Accreditation Review, EWDs, OBM and Wage Levels

Accreditation Review, EWDs, OBM and Wage Levels

In Diesel News this week, read about the NHVR Accreditation Review, EWDs, OBM and Wage Levels.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has commissioned an independent review into heavy-vehicle accreditation schemes to support improved road safety.

“Heavy-vehicle accreditation schemes have proven benefits for road safety across a number of heavy-vehicle sectors, including trucks, cranes and buses,” said Sal Petroccitto, NHVR CEO. “The national roadworthiness survey released earlier this year showed major non-conformities for vehicles in accreditation schemes dropped from 13 per cent to nine per cent.

“That said, I believe it is time to independently review the systems and processes to ensure they deliver the future safety outcomes our growing industry requires. The review will look at a range of factors, including governance and oversight, rules and standards, as well as examining associated assurance activities.”

The review will kick off with a marketplace scan to identify the best-practice approach for accreditation schemes, and identify inconsistencies that exist between schemes. The independent review will examine schemes such as Western Australian Heavy Vehicle Accreditation and the NHVR’s National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS), as well as industry schemes such as TruckSafe.

“Thank you to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, for listening to our calls to review truck safety accreditation programs,” said Geoff Crouch, Chair of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA). “Operators, industry, government and regulators need to work together on truck safety. Recognising safe practices should not be an unbalanced competition between government and industry like the ATA’s TruckSafe program.”

EWD Standards

The NHVR has engaged professional services firm WSP Australia to develop new performance-based standards for Australia’s Electronic Work Diaries (EWDs), which are being introduced as a voluntary alternative to the written work diary.

Geoff Casey, Executive Director – Productivity and Safety, NHVR, said that the NHVR will publish the new EWD Standards for industry consultation in December 2017, with system assessments anticipated to commence early in 2018.

On-Board Mass

Transport Certification Australia (TCA) has announced it has received five applications for type-approval of On-Board Mass (OBM) Systems.

“The number of applications we have already received since May 2017 is significant because it paves the way for establishing an open technology market for the supply of OBM Systems,” said Chris Koniditsiotis, TCA CEO. “This ensures that end-users will be provided with more choice, competitive pricing and innovative technology.”

Wages Bottom Out

There are signs the rate of wage increases in enterprise agreements negotiated in the road transport industry may have bottomed out according to the Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO).

Speaking in his capacity of ARTIO Secretary & Treasurer, Victorian Transport Association (VTA) CEO Peter Anderson said a recent ARTIO review of hundreds of enterprise agreements lodged in the Fair Work Commission in the road transport industry since the second half of 2011 showed a slight uptick in the rate of wages growth in 2017 to date (compared to 2016).

TruckSafe Directors

Two new directors have been appointed to the Australian Trucking Association’s (ATA) TruckSafe board. Nathan Cecil and Peter Elliot will work with other board members to underscore safe and responsible operations in the industry and help deliver the TruckSafe safety accreditation program.

Cecil is a Partner in Holding Redlich’s national transport team. He specialises in shipping, logistics, road transport and trade law, and has particular expertise in heavy-vehicle regulation and chain of responsibility (CoR) laws.

Accreditation Review, EWDs, OBM and Wage Levels
Peter Elliot.

Elliot has been part of the trucking industry for more than 40 years and has worked across numerous operations and industry sectors. For the past decade, he has specialised in compliance, both as an operator being audited, and as a manager of compliance schemes.

NHVR Directors

NHVR has appointed two new directors, in the Regulatory Compliance and Productivity and Safety divisions. Tony Martin will be the Director – Regulatory Compliance and Assurance, while Greg Fill was appointed to the role of Director – Safety Standards.

Accreditation Review, EWDs, OBM and Wage Levels
Tony Martin.

Martin has been with the NHVR since 2011 in the role of Manager Regulatory Compliance. He has leadership, business management and operational experience in the heavy-vehicle regulatory environment, including 15 years with the New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services in a variety of management and heavy-vehicle compliance operational roles.

Greg Fill.
Greg Fill.

Fill also has an extensive career in the transport industry, specialising in the development and implementation of transport-related safety management systems, undertaking safety incident investigations, and building assurance frameworks.

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

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.

Epic Fail by the ATO, ACCC Involved in Road Tolls and National Harmonisation
Geoff Crouch, ATA Chair.


“Even the tax office has now admitted that it did not receive a single response from trucking industry associations in response to the paper,” said Geoff Crouch, ATA Chair. “The lack of responses should have been a red flag for the tax office that something had gone wrong with its consultation process. One of their highly paid staff, who all receive travel allowance without needing to lodge receipts, should have picked up the phone, sent a follow-up email or called a meeting. But nobody bothered.


NatRoad is also urging the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to reconsider its reduction in travel allowances for 2017–18.


“At a time where the Federal Government and industry are working together to reduce the compliance burden on road-freight businesses and their employees, this change negatively impacts small businesses and their employees,” said Warren Clark, NatRoad CEO. “It is important to get further clarity from the ATO on this difficult issue and have further consultation. NatRoad considers that the reduction will cause undue hardship to the industry. In meeting with the ATO, we hope to find a more practical solution for the industry.”


Call in the ACCC

Epic Fail by the ATO, ACCC Involved in Road Tolls and National Harmonisation
Ben Maguire, ATA CEO.


Australia’s competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), should take over regulating toll road and landside port charges, according to Ben Maguire, ATA CEO.


“Toll road charges for trucks are growing rapidly,” said Maguire. “Small trucking businesses simply cannot afford them. Although these charges are set by state governments, the arrangements for setting them are not transparent and do not take into account costs across the supply chain.


“The ATA and its members have similar concerns about landside port charges. Earlier in 2017, DP World unilaterally increased the infrastructure surcharge at its Melbourne terminal and imposed a new surcharge of $21.16 per container at its Port Botany terminal. ATA member association Road Freight NSW pointed out that the Port Botany surcharge could cost carriers up to $150,000 per year.


Improving Harmony


The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has met with industry representatives in Canberra to provide a briefing on the National Harmonisation Program (NHP), which aims to minimise the compliance burden by reducing duplication and inconsistencies across state and territory borders.


The first phase of the NHP is aiming to develop:

National HML Declaration

Class 2 B-double Notice

Class 2 Road Train Notice

Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle and Combination Notice


Currently, there is a range of different notices established across the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) states and territories that include inconsistent definitions and conditions for routes, days, hours and vehicles.


TCA Sponsors Award


Transport Certification Australia (TCA) is to sponsor the Application of Technology Award (Shaun Owen Memorial) at the 28th Australian Freight Industry Awards (AFIAs). The awards are being hosted by the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) on 2 September 2017, and recognise outstanding achievements and excellence in the Australian freight industry, across six award categories.

Are You Going to Use an EWD?

Electronic Work Diaries Go Ahead

The brave new world of electronically recording driver rest and working hours is coming closer to reality with the latest announcement from Transport Certification Australia. The agency has announced work has now commenced on the implementation of Electronic Work Diaries (EWD) with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).


NSW truck rest area map


According to the TCA, EWD’s are a road transport safety reform providing for improved productivity, enabled through advances in the use of telematics, and the availability of the National Telematics Framework.


“The implementation of EWD will represent yet another application of the National Telematics Framework, in addition to the existing regulatory and commercial applications already available through the Framework, consistent with the direction endorsed by Ministers in 2008,” said Chris Koniditsiotis, TCA CEO. “This means that the introduction of EWD will ensure transport operators do not need to purchase new, stand-alone systems or technologies, subject to decisions by telematics providers to offer EWD services.


“With the passage of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) Amendment Bill through the Queensland Parliament in mid-September 2015, the legal enablers to implement EWD for use by transport operators, to replace the need for paper-based work diaries, are now in place. The commencement of the implementation of EWD follows a significant amount of planning by TCA and the NHVR.”


“As this is a major technological and regulatory reform, the implementation of EWD will involve coordinated activities not only between TCA and the NHVR, but with road and transport agencies, police and other stakeholders. TCA will continue to engage with both the transport and telematics industries during the implementation of EWD. As a regulatory telematics application, EWD services will be certified by TCA on behalf of the NHVR and Australian Governments.”




The TCA has stated it anticipates the commencement of EWD Service Provider certification will commence in 2017, closely followed by transport industry use.

Brave New World

The future of road transport is becoming more and more about the development of electronics and wireless communication. Recent news items in the including the introduction of electronic work diaries and the planned trial of driverless cars in Adelaide. Listen to ARRB’s Gerard Waldron on the subject.



Now, it’s the turn of the trucking industry in Victoria to get involved in a trial of the Co-operative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS). Transport Certification Australia (TCA) has announced seven shortlisted vendors selected to progress with demonstrations under the new Victorian industry framework for trialling road freight ITS and associated technologies, announced by the Victorian Government back in February.


Screenshot 2015-09-09 18.04.20



“The chance to participate in a world first in the C-ITS space attracted major local and international vendors, of which more than half of the 13 submissions presented will progress to the next stage,” said Chris Koniditsiotis , TCA CEO.



“Each of the shortlisted vendors proposed innovative C-ITS solutions that align with Victoria’s road freight priorities. TCA and VicRoads will progress on-the-ground deployments of successful applicants over the next 12 months.”



“The Industry Framework, which leverages the National Telematics Framework, is breaking new ground by facilitating the deployment of a collection of new technologies to test their effectiveness in a real-world environment, drawing upon VicRoads ITS infrastructure.”



The potential vendors who have been shortlisted include the Vehicle Monitoring Corporation, who plan to work with BOC, Cootes and Elgas. Transtech Driven are also on the list, as are Robert Bosch, who intend to work with AGL and the Toll Group. ARRB Group are working with Robert Bosch and the University of Melbourne. Also in contention are a number of European specialists in the field of C-ITS.



“The Framework also provides an opportunity to demonstrate these applications of technology during the ITSWorld Congress in Melbourne, of which TCA is the official demonstrations partner,” said Koniditsiotis. “Technical demonstrations and tours that showcase applications of the latest ITS technology will provide an opportunity for policy makers, practitioners, researchers and ITS providers to share information on social needs, opinions and technical developments.



“The Industry Framework is a leading example of how the road freight and logistics sector, the technology sector and government can work together for a common goal of enabling innovative proposals that improve public safety and efficiency outcomes.”

Next Step for Telematics

According to some in the trucking industry, a new initiative will take telematics in trucking to a new level. Isuzu says it backs Transport Certification Australia’s recent ‘Telematics Data Dictionary’, saying it should act as a catalyst for the uptake of information and communications technology within the Australian road transport industry.



The dictionary provides software developers and fleet managers with a common language, boosting integration between telematics systems, providing a raft of real-time data feedback on driver and vehicle performance via a black box system and GPS and satellite technology.


Isuzu_Telematics copy



“The Telematics Data Dictionary is a positive step towards more robust compliance around the broader issue of intelligent transport systems,” said Simon Humphries, Isuzu Australia Chief Engineer, Product Strategy. “There is little debate this is the direction the Australian freight and transport industry is heading, so it’s important these functions and frameworks are well developed and brought to bear.”



Acting CEO of the National Transport Commission, Michelle Hendy, has been quoted as saying the NTC’s framework included a ‘data dictionary’ to ensure that, ‘Australia keeps pace with global trends, and the market can develop innovative solutions within a framework.’



According to Hendy, the Telematics Data Dictionary will, ‘adapt to technology advances, and, importantly, encourage affordable integrated commercial and compliance telematics applications.’



The goal is to encourage collaboration between software producers and eliminate duplication, further reinforcing the confidence of end-users in transport. Currently, software and system design is based upon international telematics standards, which are under constant review.



“As more parameters are required they will be included in the Telematics Data Dictionary…and we anticipate they will be driven by end-use demands, rather than changes to technology,” said Chris Koniditsiotis, TCA CEO.



Humphries agrees end-use was a significant driver in the development of Isuzu’s factory option.



“For example, the ability for the Isuzu Connect and Connect Plus packages to be retrofitted to older model trucks means that every truck fleet, from small to very large, can purchase an affordable telematics system that can grow with its fleet,” said Humphries. “Australia is physically diverse, with cities and ports that are expanding rapidly.



“When this is combined with the mix of different truck technologies, not only from Japan, but also from the US and Europe, then we can appreciate that integrated telematics will become vital to the profitability of Australia’s future freight industries.”

On board mass for IAP in NSW

The requirement for on board mass measuring equipment (OBM) in the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) in NSW has been accepted by Transport Certification Australia (TCA).


“TCA has been informed by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) that some Performance Based Standards (PBS) ‘A-Double’ combinations and all Higher Mass Limits (HML) Quad Axle B Double combinations operating in New South Wales must have an OBM system linked to the IAP as a condition of permit,” said TCA CEO, Chris Koniditsiotis. “TCA nationally administers the use of OBM systems linked to the IAP, allowing road managers such as RMS to grant access to routes that may have previously been unavailable for these vehicle types, due to identified infrastructure risks.




“Access demands and productivity considerations are at the core of this development, benefitting road managers and transport operators alike. OBM systems linked to the IAP are allowing road managers to unlock significant productivity gains for transport operators, without necessitating capital intensive infrastructure upgrades.


“The Department of Transport and Main Roads in Queensland has shown leadership in this area, having been able to open up access for a new generation of substantially more productive and environmentally friendly Performance Based Standards (PBS) 2B vehicles.”


Use of OBM linked to IAP and PBS have seen productivity improvements on the Toowoomba to Port of Brisbane route with a virtual 100 per cent increase in productivity, a 40 per cent reduction in environmental emissions and a 50 per cent reduction in the number of truck trips required for the same freight task.


“TCA’s operational findings indicate that an OBM system properly installed and correctly calibrated is able to determine a heavy vehicle’s total combination mass within 2 per cent for 95 per cent of the time, when compared to a correctly operating and calibrated weighbridge, this is consistent with the original findings,” said Koniditsiotis.


“The use of OBM systems linked to the IAP has been recognised with several local and international awards, the most recent being the ITS Asia Pacific Industry Award at the 20th ITS World Congress in Tokyo Japan, in October 2013.”

IAP Review, have your say


The National Transport Commission have published a draft review of the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) and are calling for comments from the industry on the performance of the system so far.


Screenshot 2014-06-16 13.07.19


The NTC reports the reception of the IAP by operators has been good. They use the electronic monitoring of the location and speed of their vehicles to assure road authorities the trucks are complying with road access conditions. In return, operators gain better access to specific roads with mass allowances.


So far, 2438 trucks have enrolled with IAP, compared to the original estimate of 8383 by this point. This suggests many operators are wary of the technology, its effectiveness or cost of operation. Fortunately for the governments involved, this slow uptake has reduced the cost of the scheme, $68 million, much lower than the original estimate of $203 million. Truck operators have been estimated to have spent $18-24 million over the same period.


The NTC put the slow uptake down to a number of factors, including state authorities making fewer IAP applications available than originally thought, introduction of Concessional Mass Limits and the costs of enrolling in the scheme. In the last consideration, the costs, in terms of going through the application process itself need to be taken into account, along with the actual cost of installing and using the monitoring equipment.


The conclusion reached by the NTC is, ‘It appears that the objective of the IAP is being achieved’. Any operator who disagrees with this statement may want to head to the NTC website where comments and submissions can be posted. The NTC is seeking feedback on this report and the draft recommendations by 25 July 2014


In the recommendations, there is a call for greater transparency, on the part of the IAP and Transport Certification Australia which administers it, by the NTC, something which may reduce suspicion of the IAP system as it currently stands.