It’s like waking up on the morning after losing a grand final. Your team made it all of the way to the big day and then messed up, going down meekly to the opposition. There’s a blame game to be had, if you want to take it out on somebody, and then there’s just crying in your beer. Read more
The whole issue of how roadworthiness in trucks can be maintained is undergoing scrutiny, at the moment. The National Transport Commission (NTC) has released a regulatory impact statement (RIS) to the industry and is calling for submissions in response. Read more
New rules governing the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme are on their way and effective next month. This week’s announcement by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator sets out changes to the auditing provisions of the NHVAS which will be in force from March. These changes are part of the National Transport Commission/NHVR National Heavy Vehicle Roadworthiness program. Read more
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
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
The headlines out of the recent meeting of the Transport and Infrastructure Council in Launceston in Tasmania were all about the issues the ministers needed to be seen doing something about, tightening up vehicle maintenance accreditation. Read more
The worthiness of trucks on the road is a hot issue for not only trucking operators, but also the regulators and government departments tasked to keep the industry compliant and the highways safe. It would seem a change in the way the road worthiness of a truck has been assessed and monitored is going to have a substantial change in the next few years. Read more
Sometimes it is just choosing your battles and the timing of them which achieves results. Getting the target or the timing wrong and you send the incorrect message and miss your target. The submission by the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) to the joint National Transport Commission/National Heavy Vehicle Regulator heavy vehicle roadworthiness review sets out to attack a direct competitor, sending out the wrong message, if progress is the aim. Read more
The Australian trucking industry has been very patient with the Performance Based Standards (PBS) system for some time. A new discussion paper released by the National Transport Commission is looking at ways to extend the benefits, in terms of increased payload capacity, to non-PBS vehicles with the same specification.
The Discussion Paper aims to get industry and regulator feedback on how this extension of productivity benefits could be achieved and see PBS achieve the kind of improved outcomes promised when it was initially set up. Read more
Fatal truck crashes in recent times have concentrated attention on the assessment and maintenance of heavy trucks. The National Transport Commission and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator are going through a process of developing how roadworthiness will work in the future. They are now asking industry for its feedback and suggestions on how to improve roadworthiness outcomes.
The first phase of the process was the release of a report outlining the issues. This concluded the situation was far from ideal and left a lot to be desired. See the Diesel News report at the time.
“At this stage, data collection methods do not yield sufficient, reliable data to reach a conclusive determination about whether the NHVAS provides an effective mechanism for achieving road safety outcomes relative to its objectives,” said the report.
This week the NTC and NHVR have released the second of the two reports on Australia’s current roadworthiness systems.
“We’ve now completed the second step in the four-stage process of this program,” said Paul Retter, NTC CEO. “The NTC and NHVR have identified areas for short-term and long-term potential reforms. We’re now calling for submissions from industry and the community on the best way to improve heavy vehicle roadworthiness and make our nation’s roads safer.”
The second phase report identifies a number of improvements needed:
A clear definition of roadworthiness
Better education and training, particularly in relation to operators’ responsibilities
Chain of responsibility duties designed to improve the roadworthiness of heavy vehicles
A standardised ‘second party’ inspection system
Clearer arrangements for when and how defects are issued, and cleared
Robust accreditation and safety management systems, particularly to strengthen the NHVAS audit system
At this stage the NTC and NHVR need expert submissions to get feedback on how these aims can be reached. The trucking industry’s workshops are filled with people with hands on experience with both trucks and the, sometimes, unworkable accreditation systems. They will have to work with any new system which emerges and need to put ideas up for scrutiny now before the bureaucrats tie the trucking industry up in even more ineffective red tape.
“Release of these reports is a springboard to the next and possibly most critical stage of the Roadworthiness Program, where we consult with industry and start to shape recommendations based on industry feedback,” said Sal Petroccitto.
“I encourage anyone interested in better safety outcomes for the heavy vehicle industry to take the time to read the reports and get involved. Road safety professionals and transport company fleet managers should particularly study the concepts of ‘defence in depth’ which are presented in this paper as a model for assessing the integrity of the current national roadworthiness system.”
Feedback will be included in the Regulatory Impact Statement for consideration by Australia’s transport ministers, to be put forward in November. This will be followed by further consultation before the final changes are made to the current regime.
Submissions must be in by September 26, following which there will be national consultation on the final proposed improvements and changes.