National Operating Standard
National Operating Standard – Case Study
Compliance Costs No Longer Outweigh The Benefits Of Mandatory Telematics
Australia’s Heavy Vehicle National Law should:
- encourage and embrace the use of technology for safety and access purposes; and
- ensure operators have suitable safety management systems in place and the capital necessary to ensure the safe operation of heavy vehicles.
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) believes these goals can be enhanced through the incorporation of a national operating standard for heavy vehicle operators into the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).
An important element of the standard would be a requirement for operators to collect and keep specified pieces of information using telemetric equipment and services compatible with standards and performance outcomes recognised through the National Telematics Framework.
ALC recognises that the cost of operating a telematic system has slowed uptake. However, there is little doubt the cost has reduced since the HVNL was first drafted.
ALC members advise that for around $2500 (for hardware) plus around $30 a month service fee, a compliant unit can be obtained that can provide:
- safety and efficiency compliance with NHVAS mass, maintenance and fatigue modules;
- electronic work diaries and electronic fit for duty declarations;
- integration with on-board weighing systems,
- electronic braking systems, transport/freight management systems, quicker decisions, distraction monitoring services and cameras;
- applications to calculate Fuel Tax credits, location and speed monitoring, trailer tracking and driver navigation services: and
- assistance in fuel management and the production of engine information
On this basis, it is no longer feasible to argue that compliance costs outweigh the benefits of mandatory recording of data, which include:
- providing operators with data that can help them improve the efficiency of their business
- reliably capturing and recording speed and fatigue information for use as required;
- allowing road owners to fully understand the volumes of heavy vehicle traffic on their network to plan accordingly.;
- giving road owners the best data to make decisions as to whether a particular vehicle should access a road; and
- providing data that can be used in a National Freight Data Hub, improving freight data collection, sharing and analysis practices to enable industry and government freight sector participants to make better informed operational, planning and investment decisions.
Industry needs a level playing field where all operators meet a common safety benchmark. The ready availability of affordable solutions, scalable to the size of the business, makes adopting these standards into the HVNR an obligation, not an option.
 A digital business platform consisting of infrastructure and rules that support an open marketplace of telematics and related intelligent technology providers. For further information see: https://www.tca.gov.au/ntf/national-telematics-framework.
 See Transport and Infrastructure Council (2019) National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy National Action Plan: 22 – https://www.freightaustralia.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/national-action-plan-august-2019.pdf