It’s time more people in the trucking industry decided to get out and shout about what is wrong with the world the trucking industry has to live in.
There is no room for shrinking violets, there are big decisions to be made and if the core of trucking doesn’t get its point across, someone else will.
This week the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is calling out for people to make their opinions known at the upcoming ATA Conference in Darwin. The discussion in hand is the Territory’s trucking future and a rare opportunity for trucking people in a far-flung corner of our land to give the people at the top a flavour of what life is like for them and how it can be improved.
Trucking folk are not normally the type to get up and have a rant in a public forum like this, but maybe they should? Most people in the industry are publicity shy and unwilling to put their stronger feelings out there.
Instead, we sit and think conferences like Trucking Australia, or our local state events, are for the top end of town and the politicians. We allow problems to continue unchecked and remain frustrated at the lack of action.
It must also be said the representatives of governments and government agencies have been difficult to access from the small operator’s point of view. The industry associations, representing these folk have also been remiss in getting out there and really connecting with people who feel disenfranchised.
This has led to a massive divide between those in the know, whose feedback is listened to, and the great-unwashed masses in the trucking game who don’t put their head up above the parapet.
This year has seen a couple of organisations make a genuine effort to get the message out to people who are not normally involved, plus bring the feedback gained back into the policy development process.
The two exceptions have been the NHVR, with its ever-growing roadshow, going around the country trying to explain exactly what the changes to chain of responsibility rules mean for the truckie out on the road.
The second is NatRoad, who has realised it needs to get back in touch with its real grassroots. The history of the organisation is all about the impetus coming from the grassroots getting passed on up to direct communication with the government authorities. The series of forums going around the country should help the association become small fleet trucking’s true representative, like it has been in the past.
So, there is hope, but it still wouldn’t do any harm, if the vast majority of the trucking industry, who do keep their own counsel, got out there and shouted from the rooftops every now and then.