Transporters urge RSRT to mandate rates & introduce cost calculator

By: Brad Gardner

Trucking firms want contractors to receive fixed rates and a guaranteed 10 per cent profit margin.

The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) is being asked to mandate rates and introduce an industry-wide cost calculator to guarantee independent contractors full cost recovery and a double-digit profit margin.

Intercapital Trucking, Australian Fast Freight and Robert Mitchell Transport want contractors travelling more than 100km from their home base to be reimbursed for the full cost of operating a truck.

In a submission to the RSRT, the three companies urge the tribunal to require hirers to factor in the likes of insurance, maintenance, registration, parking, washouts, highway living, fuel costs and more when determining a contractor’s rate.

The submission details a number of fixed payments the three companies believe should be made, including a 42 cents-per-kilometre rate for B-doubles, a 36 cents-per-kilometre rate for single trailers and a daily payment of $89.60 for highway living.

The companies advocate a $31 hourly rate for loading, unloading and waiting times, a $200 weekly allowance for the cost of parking, $80 a week for tolls and $150 for washing a truck.

If the RSRT accepts the submission, hirers will be required to input the figures into a calculator when working out a contractor’s fee and then add 10 per cent to the figure for a profit margin.

"For any business to survive and prosper just getting cost recovery is not enough, there must be a margin of profit," the submission states.

"All costing used should be revisited every 12 months, save for fuel costs that need to [be] revisited every month."

Intercapital Trucking, Australian Fast Freight and Robert Mitchell Transport want the order to take effect on May 1, alongside the RSRT’s road safety remuneration order that requires parties to pay independent contractors within 30 days of completing work.

The submission also outlines methods for determining variable costs such as maintenance, tyres and fuel.

It recommends the RSRT require hirers to use Freight Metrics’ cost calculator.

"It is simple – put in the figure that represents your vehicle or business and it will show the true cost you should be getting," the submission states.

"…there should be one independent calculator that anyone and everyone can have access to, at their own time, so that there is transparency in the costing, and that every hirer must accept."

While dealing primarily with contractor rates, the submission also raises opposition to fatigue management regulations that allow drivers to work beyond 12 hours in a day.

"We believe this practice affects road safety, for the worse, and laws legalising AFM [advanced fatigue management] should be repealed," the submission says.


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