The first livestock fatigue template has been given the green light and Goondiwindi owner driver Pat Mullighan is the first operator to be accredited under the scheme.
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s Livestock Transport Fatigue Management Scheme (LTFMS) provides access to a flexible work arrangement that will save time and money, the regulator says.
On the regulator’s website, NHVR.gov.au operator Pat Mullighan welcomed the scheme which he said would provide flexibility to his operations. He currently subcontracts to a large SEQ livestock transport business.
Mr Mullighan explained:
“The scheme will be of great benefit during busy work periods as the livestock industry continues to function outside of a traditional working week.
“The majority of my work involves travelling long distances in outback regions over a variety of road surfaces. This flexibility helps me transport the livestock to their destination in one trip, rather than pull up short to have a seven hour break with the cattle on board, which can affect the welfare of the animals”, Mr Mulligan said
NHVR Executive Director, Productivity and Safety, Geoff Casey explained in the article that the scheme provides all relevant tools for operators and owners to gain Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) accreditation and effectively manage any fatigue and safety concerns. Mr Casey went on to highlight the details of the scheme,
“The LTFMS allows operators to apply for AFM accreditation to work up to 14 hours on a day, as part of a fortnightly cycle with ‘risk off-setting’ restrictions around driving between midnight and 4am and more frequent stops for welfare checking.
“The scheme provides livestock transport operators with a template to manage their work and rest hours in a way which is suitable to the unique demands they face.
He went on to state that the template approach would minimise red tape in gaining accreditation and would also provide operators with fatigue management practices and policies, balancing efficiency and safety. This is important as Mr Casey pointed out because it would result in safer roads for us all,
“A safer heavy vehicle industry means a safer network for all road users and through implementing schemes like this one we are playing our part in helping to make this a reality”, said Mr Casey.
Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) National President Grant Robins also gave the LTFMS template and its first successful application the thumbs up. He said the first approval was good news for all future applicants because it showed that assessments made under the new template system are quicker and more affordable than under the standard AFM system.
Mr Robins went on to state:
“It is exactly the result that industry had hoped for and I would encourage all interested operators to seriously consider this AFM option”, said Mr Robins.
David Scott, President of the Livestock & Rural Transporters Association of Queensland (LRTAQ) also joined in, in welcoming the new template. He said the option was a great one for operators, providing much needed flexibility,
“The ALRTA and LRTAQ worked closely with the NHVR to develop a safe and attractive AFM option for livestock carriers.
“Queensland is a big state. The scheme provides operators with the flexibility needed to get drivers home safely from long trips so they can have better quality rest with improved access to amenities”, said Mr Scott.