Careers & Training

Online tools fill industry skills and knowledge gaps

Online learning used to be pretty uninspiring for participants who would have to wade through dreary content or out-of-date videos before being assessed through unimaginative multiple-choice quizzes.

All that has changed with the new breed of learning management systems (LMS) providing for a dynamic, creative and interactive approach to training.

Communications Manager Steve Power says Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia’s (HVIA) first use of an LMS was for “HV101,” a tool designed for new starter inductions.

“What we found, however, was a huge number of people who have been employed in the industry for years, and who have mastered their understanding in some areas, have been in the dark in others,” Power said.

“HV101 has been great at filling those gaps.

“Every industry employee benefits from understanding how their contribution fits into the big picture. 

“Every role is a vital cog in the machinery that allows the trucking industry to keep Australia moving.

“Like every industry, ours is full of concepts, terminology and acronyms that are peculiar to what we do.” 

The course was a hit from its launch and has been adopted as a standard part of the induction process for many companies and even government agencies.

MaxiTRANS’ learning and development facilitator, Liz Paolacci says HV101 participants feel ‘invested in’ and valued.

“The course assisted me to understand and further appreciate the industry and therefore the contribution that my company makes,” Paolacci said.

Next on the agenda are courses directed at transport operators to assist with ongoing training and refreshers.

“HVIA believes that the current licensing system ensures competency on the day of a driver’s examination, but, just like many other professions, the industry needs to embrace opportunities for ongoing, professional development, in a manner that maximises information retention.

“Targeted, accessible, effective resources are paramount in improving heavy vehicle safety. 

“We have identified two issues consistently over-represented in the NTARC Major Accident Investigation Report that we will now focus on: load restraint and tyre management.”

The Heavy Vehicle National Law has specific chain of responsibility provisions that relate to packing, loading and load restraint requirements relevant to the entire transport supply chain (equivalent provisions apply in WA and NT).

While it is impossible to be prescriptive for the many different types, weights and shapes of loads that can be transported, anybody in the chain is responsible for complying with load restraint laws.

“This project will transform the volumes of written guidance information into a simple, immersive and practical online education course that will ensure heavy vehicle operators and other members in the chain understand the responsibilities and refresh their knowledge as required.

“Tyres are also critical to heavy vehicle safety,” Power added.  

“There are many factors that can improve safety, from tyre choice, performance management, such as tread, wear and tyre pressure, and regular maintenance and safety systems can all improve performance and help mitigate tyre failures and keep road users safe.  

“There is limited information available on these topics and just about every operator can tell you about a ‘near miss’ experience.  

Power said this education course will guide operators into a program of best practice tyre management, including maintenance, rotation and replacement policies, understanding what to look for, how to perform daily checks, and what systems are available to improve the safety outcomes of the most critical and most consumable heavy vehicle component.

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