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Maguire takes trucking truths to wider audience

ATA goes to mainstream press aiming to influence decision-makers


The Australian Trucking Association’s (ATA) chief executive, Ben Maguire, featured heavily in today’s Road Transport Special Report in The Australian newspaper, taking insights on the trucking industry to a mainstream readership. 

Maguire has discussed what inspired him to educate the general public on the inner workings of the transport industry, as well as find out more about this week’s ‘Hackathon’ to be held at the Trucking Australia 2018 conference.

“The bottom line is, trucking generates 8.6 per cent per of Australian GDP and most people in the community don’t know that and their perception of trucking is a bit outdated,” Maguire says.

The ATA plans to take outdated public perceptions of the transport industry and align them with reality, while also influencing key decision makers to promote positive change.

“We hope to influence decision makers, and legislators around trucking in Australia,” Maguire says.

“Also through mainstream media, we plan to educate everyone around the importance of trucking to their daily lives.

Putting a human face to trucking has been a big focus for Maguire, who reminds us that many trucking operators play a pivotal role in their local community.

“You’ll see some good family stories, there’s a human face to this – these are people who are the backbones of their communities.

“They’re sponsoring local football clubs, helping sick kids, and there’s a great Australian small business story to be told.”

The annual Trucking Australia conference takes place this week in Canberra, and a highlight of the event is an industry-first Hackathon.

Aimed at bringing the benefits of digital disruption to the transport industry, the Hackathon is all about putting a challenge on the table and asking trucking and technology experts and innovators to brainstorm and solve longstanding issues.

“I’m looking to the Hackathon to change perceptions on how we solve problems,” Maguire says.

“This industry has been regulated by decades of incremental change; it’s been fine-tuned for decades by different governments.

“A hackathon is one way of saying that in 2018 we have to be a little more innovative than that.”

Fatigue is high on the agenda for the Hackathon, with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) voluntary Electronic Work Diary (EWD) scheme recently getting the green light.

“I’m expecting to see some great solutions around fatigue management come out of it.

“I think the digitisation of fatigue management is going to play a really important role and I think we should be encouraging everybody in industry to explore that.

“We have some major concerns about the roll out of the EWD scheme, particularly related to rest and how rest is managed.

“I don’t want anyone in the community to think we don’t support voluntary use of work diaries — we just don’t agree with the rollout.”

Maguire says building confidence around investing in technology is paramount as digitisation sweeps the road transport industry.

“There are heaps of questions and they’re not answered — if we’re going to build confidence around investing in technology.

“The ATA and its members are aware that technology is coming and we support it, it will have safety improvements. It has to be delivered in consultation and collaboration.

“The exciting thing about a Hackathon is you don’t know what you’re going to get!”


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