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. http://www.ntc.gov.au/current-projects/preparing-for-more-automated-road-and-rail-vehicles/

 

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.”

 

Highway Hero Honoured

Highway Hero Honoured

As part of the Australian Trucking Association’s Technical and Maintenance Conference the Highway Hero Honoured at the event was involved in this crash, as reported on local TV. The accident on the Calder Freeway, to the north of Melbourne, saw a tanker rollover in an accident involving a number of cars and another truck.

 

Highway Hero Honoured

 

The driver of the second truck, Renzo Bruschi, was awarded the Bandag Highway Guardian Award at the Award Ceremony in Melbourne’s Docklands, last night.

 

The morning of May 24 started out just like any other for Renzo, who has been a truck driver for more than 30 years. That all changed when a petrol tanker carrying 60,000 litres of fuel rolled over on the Calder Freeway.

 

Renzo’s truck was one of around 10 vehicles involved in the crash. Renzo jumped out of his truck and into action without hesitation, running over to assist the driver of the tanker who was calling for help.

 

The 52-year-old said, “There was fuel and smoke everywhere; I just thought it was not a question of if this was going to blow but more a question of when, so I just sprang into action to help get him out as soon as possible before something happened.”

 

“The tanker was on its side and I initially tried to break the windscreen; and it shattered – but didn’t break, so I had to climb up and pull him out through the door which was facing skyward.”

 

After assisting the tanker driver, Renzo turned his attention to an overturned car which had ended up in the gutter and had fuel running through it.

 

He crawled through the back passenger door and helped the extremely traumatised driver from her vehicle and led her away from the scene. “I just did not stop to think at that point, I just did all I could to help,” he said.

 

I went to the other vehicle which was crushed to see if I could help but unfortunately that person was already deceased.

 

“I hope something like this never happens again, but if I did, I know I’d do the same all over again,” Renzo said.

 

Highway Hero Honoured

 

The Awards night also saw the Craig Roseneder Award presented to Cade Robinson, who works for Borg Manufacturing, Somersby, NSW. Cade had been joined earlier in the evening by the other two nominees for the Award, Scott Gardiner from Star Track in Minchinbury and Dale Hedley, from Vellex, Wetherill Park.

 

The Craig Roseneder Award recognises technical and maintenance excellence in the workshop by an individual, and celebrates the professionalism of the men and women who work behind the scenes in the trucking industry’s workshops.

 

Also honoured on the night was David Coonan, a long time member of the team at the ATA and a specialist in the field of trucking regulation and development. He retired, due to ill health, from his role as policy officer at the ATA, back in 2014. He received the 2016 ATA Technical Achievement Award.

 

David started his career as a diesel mechanic. He then managed the Department of Housing and Construction’s ACT vehicle fleet, before joining the ACT Government as its Deputy Registrar of Motor Vehicles. He later worked as a senior transport policy officer for the ACT and Australian governments.

Awards, Seatbelts and Regional Funding

Awards, Seatbelts and Regional Funding

In the news this week we have a selection of awards, seatbelts and regional funding, alongside intermodal development in Sydney.

The Australian Trucking Association announced the three finalists for the 2016 Craig Roseneder Award. They are, Cade Robinson, Borg Manufacturing, Somersby, NSW, Scott Gardiner, Star Track, Minchinbury, NSW and Dale Hedley, Vellex, Wetherill Park, NSW.

Awards, Seatbelts and Regional Funding

The Craig Roseneder Award recognises technical and maintenance excellence in the workshop by an individual, and celebrates the professionalism of the men and women who work behind the scenes in the trucking industry’s workshops.

“The award is named in honour of the late Craig Roseneder, who was devoted to the development of a safer road transport industry,” said Noelene Watson, ATA Chair. “These three finalists are outstanding in their field and demonstrate a high level of safety, expertise and professionalism.”

The Federal Government has announced the list of projects that will receive funding under Round Three of the National Stronger Regions Fund. 67 projects will receive a total of $126 million in new funding.

Federal funding has been provided for upgrades to two regional livestock exchanges. The Central West Livestock Exchange in Forbes has received $1.5 million towards a $3.4 million project to lift capacity from 1,800 cattle a day to 2,600. Swan Hill Regional Livestock Exchange has received and additional $900,000 towards a $1.7 million project to promote faster and larger turnover that includes reference to minimising fatigue for transporters.

An additional $250,000 has now been allocated for the construction of a new truck wash in Powranna, Tasmania in addition to the $247,000 already committed by the Tasmanian Government.

The ATA released a new safety alert to highlight the availability of truck suspension seats with integrated belts. ATA Senior Adviser, Engineering, Chris Loose said an integrated seatbelt with the driver’s suspension seat would comfortably secure the driver and in an event of a crash, reduce the consequences.

When asked, the common response for not wearing a seatbelt when driving a heavy vehicle was that drivers considered them uncomfortable. This is historically due to the use of suspension seats with cab mounted belts locking during driving over rough roads.

It was awards time for the Queensland Trucking Association, with Followmont Transport winning two awards. Their driver Russell McCulloch won the Professional Driver of the Year award, and Followmont also received the Industry Excellence Award.

Other awards included, Daryl Dickenson Transport who received the Industry Safety Award, while Taylor’s Removals and Storage were presented with the People Leadership Awards. As featured in the September/October edition of Diesel Magazine, Zoe Bull, from Cummins South Pacific was named the Young Achiever of the Year. After a lifetime’s dedication to the trucking industry, Merry Manton, from NTI Roadteam got the gong for Trucking Woman of the Year.

The Australian Logistics Council welcomed the announcement Infrastructure Australia has included Sydney’s Moorebank Intermodal Terminal in the Infrastructure Priority List.

“The announcement that Moorebank has been added to the Infrastructure Priority List is an important step towards improving freight efficiency in Sydney,” said Michael Kilgariff, ALC Managing Director. “Inclusion on the Priority List reinforces Moorebank’s status as a nationally significant infrastructure project and will help to ensure it is prioritised by governments in their investment and policy decisions.

“Moorebank is critical to Sydney’s freight future as it will support the more efficient movement of freight to and from Port Botany. Once fully operational, it will also connect to the national road/rail network, and in so doing, provide a much needed boost to national freight efficiency.”

No Room For Internal Bickering

In the light of the news Chris Melham is moving on from his post at the Australian Trucking Association, the trucking community must keep forging ahead. There is no room for internal bickering or territory battles, the industry is still facing major issues and needs to remain united and continue to fight the good fight. Read more