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Man in thongs saves truckie from burning wreck
A SOUTHPORT man has been hailed a hero after scaling a burning truck to save its elderly driver moments before it was engulfed in flames.
Athen Barnaby, 33 wearing only a pair of thongs, said he didn't need to think twice before risking his life for another.
"I didn't have to think about it," he told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
"I grew up in the Philippines and they teach you there that everyone is your family and that you need to help everyone.
"He crashed right in front of me and the truck dragged for about 17 metres before coming to a stop.
"I honestly thought whoever was driving would have been killed right away but I saw his head pop up so I ran over.
He said the 19-metre refrigerated semi-trailer jackknifed on the bridge over Nerang River after running into a flock of cockatoos.
"(The cockatoos) must have flown over the bridge and smashed into the windscreen of the truck and it must have distracted him and cause the accident," he said.
The drama from the Nerang crash on the M1. Photo: Nine News / Facebook
Pacific Motorway lanes closed after truck crashes
THE southbound lanes of the Pacific Motorway at Nerang will remain closed until at least the early hours of Wednesday morning following a truck rollover earlier this afternoon.
Around 1.40pm, a prime mover towing a trailer of seafood was travelling southbound on the Pacific Motorway.
As it was travelling over the Nerang River, it struck the centre guard rail and caught fire. The truck jack-knifed and blocked all four southbound lanes.
The impact also caused a light pole to fall across the northbound lanes, blocking three of the four.
The male truck driver pulled from the vehicle by a member of the public. He was transported to the Gold Coast University Hospital in a stable condition.
Engineers are currently assessing the bridge and motorway for structural damage.
The southbound lanes are expected to remain closed until at least 1am. All northbound lanes are now open but traffic is still congested.
Fuel tax credit rate increases
The new rate offsets the increase in fuel tax.
The fuel tax credit rate has increased slightly from today to offset the rise in fuel tax.
In a notice sent to the industry, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says operators purchasing fuel for on-road use can now claim 13.36 cents per litre, up from 13.06 cents per litre.
The ATA says the credit rate for powering auxiliary equipment has also increased from 39.2 cents per litre to 39.5 cents per litre.
The increase is due to the Federal Government's decision to re-introduce fuel indexation in 2014.
In announcing the change, the Government included a measure to protect the trucking industry.
Indexation is due to occur twice a year, but the fuel tax credit will rise by the same amount.
Rest stop upgrades on Roper Highway
Three truck parking bays will be upgraded on the Roper Highway to help create a safer road network in the Northern Territory’s Gulf region.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, said the Australian Government had committed $750,000 towards the works under the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme.
“An increase in heavy vehicle traffic associated with mining activities in the Gulf has highlighted the need for better truck rest stop facilities to help heavy vehicle drivers manage fatigue,” Truss said.
“These truck parking bays will be sealed to provide higher standard rest stops for heavy vehicle drivers servicing the needs of local residents and businesses in the region.”
Northern Territory Minister for Transport, Peter Chandler, said the Northern Territory Government contributed matching funding for the project.
“Upgrading the highway’s available facilities will help heavy vehicle drivers get the rest they need to ensure they drive safely,” Chandler said.
“The works are expected to be completed by mid-2016, weather permitting."
No amenities for upgraded NT truck parking bays
Upgraded sites will get bins, but no toilets or shade for truck drivers.
Three truck parking bays along a busy route in the Northern Territory will receive a facelift, but drivers hoping to stop at any of the sites for a toilet break will be disappointed.
The three sites on the Roper Highway in the NT’s Gulf region will be sealed by mid-2016 at a cost of $1.5 million.
The funds will also provide for two bins at each site, but the NT Department of Transport says no amenities such as toilets, running water or shaded areas will be added.
The Federal Government, which is covering half the cost of the projects, says sealing the parking bays is necessary to accommodate a rise in truck traffic in the region.
"An increase in heavy vehicle traffic associated with mining activities in the Gulf has highlighted the need for better truck rest stop facilities to help heavy vehicle drivers manage fatigue," federal infrastructure minister Warren Truss says.
"These truck parking bays will be sealed to provide higher standard rest stops for heavy vehicle drivers servicing the needs of local residents and businesses in the region."
The NT Department of Transport says the sites will be 39.8km, 56km and 86.1km, respectively, in distance from the Stuart Highway and Roper Highway intersection.
"Three new truck parking bays will be constructed with a 120m sealed parking area, including deceleration and acceleration lanes. At each parking bay, two bins will be installed, but no other amenities," a department spokesperson says.
"There will be 120m of parking at each parking bay, which will accommodate four B-doubles (25m long) or six semi-trailers (19m long)."
Work is due to begin in April.
Federal NT senator Nigel Scullion says the Roper Highway is an important road link for the mining and cattle sectors in the Gulf.
ATA applauds change to semitrailer white paint rule
The move is expected to save the industry around $12.4m over the next decade
The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has welcomed the federal government’s announcement of change to the Australian Design Rules (ADRs), which is expected to cut red tape and save heavy vehicle operators money.
The initiative that the ATA pushed for will remove mandatory requirement for the rear bumper of semi?trailers to be painted white, which in most cases is a different colour to the main trailer body.
The change is expected to save the industry around $12.4 million over the next decade, major projects minister Paul Fletcher says.
"More than 4,500 semi-trailers are manufactured in Australia every year and they will no longer require the extra step in production to paint the rear bumper a different colour to the main trailer body," Fletcher says.
ATA CEO Christopher Melham sees the move as accepting reality.
"This [the white colour requirement] was intended to improve visibility for other road users, but worked better in theory than in practice – the bumper makes little difference during daylight hours, and the semitrailer’s rear marker plates provide much greater visibility benefits at night time and in low-light situations," Melham says.
"This had nothing to do with the vehicle’s safety – you certainly wouldn’t expect to be fined if you scratched the paint on your car."
The initiative was taken in response to the Productivity Commission's report on Australia's automotive manufacturing industry to accelerate harmonising ADRs with United Nations vehicle regulations, Fletcher says.
"Harmonisation with international standards provides access to the latest vehicle technology at the lowest possible cost," he says.
The change will come into effect for new trailers once the Vehicles Standard (Australian Design Rule 42/04 – General Safety Requirements) 2005 – Amendment 6 is registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.
Scott’s Refrigerated Freightways gets new GM
Andrew Le Lievre has been working as AHG's general manager (business development) for the past eight months
Automotive Holdings Group (AHG) has appointed Andrew Le Lievre as the new general manager of its refrigerated logistics supply business, Scott’s Refrigerated Freightways.
Le Lievre, who had been working as the general manager (business development) of AHG’ logistics businesses for the past eight months, has over 30 years’ experience in operations, sales, marketing and management.
In the past, Le Lievre has held executive positions in various sectors including transport and logistics, manufacturing and distribution, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and telecommunications.
He has also worked as the CEO of BevChain, a Linfox-Lion Nathan joint venture, and vice president of Linfox’s FMCG division.
"With the gradual transition of Bruce Scott to focus on his many other interests it was important to ensure we found a business leader who understands and can continue to foster the culture and growth of the Scott’s business," AHG managing director Bronte Howson says.
"We believe Andrew will provide great leadership given his vast experience and achievements across the transport and logistics sector and the work he has done recently in his business development role," Howson says.
Le Lievre holds a business degree from the Chisholm Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Melbourne.
One-stop-shop trend spreads in rigid truck market
In a move to benefit from the one-stop-shop trend in the transport equipment industry, Volkswagen is has now extended its range of factory-fitted truck bodies to also include a dry van solution.
According to German industry publication, Verkehrsrundschau, the package will be available across the Crafter range and include plywood bodies made by German companies, Junge and Spier.
“By offering the truck body as a factory option, it’s easier for customers to estimate finance and leasing rates for the complete unit,” the magazine explained.
The trend towards truck and body bundles has recently also reached Australia, with OEMs like Scania now offering complete packages right off the production line.
“A lot of the business in the rigid market is happening in the SME segment (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), where people prefer to have a single point of contact that can take care of the whole lot,” Dean Dal Santo, National Sales Manager Truck at Scania Australia, told Prime Mover as part of a special report on Australia's rigid truck market.
“You don’t want to buy a truck here, a matching body there, and then having to deal with different people, varying warranty arrangements and service schedules that don’t match. That’s why we are moving down the one-stop-shop path, for example with our Ready Build program, and massively extend our offering around the truck itself.”
More exclusive information on the industry’s new one-stop-shop mentality and the Australian rigid truck market in general will be unveiled as part of Prime Mover’s March edition, out 4 March.
Traffic changes on Sydney M2
Work is scheduled to start on an extra lane of traffic on the Hills M2 between Pennant Hills Road and Windsor Road in Sydney to accommodate vehicles exiting NorthConnex.
“NorthConnex will provide a critical link for motorists travelling between Western Sydney and the Central Coast. We’ll see major travel time improvements and thousands of trucks off Pennant Hills Road,” said Minister for Roads, Duncan Gay.
“While work is carried out on the Hills M2 over the next two years, road users travelling westbound will need to reduce their speed for a few kilometres of the motorway.
“We’re getting on with the job of building projects to cater for Sydney’s growth, but drivers will need to be patient as the job is done over the coming two years.
“When completed, NorthConnex will be capable of carrying more than 100,000 vehicles each day and will remove around 5,000 trucks from the congested Pennant Hills Road corridor.”
When work starts on the new merge lane on 6 February, the speed limit will be reduced from 100 km/h to 80 km/h on the 3.5 kilometre section of the motorway.
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance, said: “We’ve attempted to minimise disruption as much as possible but our customers will notice the commute home may be a little longer than normal.”
The $3 billion NorthConnex project is funded by the Australian and NSW governments and Transurban, and will include twin nine kilometre tunnels under Pennant Hills Road.
Truck bursts into flames on M1 Pacific Motorway, south of Brisbane
A truck jackknifed and burst into flames on the M1 prompting the closure of southbound lanes and peak-hour traffic chaos.
The 60-year-old male driver lost control while over the Nerang River, with the truck striking a centre guard rail about 1:45pm in the southbound lane.
It rolled to cover the four southbound lanes, and then caught alight.
The driver was pulled from the truck by a fellow motorists, and escaped with minor injuries and burns.
He was taken to hospital in a stable condition, but his truck was completely destroyed.
The impact of the crash also caused a light pole to fall across the northbound lanes, blocking three of the four lanes.
The road was closed in both directions, causing massive commuter delays, but by 6:30pm all northbound lanes had reopened.
Southbound lanes at Nerang are expected to remain closed until the early hours of Wednesday.
"Engineers are currently assessing the bridge and motorway for structural damage," a police spokesperson said in a statement.
"It appears diesel fuel has also leaked into the Nerang River."
OTR gives truck drivers first-class facilities
SOUTH Australia's leading convenience retailer OTR has recently opened a world-class facility for truck drivers on a major truck route out of Adelaide at Port Wakefield Rd, Bolivar.
The construction of the OTR Port Wakefield Rd site was the largest single investment to date made by the Peregrine Corporation in building an OTR convenience store catering for B-double and road train trucks up to 36.5 metres in length.
Built on over three hectares, the store is an Australian-first convenience experience offering all 24-hour services including first-class trucking facilities with showers, a truckies' lounge and a truck fuelling area under a dedicated canopy that has BP Ultimate Diesel, hi-flow diesel and AdBlue®.
There is also 24-hour food offers with a drive thru retail store, Oporto Chicken, Wok in a Box, state-of-the-art car wash, a supermarket, Brumby's bakery and a Krispy Kreme factory.
Michaela Webster, OTR chief operating officer, said the site gave truck drivers a great facility.
"We want to give our customers the best facilities we can and are already fine tuning some aspects like where the truck drivers park to sleep so noise for them is kept to a minimum," she said.
The OTR fuel card can also be used at the site, it is accepted at over 130 OTR sites around SA and nationally through the BP network offering flexible invoicing and payment terms and vehicle performance analysis reports for companies.
"The building of this OTR store has created important jobs for South Australian's across construction, food manufacturing and retail sectors.
"We are an innovative and dynamic family business that is proud to be generating jobs and investing in the future of South Australia."
OTR Port Wakefield Rd: 853 Port Wakefield Rd, Bolivar.
JA Doyle: 40 years in tippers
John and Damian Doyle were among the many hero truckies taking part in the Burrumbuttock Hay Run.
Forty years have passed since John and Eileen Doyle of Oaklands, New South Wales, purchased their first truck.
In 1976 they bought an International to cart bulk clay from a local mine to Melbourne and Sydney.
"We were the first to have tippers in Oaklands," John says.
"And [now] I look over my shoulder and there are tippers everywhere."
Less than 250 people live in Oaklands, but John estimates there are about 50 trucks operating out of the Riverina town today.
"Our little community in Oaklands probably wouldn’t survive without trucks," he says.
JA Doyle charges sustainable rates and fosters strong customer relationships.
Like many from the town, John will volunteer at the Oaklands Truck Show that takes place from 5pm on Saturday March 19 until 4pm on Sunday, March 20.
JA Doyle has five trucks and specialises in grain. The business also has a busy contract harvesting division. Its four headers travel as far as Moree.
The Doyles’ son Damien is operations manager. John and Eileen include Damien in all business discussions and welcome his input.
"I always go through the mathematics, the possibilities and the negatives with him," says John, who is wary of debt and careful not to overcapitalise.
"I could go out and buy 10 trucks tomorrow and I could undercut the bloke down the road, but it’s not the right way to go."
Instead he charges sustainable rates and fosters long-term relationships with loyal customers.
John Doyle bought his first truck in 1976. He now has five and specialises in grain.
Trucks from the JA Doyle fleet have taken part in all 10 Burrumbuttock Hay Runs organised by Brendan Farrell to cart hay from the Riverina to drought-stricken Queensland.
John’s Western Star was lead truck in the most recent convoy to Ilfracombe in January.
Radio announcer Luisa Pelizzari from 105.7 The River travelled with John and Damien, broadcasting interviews with drivers and farmers along the way.
The Doyles’ son Damien is operations manager of JA Doyle.
Sydney Freight Services goes into administration
Hayes Advisory's Alan Hayes and Christian Sprowles have taken control of container logistics firm
The fate of Sydney Freight Services awaits the formation of a creditors committee, ATN understands.
A creditors meeting for custom-bonded air and sea freight depot and transport company Tahitian Gold Enterprises, trading as Sydney Freight Services, was called on Friday after it entered voluntary administration last month.
The meeting was called to consider whether to appoint a committee of creditors and if so, who would be part of the member committee.
Sources tell ATN while the decision to form a committee has been agreed upon, the committee itself has not yet been formed.
A combined notice on the appointment of administrators and the first meeting date for creditors of the company was issued on January 18, followed by a notice inviting applications for purchase of assets.
According to the administrators, the company's business and assets include: plant, equipment and truck fleet (leased); warehouse in south-west Sydney transport hub (leasehold); intellectual property; customs 77G depot licence, Class 1.3 quarantine depot (subject to approvals).
Its fleet ranges from 1 tonne vans through to 12-tonne taut liners.
Alan Hayes and Christian Sprowles from Hayes Advisory have been appointed administrators..
Throwing of rocks a cause for concern
DANGEROUS: A Truck that was damaged in the recent attacks along the Hume Hwy. Luckily this time no one was injured or worse.
TRUCKIES say it was lucky no one was killed recently when 18 drivers were the target of rock throwers who threw huge concrete stones from Hume Freeway overpasses.
The criminals damaged vehicles in three separate incidents north of Melbourne.
Seven News journalist Mel Buttigieg reported that in one incident just after midnight on January 17 six vehicles were hit by rocks at the Arkells Rd bridge on the Hume in Wandong.
That followed on from an attack on January 9 when seven vehicles were struck with pieces of concrete on Mia Mia Rd in Broadford about 4am.
Only one hour later on January 9, five more vehicles were hit.
While no one was injured, the drivers feared for their safety.
On the Big Rigs Facebook page Jason Finniee said "lucky no one was killed" and Peter Raymont said those that threw the rocks were "idiots" and should be given "15 years for each offence".
Back in 2014, truckie Andrew Wilson started The Rock Throwing Reporting Page on Facebook after a truckie was injured in Boggabilla when his windscreen shattered.
In that incident glass injured the truckie's eye and he was taken to hospital.
Back then Andrew said rock-throwing incidents were "nearly a daily occurrence".
"Something has got to be done. It's wrecking gear and injuring drivers," he told Big Rigs.
Other incidents have happened in Bourke, Goondiwindi and Gympie in the past.
And back in 2000 tragically Mark Evans lost his life travelling on the Hume Hwy at Douglas Park when three young men threw sandstone and concrete rocks at his truck.
If you have any information about rock throwing call Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000 and help Andrew compile his register of rock throwing hotspots by posting details to the Facebook page.
Two trucking industry legends awarded Australia Day honours
THE Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has today congratulated Ian Cootes on his appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2016 Australia Day Honours list.
Ian Cootes founded Cootes Haulage in 1965 as a single tanker operation, which grew to employ around 800 people by the time he sold the business in 2001.
He served as a member of a number of industry bodies during this time, and worked to improve safety and efficiency standards for dangerous goods transport as the Director of the Australian Road Research Board.
The Chair of the ATA, Noelene Watson, said the honour recognised Mr Cootes' enormous contribution to the trucking industry and its safety standards.
"Ian was considered a leader of the trucking industry - as far as he was concerned, everything had to be exactly spot on or it just wasn't worth doing," Mrs Watson said.
"This was reflected in his extensive service as a Board member of the National Bulk Tanker Association, and when he served as a Board member and then President of the Australian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association.
"He was always a highly respected industry operator, and a really positive influence on the industry. He set the benchmark for other operators to look up to, and was an important early contributor to the ATA.
"In addition to his work for the trucking industry, Ian's award recognises his philanthropic contributions.
"Ian has been a long-standing supporter of the Alfred Hospital through The Alfred Foundation, where he served as Chair from 2003 - 2008 and continues to serve as its Deputy Chairman today.
"His work has been recognised through his induction to the National Road Transport Hall of Fame in 2003 and his addition to the National Trauma Research Institute Honour Board in 2004. It's very appropriate that his work has now been recognised nationally.
"On behalf of the ATA and the whole trucking industry, I want to offer Ian my congratulations on this most significant honour," Mrs Watson said.
The ATA also congratulates Mr Thomas Fawcett, who received a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to the livestock transport industry.
Mr Fawcett has been the Managing Director of the Fawcett Cattle Company in the Northern Territory since 1963, and has been an active member of the Northern Territory Road Transport Association for many years.
He has also served as a member of the Coomalie Community Government Council.
Diesel under a dollar? You’d better get in quick
FRESH OUT OF FUEL: East Bundaberg Shell ran out of diesel on Wednesday afternoon.
A BUNDABERG service station ran out of diesel fuel on Wednesday afternoon after the price hit a low of 99.9c per litre. An employee from East Bundaberg Shell took to Facebook at 3pm to warn that the station was all out and that the tanker was expected on Thursday morning, after local motorists took advantage of the bargain.
At just under a dollar, the price is well below the region's average price for diesel of 107.6c.
RACQ executive manager Michael Roth said the price drop was a reflection of the global economy.
"Diesel prices fluctuate in line with how the global economy is faring, as it's used more by miners, heavy industry and the trucking fleet.
"As mining drops, diesel becomes cheaper than petrol; when the economy is going well, diesel is more expensive than petrol.
"That's not just an Australian story, that's a global story."
The wholesale price for diesel is currently 90 cents per litre, considerably lower than petrol which is at 1.04c.
"Hopefully you'll see a lot more stations heading below a dollar soon," Mr Roth said.
Bundaberg is currently the third cheapest region in Queensland behind Ayr, with an average price of 100.2c, and Gympie, at 104.9c.
The East Bundaberg rate is also below what the RACQ rates as a "fair fuel price" of 100.9c.