facility last year. This week Sue contacted two drivers from Martin’s Transport for their comments. They have used the frame more than 50 times each since it became operational.

Both John Hamlyn and Nathan McLoughlin said that they find the unloading platform easy to use. “You just push the button and the frame moves in by itself” said John.

“It improves safety for me. I don’t have to get up on top where I could slip and fall. Everything is done from the outside of the crates which is must safer,” he said.

“It’s great at night time or when it’s raining and slippery.” John said. 

Nathan commented that the steps and landings are good, that the graded grip mesh reduces the risk of slipping. He also said that it takes about the same time to unload using the frame as before, if not a little bit quicker.

“The good thing is that if you’re having trouble getting the cattle out, you’re not also trying to hold on or stand on the side of the crate,” said Nathan.

Another benefit the two drivers mentioned is that the cattle are less stressed when the unloading platform is used. They told Sue that that cattle get scared when you’re walking on the cat walks over the top of them.

In general, both drivers stated that the PAL frame is a very good safety move and every meatworks and saleyards should have one.

More feedback from other users is in the pipeline. If you have any comments about the P.A.L. frame trial, please contact Sue at ALRTA on 02 6247 54 34 or email: 


Who will you nominate?

Trucking is essential to the Australian way of life and is connected to every industry from agriculture to construction and retail. 

It’s important we recognise the outstanding businesses and individuals whose actions inspire others and make a positive impact.

Nominations for the 2020 National Trucking Industry Awards are now open in the following categories:

  • Outstanding Contribution to the Trucking Industry
  • National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year
  • National Professional Driver of the Year
  • National Training Excellence Award

Award winners will be announced at the ATA’s Trucking Australia conference, held in Cairns from 1-3 April, receiving national recognition for their achievements.  Nominate today!  Nominations close 5 March 2020.


LBRCA (NSW) on 6-7 March 2020 at Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Convention Centre NSW. Click here to Register
LRTAQ (QLD) on 19-21 March 2020 in Roma QLD. Click here to Register.
LTAT (TAS) on 2 May 2020 in Hobart TAS.
LRTASA (SA)on 12-13 June 2020 at Adelaide Entertainment Centre SA.
LRTAWA/ALRTA (WA & National) on 24-25 July 2020. Location in WA to be advised.
LRTAV (VIC) on 14-15 August 2020 at All Seasons Resort Bendigo VIC.