working in an invisible industry

Working in an Invisible Industry

There are a couple of articles on PowerTorque this week around a similar theme, and that is one we return to again and again, it’s all about working in an invisible industry. The only time the trucking industry becomes visible is when something goes wrong, the news is nearly always bad, when it’s about trucking.

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the maddest time of the year

The Maddest Time of the Year

As we all know in the trucking industry that we are now in the maddest time of the year, with the ramp up to Christmas inflating the freight task in order for all of those customers with extra money in their pocket to buy more stuff they don’t need before Christmas. Read more

hesitancy, misinformation and some difficult decisions

Hesitancy, Misinformation and Some Difficult Decisions

Thinking about the future of the trucking industry is never easy, but, at the moment, we are at a point where hesitancy, misinformation and some difficult decisions are all at play. The decisions? I am not talking about vaccinations or Covid, the decision is around which way to go ahead in choosing technology in trucks over the next decade. Read more

there’s good news and there’s bad news

There’s Good News and There’s Bad News

There is some progress being made in the inevitable move across from the use of fossil fuels in road transport, but as is always the case in Australia, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The feasibility of alternative power for road transport becomes more of a reality every week, as evidenced in PowerTorque’s regular Alt-Power reports.

This week, the good news story is about the Clean Energy Finance Corporation helping, with $12.5 million, to fund a project using hydrogen powered trucks in Townsville to move zinc ore from the port to a refinery.

The grant is to build a green hydrogen electrolyser to power the trucks. The plant will use solar power to make electricity to power the electrolyser, which turns water into its two constituents hydrogen and oxygen. This hydrogen will be stored at the plant to refuel the trucks hauling the ore.

Not only will this be a zero emissions transport task, but it will also be a useful test bed for all the technology involved to see how it works in Australian conditions. At the same time it will be doing its bit to reduce carbon emissions.

On the other side of the coin the announcement by the Federal Government of its Future Fuels Strategy received a mixed welcome. Industries like the trucking industry need to see a real commitment to moving towards zero emissions backed up by real dollars.

There was some good news about the roll-out of some electric vehicle charging capacity, but not much more in terms of real money to make it easier for operators, who want to do the right thing and reduce emissions, to make the kind of investment required to make some real progress.

The Australian Trucking Association called for a stronger plan after the announcement. It called for a purchase price incentive which would bring forward the point where zero emission trucks are cost competitive.

The Electric Vehicle Council was distinctly unimpressed by the announcement, and pronounced it a ‘fizzer’. The EVC explained that something like minimum fuel efficiency standards like those set in the US and Europe would soon incentivise the population to move across to low emission technology and enable the alt-power vehicle sector to make real inroads in Australia, as it has done in so many other countries around the world.

On so many issues over the years, the Australian trucking industry has been an innovator and lead the world in improving efficiency and productivity. It seems strange to see that same industry being held back from being a world leader yet again, by a lack of imagination in Canberra.


there’s good news and there’s bad news

the fatigue battleground

The Fatigue Battleground

This week’s blow up after the National Transport Commission actually unveiled its position on fatigue management, has opened up the fatigue battleground for more scrutiny. The problem is, will that extra scrutiny get us any closer to a solution? Read more

the fatigue battleground

There is No Quick Fix to the Driver Shortage

We have heard some positive words coming out of Canberra, recently, but there is no quick fix to the driver shortage in Australia. The problem is a deep and long lasting, the result of changes to the industry and to Australian society. Read more

how much disruption do you need?

How Much Disruption Do You Need?

It is strange how certain buzz words come into our lives, but change their meaning or implications over time, and one of those words is disruption, but for many this year the question is just how much disruption do you need? Read more

we need an apprenticeship now

We Need an Apprenticeship Now

This week the government has announced the release of a consultation paper on a plan to introduce truck driving apprenticeships, but we need an apprenticeship now.  Read more