Archive for January, 2011

UD TRUCKS new look for 2011

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

UD Trucks new look for 2011

UD Trucks’ distinctive red and white logo has received a facelift, with the company’s new chrome and red branding rolling out Australia-wide from January 2011.

The change completes the re-branding of the company which commenced globally in February 2010, when its name was officially changed from Nissan Diesel to UD Trucks.

Cris Gillespie, the Marketing and Communications Manager of UD Trucks Region Oceania, says that the new logo will be applied to all branding, including on the trucks, in dealerships and on all marketing material.

“UD Trucks has now been fully integrated into the Volvo Group and an important part of this integration was to re-establish the brand with a global logo that moves away from the old Nissan Diesel branding,” Cris Gillespie said.

“2011 will mark an exciting time for the UD Trucks brand in Australia with some significant new products and a renewed effort to offer some of the most environmentally friendly trucks on the market”.

“While the new logo provides a visual change to our customers, we believe that the brand will still hold true to its promise of ultimate dependability”.

Many people believe that the UD name was an acronym of “Ultimate Dependability”, the abbreviation was actually derived from the Uniflow-Scavenging Diesel Engine.

This revolutionary supercharged power plant was released in 1955, and provided the driving force for UD Trucks for several decades, with the distinctive red circle and ‘UD’ symbol over time changing from an engine identification badge to a company logo.

UD Trucks are assembled and manufactured in Japan and are exported to Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, North America, Central and South America.

The current UD Trucks line up in Australia includes a range of medium and heavy duty products, with the flagship GW model being the number one selling Japanese prime mover in Australia for the past five years.

Swedish multinational AB Volvo acquired the majority ownership of UD Trucks Corporation Japan in March 2007.

For further information on UD Trucks, visit

$90,000 Back Pay For Transport Workers

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Twenty-nine Gippsland transport workers are being reimbursed almost $90,000 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found they were underpaid.

The workers – all from the same company – were underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and superannuation.

After Traralgon-based Fair Work inspectors contacted the employer and explained its obligations, the company has agreed to back-pay all entitlements in full.

The largest individual underpayment was $5700.

The transport company was randomly audited as part of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s regular auditing activity. In another local case, a South Gippsland manager has been back-paid $13,400 after he was underpaid annual leave entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says that given the employers all co-operated with inspectors and agreed to voluntarily rectify the underpayments, there will be no further action against the companies involved.

“We have a flexible, fair approach and our preference is always to work with employers to help them voluntarily rectify any non-compliance issues we identify,” he said.

Mr Campbell says the Agency places a strong focus on educating and assisting employers to understand and comply with workplace laws. “We are serious about our job of ensuring regional communities understand their rights and obligations in the workplace.”

Mr Campbell says employers need to regularly review their Award or agreement to ensure they are fully aware of their obligations to their workers.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of tools on its website – to assist employees and employers to check minimum rates of pay. Small to medium-sized businesses without human resources staff can also ensure they are better equipped when hiring, managing and dismissing employees by using free template employment documentation with step-by-step instructions.

Employers or employees seeking assistance or further information can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays.
For translations, call 13 14 50.
Note: We are unable identify the businesses involved or provide additional information on the cases

Australian Truckies Need Rest Changes

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Weather affected Aussie Truckies wait for the highway to open

NatRoad, Australia’s largest road transport association, continues to call upon State and Territory roads and traffic authorities to temporarily relax rest requirements for heavy vehicle drivers affected by road closures.
Recent heavy rainfall and flash flooding has resulted in temporary road closures on critical transport routes in northern NSW and extensive areas of QLD. Heavy congestion around choke points that remain open and recurrent periods of heavy rainfall has further reduced traffic flow.

Given the dire circumstances of flood affected communities and the prospect of further heavy rainfall, emergency measures for maintaining essential freight deliveries must be urgently considered. “Delays arising from road closures can impact on national freight efficiency, causing knock-on effects to other industries and jeopardising the availability of critical supplies such as food, water, sanitary products and building materials to flood affected communities.” said NatRoad President Rob McIntosh.

“Statutory fatigue management systems are designed for otherwise unimpeded driving conditions and can further compound freight delays during the unusual conditions currently affecting road transport operators.

Drivers must be afforded some level of flexibility to ensure that scheduled rest breaks do not prevent freight movements when opportunities to move through flood affected areas are limited.”

In the UK, drivers were recently allowed to drive up to one extra hour per day to improve the efficiency of freight delivery during snowstorms that have had a similar effect on the ability to move freight on critical transport routes.

Australian State and Territory road transport authorities generally have some discretion in the consideration of circumstances that may have contributed to a breach of a driver’s fatigue management regime. NatRoad urges all relevant authorities to be considerate of the circumstances facing heavy vehicle drivers in flood affected areas, particularly those impacted by road closures.

Truckies Bravery during the Flood Crisis

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Another Truckie Hero during Flood Crisis

Australia’s peak trucking industry body, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), is looking to recognise acts of bravery by the country’s truck drivers during the devastating floods currently affecting Queensland, northern New South Wales and the Gascoyne region of Western Australia.

ATA Chairman, David Simon, said there are many stories of truck drivers going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the safety of people trapped in the flood waters.

“Australians are always at their best in times of crisis. There will be many stories of tragedy and heroism from the floods, and the ATA and Continental Tyres have joined together to make sure the bravery of Australia’s truck drivers is suitably recognised.”

The ATA and Continental Tyres Australia are presenting the new award as part of this year’s National Trucking Industry Awards.

Mr Simon said the ATA was seeking stories such as the one of the John Kelly & Son Transport driver who helped rescue a motorist during the flash floods in Toowoomba on Monday (see attached image).

“The driver displayed remarkable bravery in driving his truck into the flood water to rescue a woman at the corner of James and Kitchener streets,” Mr Simon said.

“The footage of the driver and his truck is one of the iconic images of the flood crisis.

“Despite the attention, this driver doesn’t consider himself a hero. He told me he just drove the truck into the water and threw a strap to the car driver to secure around herself, in case the car was washed away.

“He believes he was just being sensible. He said he wasn’t going to do anything stupid. Of course, this is exactly what a hero would say.

“It’s these selfless actions and laconic modesty that make drivers like this one, perfect candidates for the new trucking bravery award. I’m sure there are many more stories of drivers who have put their safety at risk to help people in need.

“I urge anyone who has witnessed Australian Truckies displaying bravery to share their stories with the ATA.”

For more information on the trucking bravery award, or to nominate a driver, visit the ATA’s awards website at

Australia’s Trucking Industry Urges Patience During Floods

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Australia’s peak trucking industry body, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is urging the industry’s customers to take into consideration the delays caused by flooding in northern Australia and to ensure they allow additional time for deliveries.

ATA Chairman, David Simon, said the floods had placed great pressure on local communities, regional infrastructure and the Australia’s trucking industry. “Trucking will play an important role in the recovery of communities affected by the floods. Trucks are often the only way to get vitally needed supplies to where they are needed,” Mr Simon said.

“As a result, the trucking industry is working hard to ensure communities affected by flooding can get what they need quickly, this extra work, as well as the additional time needed to travel around flood affected areas, means there will be some delays for the industry’s customers.

The ATA is asking all customers to realise the industry is doing its best to meet the demand, and to adjust their delivery schedules accordingly.

This will keep our roads safe and ensure companies meet their obligations under Chain of Responsibility legislation, which holds consignees and consignors responsible if they pressure a driver into breaking the law, for example, by imposing unreasonable schedules given the flooding.

Mr Simon also reminded motorists that roads in flood affected areas will be damaged and urged them to ensure they are careful around areas that have been subjected to flooding.

Following the recent heavy rain and flooding, many roads will be damaged. It’s up to all motorists to ensure they take the changed road conditions into account and drive appropriately to the conditions.

The ATA, and its member associations in affected states, will be working hard to ensure roads and bridges are repaired quickly and rebuilt to appropriate standards.

The ATA budget submission to the Australian Government will call for more road funding for the affected states, as well as special funds paid directly to local governments to help them fix their damaged roads and bridges.”