Talk Directly to the Problem

David Coonan is one of those people who would always talk directly to the problem in his long career associated with the trucking industry. He is a passionate man who does not have a problem with calling a spade a spade. At heart, he is someone who has a sharp intellect and a big heart to go with his passion for the industry. His time at the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) saw him battling the legislators and bureaucrats, toe to toe, on a daily basis. Read more

Linfox Appointment, VW/Navistar, Tesla, TMC, Hydrogen Trucks and a New Scania Team

The latest from Diesel News this week includes a Linfox Appointment, VW/Navistar, Tesla, TMC, Hydrogen Trucks and a New Scania Team, plus 3D Printing and Strong Truck Sales.

Terry Quinnell has been appointed Linfox President – Retail after 40 years’ experience in the logistics industry. Quinnell began his career as a Linfox driver in 1978, and has managed some of Linfox’s largest customers as Vice President – Retail, plus spent nine years as General Manager – Woolworths. He recently led the development and implementation of Linfox’s new subcontractor management system FOXLink. Read more

Epic Fail by the ATO, ACCC Involved in Road Tolls and National Harmonisation

This week has seen an Epic Fail by the ATO, ACCC Involved in Road Tolls and National Harmonisation coming onto the agenda in a real way.

According to the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), the epic size of the tax office’s failure to consult about its decision to slash employee truck driver travel expenses has got industry associations up in arms.

During the 2017–18 income year, the tax office will allow employee truck drivers to claim just $55.30 per day in travel expenses (excluding accommodation) without detailed receipts. In 2016–17, the amount allowed was $97.40. In the same determination, the tax office increased the reasonable food and drink allowance for comparable employees in other industries from $106.90 per day to $109.35 per day. Read more

Brett Wright Retires, Victoria Extends Length Allowance, TruckSafe on Infrastructure Projects and Road Building in the Territory

This week in Diesel News, it’s all happening. Brett Wright Retires, Victoria Extends Length Allowance, TruckSafe on Infrastructure Projects and Road Building in the Territory.

Heavy Vehicle Industry Association (HVIA) CEO, Brett Wright, has announced his impending retirement from his current role.

“It is with many great memories, fondness and pride that I announce my leaving HVIA,” said Wright. “I have been privileged, firstly to have been given the opportunity to work for the Commercial Vehicle Industry Association of Queensland (CVIAQ) all those years ago and then to continue to lead it over the last twenty years culminating in its transformation into a truly national industry body, HVIA, in 2015.” Read more

National Trucking Industry Awards

National Trucking Industry Awards

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has announced the 2017 winners of the National Trucking Industry Awards at the Trucking Australia conference in Darwin. The awards were presented at the ATA Foundation Sponsors Gala Dinner at the Darwin Convention Centre.


“I would like to extend my congratulations to all the winners. These awards recognise individuals and businesses that go above and beyond in their service to the trucking industry,” said Ben Maguire, ATA CEO.


The winners are:


Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry, sponsored by BP Australia, NTI and Volvo Trucks went to Roger Pickering, Pickering Transport Group (Swan Hill, VIC).


Roger grew up in Swan Hill and district until he moved to Melbourne at age 15 and began his working life. After a few months of experience in the transport industry, his father got him to join the family business.


Currently based in Mildura, Roger’s business provides employment for hundreds of regional people. He sits in an overall management role, closely involved with the buzz, pressure and excitement of operations, matching customers’ and drivers’ expectations and capabilities with the movement of freight.


National Trucking Industry Awards
National Professional Driver of the Year went to Danial McFee, Gilbert’s Transport Services.

National Professional Driver of the Year, sponsored by BP Australia, NTI and Volvo Trucks, went to Danial McFee, Gilbert’s Transport Services Pty Ltd (Cavan, SA).


Danial has worked with Gilbert’s Transport for 31 years. The son of a truck driver, Danial started as a local driver based at the company’s depot at Strathalbyn in Adelaide Hills, doing abattoir related work, progressing to interstate work, driving to Brisbane and Sydney and driving double road trains to Perth.


In 1996, Danial started doing the regular triple road train run from Adelaide to Darwin and Tennant Creek. He averaged 288,000km per year and racked up six million kilometres on that route alone. Doing the run week in and week out incident-free, is proof of his high level of skill, care and expertise and his ability to deal with the challenges of operating a triple road train on a road with little margin for error.


Trucking Industry Woman of the Year

Award, sponsored by Cummins South Pacific, went to Tracie Dickenson, Daryl Dickenson Transport (Archerfield, QLD).


Tracie’s father was a long-haul owner-driver, so her association with road transport began early in her life. In 1990, she met Daryl, an interstate driver, and started travelling with him full-time, where she learnt about working interstate transport.


In 2001, operating from home, Tracie and Daryl formed Daryl Dickenson Transport with one truck and one full-time employee. In 2003, Daryl Dickenson Transport set up operation from its first depot in Wacol. Today the company has grown to a fleet of 40 trucks and more than 60 employees with storage facilities in Yatala.


National Training Excellence Award, sponsored by DECA, went to De Bruyn’s Transport (Burnie, TAS).


De Bruyn’s Transport in Tasmania is operated by brothers John and Dirk, together with their cousin John. Cornelius de Bruyn, the great uncle of the present owners, established the company in 1965. It is TruckSafe, NHVAS Mass Management and Basic Fatigue Management accredited.


De Bruyn’s Transport employs 200 people across five depots and utilises some 120 heavy vehicles, 200 trailers, two fish farm support vessels as well as numerous forklifts and other specialised pieces of equipment.


National Trucking Industry Awards
The TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award went to Collins Adelaide Transport.

TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award, sponsored by AEI Transport, went to Collins Adelaide Transport (Adelaide, SA).


Collins Adelaide is a wholly family owned company that commenced operations in 1965, with John Collins operating one tray truck between Adelaide and Melbourne.


The company has now expanded to more than 300 employees across South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. The company maintains the motto of ‘a family tradition of customer service’ and has proudly been a member of TruckSafe since 1997.


Don Watson Memorial Award went to Ray Ablett, Abletts Transport (Queanbeyan, NSW).


Ray was born in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range in Victoria where he watched his dad start his trucking business. Before long, he was driving for his father. He started carrying timber and general goods in regional Victoria and this continued till he purchased his own truck in the late 1970’s. Sometime later, he and his dad combined their businesses to form what is today a national company, Abletts Transport.


Ray is a hard-working man, dedicated to his business and the trucking industry as a whole. Whenever there is an industry event or community event that needs help or support, Ray and his team are there.



Take on the Status Quo

There seems to be a shortage of those willing to take on the status quo within the system and take it forward, reckons long-time campaigner, David Coonan. His time at the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) saw him battling the legislators and bureaucrats, toe to toe, on a daily basis. Read more

Linfox Expansion, $1.5 Billion Boost, Unscrupulous Claim and Braking Guide

The latest from Diesel News this week includes Linfox Expansion, $1.5 Billion Boost, Unscrupulous Claim and Braking Guide, plus Independent Road Charging, ATA/ALC Alliance and Paying On Time.

Linfox is expanding its global footprint with a move into Laos. It has become the first foreign logistics company to operate in the country with the signing of a joint venture with the Lao Logistics Group in Vientiane. The joint venture enables Linfox to provide transport services throughout Laos in partnership with local businesses and people.
Read more

Brakes, Cables, Steel, Telematics and Autonomous Trucks

Brakes, Cables, Steel, Telematics and Autonomous Trucks

In the news this week for those interested in the technical side of trucking, from Diesel News, there are brakes, cables, telematics and autonomous trucks.


Brake chambers of the right standard are a critical part of an effective brake system, as set out in the Australian Trucking Association’s updated Technical Advisory Procedure on compliant brake chambers. The advisory procedure was developed by the ATA’s Industry Technical Council.


“The use of substandard brake chambers could create an unstable vehicle combination by mixing different brake chamber sizes and brands, negatively affecting the brake balance,” said Chris Loose, ATA Senior Engineering Adviser. “This technical advisory procedure was originally produced to counter a run of very premature brake chamber failures, and it is a timely reminder that use of the lowest cost item or a substandard part does not save costs if it then suffers a failure.”


The updated technical advisory procedure includes information on acceptable air brake chamber build standards, a brake chamber compliance table, and warnings against disassembling spring brake chambers.


Brakes, Cables, Steel, Telematics and Autonomous Trucks


Volvo Trucks is running a research project about replacing the cables in trucks with wireless sensors. The company reckons the result will be a dramatic reduction in the amount of copper and plastic used. Volvo estimates it should be able to dispense with around 5000 km of cabling, which is the equivalent of 18 tonnes of copper and 33 tonnes of plastic.


“We believe that wireless sensors have a great deal of future potential,” said Dhasarathy Parthasarathy, a development engineer at the Volvo Group. “One important consideration is that we may no longer need to use large amounts of copper and plastic, which is good for the environment.”


Depending on the size of the truck, a reduction in cable length of between 40 and 70 metres, has initially been identified. Given an annual production of 100,000 trucks, this amounts to around 5000 kilometres of cabling. As well as eliminating the need for large amounts of copper and plastic, the wireless sensors could bring significant benefits for the production department and the service workshops, particularly in terms of the time they can save.


“The savings could amount to a large number of hours, sometimes even days. In the factory, the cables are awkward to handle and time-consuming to fit in the right place,” said Jonas Hagerskans, a development engineer at the Volvo Group. “The wireless sensors are much simpler to install. The cables are also sensitive to dirt and rust and prone to faults. By replacing the cables with wireless sensors, it is possible to prevent all the potential cabling faults. When trucks come into the workshop for repairs, identifying faults in long cables that are difficult to access is very time-consuming.”


BlueScope Steel have partnered with Toll, K&S Transport and Buzinga App Development to develop a safety-focused app, ‘SteelDrive’. Launched in June, 2016 and now available to Android users, allows truck drivers to document the restraining and transportation of steel, through photo-taking, GPS-tracking, and cloud-based storage.


This method of documentation provides critical transparency in the unlikely case of an incident investigation, providing a point of reference for all stakeholders; including the manufacturer, transporter and importantly the driver themselves.


“Safety is everyone’s responsibility”, said Ben Scollary, IT Innovation Business Analyst at BlueScope. “We have an obligation to our employees, our partners and our communities to work safely each and every day. SteelDrive represents the first steps in enabling a collaborative, mobile approach to safety for our logistics operations, and BlueScope are proud to be leaders in this change.”


The National Transport Commission has released a discussion paper with national guidelines for automated vehicle trials, calling for input into the key elements needed to support automated vehicle trials.


Acting Chief Executive of the NTC Geoff Allan said on-road trials were an important step in ensuring that any automated system operates safely and efficiently in Australia.


“Developing a single and nationally-agreed set of guidelines would help promote Australia as a test bed for automated vehicles by providing consistent conditions for trials, while at the same time encouraging innovation,” said Geoff Allan, Acting CEO of the NTC. “The guidelines will also help support cross-border trials. By harmonising trial conditions and expectations across jurisdictions, governments can work with industry to further explore the potential economic, environmental and safety benefits of this technology.”


More information and an opportunity to provide feedback is on the NTC website.


Transport Certification Australia has reported the number of Telematics In-Vehicle Units (IVUs) already installed in heavy vehicles throughout Australia which satisfy TCA performance based requirements.has reached 30,480.


This represents a 22 per cent increase since the end of 2014. This increase is significant, given the percentage of truck fleets adopting telematics is trending at 5 to 6 per cent growth year on year according to ACA Research. TCA reckon the industry is clearly seeking assurance when making IVU purchasing decisions.


“There are a number of key features which distinguish these Telematics IVUs from others available in the marketplace, including the ability to meet functional and technical requirements relating t robustness, accuracy, reliability, tamper evidence, data storage and security,” said Chris Koniditsiotis, TCA CEO. “These same requirements are being demanded by industry stakeholders, who have become increasingly knowledgeable and focussed on making the right purchasing decisions, to cater for their business needs.”