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West-Trans announces new changes to WA branch
The Western Australian branch of West-Trans Equipment is now the sole sales and service outlet for skip loaders, hook lifts and HMF cranes in Bibra Lake, Perth.
According to Les Carpenter, General Manager of West-Trans, the move strengthens its position in a market it has long coveted.
“The move had become necessary as a result of increasing competition in the WA market and also because sales of their HMF vehicle loading cranes and their locally manufactured Skip Loader and Hook Lifts, had failed to meet expectations under the previous arrangement,” he said.
“Our decision to partner Hammar in the west in servicing the Hammar side-loaders has seen greater market acceptance amongst the operators of the Hammar product.
“We expect to see a similar improvement in customer’s expectations now that we are looking after the sales and service activities for the West-Trans stable of quality products.”
Carpenter added, “Our presence in Bibra Lake with trained technicians will provide us with an excellent foundation to grow our new business covering the Hammar service, and the sales and service for HMF vehicle loading cranes and West-Trans Hook Lift and Skip Loader products.
“Our plan, early in 2016, is to start shipping Skip Loader components from the east and assemble them at Bibra Lake.”
Truckin in the Tropics: Merv Ackers
MERV Ackers works for Emerald Carrying Company which has a fleet of flashy trucks which travel around North Queensland.
The company trucks looked shiny and bright when they participated in the Townsville Convoy for Kids on October 18.
"Our head office is in Emerald but we have a depot in Townsville now as well and it has been great to be part of this convoy which is for a worthy cause," Merv said.
Merv drives a Kenworth 509 and has been a truckie all of his working life which is testimony to how much he likes it.
"I get up to Mossman in the north and west out to Mount Isa and cart fuel," he said.
"It is a great family owned company to work for."
At the convoy family fun day he had his seven-year-old son Brady and other family members and mates join him.
Merv likes stopping at the BP Cluden Roadhouse and is a big supporter of NRL premiers the North Queensland Cowboys.
Hino delivers 100,000th Aussie truck
Sydney-based Lovatt Transport has taken delivery of the 100,000th Hino truck sold in Australia at its new facility in Botany, NSW.
The milestone Hino joins a fleet of 22 Hino 700 Series SS 2848 Proshifts with more reportedly to be added to the growing fleet.
Hino Australia CEO and Chairman, Steve Lotter, presented Lovatt with a commemorative plaque to mark the event and praised the transporter for its ongoing support of Hino.
"The 700 Series prime mover is the largest truck in the Hino range, and Lovatt now has the largest fleet of 700 Series trucks in Australia," Lotter said.
"We are very pleased that the 100,000th Hino sold in Australia has been purchased by a longstanding business partner.”
Lovatt Transport Managing Director, Bill Lovatt, said the Hino fleet makes for an economical and reliable business.
"Our Hino experience started in 2006 with two 700 Series prime movers, and after a year on the road with them we saw substantial cuts to fuel costs and service bills compared with a similar truck from a different brand," Lovatt said.
"Drivers love the trucks as they offer great vision and a smooth ride, and at the end of the day they alight from the truck without feeling fatigued.
"The 700 Series trucks are very reliable, and we've been able to cut out a lot of downtime and keep the fleet on the road to better serve our customers.”
Road transport needs independent regulator for pricing reform
The introduction of cost-reflective road pricing must include the establishment of an independent economic regulator to set fair, enforceable prices for road users, the chief executive of the Australian Trucking Association Christopher Melham said.
Mr Melham was referring to the Australian Government’s response this week to the Competition Policy Review (the Harper Review).
“The National Transport Commission (NTC) has acknowledged the existing road charging system routinely overcharges truck and bus operators, because the system underestimates the number of heavy vehicles on the road,” Mr Melham said.
“The NTC recently provided ministers with several recommendations to fix the error and bring charges back in line. But instead of reducing charges, ministers decided to freeze the revenue from the charges at 2015-16 levels for the next two years.
“As a result, truck and bus operators will be overtaxed by more than half a billion dollars by June 2018.
“Establishing an independent economic regulator, such as the Access and Pricing Regulator proposed in the Harper Review, would help ensure that governments could not ignore pricing decisions like this in the future.”
In the response, the Australian Government has said it was willing to consider resuming competition policy payments to the states and territories.
“The ATA strongly supports the resumption of competition policy payments, which should provide state and territory governments with incentives for road pricing reforms that increase industry productivity,” Mr Melham said.
The ATA has also welcomed the Australian Government’s commitment that road pricing reform would not involve higher overall charges on road users.
“However, these reforms to road pricing must not involve increased compliance costs for trucking operators, such as requiring small businesses to fit expensive satellite tracking systems,” he said.
“Instead, the reforms must include generally lower compliance costs and smoother cashflow as core objectives.”
Lights out for 2016 Gatton Convoy
Due to a situation beyond its control, the Lights On The Hill committee has been forced to shelve plans for the 2016 Memorial Convoy
The 2016 Lights On The Hill Memorial Convoy, which was due to take place on Saturday, February 28, has been officially postponed until 2017 due to the lack of a suitable venue.
The committee reluctantly made the decision, announcing it following the annual Memorial Service in October at Gatton in south east Queensland.
The convoy had previously been postponed in 2011 in the aftermath of the Queensland floods, and was held in August that year. However, for the first time since its inception, there will be a two-year gap between convoys.
In what seemed a progressive move, the 2015 Lights On The Hill convoy’s destination was switched to the Gatton Racecourse, away from its long-time previous venue of the Gatton Sports Centre and Showground.
However, due to increase of trucks participating in the convoy, issues arose with limited accessibility to the racecourse. A return to the cramped sportsground was not an option.
Organisers were hoping that the new Gatton Showgrounds would be completed in time for the 2016 event, but construction has barely commenced.
Lights On The Hill president Kerry Wilkins says the postponement of the 2016 event is a decision none of the committee members wanted to make.
"We had no choice," Kerry says. "The council hasn’t built the new showground yet. We were told it was going to be cleared by the end of June, but it didn’t happen.
"And the racecourse, because of the entry, we’re not allowed back there.
"We’ve been fighting with this since two weeks after the convoy this year," he adds.
In the meantime Kerry, the committee and others in the transport industry have another project in mind – organising a hay run to drought-stricken western Queensland in the new year.
And he believes the 2017 Lights On The Hill Memorial Convoy will be back, bigger and better than ever.
Owner//Driver attempted to contact the Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones for his views on the event’s postponement, however he did not return our calls.
Truck legends honoured
Arthur Lange and Peter Brownlie at the Queensland Transport Museum's Road Transport Legends Awards at the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre on Saturday, November 14.Photo Tom Threadingham / Gatton Star
FACING long hours through the night, loading trailers by hand and getting bogged on rough dirt roads - being a truckie was a tough gig in the early days.
However, they wouldn't have had it any other way.
Stories of endurance, tough jobs and dedication were all proudly shared among 250 guests during the Queensland Transport Museum's Road Transport Legends Awards at the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre on Saturday night.
Twenty-three truck drivers were inducted into the hall of fame on the night.
At 91, Arthur Lange was the oldest person to be inducted with former Esk resident Peter Brownlie also making the list.
Both said it had been a tough job, but loved doing it.
"It was tough from the early days and all through the '50s was tough work," Mr Brownlie said.
"Work was hard but everybody worked hard - there were no easy jobs," he said.
"There were no forklifts either; if you wanted to put 10 tonne of cement on a truck, you'd do it by a bag at a time."
Mr Brownlie lived in Esk when he began his career and would transport beer into Gatton and fuel out to Ma Ma Creek while working for Western Transport.
"When I started 59 years ago at no stage in my whole working life did I ever expect this to be bestowed on me," he said of the Hall of Fame nomination.
Queensland Transport Museum Steering committee chairman Graham McVean said it was important for the truckies to be recognised.
"Most of these guys have done it real hard and what we honoured on the night are the pioneers of opening up Queensland," Mr McVean said.
"Because without them, the freight wouldn't have got through," he said.
Lockyer Valley mayor Steve Jones said it was great to see them recognised.
"Some of these people have probably had a lifetime in this business and some have been very successful and tried really hard and this is a bit of recognition for that," Cr Jones said.
Sadleirs Logistics wins Aldi contract
Western Australia-based Sadleirs Logistics has won a contract with Aldi Australia and will provide the supermarket chain with freight services across Perth.
According to Sadleirs, services will include freight pick-up and container cartage haulage from Fremantle Port to Aldi’s distribution centre located at Jandakot Airport.
“We’re very pleased to have won this contract and excited to be part of ALDI’s expansion into Western Australia. Sadleirs are already servicing some of the suppliers to ALDI, which will assist forging relationships across the entire local supply chain,” said Neil David, CEO of Sadleirs.
“I see this partnership as a unique and sustainable opportunity, delivering to the retail space through niche services with strong supplier relationships being key to both parties. It is important to our partners that we provide sustainable services, which add value throughout the entire journey. We look forward to a long future supporting ALDI and maintaining our heritage of connecting Western Australian Producers and Suppliers to their local community.”
According to Sadleirs, Aldi’s distribution centre is expected to be completed by April 2016 and the company is aiming to commence transport services from May 2016.
Mustangs reflect Mathie tradition
Phillip Mathie lost his sight in 2010 but he hasn’t lost his passion for the logging industry or his pride in the family business.
Phillip Mathie has been loyal to Western Star and Cummins since Bruce Mathie & Sons bought a Western Star Cheyenne 4800 in 1984.
But among White enthusiasts, Phillip is better known for the two White Mustangs housed in his shed at Dalmeny on the South Coast of New South Wales.
Phillip is preserving a 1960 Mustang MC22 and 1964 Mustang 4200 for future generations because they are similar to the White Super Power his father Bruce Mathie used to cart logs near Nowra, NSW, in the late 1940s.
"People will never ever see anything like that," Phillip says. "Once they’re gone, they’re gone. The engineering and workmanship – it’s just unbelievable."
Phillip is widely admired for his determination to continue working after he lost his sight. "It’s five years this Christmas since I went totally blind," he says. Caused by anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (AION), his blindness forced him to stop driving in 2010. But he continues a management role at the family business. "I’m still coming in every day."
His wife Jenny drives him to work at about 7 o’clock each morning and Phillip works in the office until 5pm, talking on the phone with customers and suppliers. "I go over to the workshop and order parts and things like that."
Phillip and his brothers Stewart and Kevin are directors of Bruce Mathie & Sons. They are the third generation of Mathies to cart hardwood logs.
Representing a fourth generation, Phillip’s son Quinten Mathie runs four trucks trading as QB Mathie.
Quinten subcontracts for Bruce Mathie & Sons and also carts fuel. He admires his father’s determination to keep working despite the challenges he faces.
Linfox opens new warehouse in Thailand
Transport and logistics company Linfox has unveiled a new 10,000m² distribution centre in Bangkok, Thailand.
“The centre has been developed specifically for the storage and distribution of high-quality food products under Yum! Thailand’s international-class standards, which underline the importance of keeping food products fresh, nutritious, and hygienic prior to delivery,” David Ames, Managing Director of Linfox M Logistics (Thailand).
“The distribution centre’s location and quality were the two factors that Linfox considered first and foremost.”
According to Linfox, the new centre will help food organisation, Yum! Thailand, maintain its growth in the food business thanks to the inclusion of a cold storage room that operates at -22 degrees Celsius to keep fresh and frozen food in its best and safest state – ready for delivery to consumers across 500 branches nationwide.
Police put truckies hauling rubble in Sydney on notice
TRUCKIES hauling rubble in Sydney are on notice.
This comes after an interstate truck driver was yesterday found driving whilst suspended in an overweight truck while hauling rubble in Sydney, during police operation Corridor.
Police from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command working alongside Roads and Maritime inspectors have concluded the two-day operation focussing on truck and dog trailers hauling rubble throughout Western Sydney.
Big Rigs understands that some of the trucks were working on the west rail link - which has seen operators from other states come in to help with the work load.
Now police say the results show there is a greater need for compliance within the gravel carting sector.
On Friday November 20, and again yesterday officers intercepted trucks and trailers for weighing, mechanical inspection, and driver compliance.
Throughout the two-day operation officers inspected 119 trucks and trailers revealing;
Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, Commander of the state's Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, said to have one truck driver, from interstate, driving whilst suspended, in an overweight truck, suggests there is a need for greater compliance within this industry sector.
"Any heavy vehicle involved in the haulage of goods, rubble, or otherwise, needs to be operated safely throughout the NSW road network," Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.
"The Joint Heavy Vehicle Taskforce is there to ensure all aspects of the transport industry are conducted safely, for the benefit of all road users.
"Those operators that over load, restrain poorly, or have unfit drivers in unsafe trucks will be the focus of future operations, all in an effort to drive down the road toll.
"The efforts of police and Roads and Maritime officers have effectively prevented serious injury or fatal crashes on our roads," Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.
Cartage Australia – 100 per cent PBS
Relying almost entirely on PBS-approved high productivity equipment, Cartage Australia’s leadership team has created one of the most innovative bulk haulage businesses in the world. But the journey doesn’t end here.
As one of the first transport businesses in the world, Melbourne company Cartage Australia has fully relinquished the classic concept of prescriptive vehicle design and created a fleet that is 100 per cent Performance-Based Standards (PBS) approved. Every piece of equipment bearing the distinctive blue and red livery is now tailored to maximise payload and push the technology envelope – nothing is standard.
Yet, if you ask founders Ray Cauchi and Wayne Vella how they feel about crafting what could be the most progressive quarry transport service in the world, the response is exceedingly modest. “It’s fascinating when you think about how far we have come by embracing PBS, but we’re not doing it for the fame,” says Ray, whose meticulous work ethic has seen him travel across the globe in search of the most efficient transport equipment for the quarry industry. “We haven’t gone down that path because we wanted to write history, but because there was a problem that needed solving. We’re in the quarry business, where the competition is fierce and the work is tough, so standing still can be economically fatal.”
Ever so hands-on, Ray says being in the transport trade is all about creating new opportunities to grow and improve and not let complacency take the lead. “Every new contract is a new challenge to revisit what you consider best practice and look at how you can push the envelope – be it regarding safety, fuel efficiency or payload,” he says. “I think that kind of continuous improvement really is the key to having on-going success in our line of work.”
According to Ray, being exposed to a payload-driven industry like bulk haulage has helped himself and Wayne keep the focus firmly on productivity and embrace PBS early on. “The extreme focus on payload in our line of work has certainly inspired us to make some bold decisions in the past,” he says. “More importantly, though, we work in a high-risk environment, so safety is always at the top of our agenda. What we’ve learned quickly was that with PBS, you can increase your payload quite substantially without compromising on safety, so we provided the ideal breeding ground for PBS equipment, if you will.”
ATA will develop contract checklists to right deals
Signing up to flawed deals can lead to compliance shortfalls down the track, lobby warns
The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is moving to help firms deal with the imbalance of power with larger customers.
The ATA will develop guidance for trucking operators and their customers to help ensure contracts are fair and meet all legal requirements.
CEO Christopher Melham says these factors meant that some small trucking operators found themselves signing whatever is required to get a job, without being in a position to weigh up what that contract could mean for the financial and operational aspects of their business.
"We know there’s sometimes a perception in trucking that if the wheels are turning, you’re all good," Melham says.
"But failing to examine the terms of a contract can lead to businesses taking on risks that should belong to customers, signing contracts with flawed chain of responsibility stipulations, or accepting payment terms they don’t have the cash flow to support.
"The ATA will develop a best-practice checklist for trucking industry contracts, which will be launched at Trucking Australia 2016."
The checklist and guidance material will be available exclusively to members of ATA member associations.
Businesses will be able to use the material as they consider appropriate: they will not be required to use it.
"With information like this, there’s never been a better time to join an ATA member association and get a valuable range of member services," Melham says.
To develop the checklist, the ATA will ask trucking operators to nominate the contract areas that they find especially problematic.
The ATA will also establish a new business standards reference group to provide detailed advice on contract and commercial practices in the industry.
The ATA will also lobby the Australian Government to improve the availability of information about the RSRT and ACCC requirements for trucking operators, including the requirements of the unfair contracts legislation that will come into effect next year.
Triple fatal crash victims identified
Crash investigations are continuing into the cause of a triple fatality west of south-west of Toowoomba yesterday.
Forensic Crash Unit officers are continuing to determine what caused the silver 4WD wagon to cross onto the wrong side of the road and into the path of an oncoming cattle truck travelling on the Gore Hwy at Brookstead yesterday.
Police have identified the crash victims as a 46-year-old man and a man and a woman aged in their 80s.
They were from New South Wales.
The male truck driver, the sole occupant of the heavy vehicle, was not physically injured.
The horrific triple fatal crash at Brookstead south of Toowoomba. 7 News Queensland
TUESDAY 4PM: Three pensioners on an interstate holiday died in what authorities called a horrific crash no-one should ever have to witness.
Two men and a woman, all aged in their 60s, died instantly when their silver 4WD wagon crossed into the path of oncoming cattle truck on the Gore Hwy at Brookstead shortly before noon today.
The truck driver, aged in his late 30s, was physically uninjured but has been offered counselling to help recover from psychological scars from the shocking crash.
The 62 head of cattle on board the truck were uninjured in the crash which closed the major highway for more than three hours.
Police were this afternoon trying to piece together what caused the wagon to cross to the wrong side of the road. Forensic Crash Unit investigators were working to identify the three people killed.
"It would appear they were from interstate," Pittsworth police officer-in-charge Sergeant Rob Patterson said.
"The vehicle is registered in New South Wales and there are items inside the vehicle that indicate they are from New South Wales."
Sgt Patterson said the livestock rescue was balanced against the need for a full forensic examination of the scene, but initial investigations suggested the 4WD had crossed onto the wrong side of the road.
The truck had been carting cattle from Forbes, New South Wales, headed to Dinmore, east of Toowoomba when the collision occurred.
The scene of the horror triple fatal crash at Brookstead south of Toowoomba.
Witness statements suggested the 4WD had been travelling south along the Gore Hwy, and neither vehicle is believed to have been speeding.
"From our initial investigations it would appear the cattle truck has been travelling on the left hand side of the road and for some reason, the station wagon has veered onto the incorrect side of the road and come into collision with the truck," Sgt Patterson said.
"It's a horrific scene, as you can imagine after a vehicle has come into collision with a truck head-on.
"It's something no-one should ever see, I don't think, but then part of you thinks that maybe if people did see this then maybe they would change the way they drive on the road.
"It might change their behaviour if they had to witness something like this.
"As on all highways where there's a speed limit of 100kmh, whenever you have a crash it is going to be fairly serious, but this is by no means a back spot."
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Kitchener St station officer Tony Guse said the triple tragedy was a reminder to all motorists to be cautious on the roads, especially during long trips on highways.
"Leading into the Christmas period, we urge people to be very mindful of the Fatal Five and be very aware that when you're travelling long distances to take regular breaks," he said.
Queensland Ambulance Service senior operations supervisor Brad Setch it was a tragic part of the job for paramedics to attend fatal crash scenes, and added his voice to the plea for motorists to be safe on the roads.
"So we just urge all drivers to drive with care and take their rest pauses, who knows what (the) cause of this accident was but try and drive with everything in your favour," he said.
The cattle were cross-loaded to another truck at the scene before being carted off. The highway was cleared of the extensive debris and reopened to traffic.
The triple fatality brings the Darling Downs road toll to 23.
2.30PM: Two men and a woman aged in their 60s have been killed in a horror crash on the Gore Hwy south of Toowoomba.
They were travelling in a Toyota Prado when it collided head-on with a B-double cattle truck at Brookstead, 60km south of Toowoomba about 11.30am.
Queensland Ambulance Service senior operations supervisor Brad Setch said it was unknown what had caused the crash.
"The conditions appear to be good, because the weather is clear and the roads are nice and open," he said.
"None of the paramedics enjoy responding to these incidents."
The driver of the truck was not injured, but is being treated at the scene for shock.
The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.
Mr Setch said the three victims died at the scene.
"Three people in the car were the sole occupants of the vehicle," he said.
"There's been an extensive lot of damage to the truck but the truck driver is fine, he's emotionally upset as you'd expect.
"So we just urge all drivers to drive with care and take their rest pauses, who knows what (the) cause of this accident was but try and drive with everything in your favour.
"It's very sad, it's very sad that we're out here on the highway again with the loss of three lives."
Authorities have closed the highway in both directions.
Delays are expected to be extensive as emergency services investigate the incident and clear the scene.
Traffic is being diverted via the Old Gore Hwy, Brookstead.
12.45PM: Three people have been killed in a horror crash between a 4WD and cattle truck on the Gore Hwy south of Toowoomba.
The three people, believed to be aged in their 60s, were travelling in a Toyota Prado when it collided with a B-double loaded with cattle at Brookstead, about 60km south of Toowoomba.
The crash was reported about 11.28am.
The driver of the truck was not injured in the crash but is being treated at the scene for shock.
Authorities have closed the highway in both directions.
Delays are expected to be extensive as emergency services investigate the incident and clear the scene.
The cattle truck involved in a crash on the Gore Hwy that killed three people.
12.15PM: Three people have been seriously injured in a horror crash on the Gore Hwy south of Toowoomba.
A Toyota Prado collided with a B-double loaded with cattle near Brookstead.
There are concerns those travelling in the Toyota may have life-threatening injuries.
Emergency services have closed the highway in both directions.
11.45AM: A car and cattle truck have collided on the Gore Hwy at Brookstead, west of Toowoomba.
Emergency services have arrived at the scene the incident, which occurred on the bypass at Brookstead.
There are reports of serious injuries to several motorists.
The B-double was fully loaded with cattle.
Queensland Ambulance Service is advising motorists to use caution if driving around the area.
They reported the crash occurred at 11.28am.
The highway is blocked in both directions.
Schenker opens new $10m VIC facility
Transport and logistics company, DB Schenker, has opened a new 14,330m² facility in Truganina, Victoria.
According to Schenker Australia, the new $10 million site is has been purpose built facility for the industrial sector and will create up to 40 new jobs in the area.
“This is our fourth facility in Victoria which is enhancing our Contract Logistics position in the state and supporting our ongoing growth,” said Ron Koehler, CEO, Schenker Australia.
“Based in the rapidly expanding industrial area, our design & build facility was less constrained than in other traditional industrial areas, and we were able to achieve a design that optimised the storage density and handling efficiency of our customers. The net benefit of this facility is a lower overall cost for our customers to deliver their products to the Australian market.”
Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Industry of Victoria, added, “The opening of this facility in Truganina strengthens DB Schenker’s leading position in Australia for logistics and transportation,” she said.
“The State Government is working hard to encourage Global businesses like DB Schenker to invest in and grow their operations in Victoria through a number of industry and infrastructure initiatives.”
Improvements to Australia’s CoR laws to make roads safer
Australia’s chain of responsibility (CoR) obligations will be restructured to improve consistency and allow more flexibility in how all parties along the supply chain who can influence on-road behaviour achieve the desired regulatory outcomes, according to National Transport Commission (NTC).
Mr Retter added that the reforms removed many prescriptive obligations under the current Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and implemented clearer, more flexible and performance-based obligations, without increasing the overall burden on industry.