COR Conference: Broadbent backs drivers to aid managers on compliance

By: Brad Gardner, Photography by: Brad Gardner


Companies should tap into drivers’ knowledge and experience to ensure compliance

COR Conference: Broadbent backs drivers to aid managers on compliance
Jodie Broadbent says a truck driver is a company's best auditor.

 

Trucking companies seeking an honest assessment of their operations need look no further than their drivers, the peak trucking representative group in New South Wales says.

Road Freight NSW manager Jodie Broadbent says drivers are one of a company’s best assets when it comes to auditing compliance.

During her presentation at this year’s 10th Chain of Responsibility and Heavy Vehicle Conference, Broadbent urged companies to make greater use of drivers’ knowledge and experience and not simply rely on external auditors.

"Truck drivers are your best auditors because they will question everything and they are cranky old bastards, they really are. You can go and say to a truck driver, ‘I want you to tell me whether these work diary pages are correct or not’ and he will tell you, ‘this is wrong, that’s wrong, that’s wrong’," Broadbent says.

"The auditor that you’re paying wants to come back, he’s not going to tell you everything is bad because you’ll go, ‘this is a terrible audit report, I can’t have this on my record. I want to get the guy who thinks everything is shiny’.

"You need somebody to tell you when things are not working and that might be difficult to hear when you think you have got everything in place and everything is wonderful."

Broadbent says truck drivers often possess good knowledge of the law due to their regular interactions with government transport authorities and the police.  

"They are a great resource. Say you have got a truck driver who is injured and he can’t drive for whatever reason, get him in the office doing that sort of stuff. They are invaluable, they really are," she says.

Broadbent’s presentation also touched on enforcement practices in NSW and included a call for authorities to better target wilful offenders to ensure those trying to comply are not unfairly penalised.

"We have the joint heavy vehicle taskforce, which is absolutely fantastic at identifying businesses that do the wrong thing deliberately, but we need to make sure they are absolutely focusing on the guys doing things wrong," Broadbent says.

"People can’t comply with all the legislation that is out there. But those who are trying and doing their best [and] they can demonstrate they are doing their best, perhaps don’t focus on them quite so much unless you have got evidence to suggest otherwise."

This year’s Chain of Responsibility and Heavy Vehicle Conference ran over two days from December 2 and included presentations from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, Toll, Victoria Police, the Roads and Maritime Services and Coles. 

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