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Safety Campaigner Calls for Mass Increase
A safety campaigner calls for mass increase at a trucking industry gathering. The safety record of the industry is often brought into focus when accidents continue to dent the reputation of the industry. The images of accidents involving trucks do not tell the full picture, when over 80 per cent of all fatal accidents which involve trucks are caused by something other than the truck.
In response to these issues, Transafe WA was formed in 2012 as a not-for-profit industry initiative with the vision of aiding the delivery of safer transport industry workplaces and roads by fostering and promoting safer practices. Running a series of Road Transport Industry Safety Forums in Western Australia, TransafeWA has said it wants to support industry to be the safest it can be.
Steve Post is Founder and President of TransafeWA and he has been actively involved in road transport for over forty years. Once an owner-driver in long distance heavy haulage, he has also held senior management positions in general freight, livestock, grain, fuel haulage, mining and risk management.
Speaking to the Australian Trucking Association’s Trucking Australia Conference, on the Gold Coast, Post explained some of the philosophy behind TransafeWA.
“We are all about creating a safer industry so they all come home with ten toes, ten fingers and in the same condition as when they left home,” said Post. “Many options exist, but we have to embrace new technology, increased mass and driver selection.
“The easiest option for making the industry and roads safer is to increase mass. For all the B-doubles on the road, they could be reduced by putting more A-double combinations on the road. I believe there are many roads where this could be possible. I am really astounded the Hume Highway is still only allowed to carry B-doubles after all the money which has been spent on that highway over the years.
“Why hasn’t there been a change in the masses which are allowed down there. The reality is, you could easily reduce truck traffic on that road by twenty per cent by increasing the mass on those vehicles.
“When we look at increased mass we’ve got to adopt other technologies. Everyone might not like the Intelligent Access Program, but the reality is, if that’s the one way we are going to get government to agree to extra mass, then that’s the way we may need to go.”
Write-offs see K&S bleed red ink for financial year
Revenues slip only slightly as profit plunges on one-off items
K&S Corporation has suffered an annual profit loss of $104.2 million after a financial year it describes as "difficult and challenging".
The downturn in mining and resources, which had kept the company firmly in the black when the boom was on, has now hit home in the eastern states as well as in the west.
"Our results have been impacted by the continued severe downturn in the resource sector in our Western Australia businesses, and a softening of mining related chemical demand.
"Our east coast operations were also impacted by the downturn in the resources sector."
It adds that "imports are still impacting the demand for locally manufactured goods, which in turn reduces demand for long haul transport services".
Much of the profit result, which otherwise would have come in at a positive $3.9 million, down 70 per cent on last year’s result, was due to write-offs including for its insurance investment.
"We have written off intangibles assets in the Australian Transport CGU of $86.6 million," K&S says.
"The non-cash write off was made up of $77.8 million of goodwill, $6.2 million of brand names, $1.8 million customer contracts and $0.8 million of software.
"The carrying value of land and buildings surplus to our requirements was also written down by $8.2 million."
This has extended to WA, which had helped the company’s bottom line earlier in the decade, when the boom was on and the east coast market was suffering.
"We have also written down the carrying value of some Western Australian based heavy haulage equipment that has been impacted by the downturn in the resource sector.
"In addition we have written down the value of some surplus equipment. The total adjustment to the carrying value of equipment was $8.7 million."
Written off also was the carrying value of $11.8 million due to customer Arrium’s receivership and break-up.
There was some silver lining, though, with its Comcare self-insurance licence to June 2024, the New Zealand business and some other business units improving, and the acquisition of Aero Refuellers contributing to the group and expected to provide growth opportunities along with $20 million in revenue in the coming year.
To stem outgoings, the company has undertaken property lease cost reductions, the rationalisation and replacement of specified fleet, employee reductions and IT solutions "introduced to support customer service, operational efficiencies and cost reduction initiatives".
Fleet expenses fell from $145 million to $129.7 million and contractor expenses from $187.6 million to $183.1 million
But it continues to invest in equipment "to support new business growth, improve productivity and reduce cost in our existing business".
It acquired fleet totalling $51.7 million, $36.4 million of which was in hire-purchase agreements and the $15.3 million balance in cash.
Employee expenses also nudged upwards from $219.1 million to $225.7 million.
Smart Logistics, in which it has a 50 per cent stake, saw revenues fall from $69.6 million to $61.9 million but net profit rise from $232,000 to $264,000.
Semi truck loses load of live chickens just outside KFC restaurant
BACCHUS MARSH, Australia, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- A semi truck hauling a load of live chickens in Australia lost its cargo at an appropriate location -- just outside a KFC restaurant.
Jessica Carter posted a video to Facebook showing live chickens being rounded up and returned to their crates about 2 p.m. Tuesday just outside of the KFC in the Melbourne suburb of Bacchus Marsh.
"People were joking about it, saying KFC won't have to pluck their chickens at least now," Carter told The Age.
Carter, a vegan, described the location of the incident as "poignant."
"It truly was just one of those terrible coincidences," she said.
A Victoria Police spokesman confirmed four crates of chickens fell off the truck Tuesday. Bacchus Marsh police responded to assist with the clean-up efforts.
A KFC representative said the chicken truck was not associated with the company.
"These chickens were not destined for KFC and were not linked to our supply chain," the representative told the Melbourne Herald Sun.
"KFC is supplied chicken through the three largest suppliers of chicken in Australia and those suppliers have high standards of bird welfare to ensure their chickens are healthy and comfortable," the representative said. "We require all our chicken suppliers to strictly follow the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, Domestic Poultry."
McAleese, Toll and Uber
McAleese, Toll and Uber are in the news this week, as well as an environmental initiative from Asko and Scania.
McAleese CEO Mark Rowsthorn is back in the news, telling investors to recognise the $166 million investment made in the 2013 is now worthless, calling for them to move on. He is asking them to invest more money in order to restructure the business and take it back into private hands.
The appointment of Bruce Wilson as Divisional Director, Toll Global Express was announced this week. He has been acting in this role since April, managing the express freight operations and business logistics solutions in Australia including the Toll IPEC, Toll People and Toll Priority businesses.
“Bruce has done an outstanding job acting in this role over the past few months. He is a proven leader who brings a deep understanding of our industry and customers to the role,” said Brian Kruger, Toll Managing Director. “Bruce will lead the team to deliver an ambitious growth strategy, with an ongoing focus on a culture of safety, on continuous improvement and delivering outstanding service to customers.”
Uber gets into the trucking game buying a technology start up called Otto which is designing and building autonomous trucks for the future.
“Together, we now have one of the strongest autonomous engineering groups in the world; self-driving trucks and cars that are already on the road thanks to Otto and Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh,” said a statement form Uber.
Asko, Norway’s largest convenience goods wholesaler, is working together with Scania to start testing trucks with an electric powertrain. Electrical energy is converted from hydrogen gas in fuel cells on board the vehicles. The hydrogen gas will be produced locally, using solar cells. The trucks will run in distribution service with distances of almost 500 km.
Blenners Transport facing $690,000 lawsuit
Former operations manager charges company with fatigue-related offences
Former employee of Blenners Transport has brought a nearly $690,000 suit against the Queensland-based company for fatigue management charges.
Stephen Gleeson has reportedly filed for damages against the company in the Cairns District Court for health issues including, injuries and depression.
According to the Cairns Post, he is seeking medical expenses, compensation for the loss of past and future income, interest, and superannuation for breach of contract and negligence of the company.
Gleeson allegedly claims that company owner Les Blennerhassett encouraged drivers to breach fatigue regulations and drive for up to 14 hours a day.
This is Gleeson’s second case against Blenners.
In 2012, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) represented Gleeson at the Fair Work Commission in an unfair dismissal case against the company that saw him receive compensation later.
Two years later, Gleeson spoke on TV about drivers being encouraged to breach fatigue management guidelines and work long hours.
As a result, the Department of Transport and Main Roads’ (TMR) brought a case against Blennerhassett, his company and 45 drivers for fatigue-related charges.
While the court dropped the charges against Blennerhassett, the drivers were collectively fined around $65,000.
It led to the TWU to demand an inquiry into the magistrate’s decision, while the TMR brought in 50 new charges against the company.
Blenners Transport has not responded to a request for comment so far.
Industry welcomes second livestock fatigue template
NHVR has also released an implementation guide to help operators implement a fatigue risk management system
The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has welcomed the second livestock fatigue template, released by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) yesterday.
The new template provides additional flexibility where operators demonstrate appropriate control of fatigue.
The ‘Long Runs’ template is designed to allow operators up to 15 ½ hours of work time, on a non-consecutive basis, with 8 ½ hours of rest, including seven hours of stationary rest during the period from midnight to 6am.
It also states that a livestock driver must not work for more than 82 hours, non-consecutively, with a 24-hour continuous rest period during a week.
The NHVR says the new hours' arrangement is a modification of the existing Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) template system based on the Queensland Livestock Transport Scheme.
In order to design more flexible work schedules operators will need to accredit their business by putting transport fatigue management procedures in place, training staff and drivers, and undergoing regular audits.
The NHVR has also released an implementation guide that shows operators how to implement a transport fatigue risk management system (TFRMS) for their business in order to obtain AFM accreditation in accordance with the Livestock Transport Fatigue Management Scheme (LTFMS).
"I’m pleased to deliver more options to the livestock industry to operate more efficiently and maintain high safety standards," NHVR executive director of productivity and safety Geoff Casey says.
"This template will kick start the process to allow the NHVR to work closely with individual businesses on their fatigue management systems."
The ALRTA says livestock operators are well placed to take advantage of the template, considering they constitute up to 12 per cent of all operators under the AFM standards.
"Livestock transport is like no other freight task," ALRTA president Kevin Keenan says.
"Operators are simultaneously dealing with heavy vehicle laws and animal welfare laws, and often in rural and remote environments where access to driver and animal facilities can be difficult.
"The NHVR is delivering more flexible fatigue options that enable our drivers to deal with the operational realities of the task while remaining compliant with the law."
The ALRTA says it worked with the regulator to introduce controls and countermeasures in the fatigue risk management system.
For more details about the fatigue management scheme, visit the NHVR website.
Dematic’s Belrose factory ships its first automated guided vehicles
Dematic today announced it has made its first delivery of the company’s new range of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) from its factory in Belrose, NSW.
A major Australian beverage company is the first to receive a delivery of the Dematic AGVs. The order includes four-metre double pallet handlers and six-metre double pallet handlers, all with fork spreading capabilities.
The new AGVs allow customers to handle double pallets of product, which will be transported safely and accurately around the clock by driverless AGVs. Benefits include significantly reduced labour costs and on-going damage to equipment and stock, together with improved supply chain reliability and traceability.
For businesses which run multiple shifts, the return of investment is rapid.
“We began manufacturing Dematic’s new AGV range in our Sydney facility in June this year,” said Tommy Eklof Director of AGVs at Dematic. “We are very excited to have shipped our first AGVs from Dematic’s Belrose facility.”
Dematic manufactures a comprehensive range of AGVs including forklifts, unit load, very narrow aisle (VNA) and specialty vehicles to reliably move materials, stock and finished goods through DCs and production environments in a timely, cost-effective, safe and flexible way.
With an installed base of more than 500 AGVs across over 110 sites in Australia, NDC has been the leading manufacturer and supplier of AGVs in Australia for over 25 years. Dematic announced it had acquired NDC Automation Pty Limited on March 21, 2016 adding further to its comprehensive range of integrated logistics and supply chain automation solutions.
Sydney Truckies’ Reunion still going strong
Evergreen truckies and their families will converge on the Campbelltown Catholic Club in south-western Sydney on October 15.
The Sydney Truckies’ Reunion is on again with a dinner at the Campbelltown Catholic Club on October 15.
It will mark 37 years ago when a group of truckies came to the realisation that they would only get together as a group at their fellow truckies’ funerals.
So they decided to change that by coming together for happier times at a reunion every year.
The first reunion, organised by Ron Bush and Kevin Love, was held at the Homebush Markets Club NSW where it stayed for many years.
Then Janet and Kevin Daws took over for several years moving it to the Regent’s Park Bowling Club NSW.
Ron Bush and his daughter Rhonda once again organised the event, moving it to Campbelltown Catholic Club NSW where it is still held today.
Now a new group of trucking families are keeping this very important part of trucking history alive.
Chris and Adam Andrews, Marie and Sunny Warby plus those hard working ladies from the Putty Road Truck Drivers Memorial are now all on board determined to continue the popular annual reunion.
The dinner starts at 6pm and, under new management, there will be a three course dinner priced at $50 per person (which includes two drink vouchers per person of beer, wine, juice or soft drink). Tea and coffee is available all night at no charge.
For 2017 it has been suggested that, due to the age of some of the transport industry veterans, the reunion will be moved to a lunch event.
For further information on the October 15 Sydney Truckies’ Reunion Dinner phone 0404 495 456 or 0414 631 206.
Drunk road-train driver charged: police
A road train driver is accused of speeding and drink-driving on a northern NSW highway.
The 47-year-old man, driving a Queensland-registered truck was clocked going more than the 90km/h road-train speed limit on the Newell Highway near Moree on Monday night.
The truckie was pulled over and blew a positive roadside breath test, police said.
He will face Moree Local court next month charged with speeding and drink-driving after returning a reading of 0.040, police said.
See why the ATA wants to change truck rego...
THE ATA wants to see truck rego labels abolished and businesses allowed to pay truck rego monthly.
Australian Trucking Association CEO Christopher Melham has released the ATA submission to the National Transport Commission's review of the PAYGO system for setting truck and bus charges last week.
He said the Western Australian Government had removed the requirement for trucks to have registration labels from July 1, 2016, with the government saying the decision would save thousands of hours of industry time and some $200,000 a year in government costs.
"The Western Australian approach to removing labels should be extended nationally, and operators should be able to make monthly payments to reduce the cash flow burden of the high charges," he said.
Mr Melham said that governments should accept the NTC's conclusion that the existing system will overtax truck and bus operators by more than half-a-billion dollars in 2016-17 and 2017-18, and immediately cut charges.
"The heavy vehicle charging system must be a cost-recovery mechanism, not a general taxation regime," he said.
"If governments do not accept this recommendation, the only acceptable alternative in the ATA's view would be to investigate a technical change to the way the PAYGO cost base is calculated, so it would include one year of forecast and one year of estimated expenditure.
"Modelling commissioned by the ATA shows that this approach should address the revenue concerns of governments while still providing fair results for the industry."
Mr Melham said the PAYGO model had not succeeded in delivering predictable and stable registration charges.
"Trucking businesses need heavy vehicle charges to remain stable from year to year, or at least to change at a relatively stable rate," he said.
"Our submission recommends that governments should empower the National Transport Commission to determine a smoothed path for charges during what should become fixed, five year determination periods.
"The NTC should also be designated as the independent pricing regulator for heavy vehicle charges, with decisions appeal-able to the Australian Competition Tribunal. At present, the NTC only has the ability to recommend charges."
The submission recommends against adopting the'building block pricing model that is used to regulate many monopoly prices because of its complexity and expense.
Delays as truck smashes into bridge
City commuters are advised to expect delays this morning after a truck hit a rail bridge in West Perth.
Emergency authorities were called to the Sutherland Street overpass about 9.20am.
A truck was travelling north along Sutherland Street when it struck the bridge and became lodged underneath it.
Firefighters deflated the truck’s front tyres so it could be removed.
The crash scene today. Picture: Seven News
Sutherland Street was closed in both directions while Main Roads staff organised a structural assessment of the bridge.
The southbound lane has since been re-opened.
A Public Transport Authority spokeswoman said trains were unaffected but there had been delays and diversions to buses.
The disrupted services included routes 81, 82, 83, 84, 85 and the Green CAT.
The driver of the truck was breathalysed at the scene. He was not injured.
Does the Mack recall affect you?
Inside the Mack factory at Wacol.
IN this latest recall Mack is calling back some 699 trucks made in 2015.
Mack Titan, Granite, Super-Liner, Metro-Liner and Trident Trucks manufactured between February 9 last year and December 17 are being called back because of trailer issues.
On the government's product safety website, where you can find a full list of Vin numbers, it says the defect is the trailer ABS malfunction light does not illuminate.
"If a malfunction were to occur with the trailer ABS the driver would not be alerted to the issue, posing a potential accident hazard.”
Consumers are asked to contact Volvo Group Australia authorised repairing dealer to have instrument cluster software updated.
Back in June Mack Granite and Trident Trucks manufactured between September 1, 2011 through to April 30, 2014 equipped with Mack proprietary axle were recalled.
That recall was instigated because the cap nut that retains the inter-axle driveshaft yoke to the rear axle input shaft may be subject to premature loosening.
The potential risk if the nut comes off, is the yoke can separate from the axle input shaft and cause the driveshaft to disconnect, posing an accident hazard to the driver and other road users.
Reduced truck speed trial underway in Melbourne
New trial to increase truck travel time by an estimated one minute
Another new vehicle speed trial has kicked off on Melbourne’s Monash Freeway.
The 18-month trial involves reducing the speed of trucks to 90km/h along a 10-kilometre section of the freeway – between Huntingdale Road and Jacksons Road.
The reduced truck speed trial now covers a total stretch of 20 kilometres along the freeway, with a similar trial already underway between High Street in Ashburton and Glenferrie Road in Toorak.
Part of the Victorian government’s Dynamic Speed Trial, the purpose of the trial is to determine the effectiveness of reducing the speed limit for trucks to improve road safety.
Roads and roads safety minister Luke Donnellan says while reducing speed will increase the travel time, the move can in fact help reduce the number of crashes involving trucks and cars.
Reducing the speed of trucks will increase the distance between trucks and other vehicles, which, in turn, will help reduce tailgating and allow cars to navigate more safely around trucks and reduce the likelihood of rear-end and side-swipe crashes.
"Around 80 per cent of all crashes on the Monash are either rear end crashes or side swipe crashes – so we’re looking at innovative ways to make Victorian roads safer," Donnellan says.
"Reducing the speed of trucks on the Monash will only increase their travel time by one minute, but make it safer and boost the reliability of the freeway."
A supporter of vehicle speed trials, Victorian Transport Association (VTA) CEO Peter Anderson reiterates that such initiatives can ultimately help improve productivity and safety across the sector.
"The Victorian Transport Association has a long history of working with governments and statutory authorities on initiatives that produce safety benefits for motorists and productivity gains for freight operators," Anderson says.
"We support the Monash Speed Trial because we believe speed reductions here have the potential to create productivity and safety improvements for operators, which is good for business."
The second leg of this experiment involves banning trucks from the right hand lane in order to determine the effectiveness of the two measures together.
However, the second phase will commence based on the success of the current trial.
ALC Summit: COR change to be crucial says West
Safety committee chairman flags greater alignment with WHS laws
Looming Chain Of Responsibility (COR) legislative changes must be prepared for as they will affect the whole transport and logistics industry, industry leaders have been told.
The new laws that are expected to commence in 2018 and are expected to bring about a greater alignment between COR and work health and safety (WHS) laws.
"It represents a paradigm shift to CoR and will affect all parts of the supply chain," ALC safety committee chairman and DGL Australia managing director John West says.
"One of the most important changes will be to impose a duty of ‘due diligence’ on people such as directors.
"It will require them to ensure that all reasonably practicable steps have been taken to ensure that CoR obligations have not been breached."
Addressing the Australian Logistics Council’s (ALC’s) annual Supply Chain Safety & Compliance Summit, West notes that work on industry codes of practice will need amendment to be officially accepted.
"Running in parallel with this legislative change are changes to framework governing codes of practice," he says.
"The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator will shortly be publishing guidelines for the preparation of industry codes that must be met by a code if it is to be registered.
"Discussions with NHVR lead ALC to believe that ALC’s codes of practice, or any other industry code of practice, may not satisfy the published guidelines, which anticipate codes of practice similar in nature to those published under workplace health and safety law.
"As a result, ALC’s codes will need to be restructured to meet the guidelines set down by the Regulator."
Push for more women in logistics as job opportunities arise
Two organisations driving a campaign to degenderise the transport and logistics industry, will meet in Newcastle next month to discuss how to capitalise on the number of job opportunities for women.
One of the organisers Race Barstow said the transport industry remains a male dominated industry but is one where there are plenty of employment opportunities for women.
“This is about getting the message across that there are job opportunities there for females and degenderizing the industry making it more female friendly,” Ms Barstow said.
“We need to get more people engaged in this conversation so we can spread the word.
“We know the industry is about to grow and it doesn’t have the personnel there to see it reach its full potential.
“We have to work on this to encourage more women to apply for jobs in the transport and logistics fields such as road, rail and shipping,” she said.
Industry experts have forecast there will be a 26 per cent increase in the demand for logistics and transport professionals over the next five years.
“There is no way this increase can be met while the logistics and transport industry continues to be seen as a male dominated industry,” Ms Barstow said.
Lochinvar woman Brittney Bayliss is supporting the cause.
Ms Bayliss has recently obtained her heavy rigid truck licence and in 12 months can obtain her heavy combination licence.
This means she will be able to help her truck driver parents Brett and Jo Bayliss with the family transport business.
“There is a need to break down some barriers in an industry where there is still plenty of room for women,” she said.
At the lunch a panel of industry professionals will provide insights into how the logistics and transport industries can tackle the problem and identify the impediments to change.