1. IMPROVING ROADS:
To provide input and information to road authorities to see improved awareness and understanding of the impact of road irregularities upwards into trucks, the drivers and then back into the road itself and the repair and removal of these road hazards. By being a working vehicle the TIV will provide information directly from the source on the road and on a continuing basis, will be able to detail the worst road irregularities and monitor and report on improvements and their effects. We believe that we can give notice of deterioration in roads before very major repairs and costs are needed, and in so doing see a better standard of road generally and savings made in road repair costs. We believe this will not only save money for road authorities, but will reduce damage to all three, the roads, the trucks and the drivers. Road authority staff will be invited to ride in the truck to experience the impacts from such road dips, bumps and culverts and this information will continue to be provided for all roads travelled, so that improvements can be monitored and cost/benefit savings recognised.
2. IMPROVING ROAD SAFETY:
By also inviting journalists and others outside the trucking industry to do a trip in the truck, to give them the opportunity to both see and feel things from the seat of a truck and through attending suitable events with the TIV to further improve road safety for both truck drivers and other road users, by promotion of “sharing the road with trucks” driver education both at time of licensing and for motorists who may never get to ride in a truck.
The "TRUCKIES TOP TEN TIPS" will be handed out along with other industry road safety information, and promoted towards reducing the up to 80% of car/truck fatalities caused by car drivers. This will also include promotion of the "Truckies On Road Code", to further seek to improve truck drivers behaviour as well, along with how we are seen on the road by motorists.
3. RAISING ROAD TRANSPORT INDUSTRY AWARENESS:
To promote awareness of the contribution and improvements in safety, efficiency and technology of the Australian road transport industry. Truck drivers go to work to do one thing, to get home safely to the families they see far too little of, so that you as a consumer can have your food, fuel and every other commodity you use. Every item you use has been on the back of a truck at least once and often many more times than that. The technological improvements in engine management providing reduced emissions, the increase in training being provided and also required by legislation for drivers and the major reduction in crash statistics involving trucks which is higher than the reduction for cars, are major points of road transport industry striving to improve road safety for all road users, truckies included. With the Australian freight task set to double in the next 15 years or less and our ageing workforce across all industry sectors, not just road transport, there are major employment opportunities in a whole range of jobs across transport, warehousing and logistics. It was previously said years ago that the Australian economy rode on the sheep’s back, it now rides on the back of a prime mover.
4. SEEKING MORE AND BETTER REST AREAS:
Inspection and reporting on current truck rest areas along with where additional sites are needed, will also form part of these trips, to see sufficient and suitable truck rest areas provided in the future. A national roll out of the “Blue Reflector Marking of Informal Truck Rest Areas” will be sought as an immediate, interim measure. Rest areas are required for all road users, but truckies are the ones who are required to sleep and rest in many of the roadside rest areas now. Not only are there not enough of them, as recently confirmed by a national rest area audit, but far too many lack suitable shade and facilities. The other point neglected here is the major increase in use of road side rest areas by caravanners caused by a number of factors, including less caravan parks, higher fees in those that have upgraded and higher fuel costs for those who are self sufficient and spend much of the year on the road. This can be very seasonal with many heading north from southern states as temperatures drop and then home as temperatures increase, putting large demands on already insufficient rest areas.