22nd July 2019 Work and a break.

Goodaye all. Had a short week last week, down to Melbourne and back, then truck was due for machinery, it is now 8 years old. I fixed the washers, they found one thing I didn’t know about, a leaking booster and it went back to the yard to tighten a crossmember and check a slack adjuster and the boss suggested a new set. Good idea, as some of them might still be original.

I went to Sydney with one daughter, we then stayed with another and the third arrived and we climbed Sydney Harbour Bridge for my grandsons’ eighth birthday. Some reading, a bit of shopping and time with my three daughters and three of four grandchildren. A couple of days hols while the truck was sorted and hopefully all good for tomorrow.

I had applied for funding from the NHVR to buy the current truck and trailers, but was unsuccessful with that application. They would never fund a new truck and trailers and I thought I had a good proposal for buying the current TIV and I would commit to the next 4 years and be able to earn an income, but do more than I can now, as an employed driver. Back to winning the Lotto or finding someone who will fund me or supply a truck and trailers. Never give up.

I am working on the next curtain design and imagine, this will be the last TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle. I will be 62 next month, (this time last year I was in England on my Churchill Fellowship Study tour) and hope to be able to work till at least 67 (need to pay off a house), but there are simply not enough hours in the day to do it all and my family have paid too high a price so far.

So, with the help of many smaller sponsors, I still hope to have a new set of curtains and a new looking (if not new truck or trailers)TIV on the road in the new year. I plan to get into that now I have the answer from the funding application, as I was waiting to see what I could achieve if that had been successful. Congratulations to all those who did succeed and I hope each of the endeavours reach their aims and each helps drivers in one way or another. Till next week Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

14th July 2019 Where did you sleep?

Goodaye all. Where did you sleep this week? Did you sleep in your own bed or if away from home, in a nice hotel? Even if you slept in a cheap motel, you would have had clean sheets, a clean shower and toilet and at the very least, food available possibly on site and or, other choices close by.

By law, I cannot park the TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle (TIV) in front of a motel or caravan park and go inside and spend the night. I am only allowed to park a commercial vehicle for one hour in a place with either kerbing and channelling or a system of streetlighting, depending on which state you live in.

So in theory, I must park in a truckstop or truck rest area, unless I have a yard or the capacity to park off the road and few customers allow you to park and sleep onsite. So where do I get my shower, my clean sheets and have access to a toilet and reasonable food, be safe and also able to protect my truck and its’ load. You do realise, I am responsible for both don’t you? I can’t really even park it somewhere, then walk or get a cab to a motel and if I have bulk Dangerous Goods on board, I am breaking the law to leave it unattended.

There are few motels without air conditioning and dirty ones won’t survive as no one will come back and others will rate them badly, but what if I need to sleep during the day to be compliant with the law. Please show me all the truck rest areas with useable shade, toilets and other facilities you will mostly, all take for granted.

What if I do pull up and get to sleep, at least I don’t have far to go to bed, about one step, but then in the day, the sun moves as it does, or at night, another tired truckie pulls in beside me as he too needs his beauty sleep, but he has a frig van or a load of cattle or makes a noise and wakes me as he has a short break, while I am trying to have a mandatory 7 hour continuous break?

All the above is of no concern to most of you in other jobs, but have you ever for one minute thought about the truckie who delivers your food, your fuel, your clothes, car parts and every other thing you use, how we live on the road? Not one of our major highways in Australia met the minimum standard for the number of rest areas in the only study done in years, let alone did they meet the requirements for even a basic list of facilities that should be available to us. What is being done to change this?

I asked for sometime and we now have a recommended design for truck rest areas, but there is no legal requirement, no funding to make even one highway meet the above standard for the number of spaces, let alone for the design or facilities. We are legally required to manage our fatigue, to comply with laws and penalties made and policed by others, who have no idea of what it is like to live in a truck for a day, let alone a week or more, so do you wonder why I am still asking for something to be done?

None of us want to drive tired, we want to do a trip safely and get home, but we need places and the flexibility in our laws to allow us to do that safely, but currently we don’t have the places, the facilities or the consideration needed and our laws are more there to punish us and raise revenue, than help as operate safely. How can we fix any of this? Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

7th July 2019 Dirt, cotton and wires.

Goodaye all. Hoping the broken wire problem has finally been fixed and I get all my horsepower back. Will know this afternoon when I hook up and head off. Got some new steer tyres and spent a relaxing two hours doing my trailer tyre pressures Friday morning, replaced a missing mudflap whilst the wire search was underway and got a new speedo, though it seems from the trip home, that did not fix that problem.

Earlier in the week, after a mud map error, no one home on UHF or phone and just enough phone signal to confirm with my depot I was on the right farm in the middle of nowhere to unload myself, it was a bit tight over the irrigation channel, but got some good photos on the airstrip where I unloaded. The fork and surface could have been better, but just another day in the life, as many would understand and few others would care about. Funny how the dirt road, even with tracks nearly a foot deep, was often better than the bitumen. At least it was only dust and not mud or would still be there.

Loaded cotton the day after, first truck in, this looks good, but then, all finished, loaded and strapped, only to move forward to go to the weighbridge and be told, sorry, that is not your load. When the lady followed that comment with, “You’re not happy are you?”, I smiled and said, “Well who’s load is it?” It of course belonged to the truck who was to load next. It did get sorted with me having to go to a different delivery point with the load I had on, though suffered another problem when two bales I did have on, were listed as sent the day before and so could not be booked out again. More consultation and discussion and notes on the paperwork. Got a cuppa while waiting though and chatted with the other drivers waiting to load.

Had got out there the night before too late to load, went to bed early, got up again for my spot on Nightshift, only to have the phone signal fade, so up out of bed and into the cab in the cold to plug it in and still had an issue, but got through it. Rang the still silky voiced John Laws Friday to try and get more drivers involved with the HVNL review and then did a spot on ABC Wagga with my mate, Grant Luhrs Saturday morning about, you guessed it, the HVNL review and winter driving, though winter seems slow to come so far this year.

Just completed my 8 page reply to HVNL issues paper 2 on fatigue. Will check it and send next week-end at this stage and damn, having missed the library, no new audio book to listen to, will do my shopping and off to work. Our tax laws will not allow me to include my shopping I buy to go on the road and lock in our costs whilst on the road, where everything is of course dearer, yet of course, they don’t have to try and live on the road. No answer from tose I have asked to supply a new truck and set of trailers and looks like I did mot win the Lotto, so will have to keep begging. “Never give up and keep asking nicely” is my motto but getting older and frustration is building. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

1st July 2019 What a week/short w-end.

Goodaye all. I was so keen to get to work I didn’t get time to lodge this yesterday. What a fun week. Dubbo, Melbourne, Dubbo, Gunnedah, Wee Waa, Sydney, Melbourne, Dubbo. A long chat with the RMS gents at the pads at Gunnedah, gave them a copy of Owner Driver, the fellow did have some trouble getting through under the truck after the mechanic left some diff oil in and on the wheels when the diff was reraced, but it was all clean underneath.

Starting off Sunday with grease all over the black seatcover was not very impressing, lucky I put my hand on it first, then tried to get most off and spent the week sitting on bits of rag. Delivery into Sydney was fun, but Melbourne was worse, split to deliver, then told, sorry please take it to our other warehouse. My paperwork says here, I rang yesterday and was told here, I have already split, unbuckled and waited an hour here, so it comes off here. OK then, we will unload you here, “Thank you” I said.

The saga getting in there the night before, the GPS scaring me where it wanted me to go and then not telling me of a 4.3 height bridge on the way out, caused me much and many bouts of consternation. Now I have to write a list of Truck GPS wrongs, to see what can be done to get it right. There is still no true truck GPS (and in the USA they have banned trucks from using car systems after many bridge strikes and other calamities) and we do have many different combinations and other issues, but if it says truck settings and truck GPS, you would like to think it can help you, instead of hanging you.

Had trouble with an air leak, half fixed during the week as we did not have a metric fitting, coming home Saturday, less that half fixed, but sorted when I got back to the yard for next week. Park up the TIV and jump in the little truck to go and move some boys gear back home. Just finished unloading it and packing now to go to work. Have to cut short now, still need to buy food and get sorted and on the road. Did find a few extra green reflector bays during the week in a couple of different spots, explained how they worked to a couple of drivers and had others comment on my last column, saying they too have had either a similar issue or have met the fine officer in Gilgandra to their dismay.

I must lastly say I have met some real idiots on the road this week. Those who don’t know how to merge, don’t know what indicators are for and last night coming home in the little truck with little lights, few who will dip until well after they blind you. Seems if you don’t have fantastic lights an they do, they can blind you merrily till they get sick of you flashing your standard headlights. The joys of trucking. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

23rd June 2019 Fatigue Co-design Wshop

Goodaye all. On Thursday I attended the NTC run Fatigue Co-design Workshop held in Sydney. There were about 60 people in attendance, many from interstate, associations and government bodies, a few from large companies and small and some drivers. Whilst the fatigue paper is currently out for submissions, this is the only formal meeting about the fatigue paper. It is 60 pages, but even if you don’t have the time to read and fully respond, please take the time to contribute. If there is one fatigue issue that really causes you problems, or you believe does not help you manage your fatigue and you can supply an example, if that is all you do, send it in.

If enough drivers complain of a similar problem and can show why it is a problem, that will be a powerful case for change. We did a number of sessions and discussion forums on a range of issues and each group tabled their outcomes. All of these were then discussed and debated by the whole group and will go into the data used to look at the problems raised in the paper and the submissions to it.

It was good to have a small group of drivers and a couple of small fleet people to get our views heard. There was support and recognition from others of some of our issues. I did raise the specific comment, that if you are looking at fatigue generally, then without good sleep and a place to have that good quality sleep, you cannot manage your fatigue. Lack of sleep not only leaves you tired, overtime it does and will affect your health. So until we have suitable and sufficient rest areas, decent size bunks on trucks and icepacks, some may well still get good sleep, but many won’t and fatigue will continue to be a problem. The lack of places within cities to park and sleep in a truck, is just as severe as on the highway.

Flexibility was the biggest request from drivers, not more hours, but the ability to manage our fatigue, to drive when fit and sleep when tired and not when a logbook, which does not know how you feel and can well work against you, tells you to. The logbook doesn’t care if there is no toilet, shade or anything else you may require, it just forces you to do what it requires under law, whether that is the best for your fatigue or not and of course, if you disagree and do what might be the best for you at the time, the logbook will punish you severely if you don’t do what it requires of you for legal compliance.

I am glad I attended, hope that those issues raised will be looked at in genuine good faith and I thank the NTC for the invite and help to be able to attend. I would have loved to have seen more than the two fulltime drivers in attendance, but believe we covered most of the issues well and as I said, others from different groups did seem to recognise and respect many of the points we raised.

Back to work today to see how a few repairs go on truck and trailers, having made the most of the time off to attend the meeting, getting a service and a diff attended to during my absence. Thanks also to Rod Pilon Transport for the time to attend. Whilst I stayed up late into early Wednesday morning to do my spot on Nightshift with Luke and Jess, I was working on my fatigue paper reply whilst waiting to go on air and I again implore you to contribute with submissions due in August, so you still have time to get your comments and issues in. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey

16th June 2019 Be heard!

Goodaye all. Have you read the NTC Fatigue paper? Yes it is 60 pages, but do you have a problem with our fatigue laws? If so, will you do something to see them improved. A month ago, I went to court in Gilgandra for my first ever log book offence in 30 years on the road. It is in my column in Owner Driver this month and the following, is what I wrote before I attended court, so I would have my list of reasons why the ticket should be dismissed.

1. The alleged offense on the 26th November 2019 was not intentional. I did not drive 14 plus hours straight. I overlapped a half hour. It can be difficult to remember every period driven and your breaks and to do so, you must then continually go back and forth in your logbook. Having had a 7 hour break the night before, had things gone as normal, I would have been later getting out of Melbourne and then been legal. It is unusual to get out of Melbourne early and as I went in empty and was lucky to get loaded straight away, I thought, this is good, I will beat the traffic and get most of the way home for a good nights sleep.

2. The logbook states in rules for counting time, “Count time periods of 24 hours or longer forward from the end of a relevant major rest break relevant to the period in your hours option” Who then decides which is the “relevant” period? If it is about managing fatigue, I only worked for 6 and a quarter hours, then had a 7 hour break. I did not have to go far to go to bed, nor to start work. My truck is fitted with an Icepack, a refrigerated air conditioning system that ensures consistent temperature and covers much outside noise, so I did get good sleep in that break. I also ensured that sleep was from around midnight and did so again the next day, so have made every effort to be off the road in the very early hours of the morning, recognised as the worst time for fatigue. I overlapped at 6.15PM the following night and did have a break from 7PM till 7.45 for my tea and then stopped at Parkes at 12.15AM for 9 and a quarter hours break. I stopped to manage my fatigue, I was not in any way shape or form, fatigued at 6.15PM

3. On Wednesday the 28th November at 5.30PM, two days after the alleged breach I was stopped and inspected, my logbook checked and signed at Daroolbaggie with no concern raised. This officer must obviously have used the end of the seven hour period as the “relevant” period. He obviously did not detect me then as fatigued, nor see me as in breach.

4. The logbook requires us to operate in 15 minute periods. We are required to count work time forward and so can “lose” and or give away, work time. In the 24 hour period in question, I stopped 8 times. Even if I lost only 3 minutes each of those times and it could have been up to 10 minutes, then it is quite likely if the actual time was counted, I may not have exceeded 14 hours. I have already previously written to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator asking for the wording to be changed to read, “count forward from the LAST major rest break” to both allow us a minor amount of flexibility and to overcome this type of overlap error and the subsequent penalties. I have also written and will be doing so again, to the current National Heavy Vehicle Law Review, seeking this change and a way to recognise a good record and allow one mistake in a given period.

5. I did ask the officer if he had looked at my record and he said it was, “not bad”. I have driven interstate for 30 years, done 6 million kilometres and never had a single logbook offense and only one speeding warning. I have never ever “lost” a logbook to hide an error and am very involved in road safety and try to do the right thing. I would hope you might agree one minor overlap in 30 years is not the record of a law breaker and that with this, a warning, again considering the RMS saw no breach, would have been reasonable. I will be writing the HVNL review asking to have something put in place that will allow a minor error every five years (or around one million kilometres for most interstate truck drivers) as no one is perfect. All drivers are allowed one mistake in every ten years in NSW for a minor traffic offense and I think this is reasonable considering they will only do possibly 200,000 kilometres and we do that each year.

The judge dismissed the offence with the prosecutor, (the Police did not attend) saying, for a professional driver that is not a good record, that is an exceptional record. I am not perfect and have never claimed to be, but I can hardly ask others to do the right thing if I don’t. On the other side, I have to get the job done and will be seen as a goody two shoes if I do it perfectly and never make a mistake. It can be a balancing act, having had others say in the past, “You are on their side”, the authorities, because I don’t call them all the names under the sun in my column and comments.

My response was that if I do, (like others) will they, the authorities be likely to fix a bit of road or listen to me, when I want a rest area built or improved? Not likely. The driver who had made the initial comment, then said, “Oh, I had not thought of that or seen it that way”. Yes we all want things done, but we have to ask the right way and abusing people will never get them to listen to your needs and requests.

This list formed part of my submission to the first NTC NHVL paper and so I will follow through with the effort. It cost me $700 in lost wages, time and fuel to travel to Gilgandra and now I find I could have asked for costs when it was dismissed. Why can we not have a central place to get fair justice when we are supposed to have a national license and national heavy vehicle laws and regulator?

When the NHVR was first formed, I asked this question at one meeting, to be told, we will look at that. At the next meeting when I asked again, I was told it was too hard. If murderers can get a video trial, why can’t we get a cheap and reasonable way to defend ourselves against a police or authority ticket issued in a state well away from home, with them knowing it will cost us more to defend that the ticket itself? Is that fair justice, NO. Will it change? Not unless we demand a fair go. Will you do something to see this change? Then write, email or ring the NTC and contribute to the Fatigue review.

I currently hope to attend the one and only NTC meeting in Sydney next week for the fatigue review and will be putting this forward yet again. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

9th June 2019

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

2nd June 2019 Nag, Nag, Nag.

Goodaye all. Just grabbing a quick lunch of chicken with rice and lemon and off to Toowoomba again. Started an audio book supplied by young Gregory, only to be told I was reading the wrong one first. Damn, I was just getting into it, but thank goodness, hopefully haven’t gone too far to spoil it for later. I missed last weeks’ entry for my other Facebook page “Audiobooks for the road” another spare time activity, so if you read them, have a look and participate.

That of course has been my theme for the week, getting others to participate in the HVNL review. I have raised my concerns in a number of media outlets and avenues, rang mates and asked them to have a look and even asked drivers on the UHF. Most have said, they will have a look, but also said it is a big ask simply for time. We are all time poor and if you have to decide whether to look at 70 pages, or keep your wife and or family happy when you are never there anyway, which will give you more life value?

The NTC have responded saying they want input and that is a good step, yet I fear from those I have asked, that they have either watched others and seen them respond with no changes, or have made the effort, with one mate saying, “I still love trucks, but I am over the industry. I have contributed to many things over the years and not once, have I seen an improvement in something directly helping me.”

If not enough respond, will we get any improvement? Yes there is the microsite where you can have a whinge, raise a problem, but there is not enough room for the solution. You still have to sign up and or log in and I spent time looking for the other submissions with no luck and gave up. I am keen, others maybe not so much and how hard will they try if it is just too difficult, no matter how easy someone else will tell you it is.

The ATA have also responded saying they will also help any member get their views across and I very much welcome that, both in intent and the offer itself. I have not seen any of their member associations put in submissions, but hope they have. If we all rely and contribute to the single ATA submission and no one else does individually, do you think that will be recognised as serious and get the right response?

I would like to see hundreds of drivers contribute, even if they only put in the one thing that really gives them trouble on the road. It does need to be a genuine concern, with details, the problem and a possible solution. These real life events and issues showing the problems and why they are problems, may well see more done than any single industry submission in itself, whether it represents ten associations or ten drivers. The more effort put in, hopefully the better the outcome, but that is where the past is making many cynical.

What is your one biggest problem, why and what is the solution. If you only send that in, I will be personally thankful. Is the process right? Will we get value for the money spent? Those questions cannot be answered till the end and I hope you don’t get sick of my nagging, but I want it fixed and better for drivers. What do you want? Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

26th May 2019 HVNL Review Paper 1.

Goodaye all. I have just spent another two hours (total now over 7 hours) completing my submission to the first of 8 papers for the HVNL review and then reading the 9 current submissions. It is amazing to me that of those 9 submissions, 4 are similarly worded and more about bicycles and their problems, yet not one of them suggests anything about teaching cycle riders to share the road with the trucks.

There is one truck driver submission, (now two when mine is accepted), two councils with Dubbos withheld from publication, one based on insurance and one industry association, with submissions due to close on the 31st May. Who is affected most by these laws? The drivers. Why are they not submitting in large numbers, how to improve this law for their own good and safety?

How many have looked at the first document, seen 70 pages and gone, “I haven’t got the time for this”? Many have contributed comments to the microsite and this is a good idea and a chance to make a comment, yet how many have made a comment, but not contributed a submission and why? Such comments may be valuable, but need the info to back them up. Saying “It is no good” of the logbook or that anything else is no good, will not in itself, see anything change. You must explain what you want and at least try to show how to fix it.

I have asked other drivers to look, spoken on radio and mentioned the review here and if this is the first of 8 papers for review and submissions, I can only hope the others are more driver friendly and that specific issues may get more input. If not, what will change and how many will complain after that “they” did not fix anything?

Even if you don’t read the 70 pages, but contribute a submission that shows and explains an example of what you see as the biggest problem with the current law, that would help. The people doing the review don’t live on the road and don’t know the problems, let alone the solutions. They need real examples to show what the problems are, to be able to find and or consider a solution that will work. In the USA when I was there for my Churchill Fellowship trip, the FMCSA called for submissions about the driving hours there and received 5,500 responses, including one from me. That review is due to be announced next month and there are good indications there will be change that is wanted by most.
They contributed and got heard and will get an improvement.

We cannot expect any improvement if we don’t offer input and we will not get any if only two drivers make the effort. Ask your drivers, ask a mate who drives do they even know of the current review and will they contribute. I doubt we will ever get another chance to be able to see real change in my life on the road. My submission alone, will do bugger all, but if 100 drivers made the effort to explain just one thing that they see as the biggest problem and offered and example of why, then we may just get something worthwhile from all this. Please consider doing something, even if only about one issue and please, ask your mates to do the same. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

20th May 2019 Brissie Truckshow.

Goodaye all. Had a connection problem and now in Brissie on Monday, so back to the story. Sunday evening and I have just got back to Toowoomba from the Brissie Truckshow. I had planned to go if it was possible, then was given a new plan B, maybe still a chance, plan C, more doubtful and then plan D, buckleys chance, heading to Melbourne Thursday with 4 pick ups and four drops. However thanks to Nick, a driver keen to do some more and his mate Nathan, who lives in Toowoomba and was keen to go back for another look at the show, I managed to stay and have tea for my eldest grandsons’ tea in Dubbo Saturday, get through to Toowoomba (where I will unload in the morning), early on Sunday and get a couple of hours sleep before heading into the Truckshow.

I visited many of the sponsors of the current TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle and who will all support the next one, so all I need now is a truck and set of trailers to fit all the ancillary equipment on and we are under way. I will find a way to make it happen.

I did not see a true “show” truck, as in years past with the RM Williams truck and others. There were some beautiful trucks and trailers, but no show stopper. The new b-double Mack Superliner looks tall and may well be a new contender for serious b-doubles and the Anthem recently released in the USA is a step forward for Mack. I must recommend the “Roadlife” series of videos they did in the states as part of the release of the biggest change in Mack trucks, since being taken on by Volvo and the XXL big cab Volvo is a long awaited improvement to an already good truck.

The new Cascadia is still to be released here and will see the end of the Argosy and the Actros is going well, with sales and getting into many fleets.
Kenworth, all in red had a Euro 6 K 200and the 610 is a good looking bit of gear and the 909 bigger cab in the future, may see an improvement in the in cab living conditions of those who love a big bonnet.

All those I spoke with told of big crowds and interest over the first three days of the show and today was a bit quieter, but many were still happy with those visiting. I got round most stands, watched a part of the apprentice challenge, but did not get to see the trucks on display outside the venue. Worth the effort to get there, a terrific event for the industry and thanks to RPT, to Nick and Nathan for your help to attend.

I have made a big effort to respond to the first of the papers for the HVNL review, but have also spoken to the NTC about the length of the first document. Seventy pages to read with 12 questions to answer, is a lot even for those with time and being paid to reply and this is the first of 8 such documents. For those of us who are time poor, can we justify the effort? Please do not be discouraged by the length, nor let it make you shy away. Our current law is far too long and over prescriptive and if we do not put in the effort to offer suggestions and comments, then we will not see any serious change.

Yes our associations have the staff and time to reply, but they do not drive the trucks, cop the fines, get treated the way we do, nor live on the road. We can rely on them to look at the big picture, but can we rely on them to put forward the issues and solutions that will make our job fairer and safer? You can certainly put comments on the microsite, which takes short grabs, but will that alone get the changes we need, recognised and actioned?

Submissions close for this document at the end of the month and I will ask you to seriously consider putting in the time and effort to reply and to keep watching the NTC website for the other documents. Even if you consider this one too much, there may be others that are shorter and which impact on you more and which your contributions, even if short and sweet, can see the HVNL is improved for all. You can make a difference, but if you don’t, who will? Please make that effort. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.