Finemore continues push for truck rating system

Trucking industry icon Ron Finemore continues push for truck rating system, winning support from NSW

By Brad Gardner | November 25, 2009

Ron Finemore’s quest for trucking companies to be given help to train drivers has taken a step closer after NSW agreed to look at his proposal.

The Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) will work with the NSW Centre for Road Safety and the Road Freight Advisory Council (RFAC) to look at a possible five-star rating system.

Under Finemore’s plan, companies will be rated based on their approach to safety. Those with the higher rating will receive money to cover training costs, with the funds drawn from an industry levy.

"I think we need to seriously consider that sort of thing," Finemore told a parliamentary committee earlier this year.

"At a certain star level you are trusted with the responsibility and get some funds to invest in training people."

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has backed the proposal, while the RFAC wanted a national taskforce to progress the scheme.

"It will consist of representatives of the RFAC, TWU and RTA," a spokeswoman for Borger says of the taskforce.

"The Minister has asked Ron Finemore, RFAC member, to chair the group."

Finemore says companies are restricted in their efforts to invest in training because of a lack of resources and no guarantee drivers will stay with their current employer.

"In my almost 50 years in the industry I have invested heavily in training and attracting people to the industry. However, that has also been to my detriment," he says.

Although NSW is prepared to look at initiatives regardless of whether other jurisdictions follow it, the Government plans to consider national decisions on competency-based training and driver licensing.

Finemore is part of the RFAC, a government-industry roundtable which includes other respected industry leaders such as Jim Savage, Peter Fox and the Victorian Transport Association’s (VTA) Phil Lovel.

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