TIV 001 2011 - 2015

First rider in TIV 001, Andreas Schlimbach, who is head of the BPW axle and suspension design and engineering department in Wiehl, Germany, travelled from Melbourne to Dubbo. Andreas had been to Western Australia, Queensland and was to go on to Sydney for further visits to BPW’s Australian customers to look at road conditions etc. This trip started with a photo shoot and details of the TIV for the next issue of BPW’s magazine which will also cover Andreas’s visit.

4/06/2012 Richard Hancock, CEO of the NHVR made time available to do a short trip with me from Brisbane out to Warrill View parking bay. Whilst it was only a short trip, I made the most of the time and have arranged to write a list of issues and comments and to get them to him asap.

4/11/2012 The NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, John Ajaka got up at 4.30AM to meet me at Uncle Leos in Sydney and travelled with me to the Newcastle Transport Awareness day on the foreshore. John had never been in a truck with most of his past life as a lawyer, though he did represent some trucking companies at times. Getting the b-double in through the last few corners was very tight, with John having said the autos now make driving trucks easy, he commented then on the need for some skill in getting into the suburbs. The Newcastle day draws enormous crowds and as always, was a good day out for the road transport industry.

9/11/2012 James Williams from the NTC rang me about doing a trip to Albury and I said “NO.” I then went on to explain that as his first trip in a truck and for a few hours on one of the better highways, he would experience something new and different, but not learn much about our issues. James is currently involved in the logbook review. I said he should come through to Dubbo to see other roads and rest areas, rather than just the Hume and he got back to me with a Yes.

James slept in the TOP Bunk when we had to have a break at West Wyalong due to loading in Melbourne during the day. The TIV was always to have two bunks as I cannot pull up for 8 hours sleep to comply with the law and expect a passenger to simply sit in the seat for the next 8 hours and it also does then give those who are not averse to sleeping in the TIV, a better understanding of rest area and fatigue issues, as shown by James’s responces in the riders form.

I went to great pains to discuss some of the logbook problems (and have also offered comments to both the ATA and NATROAD logbook reviews) and hope this trip will prove valuable for someone involved in the process, to have spent at least one night in our position.

The TIV had a piece in Diesel magazine and this was followed with me being asked to do the “Last Word” column in the current issue. Peter Armstrong from Prime Mover magazine did a trip with me from Brisbane to Dubbo, doing some other stories over the week end and then travelled back to Brisbane with me on the Sunday and so will have a story in there for the New Year.

TIV 001 12/04/2013 Transport Certification Australia CEO Chris Koniditsiotis travelled with me from Melbourne to Dubbo. TCA are the governing body for the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) and we discussed Electronic Work Diaries and the future and I hope to be working with them in the future to see a fair outcome for drivers.

19/04/2013 Renee Swanson is the Communications Manager for the Heavy Vehicle Charging and Investment Reform. Renee travelled with me from Melbourne to Dubbo and commented the trip and discussion was very valuable.

21/04/2013 Sal Petroccitto is the General Manager - Roads, Rail and Ports System Management within the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads. I had contacted the Qld Minister in my on-going effort to fix the bump at Yamanto and Sal responded in his place with a view to a trip. Sal drove to Goondiwindi, travelled with me into Brisbane via Toowoomba and then came back in to help load the next day, before travelling the Cunningham Highway out to Goondiwindi, so covering both possible routes. He also took control of rest areas recently and has given a commitment to expand the blue reflector marking of informal truck bays.

30th May 2014 Paul Retter, National Transport Commission CEO travelled with me from Melbourne to Dubbo. Paul’s reply to the riders questionnaire follows.


Thanks for the opportunity to discuss a range of issues while travelling with you last Friday. I found the experience to be both practical and informative.

In your handout for Truck Right Riders you ask a series of questions. I have attempted to answer them and the various issues we discussed on the road below:

  • Name, date, trip completed – Paul Retter (CEO NTC) , 30 May 14, Melbourne to Dubbo (8.00am to 7.45pm)
  • Have you ever ridden in a large truck before? – yes, in my career as an Army officer I had the opportunity to travel in large trucks on a number of occasions, however the ride in the Truckright Industry Vehicle (TIV) on 30 May 2014 was my first ride in a commercial heavy vehicle (a B Double) since I left the military in 2006.
  • What were your first impressions of the ride of the vehicle? – I was surprised at the effects of the road condition on the ride in the vehicle and the way in which cracks, dips or pot holes in the road surface are transferred into the cabin of the prime mover.
  • Were you previously aware of the technology in or the cost of large trucks? I was aware of the various sorts of technology available for heavy vehicles and the capital outlay and operating costs associated with owning and operating a heavy vehicle. Many of these technologies in the TIV cab play a key role in improving both safety and productivity outcomes for the heavy vehicle driver and fleet operators. I would encourage heavy vehicle operators to consider the installation of in-vehicle technology from both a commercial and safety perspective. See the attached handout.
  • Has the trip changed your perceptions of trucks on the road and if so, how? I would not say that my trip last Friday has changed my overall perceptions of trucks, what it has done is reinforce the need for Governments. Road agencies, NHVR, NTC and the trucking/logistics industry to discuss how we optimise our road networks in terms of desired service levels (road condition) including rest areas locations, their capacity and design standards. It has also reinforced the need for a more comprehensive road safety initiative related to increased training and awareness of the characteristics of heavy vehicles and the need to share the road with all road users. Your Truckies Top Ten Tips are a great start point.
  • Would you like to make a comment towards the intent of the TIV or suggestions for other riders or events? I suggest other NTC staff may benefit from a ride with you and will discuss this further with you and staff in NTC. I think the TIV is a great initiative however to optimise its impact the vehicle needs to be visiting more locations more often – your idea of having 2 weeks a month to focus on TIV related activities will only be achieved if such a move is seen as cost effective by industry and governments. I think you need to look carefully at a cost benefit analysis of what you are proposing in terms of the road safety and heavy vehicle better awareness related benefits.
  • Would you please give your overall comments on your trip in the TIV that can be used for any publicity reports? I am a fan of the TIV and would encourage its use as a mechanisms to further improve road safety outcomes in Australia by improving awareness of heavy vehicle characteristics and reinforcing the need for all users of the road to be both tolerant of and take extra care when sharing the road with heavy vehicles. Your Truckies Top Ten Tips are a great start point and should be publicised more widely.
  • Other Matters? Your comments on the need for better operating systems at distribution centres and awareness of the impacts of loading/unloading delays on drivers is acknowledged. WE need to do more in educating non drivers within the supply chain on these matters as part of any future enhancements to Chain of Responsibility legislation and guidance material. Regards


16/11/2014 Steve Skinner from Bauer Trading, the publishers of Owner Driver, ATN and a number of other magazines, did a trip with me from Moree to Brisbane. This was both as a story on Rod Pilon Transport and the TIV and during the trip, just after leaving Aratula on the way into Brisbane, the TIV trailers clocked over one million kilometres. A story on the TIV followed in both ATN and in Owner Driver with me on the cover.

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