One voice on critical COR reform

All of the representatives of the trucking industry have agreed to a single submission to the National Transport Commission on amendments needed to improve the current chain of responsibility situation. Speaking at an industry information forum, hosted by Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers on the Gold Coast today, Chris Melham has outlined the road transport industry’s position on COR. Read more

Trucking industry honoured

Just like the Duke of Edinburgh, the trucking industry was recognised in the Australia Day Honours List. The headline news is the appointment of Kathy Williams as a Member of the Order of Australia, as announced on Australia.

 

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Kathy Williams AM was the Chair of the Australian Trucking Association from 2000 to 2002, and has been a member of the ATA’s Board of Directors since 1999. She has only recently stood down from the position of Treasurer of the ATA. Over the years, Kathy has also served as Treasurer of NatRoad and as a board member for the South Australian Road Transport Association.

 

Her working career involved a long association with Bunkers Transport and the operation’s transformation from local family trucking operation to a major national linehaul contractor. The company now trades under the Red Star Transport banner.

 

“As Chair of the ATA, Kathy led the development of the ATA’s national headquarters in Canberra, and turned the first sod on the site,” said Noelene Watson, ATA Chair, in response to the news. “This project has underpinned the long term security, viability and effectiveness of the ATA. As ATA Treasurer, she continued to drive this project by managing the payment plan for the building.

 

“Kathy also played a critical role in securing the maintenance of the on-road diesel grant. This was a $650 million per year victory for Australian trucking operators. Under her guidance, the ATA’ s safety accreditation program, TruckSafe, was developed into an individual entity. Today, TruckSafe is used by hundreds of operators across Australia to reach safety standards above and beyond the requirements of the law.”

 

Kathy was also recognised for her service to the community and the arts. She served as a member of the Board of the Collections Council of Australia from 2004 to 2010, working on the project to set national standards for the digital recording of collections.

 

Further involvement includes being a board member for Concern Australia, a Christian welfare and ministry organisation, in which Kathy is involved in the Hand Brake Turn program, helping disadvantaged children to obtain an Automotive Certificate I qualification.

 

Harry Gooden, a former President of the Victorian Road Transport Association (VTA) from 1992 to 1996, and was the VTA representative to the Australian Trucking Association for several years, received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to the road transport industry, and to the community.

 

“Extremely active in the industry, Mr Gooden also served as Chairman of the VTA’s waste management division, the Victorian Waste Management Association, for 14 years,” said Peter Anderson, VTA CEO. “Mr Gooden was a Board Member of VicRoads for eight years, an inaugural councillor on the Road Transport Forum and a committee member on the Australian Road Transport Industry Organisation.

 

“Following his retirement in 2001, Mr Gooden joined the Illawarra Road Safety Group and has been involved in the Rotary Youth Drive Awareness program. It’s fantastic to see someone from the VTA family recognised with such a tremendous honour.”

Talking Turkey About Trucking

Getting the story out there

By the time we get to the ATA conference in March, the trucking industry will have seen a lot of changes in the past year or so, among the people representing stakeholders. A large proportion of those representing the transport industry in industry associations, as well as those heading the important government agencies and organisations we deal with, are part of leadership changes. Read more

When is a dolly not a dolly?

The NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) have stirred up a hornets nest with the heavy haulage industry in the past few weeks. At a time when the rules for the trucking industry are being integrated into a single set of rules, the roadside enforcement in NSW are now warning drivers of single trailer low loaders with dollies that an MC license is required to drive the truck, not an HC.

 

This particular interpretation of the rules appears to fly in the face of the way this rule is being enforced in the rest of Australia and also in the way it was enforced in NSW until recently. The RMS appear to have taken legal advice and found it is possible to demand the driver of a low loader, which uses a dolly between the truck turntable and the trailer, must have a MC license.

 

The legislation states in Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria that low loaders with low loader dollies will be deemed the same as semi trailers, in terms of license requirements.

 

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The RMS decided to change the way the roadside enforcement deal with low loaders without warning the trucking industry.

 

“We have not been included in any discussion on this position, and have not been given any information from RMS to communicate to our members,” said the ATA NSW, in a letter to the RMS complaining about the change. “We find this situation untenable, given we have had numerous meetings with RMS in the past that have provided ample opportunity and invitation to discuss this matter.”

 

Since this letter was sent, ATA NSW has reported the results of a meeting with the people at RMS. The NSW authorities will not back down from the change in interpretation and insist an MC license is needed if the combination includes a low loader dolly.

 

Any drivers using the HC license will be issued with an official warning, which will be recorded. They will then be allowed to drive ‘after being assessed as sufficiently experienced’. Further warnings will be issued if the driver is stopped again. However, in the end the driver will have to upgrade to an MC or face a penalty.

 

The RMS appear to have decided to take this course of action without consultation either with the industry or other authorities around Australia. Yet again, the state has decided to unilaterally change the rules for the trucking industry all over Australia by default. If this rule is applied in NSW, it will affect most of the low loader industry, as they will travel through NSW on a large proportion of their journeys.

 

This is yet another blow to the effort being put in to create a truly uniform national set of regulations for the trucking industry. As the process continues to bring road rules and roadside enforcement under one umbrella in the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, one state chooses to come up with issues like this to hinder the project.

 

 

Trucking Industry Awards Nominations

Representation, reward and recognition

The trucking industry suffers from a low level of representation, reward and recognition on the whole. Three news items this week are making these possible for some in the industry. Representation at the Australian Trucking Association, reward at the National Trucking Industry Awards and recognition by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council awards.

 

The trucking industry’s 2015 elections, in which owner drivers and the operators of small trucking fleets can elect two representatives to the General Council of the ATA are now open.

 

“The ATA Council sets our strategic policy direction. It deals with the critical issues that will determine the industry’s long term future, including safety, professionalism and operator viability,” said ATA Chair, Noelene Watson. “I urge all owner drivers and small fleet operators to register to vote. You can register online through the ATA website, so it only takes a few minutes. I also urge owner drivers and small fleet operators who want to help build the industry’s future to nominate for one of the two positions.”
To register to vote, an operator must own, be purchasing or leasing 1-5 trucks over 4.5 tonnes and be on the Commonwealth Electoral Roll. To become a candidate for the single truck owner driver position, an operator must own, be purchasing or leasing one truck over 4.5 tonnes and drive it. For the small fleet position, an operator must own, be purchasing or leasing 2-5 trucks over 4.5 tonnes. Candidates must be members of an ATA member organisation.

 

Nominations and voter registrations close on February 10. If there are more candidates than vacancies, there will be an election by postal ballot.

 

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Also this week, the ATA has announced the finalists for the 2015 National Trucking Industry Awards:

Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry

  • Kelvin Baxter, Kelvin Baxter Transport (Berrigan, NSW)
  • Leigh Smart, Formula Chemicals (West Ryde, NSW)
  • Heather Jones, Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls Inc (Karratha, WA)

 

National Professional Driver of the Year

  • Dwight Emerson, Simon National Carriers (Goodna, QLD)
  • Dave McCarthy, Toll (Tapping, WA)
  • Aaron Busk, Tytec Logistics (Wacol, QLD)

 

Trucking Industry Woman of the Year

  • Heather Jones, Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls Inc (Karratha, WA)
  • Julie Russell, RB Russell Transport (Eagle Farm, QLD)
  • Jacquelene Brotherton, Oxford Cold Storage (Laverton, VIC)

 

TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award

  • Jim Pearson Transport (Port Macquarie, NSW)
  • Mt Noorat Freighters (Terang, VIC)
  • Tanami Transport (Alice Springs, NT)

National Training Excellence Award
Theme: Training new entrants to the transport industry

  • Members of the Queensland Trucking Association (QLD)

 

Winners will be announced at the ATA’s 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner in Hobart as part of Trucking Australia 2015, the ATA’s national conference.

 

Nomination for more awards is now possible with the opening of nominations for the 2015 TLISC Awards for Excellence. These awards are designed to recognise organisations who are leaders in quality skills training and workforce development.

 

The awards are open to organisations who are registered and operating in Australia, they include:

 

  • 2015 TLISC Innovation and Excellence in Workforce Development Award
  •  2015 TLISC Excellence in Industry Promotion Award 2015 TLISC Trainee of the Year Award
  •  2015 TLISC Chairman’s Award

 

Winners will receive complimentary tickets, accommodation and return airfares for two to attend an industry dinner to showcase their achievements to representatives from across the Transport and Logistics Industry. Trophies will be presented and winners will receive the right to display the winner’s logo on merchandise and advertising material.

 

Livestock scheme into TruckSafe

The trucking accreditation scheme, TruckSafe, and the Australian livestock transport industry’s quality assurance program, truckCare, are to combine to become a streamlined safety program for the road transport industry. As of January 2015, truckCare will become a voluntary module of TruckSafe, with operators now able to use both programs under a single administration and auditing system. Read more

New technical advisor at the ATA

The Australian Trucking Association has appointed a new Senior Advisor Engineering to work alongside, recently appointed, Government Relations Manager, Bill McKinlay. The ATA statement said it is delighted to welcome Chris Loose as the new technical go-to man for the organisation, starting in January 2015.

 

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Chris is a well known expert in his field with extensive experience in engineering roles within the truck manufacturing industry, including work with Mercedes-Benz Australia, Freightliner and Iveco.

 

“I’ve been involved in the trucking industry for a long time, and have participated in a number of the ATA’s technical and maintenance events over the years,” said Loose. “The basic philosophy of the ATA aligns very neatly with my own, you start with the outcomes that industry needs, then develop a product to meet these expectations. You then make sure that your product works and is safe in all conditions.

 

“I have a keen interest in vehicle safety. One issue at the moment is brake compatibility between trucks and trailers, which can easily create some big safety issues. I look forward to creating some industry discussion and providing technical advice on issues like these in my role with the ATA.”

 

Chris holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) from Monash University, and is a qualified HC truck driver.

Melham gets the gig

Current NatRoad CEO, Chris Melham, is to take over the reins of the Australian Trucking Association in the New Year. He will take over from current ATA CEO, Stuart St Clair. Read more

Trucking Industry Awards Nominations

Last chance to nominate

This week is the trucking industry’s last chance to nominate candidates for the National Trucking Industry Awards.There are four awards up for nomination, the Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry, National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year, National Professional Driver of the Year; and National Training Excellence Award.

 

This year’s Training Excellence Award will focus on the critically important issues of bringing new people into the industry and the training they receive to encourage both retention and a first class safety culture.

 

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In 2014 the awards David Simon won the Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Trucking Industry after stepping down as ATA Chairman. National Professional Driver of the Year went to Tom Scotney who drives for Hardy’s Haulage in Warwick, Queensland. The National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year went to Lynne Jack of Griffin Motors, Newcastle, NSW. Toll Mining Services from Newburn in WA won the National Training Excellence Award

 

The awards for 2015 will be presented at the Trucking Australia 2015 conference which will be held in the historic dock precinct of Hobart, opening on the evening of Thursday 19 March, with the awards being presented at the ATA’s 25th anniversary gala dinner on Saturday 21 March.

 

Nominations for the 2015 National Trucking Industry Awards are closing on Monday November 17.

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Bob Woodward gets Award

One of the trucking industry stalwarts of the last thirty plus years received the recognition he deserves, from his peers, when he was presented with the Heavy Vehicle Innovator gong at the Castrol Vecton Awards dinner as part of the TMC in Melbourne. The Award, first presented in 2013, is awarded to someone who develops designs or procedures to improve the whole industry’s safety, efficiency or productivity. Read more