Travelling

Australia’s trucking industry: How They Roll Down Under 

We had an interview with “David,” a young man from Australia. A truck driver, too.  David provides a plethora of information about the present situation of the Australian trucking industry as well as how it got to where it is today. In his mid-sixties right now, David. He has spent the majority of his career in the Australian transportation sector. Over the years, he has served as a truck driver, loader, dispatcher, and in management roles for various trucking firms in Australia. He explains what he thinks are the key differences between trucking in Australia and North America. 

Australia Is a Gorgeous Country for Truck Drivers 

We are quite lucky to be in such a stunning and distinctive nation. My home is in Victoria’s Geelong, which has over 184,000 residents. 

  • The tiny island of Tasmania is positioned further south, making Victoria the state on the continent with the most southern location. 
  • It takes about 40 minutes to go to Melbourne’s largest city. 
  • The same sizable bay, known as Port Philip Bay, has Geelong located on a corner of it. 

If we go in the car, we can drive the Great Ocean Route, a magnificent cliff-top road that follows the wild southern coast, in 30 minutes. We can take in the high country’s winter snow fields by traveling 2 hours in the opposite way. We can reach the vast sandy desert in three hours to the north. We can practically connect up our camper trailer and be camping next to a stunning river or lake in a few hours without running into another person for km. From the softly sloping hills covered in trees to the wide-open plains and sand deserts, the varied landscape never gets old to me. 

American and Australian Trucking 

Our trucking job is somewhat different from that of a North American trucker due to the population differences and our geographical area. However, there are several parallels in the issues facing our trucking industry. Australia is home to around 24.5 million people. In North America, there are about 324 million people. Australia’s population is concentrated primarily on its eastern coast, despite the fact that both countries have fairly similar land areas. The transportation of freight is very varied due to the continent’s 6 major cities. As a result, most of the freight in Australia travels from Melbourne in the south to Sydney or Brisbane in the north and Adelaide in the central south. 

Perth in the west and Darwin in the north are the destinations of long-haul trucking routes. Melbourne and Sydney are home to a large number of the major ports and manufacturers. The majority of heavy vehicle traffic is handled over these major freight corridors. 

Getting a truck driver’s license in Australia 

Anyone in Australia with a driver’s license can enroll in a driving school for a fee. To have their license extended to include big vehicles, they merely need to pass a short test. Although obtaining a truck driving license in Australia is not particularly difficult, there is a lot of regulation in the trucking sector. Before acquiring an HC (Heavy Combination) or MC endorsement, truck drivers in Australia must hold an HR (Heavy Rigid) endorsement for at least 12 months (Multi Combination). 

No one participates in classroom-style instruction. For on-the-job training in truck driving, we rely on friends, family, or other drivers. The North American system is centered on enrolling in either a company-sponsored truck driving program or a private truck driving school. 

The Hours for Truck Driving in Australia (of Service) 

The driving hours method used in Australia is comparable to the one used in North America for trucks. Every truck driver who travels more than 100 kilometers from home must fill out a daily work diary (log book). 

Australia employs three levels of truck drivers. 

  • regular hours 
  • 12 hours of travel 
  • Workdays in a day 

Basic Fatigue Hours, which entails 14 hours of labor and driving in a 24-hour period, and Advanced Work Time, which entails 16 hours of travel time and 24 hours of work. For each level, the business and the driver must adhere to specific health standards and fatigue training. The maximum penalty for breaking these rules is $15,000 for severe crimes. 

American trucks versus Australian trucks 

  • Australia’s trucking regulations for vehicle length and weight are very strict. 
  • While some 53′ trailers are used in some freight lanes, most training equipment is 45′ or 48′ long. 
  • The bulk of trailers have fixed tri-axle configurations, with some heavier carriers using quad axles. 
  • The bulk of our units, including B Doubles units or Road Trains, are operated as multi-combinations. 
  • The B Doubles are two standard 45-foot trailers that are coupled together at the rear using a turntable, leaving around 10 or 12 pallet spaces on the lead. 
  • This would typically allow the truck driver to operate at 63 tons gross and carry 34 pallets. 
  • Road trains are composed of B-double units with one or two extra trailers linked by a bogie dolly. 

Try the coupon for $10 off. 

Copy this American Trucks promo code and use it to save $10 on orders of $299 or more. Due to the severe length restrictions, covers make up a large portion of prime movers (tractors), with bonneted trucks operating either as single trailer units or on stock cartage where the length restrictions are different. 

In Australia, freight is either light freight, which is typically a full trailer or heavy freight loaded to the vehicle’s maximum gross weight or large volume, such as parcels. The majority of trailers, aside from refrigerated vans, are curtain-side design. 

Chain of Responsibility for Australia’s Trucking Industry 

The whole supply chain is included in the Code of Conduct, or chain of duty, that regulates the trucking industry in Australia. 

if the consignee, receiver, or loader loads or permits an overweight load and inadequate confinement on a vehicle. Or they may be held accountable and prosecuted under the law along with the truck driver if they permit the truck driver to operate the vehicle in an unsafe manner with regard to speed and driving hours. 

This transfers some responsibility back to the trucking companies and freight forwarders to make sure the truck driver has had enough equipment and hours to finish the route without breaking the law. 

Is Australia’s overregulation a problem for truckers there? 

Overregulation is not necessarily a good thing for safety. I feel it is also a means to generate revenue. This is a major issue that is only getting worse. It is highly doubtful that any road interception by one of the several regulators would result in the issuance of a violation. 

An ordinary trip for a truck driver may involve 15 distinct regulatory agencies, such as the 1700 km (1000 miles) from Melbourne, Victoria, to Brisbane, Queensland. This excludes regional law enforcement. 

The truck and driver would pass ten checks all through the duration of the 1000 miles! 

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