Plenty of lessons to be learned from US
A LOT of important takeaways from my week in Dallas at The Great American Trucking Show.
For one, I had to accept that those guys running around in helmets, tights and shoulder pads in the NFL were actually incredibly skilful athletes playing a game even a rugby fan like myself could get hooked on.
But most importantly, that the US trucking industry is facing the exactly the same major issues we are in Australia with rampant driver shortages and the need for more flexible fatigue laws. It was interesting to note also the widespread acceptance of Electronic Logging Devices, the American equivalent of our Electronic Work Diaries.
With a few exceptions, they are now mandatory there and from what I can gather from chatting to a handful of drivers at the three-day industry showcase, most are embracing the efficiency advantages.
They just now need to get the regulators there to build in more leeway into their hours of service. The one-size-fits-all model is clearly causing friction. Sound familiar?
As I write this, there are promising signs of positive changes ahead in Australia. The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack just announced a $132.5 million spend on roading and rest stops, and industry bosses have convened a special safety summit in October.
Fingers crossed we get follow-through.