TRUCKRIGHT, 9th June 2019.

rod n truck

Goodaye all. Short and sweet this week. A big week on the road, some fun loading a jigsaw puzzle and some not so fun, being at the end of the chain of responsibility. The driver still carries the can and for those who are well removed from the freight they want carried, but who either don’t care about how their actions affect our lives, even simply getting sleep when you can if delayed, let alone in so many other ways.

People make mistakes, someone else causes a screw up and someone has to fix it. That happens and is a part of all business, not just transport and we mess up too at times, no one is perfect. We should all then know how important information is, what went wrong, when the freight is timeslotted for delivery, what can be done to help you do it for them (and save their bacon), but it seems it is often simply too much to pass it on, to then help us with compliance and getting the job done safely and on time. We will see how it turns out, I did my bit and got there safely and on time, but still got stuffed about at the other end, seems one screwing over was not enough.

I have started reading the 60 plus pages of the second HVNL 2nd document, about fatigue this one and very timely. Still too long perhaps and I have had further discussions with the NTC, ATA and others in the media about my concerns. If you have one problem and you can explain and detail and also offer a suggested improvement, I highly recommend you at least do that. If enough drivers highlight the same problem, we can at least hope it will gain some reaction.

The ATA and QTA have both offered to accept drivers views and comments towards their submissions and that is another welcome opportunity for drivers who do not have the time for the whole shebang to read and respond as the papers are quite extensive. Would a flyer in servos with some simple questions get to more drivers? Have we only got to those who read the industry press and still many do not even know of the review? What do you think?

I spoke with a mate during the week, asking him to consider putting in a submission. He said he still loves trucks, but whilst he has a good job now, perhaps even the best he has ever had, he is over the industry. He also made the comment, in the 20 years he has made the effort to “get involved”, write submissions and the like, there has not been one thing from those efforts that has filtered down to him on the road as a driver and whilst that may seem, me, me, me, that is why people contribute to see things change and he has been sadly disappointed each and every time he has made the effort.

I have said this, many times. Many drivers are cynical of such reviews, interviews and those seeking submissions and I will happily be corrected if anyone can show me a change from such. In 2003 I went to Canberra, was the only driver to speak at the “National Enquiry into Road Safety”, was then asked for a “one pager” from the Chairman on an issue and delivered it within the week. From that enquiry, there were 35 recommendations made by the committee, three of which were mostly mine, the then blue reflector markings of informal truck bays, signing the length of overtaking lanes (the one pager) and still two more I was a part of and not one of those recommendations was ever acted on.

No wonder we are a cynical bunch, yet here I am again reading and submitting and asking you to do the same. Why? Because it may well be our best chance to get something changed that will affect us on the road. If only a couple of drivers submit, then it can’t really be a problem, or more would have, they will say. So, it is up to us. Please make the effort, one more time or do this one if you have never done so before. Off to load tomorrow for Melbourne Tuesday, what long week-end? Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey

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