Opinion: Shortening standard work hours isn’t going to be good for anyone


Young truckies’ advocate Adam Craig responds below to the news this week that the National Transport Commission is holding industry workshops debating the merits of shortening standard work hours.

Looking at the logbook and shortening standard work hours isn’t going to be good for anyone.

Forget company productivity, as most companies make enough off drivers as it is. Think about the driver, the person who wakes up and gets in the truck every day to make a living.

Drivers in this day and age already have so many hurdles to jump over on a daily basis with fatigue laws and logbook compliance, not to mention every other finer details while on the road; like road weight limits, combination lengths, XY configurations, PBS, non-PBS routes, the list goes on.

We are supposed to have a National Heavy Vehicle Regulator but 90 per cent of the time when you need answers on rules and regulations they can’t give you any.

They tell you to go to the state department, or to ‘check their website, all the information is on there’, but that’s why we’re calling, we already have!

The people who make these decisions in the transport industry need to stop squeezing the life out of the driver.

You may be thinking what you’re doing is good and making the road safer, but the truth is, it’s bullshit.

What other job is there where if you don’t sign your name on a daily timesheet, or write down where you documents from a book are kept, you’ll get a fine for? And you wonder why people/young Australians don’t want to have a go!

Why would they when there is a good chance you could work all week for nothing?

Yes, there needs to be laws around fatigue. Yes, there needs to be laws about compliance to insure people are doing the right thing, but it’s getting beyond a joke.

No, it is beyond a joke. You have people making these laws who haven’t been behind the wheel in years who will also say ‘back in my day’.

Yes, younger drivers need to listen to the current older generation of driver as there is always something to learn off them.

The key word there being the current driver, someone who has seen the changes through the years, has adapted and moved on.

Not people who threw away the keys because it was too hard, or who have never driven before making new rules that make our lives harder.

You want the industry to be safer? Want it to be better? Want it to be more appealing to people?

How about before you make a decision speak to the current driver about what they think would make it better, how it can be safer.

At the end of the day it is them who keep the wheels turning and the country moving.

Stop squeezing the life out of the driver. As we all know, without them we have nothing.

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