After the ridiculous shenanigans in Canberra this week we have to ask ourselves the question, is political instability good or bad for trucking? It looks like the country is about to head into a free-fall situation with the Prime Minister’s job in doubt, the election date in doubt and the prospect of a good six months where nobody’s hand seems to be on the tiller.
In the immortal words of Jerry Maguire in his eponymous film, “Show Me The Money!” Now, we can assume Jerry is no relation to Ben Maguire, Australian Trucking Association CEO, but we can assume Ben was happy with the recent announcement on safety funding by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.
The survey released this week by ANZ analysing the trucking industry shows us the smaller operations in the industry need to start getting smarter. As margins are squeezed by the general economic conditions, the big boys in the industry can afford to wait it out and take a lower margin in their overall business.
After the media reported the ride sharing company Uber would be dropping it’s driverless truck program, the general public probably believe they will hear no more about autonomous trucks. They may be right, they may be wrong. Autonomous trucks might not appear in the general media, but they will be big in the plans of the truck makers and the trucking industry.
One of the most important aspects of getting it right in the trucking world is for government and industry to make sure we know what we don’t know. Two stories in this week’s newsletter illustrate this point very well.
With Performance Based Standards we started off with a fantastic idea. We Australians are very good at great ideas. Then came the part where drilling down to the details created the basic tenets of the scheme and how it would work.
It was very refreshing this week to see someone is taking notice of safety and the trucking industry. The Conversation ran a piece titled, ‘Young drivers don’t know how to be safe around trucks – here’s how we can teach them’.
Reading the news about a confidential hotline where truck drivers and supply chain workers can call a hotline to report potential safety breaches left me in quandary, to dob or not to dob, that is the question. The announcement this week by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator sees a confidential 1800 number being set up for concerned people in the supply chain to raise concerns.
The trucking industry in Australia needs to ask itself this question, do we really care about fuel consumption? Rationally, the answer should of course be yes, but don’t listen to what we say, look at what we actually do.
After analysing the way some new technologies work a global expert in road transport has concluded there is no future for hydrogen fuel cell trucks, if the goal is sustainability. Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in alternatives to diesel engines to power trucks with a number of well hyped projects using electric or fuel cell power hitting the headlines.