Posts Tagged ‘ATA’

Review your freight rates before July 1

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Review your freight rates

Trucking businesses in Australia should review their costs and freight rates ahead of the introduction of the carbon tax and the 2.4 cents per litre increase in the fuel tax on 1 July 2012, ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair said recently.

Although trucking businesses will not pay carbon tax on the fuel they use on public roads until 1 July 2014, they will still face increased costs from 1 July 2012 as their suppliers increase their prices.

“Like every other business, trucking businesses should review their costs and make a judgement about whether they are likely to increase as a result of the carbon tax. With just one month to go before the introduction of the tax, it’s time for every trucking business to talk to their accountant or go over their books,” Stuart said.

“The tax is likely to have a particularly large impact on trucking businesses that operate cold stores, because electricity typically accounts for about 30 per cent of their costs. “In New South Wales, electricity prices are set to rise 16 per cent on average, with nine percentage points of the increase coming from the carbon tax. Businesses will need to take this cost increase into account, as well as the substantial increase expected in the cost of refrigerants.

“Trucking businesses offering intermodal services will also face cost rises, with Pacific National imposing a 1.34 per cent carbon cost surcharge and the Spirit of Tasmania ferry service imposing a 2.04 per cent surcharge.”

Stuart said trucking businesses would also face a 2.4 cents per litre increase in their effective fuel tax from 1 July 2012. Many registration charges will also increase. “The fuel tax and registration charge increases will cost a typical owner-driver about $2,800 per year. For a trucking business with ten prime movers and semitrailers, the cost increase is likely to be about $41,800 per year.

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“Every trucking business in Australia needs to talk to its customers about increasing freight rates or adjusting their fuel surcharges. It’s a hard ask, but the industry’s customers need to understand that our costs are going up and we cannot absorb them,” he said.

ATA Chief Executive gets a feel for the road

Monday, July 18th, 2011

ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair taking a break at a parking bay in Catherine

ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair returned to Canberra last week with a fresh appreciation of the road conditions facing truck drivers along the Warrego, Landsbrough, Barkly and Stuart highways, through Queensland and the Territory.

Stuart drove an ABB quad (semi-trailer with a dolly and a B triple) carrying a commercial load from Mitchell to Darwin with Bill Manton, the national training manager at Simon National Carriers.

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Stuart said he wanted to be able to give politicians and public servants a firsthand report about the state of the route, and said the Queensland Government should be commended for the road works underway.

Early morning at a rest area during Stuart's journey in Western Queensland

“The road from Toowoomba to Roma was appalling, but work is being done which is to be applauded,” he said.

“In Western Queensland, as a result of the flooding, the surfaces were uneven and broken. There were extensive road works going on which caused big delays, but you don’t mind because you can see the roads being repaired.”

“The Queensland Government has a big job upgrading such a major transport route.”

Stuart said the on road performance of the ABB quad was exceptional and confirmed the ATA’s argument that modern multi roll coupled combination vehicles provided safer outcomes on our shared roads.

“The on-road performance of our 53 metre vehicle was amazing, with outstanding tracking and stability,” said Stuart.

Stuart met with drivers and operators on the way, before sitting down with the Northern Territory Road Transport Association and trucking operators in Darwin to discuss the NHVR, fatigue and the proposed carbon tax.

Stuart returned to Brisbane via the same route but at the wheel of a standard Triple Road Train and was then able to have firsthand experience of the different handling and tracking of a conventional Type 2 Road Train.

ATA dismisses truck poll results

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

143 two-axle rigid truck trips would create 66 per cent more greenhouse gas emissions than using semi-trailers to deliver the same tonnage

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has dismissed the results of a poll showing that 50 per cent of Australians want large trucks banned from cities.

The Auspoll survey was commissioned by seven organisations, including the Australasian Railway Association.

ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair said replacing big rigs with smaller trucks would just increase congestion, with more trucks needed to deliver the goods Australians use every day.

“A semi-trailer can carry three times more than a smaller, two-axle rigid truck,” Mr St Clair said. “As a result, it takes 42 semi-trailer trips to deliver a thousand tonnes of goods, such as the items you see on the shelves of every supermarket. They’re delivered by truck, not by rail. It would take 143 trips for two-axle trucks to deliver the same amount of freight”.

“There would be more trucks on the road and congestion would be worse”. Mr St Clair said banning larger trucks from cities would also worsen greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr St Clair referred to figures from a 2007 study¹ by the Monash University Accident Research Centre, which showed that replacing large trucks with a greater number of smaller trucks would increase the number of road accidents.

“Using larger trucks to deliver goods reduces the number of vehicles on the road. The statistics show there are fewer accidents as a result.” “Instead of talking about trucks, the ARA needs to focus on getting its own house in order, with disappointing results from a recent environmental survey.”

“Australia’s freight locomotives are, on average, 36 years old and some use diesel engines up to 40 years old,” he said

“Compared to leading edge locomotive technology used in the United States, these 40 year old locomotive engines are estimated to emit more than six times the level of carbon monoxide and up to 30 per cent more carbon dioxide per tonne kilometre, than a heavy vehicle,” said Mr St Clair.

Australian trucking grabs a seat on carbon tax committee

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

Pic: ATA will hammer the message that Australia’s trucking industry is under strain and cannot afford to pay higher taxes

By Brad Gardner

The peak trucking lobby has scored a seat on the Federal Government’s carbon tax committee, and industry is already pushing for it to demand reductions to the diesel excise.

Australian Trucking Association CEO Stuart St Clair has joined groups such as the Australian Automobile Association and the Minerals Council to discuss the Government’s proposed carbon price ahead of its July 2012 introduction.

The NSW Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA) wants the ATA to campaign for any increases due to a carbon tax to be offset by reductions in the diesel excise.

The proposal is similar to the cent-for-cent cut in the excise that would have been introduced under former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). Under Rudd’s model the diesel excise, for one year, would have been cut by one cent for every one cent rise in the price of fuel due to the CPRS.

While it has outlined some policies it will be pursuing, the ATA is yet to determine whether it will push for diesel offsets. “We’ll be strongly representing the industry, but there is not enough detail around the government’s proposal as yet for us to reach a position,” ATA Government Relations Manager Bill McKinley says. However, he says the ATA will hammer the message that the industry is under strain and cannot afford to pay higher taxes.

“Because of the economic climate, many trucking businesses are already finding it impossible to pass on increases in the price of fuel or increases in their costs,” McKinley says. “We’ll also be pointing out that trucking businesses are already taxed heavily through the road user and registration charges.”

The ATA is planning to use the committee to pursue an expansion of higher productivity vehicles and for emissions standards currently applied to trucks to include all diesel engines. “There are already emission standards in place for the trucking industry. They are very, very stringent indeed, particularly the latest set, and that should be mandated across the board,” McKinley says.

The carbon tax committee has already held its first meeting, and McKinley says it will meet on a monthly basis. The news comes as the ATA commissions a research study into the trucking industry’s environmental credentials. It says the study will look at the industry’s environmental performance and examine possible future developments such as alternative fuels, higher productivity vehicles, carbon pricing and emerging technologies.

“The study is particularly important given the debate about the Government’s proposed carbon price,” St Clair says. Under the Federal Government’s scheme, companies will need to pay a fixed price for permits to pollute. The Government’s climate change advisor, Professor Ross Garnaut, wants a starting price of between $20 and $30 per tonne of carbon dioxide, with the price rising by 4 percent annually.

In an update to his 2008 climate change review, Garnaut recommends transitioning from a fixed carbon price to an emissions trading scheme in 2015. He wants an independent regulator to oversee the scheme. During its recent council meeting, the ATA was told diesel prices would increase by 6.75 cents per litre under a carbon price of $25 a tonne. Garnaut says fuel prices will increase by between five and seven cents a litre if a carbon price of $20 to $30 is introduced.

Garnaut says a fixed carbon price can help to provide certainty to businesses and allow them to become familiar with carbon permits. In his updated paper, Garnaut says it is essential the Government gets the price right. “If Australia’s carbon price is set too high – out of step with international action – there could be an unnecessary costly transition,” he says.

“On the other hand, too low a price could impose transactions costs for no real gain. It would not raise the chances of reaching the goals of Australia and the international community.”

Source: ATN (

Boral Transport Engineering Manager wins Award

Monday, November 23rd, 2009
2009 Craig Roseneder Award for Technical  and Maintenance Excellence in the Workshop winner Merv Rowlands, with judge and ATA  Industry Technical Council Chairman, John  S Pierce.

2009 Craig Roseneder Award for Technical and Maintenance Excellence in the Workshop winner Merv Rowlands, with judge and ATA Industry Technical Council Chairman, John S Pierce.

The Fleet Engineering Manager for Boral Transport, Merv Rowlands, is the 2009 winner of the Craig Roseneder Award for Technical and Maintenance Excellence in the Workshop. The award is presented each year to recognise the professionalism of the men and women who work in the trucking industry’s workshops.

The ATA and the Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association (ARTSA) announced the award at the Castrol Awards Dinner, which was part of the Technical and Maintenance Conference. The Chairman of the ATA, Trevor Martyn, said Merv was a worthy winner of the award, having over 28 years experience in the workshop.

“In his role at Boral Transport, Merv has accountability for setting the specifications for some 1500 heavy vehicles operating for Boral around Australia,” Trevor said. “He has worked tirelessly with suppliers to improve the safety, environmental and ergonomic specifications of vehicles in the fleet.

“In particular, Merv has played a leading role to commission the first Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) engines used in agitators in Australia. This technology is now being progressively rolled out across the Boral fleet. “His expansive list of achievements, which include development of many leading-edge trailer designs, is testament to his commitment to improve the impact the industry has on the community.”

Merv said he was honoured to receive an award judged by his peers. “Everyone knows that our industry is one you eat, sleep, live and breathe,” Merv said.
“Receiving an award like this is one of those very special moments when you get recognised by your own industry for all the work you do. “My job is the best job by a mile. I can’t imagine working anywhere else.”

As part of his win, Merv received a scholarship to attend the American Trucking Associations’ Maintenance Council meeting in early 2010 and $1500 in spending money.

He was also presented with an individual trophy and a gift from award sponsor Castrol.

A piece of Australia’s trucking history

Friday, October 30th, 2009

AEC Stock Train advert

AEC Stock Train advert

A 1961 Truck and Bus Transportation advertisement for an AEC stock train. This picture is reproduced with the kind permission of MaxiTrans from ATA ‘s photo archive.

ATA supports beyondblue

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Raising Anxiety and Depression Awareness during ADA month
The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) will show support for beyondblue: the national depression initiative by putting anxiety and depression on the trucking industry’s radar during October.
The Chairman of the ATA, Trevor Martyn, today announced the association’s involvement in beyondblue’s Anxiety and Depression Awareness (ADA) Month, which aims to raise awareness of symptoms and where to get help – and address the associated stigma.

Mr Martyn said that depression affects around one million Australians each year of all ages and backgrounds, including people in the trucking industry and every other industry too.
“In Anxiety and Depression Awareness Month, the ATA will run a campaign to urge trucking operators and employees to get the facts and seek help early if they think they have depression,” he said.
“Depression is much more serious than feeling sad every now and then or having a bad day on the road. If you aren’t travelling too well, don’t be embarrassed to have a chat to your doctor. The sooner you recognise you’re not well, the sooner you can get treatment and be on the road to recovery.
CEO of beyondblue, Leonie Young, said: “We’re very pleased to work with the ATA to let people in the trucking industry know there are treatments for depression and anxiety that can help you recover.
“Less than half the people affected by depression seek help, because they don’t recognise the signs of depression, they don’t know where to get help, or they’re too ashamed to talk about how they feel.
“It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. Talk to your doctor or contact the beyondblue info line on 1300 22 4636,” she said.


The ATA and beyondblue invite trucking operators to participate in ADA Month, including by:
• distributing beyondblue information and posters in workplaces and depots, available free from or by calling 1800 226 718 (free call).
• nominating a ‘wear blue’ day for staff to raise awareness of anxiety and depression.
• booking a beyondblue National Workplace Program workshop to help staff or managers recognise anxiety and depression in their colleagues.
• changing the company’s on-hold message during October to include information about
depression, beyondblue’s web address and info line number, 1300 22 4636.
The ATA’s awareness campaign will consist of feature articles in industry magazines, advice for truck drivers and trucking operators in the ATA’s e-newsletters and an information pack for operators on the ATA’s website.
The ATA has separately recommended to the National Transport Commission that depression screening should be included in the medical checkups undertaken by commercial drivers. Commercial drivers whose screening results suggested depression would be referred for help. The recommendation would not put their licenses at risk: drivers would continue to hold their licenses unconditionally unless restrictions became necessary under the medical standards that apply now.

Media contacts
Australian Trucking Association Stuart St Clair 02 6277 7680 / 0428 488 330
beyondblue Jane Gardner 03 9810 6100 / 0428 333 917
About the Australian Trucking Association
The ATA is the peak body that represents the trucking industry. Its members include state and sector transport associations, the Transport Workers Union, some of Australia’s largest logistics companies, and elected representatives of owner-drivers and small fleet operators.
About beyondblue
beyondblue is a national, independent, not-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related substance misuse disorders in Australia