Happy New Year to all our readers from dieselnews.com.au. Let’s hope it’s a good one and a number of promising developments from 2015 come to fruition. Over the last five years, a lot of promises were made, which didn’t come off. Now, the promises are a bit more believable, and seem to come with realistic deadlines.
If there is one week of the year when we can allow ourselves to be hopeful and positive, it is the first week of a fresh year. It is also a week in which it is very unlikely any major setback for the trucking industry will rear its ugly head. This is mainly because all of the politicians and bureaucrats are going to be at the beach until Australia Day. Read more
Yet again, this week we see the lives of the trucking community being made more complicated by people in government offices laying down silly rules , but without clarity or explanation. Yes, we are back again with the wonderful Roads and Maritime Services of New South Wales and the low loader license debacle.
It’s not just me who is being confused by the RMS. This week the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator put out their weekly Industry Update and it featured a short piece warning low loader drivers in NSW to make sure they hold an MC license, if they are driving with a low loader dolly between the prime mover and the low loader trailer. Read more
Just to keep the trucking industry aware of its reputation, NSW’s Roads and Maritime Services has done it again. In a direct contradiction of its previous advice, the RMS has now informed heavy haulage operators traveling from interstate they will be required to hold an MC license if using a dolly between prime mover and trailer.
“Drivers who operate a low loader trailer, connected to a low loader dolly attached to a prime mover must ensure they hold the appropriate licence class or risk serious fines if caught,” said an MC Class License Bulletin, released by RMS this week. “It is vital that truck drivers hold the correct licence for the vehicle they are operating to ensure they have the right skills to manage the vehicle combination for the safety of all road users.
“Drivers and operators who are on the road without an appropriate licence may also risk voiding insurance should there be an incident.” Read more
I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but every time we think we have taken a pace forward, RMS pops up and takes us back. This time the, consistent, Roads and Maritime Services in NSW seem to have wound back the clock to the days when all the rules in each state were different.
The bone of contention this time? The ridiculous assertion heavy haulage drivers using dollies need an MC license to drive a semi trailer. This is an issue which was under discussion, but the RMS seem to have decided to be pedantic and start giving tickets to those drivers who fail to comply. This requirement will not apply to visiting drivers from states who do allow the holders of HC licences to drive dolly/low loader combinations, but will force all heavy haul operators in NSW to ensure their drivers have an MC license in order to drive a semi using a dolly. Read more
A speech by NSW Transport Minister, Duncan Gay, suggests the road to a new truck roadworthiness regime may not be as clearcut as hoped. Speaking at this week’s Australian Logistics Council Safety Summit, Minister Gay made it clear New South Wales are making a stand on some contentious issues. Read more
The slow and painful transition to a truly national regulatory framework from the current confusion of some state and some national rules took another small step forward this week. The NSW Government has removed the requirement for a permit for all trucks wanting to operate under HML, opening up to 98 per cent of the state owned road network to all HML vehicles.
The Declaration released by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) tells us transport operators no longer need permits to operate eligible vehicles on assessed and approved routes which include some regional and council owned roads. Read more
It’s been another bad week for the trucking industry, according to our friends in the media. A selection of stories talking about the trucking industry in the mass media illustrate just how badly the public perception of trucks and trucking is affected by the way they handle stories.
Of course, the other problem is the way certain sections of the road transport industry give the tabloid media ample opportunity to wield the big stick. The fact remains, any article will be reported with a negative slant, with very little time given to the other side of any story. Read more
A flippant attitude, even though traffic conditions have changed, is on display from NSW Roads and Maritime Services. Unnecessary curfews restricting heavy loads in the Hunter region of NSW should be removed, according to ATANSW. The association applauded Premier Mike Baird’s $273 million plan to fix congestion in the Hunter region, but urged him to first remove productivity-stifling heavy vehicle curfews across the area. Read more
The Roads and Maritime Services in New South Wales is making its intentions very clear here. The video has been produced to show the NSW government is taking a hard line against the trucking industry. Yet again, trucking is identified as the bad guys, with the white hatted RMS riding in to save the day.
The trucking industry needs to question the efficacy of such an approach in improving trucking safety and making conditions out on the highway better. There is a need to fight stats with stats. When statistics are quoted by the RMS, it is always a list of the number of roadside checks and interceptions, not improved safety outcomes.
If the authorities who regulate trucking in New South Wales are one thing, then they are reliable. Yet again today they have reinforced the stereotype by aggressively threatening the poor old trucking industry with massive fines and prosecutions.
Nobody is saying trucking operators who consistently, blatantly or even occasionally break the law should not be prosecuted. ‘You do the crime, you do the time’. What sticks in the craw is the way the NSW authorities go about their job and the way the trucking industry is portrayed in their announcements to the media. Read more