The 2020 Trucking Industry Summit was generously sponsored by Teletrac Navman and organised by the New Zealand Trucking Association. It was a one-day, informative event focused on bringing operators, regulators, and stakeholders together to discuss, question and build relationships. 2020 has been a year that has changed many lives and life as we knew it, so it’s important that transport gets together and remains focused on safety, health and wellbeing, technology and be abreast of compliance changes and updates. A big thank you to all the presenters, industry suppliers and everyone that attended on the day. Also thank you to EROAD for sponsoring the networking function after the Summit. Here is a roundup of presentations on the day. We hope to see you back again next time.
Nick Leggett - CEO, RTFNZ
It's been challenging year but we have had some successes. Supply chain pressures – more to come, Transmission Gully – exposed major issues which has driven transparency, continued pressure on road maintenance issues. We also face other challenges - Poorly maintained roads – budget is being bled in all directions, Ideological agenda that puts road and vehicles last – rail is seen as a priority, Government promotes “safety” but we haven’t seen evidence to date of its success, Lack of drivers (to be covered later), speed reductions - deliberate piecemeal approach, with controversial routes announced after the election, rick of changing employment laws - possibility of making all contractors employees, road safety spend has been significant but with little accountability.
Despite challenges, we have to be optimistic - New Zealanders can only continue to eat and trade based on what gets delivered on the back of a truck, We must work hard to tell our story and show evidence so the new Government understands this. What is the vison for our industry? Safer, involved in fewer accidents, healthier staff – mentally and physically, Optimisation to benefit operator and customer, Reduced carbon foot print – evolving technology to alternate energy, RTF is advocating strongly for an industry accord to better solve issues that challenge our operators
Kane Patena, Waka Kotahi (NZTA) - General Manager Regulatory
Many of you will be aware that over the past 18 months we’ve been on a journey to develop our new regulatory strategy. We’ve come from a position of regulatory failure, which required a reset of the way we work. In 2018 a car crash turned fatal when the passenger’s frayed seatbelt failed. The vehicle had recently passed a warrant of fitness check – it should not have passed it. As the lead regulator, it was our role to make sure the vehicle inspector did his job properly. This failure was the catalyst for change. A series of independent reviews of our regulatory performance were commissioned by the Minister of Transport and published just over a year ago. These reviews identified several issues in our performance as a regulator, and we’ve been working hard over the past 18 months to resolve these issues.
Issues identified included: A lack of clear purpose. Our people weren’t empowered to do their job – and make critical decisions. Systemic issues relating to governance and executive leadership. We knew that in order to address the issues identified, we couldn’t just make a few adjustments, we fundamentally needed to change the way we regulated. The journey we’ve been on taught us that we need to carry out the fundamentals of good regulatory practice so that we operate as an effective, firm and fair real world regulator. We needed to ensure the basics were done well in order to lift our performance - we needed to walk before we run. The first step was to put together a back to basics plan. This plan set out what we needed to do to lift our regulatory performance.
Our strategy is named ‘Tū ake, tū māia stand up, stand firm’ and sets the path we need to take over the next five years to be the best regulator we can be. It tells a story of how we go from where we were, where we are, and where we want to be – a best practice regulator. The strategy talks to the need to carry out the fundamentals of good regulatory practice – ensuring that the basics are done well. And our strategy talks to the need to have risk-based and responsive regulation – so that we can operate as an effective, firm and fair regulator of the land transport system. It allows us to target our effort for the greatest impact and gives us a clear purpose - how we can drive meaningful change to create a safe, fair and sustainable land transport system for everyone.
Our strategy sets out a new way of working - as a ‘real world regulator’ – where we’ll apply the principles of good regulatory practice while being grounded in te ao Maori. Our te ao Maori principles are: whakapono – integrity, manaakitanga – caring for people, whanaungatanga – relationships, kotahitanga – unity. They provide the foundation for our regulatory approach. Our new way of working is underpinned by four good regulatory practice principles: We are a system leader with oversight of all users, we are risk based and focused on harm prevention, we are responsive and forward thinking, and we are informed by evidence and intelligence.
In order to be a best practice regulator we know that there needs to be investment in our people, in our systems, our technology, and a focus on our 5 key capability shifts. These capability shifts are: Strong governance and accountability. Trusted and valued relationships. Robust and consistent decision-making. Thriving regulatory culture and courageous people. Innovative technology and intelligence. These shifts allow us to target our effort in the areas where we think we can have the greatest impact and make the most significant improvements to our performance as a regulator and the service that we provide to the public. These shifts are all interconnected and cover the full scope of our regulatory role. They involve all our people, from our board through to frontline teams, as well as our industry partners in the land transport sector.
Brett Alderidge - Waka Kotahi (NZTA) - Senior Manager Safer Commercial Transport
Brett touched on the following points during his presentation at the 2020 Trucking Industry Summit. Regulation is about people, behaviour, doing business, consequences, and ensuring a level playing field. There is a focus on safer commercial transport regulation - which requires getting the basics right and being smart. Back to basics - understanding risks, active management, action with a plan and no deadlines missed. What firm and fair means - rebalancing, outcome focused, engaging with industry, relationships, consistency, communication and a level playing field. Waka Kotahi is moving towards a system view of compliance, warnings, operator performance, being better connected and safety focus. New initiatives include Weigh Rite and focusing on sub-sectors of industry. We have shared goals with industry: Safety, moving people and goods and good decisions. Road to Zero (a final plea) - this strategy launched in 2019 and the vision is for NZ to have no deaths or serious injuries from road crashes. The immediate goal is 40% reduction in road deaths and serious injuries by 2030.
Peter Connors, Waka Kotahi (NZTA) - Manager, Systems Management Central South Island
Results from the Work-related fatal injury study: 2005 -2014 were presented. Each year on public roads there was an average of 346 fatalities - 96 related to work, 21 of these happened on the road and 11 happened while travelling for work, 10 were professional drivers. If the professional driver deaths 75% involved heavy vehicles. Health and fatigue was the most important contributing factor. In 1 in 3 deaths, the driver was impaired. Impairment due to fatigue, health conditions or substance use. The most common medical events were heart attacks/cardiac events and blackouts (diabetic, epileptic or unexplained). This is of major concern as the driving workforce rapidly ages. These findings suggest improvements in drive health are needed urgently. We have minimal information on truck driver health in NZ, so we are wanting to conduct a large nationwide Driving health study. Focusing on current illness and injury, work conditions and health and lifestyle risk factors.
This exploratory work is essential and is the reason why we are here today. For the study to be useful it needs to represent the professional truck driving workforce. So we need to know: What is the best way to recruit drivers to this study? Are there incentives that would help? Would you have any concerns about the study? Any health / safety aspects we should include? How would you want us to distribute the results? We would love to hear from you - please get in touch:
Rebbecca Lilley - firstname.lastname@example.org or Bronwen McNoe - email@example.com
Riccardo Areosa, Waka Kotahi (NZTA) - Manager Permitting
Permit Performance. Over the last 12 months there has been a steady increased in permits: 6062 50MAX permits were approved and 10,004 Higher Mas permits. Most nine axle units now carry more than one permit (three on average 50MAX, 54 and 58 tonne). 54 tonne is showing up as the sweet spot for permits with operators. Over the past 2 years 10,906 50MAX, 17,346 Higher Mass and 12,677 over dimension permits have been issued. Of those, 131 operators have been warned about their use, 32 permits revoked, and 8 permits declined over that time. Critical breaches occurring under permit have declined from 239 three years ago to 177 over the last 12 months. It is expected that as Weight Right is established further, these figures will go up.
50MAX GIS data is now available via the Waka Kotahi Data portal: CLICK HERE. This can provide information about Freight SH restrictions for 50MAX and Freight RCA Bridge Restrictions for 50MAX.
Waka Kotahi has been working to improve the overweight network (to 58 tonne) across the state highway network. A refresh of the HPMV Proformas is coming soon. Truck and B-Train and logging combinations have already been completed. It is expected that six new truck and trailer combination will be released mid next year.
Chris Ballantyne, Waka Kotahi (NZTA) - Lead Advisor, Safer Rail
Level Crossing Safety. You are 13 times more likely to be killed in a level crossing crash due to the force of the impact with the train. Waka Kotahi is the safety regulator of the railway sector. They manage 4,500km of railway network, 16 million tonnes of freight, 33 million passengers and 300+ organisations carrying out rail activities. Our regulatory focus is on accidents involving serious injuries or fatalities and risks that could result on a catastrophic accident. There are around 2,900 level crossings nationwide, ~1,400 on public roads, ~1,500 on private roads. Half of public level crossings have flashing lights and bells or barriers. Remaining either Give Way or Stop signs. Stakeholders include: Waka Kotahi, Rail organisations (eg KiwiRail), Road Controlling Authorities, TrackSafe, Police, Road transport organisations. Key issues which require careful attention from drivers include vehicle stacking over level crossings and vehicles not fitting between the road and the track. The issue is no going away. Level crossing accidents have continue to occur at a steady rate over the past decade. Over these 10 years, 38 heavy vehicles have been involved in a vehicle collision on a level crossing and 174 light vehicles.
Who is over-represented in these collisions? Men aged 40-65yrs. Many collisions occur within a short distance of a person’s home. Complacency can be a factor in collisions at rural crossings. Motorists knowing the train schedule and not expecting a train. Most collisions occur in daylight in fine weather. Night collisions often occur when a motorist drives into the side of a train. Majority of collisions occur at crossings protected by give way or stop signs, although around 24% happen at crossings with barrier arms.
What increases the risk? Trains surprise us: They can be quiet compared to background noise, they travel faster than they appear, they don’t always follow schedules. they can’t stop – a kilometre under emergency brakes. Frequency: Urban rail growth. Freight movement around ports. Environmental: Short staking affects >400 crossings, low vehicles grounding out, sun glare or sun strike, positioned on high speed exits from highways, poor sight lines – can’t see trains without stopping at the crossing.
What can you do? Recent survey of 200 heavy vehicle drivers looked at perceptions and knowledge. Over half thought level crossings are generally safe compared to other road risks. But… acutely aware of the dangers and hazards - absence of warning signs, safety mechanisms, poor visibility, road surface, angle of the track and short stacking distances. Only 28% recalled advertising aimed at heavy vehicle drivers. Drivers shared their strategies for staying safe. Three key recommendations: 1. Stop, look and listen: take it slowly and keep looking and looking and looking. 2. Focus on the task: avoid distractions. 3. Do your research: take time to plan and know your route and your vehicle.
Paul Fantham, Waka Kotahi (NZTA) - Senior Manager, Commercial Licensing & Revenue
CVST - Senior Sergeant's Mike McRandle and Mike Moloney
Ryan McDonald presented on the future of Hiringa Energy in New Zealand. Use the link below to view the full presentation in PDF. The process will begin with making clean hydrogen, developing hydrogen infrastructure (partnering with Waitomo) and facilitating market use of hydrogen. There will be a strategically phased infrastructure roll-out. Phase one will include 8 stiation from 2021 covering 100% of North Island and 82% of South Island. Phase 2 will be 24+ stations by 2025 and phase 3 involves 100+ station installed by 2030. The hydrogen vehicles being imported are true zero emission mobility, with the only emission being water. Hiringa Energy and TR Group have developed a fuel inclusive lease package for the first 20 trucks. The technology is ready for roll-out now and designed to meet New Zealand linehaul requirements. Hydrogen is the energy to change our future, let's make it a zero emission one.
Cody Hunter, Teletrac Navman - Business Development Manager
Cody is the South Island Business Development Manager for Teletrac Navman, as well as their in-house fitness motivation coach. Cody provided some important tips on keeping well in the work place, including his key message to drink more water! The video below, which was produced to encourage better wellbeing in the transport industry, was also played and fitness resistance bands were given to everyone, with a quick interactive demo.
Phil Parkes, CEO Worksafe NZ
The country expects what WorkSafe does – and what business do - will keep workers safe. It’s a reasonable expectation – we know we’re out of step with like countries when it comes to the harm and deaths inflicted on workers in this country and frankly, it’s not getting better. At the very least, we’re holding the line if not actually backsliding in some areas. And that is just not good enough. We have made some progress, but far from enough. But we’ve not made enough progress as a health and safety system. We can’t keep repeating what we’ve been doing because…We’ll just end up getting the same outcome.
The cost to the country – which affects our ability to thrive as a nation - is huge. Imagine what we could do with a 10% reduction – that’s two hundred million – there’s a couple of schools in there, or significant upgrades in our public health services. It’s a picture that we need to focus on – the safety in health and safety is what we’ve all directed our energies to. But the health in health and safety is a far far larger issue – been in the too hard basket for us all for years.
It’s time to adapt. Instead of focusing on ‘health and safety’ we need to focus on good and bad work days. Ask yourself and your staff, ‘what does a good day look like to you and what does a bad day look like?’ Legal compliance is important, but we also have to enable people and communities to do well. Look at how COVID was handled, our team of 5 million worked together to protect each other. The outcome is – good for you and good for those you depend on and who depend on you. There won’t be free passes, Worksafe will keep up our regulatory mandate to investigate and enforce. Moving away from the Traditional H&S approach, which is focused on reducing the undesired outcomes. This misses the strengths and where good comes from. This is not about creating perfect workplaces but about setting people and processes up for success. We want you to shift thinking from ‘People as the problem’ to ‘People as the solution.’ All of us are smarter than any of us. More and diverse people from our organisations need to contribute. We have to provide a low threshold for participation. People create safety. People are the recipients not the cause of trouble. People are partners. 20% of our businesses and 20% of workers across the country are at the right end of this spectrum. Go to our website for the full research.
Focusing on Road Transport: Fatalities year to September 2020. My position here is that while this data is concerning, when it’s seen in comparison with the wider all sector data, road transport is not a priority sector for us. However, I want to be very clear vehicles are a priority across the H&S system for us. 73% of ALL fatalities involve a vehicle. We are rolling out cross sector programmes addressing this issue and that’s where our focus must be – all sectors rather than a single sector. The fatalities in all sectors is 47 year to date. The key contributors to harm in your sector are muscular stress, falls (height and same level) and being trapped between moving and stationary vehicle.
The road ahead: We are working with NZTA/Waka Kotahi on their Road to Zero programme – that’s where we feel we can make the most effective contribution to addressing road-related issues. It’s under that programme that the key issues you’re focused on are best dealt with –the right regulators are collaborating. As I look at your sector I’m very interested in the impact the supply chain has on every driver. There are issues of hours of work required to meet contractual arrangements the drivers have no ability to impact. I suggest it is inequitable that the people with the least control are the people who suffer the worst consequences of decisions taken way over their heads. There’s the associated issue of the investment drivers or their companies make in vehicles and the pressure that puts on them. If a driver or a company invested half a million dollars in a vehicle, they’re going to want a return on that investment – again, pressure on the driver to keep on the road.
Better work: The way we conceive, design, and execute work. Starting at the conceiving work point is far more likely to have a positive health and safety outcome than starting at the executing work stage.
Nick Leggett, RTFNZ CEO - Road to Success Traineeship
Carol McGeady, NZ Trucking Association - General Manager - Road Safety Truck Update
The Road Safety Truck is a huge inspiration for people of all ages and since the launch of the initiative in 2017 we have been Inspiring the young school students to be aware of a Trucks Capabilities, sharing tips to road users on how to share the road safely, and encouraging truck drivers to understand the health issues that can affect their wellbeing and inspiring the next generation at Careers Expos. We are a very passionate about creating the safest workplace we can for truck drivers and communities. The role of the Road Safety Truck is to inspire people, equip them with knowledge so that they can make informed decisions and change risky driving behaviour. The New Zealand Trucking Association is fortunate to have built a strong relationship with the Australian Trucking Association, who are open to sharing their newly launched SafeT360 programme with us. This is a programme targeted at the 16-25 year-old drivers and uses virtual reality to illustrate the key road safety messages. The team will be working to have this programme available in New Zealand in 2021.
Our other focus is on the health and wellbeing of our truck drivers. Serious underlying illnesses can impact on the ability to drive safely. Drivers mental health and wellbeing is becoming a real concern. We have recently launched the Trucking Along symbol, which represents that not everyone is Trucking Along Well. We have made the symbol into a window sticker so that it can be displayed, and this shows empathy to an illness and a willingness to accept that there is a problem. We are developing a range of resources including posters for walls and quick reference guidelines of where to get help and how to help someone who may not be trucking along well.
The Careers events we have attended in the past, has highlighted that young people just don’t understand the opportunities in the industry, so we are working on an inspirational careers program so that we can show a behind the scene look into transport industry companies. Using videos and technology to let them see what it is like. This is the first step to inspiring the young people to choose trucking as a career. The program will also reach adults who are looking for a career change. We plan on having every sector of the industry represented. If you want your company to be showcased talk to us. The programme will run from the Road Safety Truck using newly installed technology. We also plan to make it fully assessable online so that it can be accessed by Careers advisors, parents and students. We have footage from 3 companies so far. The videos have been filmed and edited by Robbie who is still at school so from his eyes he has captured what is interesting to him and his age group, which is our target audience. This programme will be launched in 2021, so keep an eye out.
Dates for the next Trucking Industry Show and naming sponsor were released at the Summit. We are pleased to announce TMC Trailers have taken naming sponsorship of the event for the 3rd time in a row and the event will take place March 11th and 12th 2022, at the Canterbury Agricultural Park. More details and booking information will be released in the new year.
Tim McKenzie, Barrister - Canterbury Chambers
Tim is always straight up and reminded the audience that fines relating to Health and Safety Breaches are expensive and not covered by insurance. The best way to avoid a eye-watering fine is to not get one in the first place. He talked about protecting your TSL and recommended that if your operators get speed infringements, make sure that you get a declaration saying that they were the driver at the time, or this will go against your TSL. He has seen recent cases where the company has lost a TSL because the number of infringements stacked up, but they were all in the company name and not the drivers. He suggested including this clause in employment contracts, and making it compulsory for your drivers to take ownership of any infringements.
Tim explained the risk of keeping employees who are obviously not safe and who continually breach Health and Safety measures. The dismissal of such staff under safety grounds is now being considered a reasonable measure. The significant cost of a potential Health and Safety prosecution to a business far exceeds the cost of any Personal Grievance claim which the employee may or may not be successful in taking.
A Big thank you to EROAD for sponsoring the networking function following the Summit and to the companies who presented in the quick-fire supplier sessions. It was great to have the trade attend, after a year of no events or networking. We hope to see everyone back next time.