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OPERATORS URGED TO REVIEW COSTS
The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) is urging all members to review their operating costs in the face of dramatic increases in fuel prices.
ALRTA National President Scott McDonald said that understanding the full cost of providing a freight service is the key to surviving in uncertain times.
ALRTA National President Scott McDonald.
“Operating a transport business is difficult at the best of times. It’s a high capital, high cost, low margin game and we operate in a competitive environment,” said President McDonald.
“While headlines are reporting a steep increase in the price of diesel and adblue, other cost inputs are also being affected by inflation with the price of tyres, parts, vehicles and labour also increasing significantly in recent months.
“Most transport businesses cannot afford to absorb these increases. Now is the time to put some effort into really understanding the full cost of providing your freight service.
“Calculating the impact of increased fuel prices is the easy part. However, it’s important to also factor in the current cost of replacing tyres and parts as well as performing essential maintenance. And at some point, you are going to need to replace the truck and trailers, so you must make sure your margins can cover that too.
“Understanding these rising costs is vital in building a case to adjust your freight rates. Customers are far more understanding when you can explain why your rates must go up. It’s of no help to your business to work harder for the same rate – you’ll just go broke faster.
“We should approach this important issue as an industry. Rate increases are easier to achieve when everyone understands the true cost of our service,” he said.
MANAGING RESIDUE RISKS
ALRTA Executive Director, Mat Munro, has met with a project team working to improve management of chemical residues and biosecurity risks in the meat supply chain. While we understand that these are important issues, we have voiced concerns about the possibility of increasing responsibilities or administrative burdens on transport operators.
If producers are not willing to provide written documentation on important, but basic, pre-transport issues such as time off feed and water, then why should we have to manage other documentation issues for them?
ALRTA has also nominated a large, medium and small member operator to participate in the project.
STANDARDISING CATTLE LANGUAGE
The ALRTA National Driver and Animal Welfare Committee has reviewed transport-related proposals to standardise language used across the cattle industry. Our feedback suggested that vehicles be described in terms of configuration rather than dimensions or couplings that may vary in different circumstances – especially with more PBS trucks on the road than ever before.
$40M EXTRA FOR REGIONAL BRIDGES
The Liberal and Nationals Government is investing a further $40 million for upgrades to bridges on regional roads to keep freight moving and supply chains open while creating more jobs in our regions.
In a boost for the freight industry, the Government will inject an additional $10 million each year for the next four years into the Bridges Renewal Program (BRP), increasing annual funding to $95 million.
Projects eligible for funding include replacing and widening bridges, strengthening existing structures, and upgrading floodways to bridges.
With more than 85 per cent of projects funded under the BRP located in regional Australia, this additional funding will further improve our regional roads and keep regional communities connected.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the extra funding would support more projects and jobs while boosting regional industries.
“To make our country as strong as possible as quickly as possible we must support the growth of the industries that drive our economy,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said that the additional funding would assist communities to stay connected and improve regional infrastructure.
“Since the Bridges Renewal Program commenced in 2015-16 it has supported 730 projects, of which 495 projects have been completed,” Mr Buchholz said.
For more information and to apply: https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/resources/brp-hvspp/index.aspx
DRIVER MEDICAL STANDARDS
The ATA has welcomed the ACT’s decision to lead a national push on truck safety.
The Australian Trucking Association has been campaigning for tougher medical standards for truck drivers for more than a decade and has welcomed the announcement by ACT Transport Minister Chris Steel.
ATA recently met with the Minister to discuss the urgent need for people applying for a heavy vehicle licence in the ACT to undergo a medical examination and provide it to the ACT licencing authority. ATA also asked him to press his interstate colleagues to agree to strengthen the national truck driver medical standards. These standards are not fit for purpose, as the ATA pointed in a submission to the 2021 review of the standards.
ATA is now calling on Minister Steel’s state and territory counterparts to follow his impressive lead.
CHECLIST FOR FLOOD AFFECTED VEHICLES
Operating a heavy vehicle during extreme weather conditions, such as those recently experienced in South Australia, Queensland and NSW, can have mechanical impacts.
It’s important to adjust your vehicle’s maintenance system to match. The NHVR has released a list of tips and hints to use when assessing the safety of your heavy vehicle after driving through water, mud, debris or along roads being used as a diversion.
The list covers checking for leaks, brakes, the rapid component cooling and electrical systems. Click here for the full list.
These tips are general, and the NHVR also recommends you contact the vehicle or component manufacturer or your regular maintenance provider after using roads impacted by flooding.
And remember, if it’s flooded, forget it.
NEW PERMIT GUIDES
NHVR has released two new pages on the NHVR website that address the commonly asked question: “Do I need a permit?”
The new General Access Vehicle page provides improved guidance on the types of eligible vehicles and combinations that qualify as GAVs. A GAV doesn’t require a permit or notice to operate on the road network.
After confirming their vehicle is a Restricted Access Vehicle (RAV) – rather than General Access – RAV operators are stepped through:
- how to find out whether there’s an applicable access notice that covers their route
- route planning, to check which road networks have approved routes and which require a permit, and
- if there isn’t a notice, the type of permit applicable to their vehicle class.
WELLBEING IN THE WORKPLACE WEBINAR
On 29th of March, Beyond Blue is collaborating with Ahead for Business and Counting on U to deliver a wellbeing webinar. The webinar will provide practical steps and strategies to promote personal wellbeing in the workplace. It will also provide insights into how to look out for and care for others who may be going through challenging times.
This is an opportunity to learn more from small business owners and a panel of mental health experts to enhance workplace wellbeing and self-care.
Please find the live registration link here: https://aheadforbusiness.org.au/news/a-practical-guide-for-mentally-healthy-workplaces
ATA ANNOUNCES CONFERENCE SESSIONS
Transform your business, have your say and challenge your thinking at the Trucking Australia 22 conference plenary sessions.
The sessions have just been announced, with a wide range of interesting topics to choose from.
The sessions are:
• Leveraging the Supply Chain Crisis with our panel of experts
• Policy Reset with our team at the ATA
• Diversity in Trucking incorporating our Driving Change Diversity Champions
• Cultures of Trust and Accountability with motivational speaker Gus Balbontin
• Trucking Conversation: Have Your Say facilitated by Jillian Whiting
Of course, we know that Trucking Australia 22 is a great chance for networking. There’s something for everyone, whether its dressing up to the nines for the Gala Awards dinner or teeing off at the HVIA Royal Pines 9-Hole teams shootout.
Be sure to register now to access our limited time discount of $100 off our MEGA deal and full conference pass tickets.
More sessions to be announced soon, stay tuned.
Visit the website for more information.
SAVE THE DATES FOR 2022
LBRCA (NSW) -26 -28 May 2022 – Wagga Wagga NSW – Information & Registration
LRTASA (SA) -17-18 June 2022 – Adelaide SA
ALRTA/LRTAV National Combined Conference -12-13 August 2022 – All Seasons Bendigo VIC – Information