Fleet Focus

As Tough As You Make It...

Story by Dave McLeod, Photos by Gerald Shacklock

There are a few negatives that come as part and parcel of Don Wilson’s line of trucking business.

 

They come in the form of compliance demands, regulations…..and more compliance demands. And more regulations.

 

All areas of road transport, of course, are subject to these increasing compliance demands, as Don sums up: “The extra things you have to do each day to make your business operate is getting harder and harder.”

 

Don, the boss of Pukekohe’s OnRoad Transport, is the chairman of the National Road Carriers Association – and knows full well how much compliance stuff that NRC does to assist its members, across the industry.

 

But then, if you want to carry livestock – OnRoad Transport’s specialty – the compliance demands ratchet-up dramatically: “Our compliance nowadays is a lot harder than it was 20 years ago.

 

“We’ve got to be certified to do this, certified to do that. You can’t drive onto a meat processor unless you’re NZLTA (New Zealand Livestock Transport Assurance) qualified or registered….

 

“And the auditing process we have to go through every two-years is huge: Our yard gets audited, our trucks get audited.

 

“Our drivers have virtually got to be vets nowadays too! We can’t just go in and pick up 35 cows – we’ve got to make sure those cows are fit and proper for transport.

 

“Even though the farmer should ensure that anything that’s marginal should have a vet’s certificate with it – saying things like ‘must be last on and first off’ and ‘must go to the closest plant.’ These are things that our drivers have to be aware of all the time.

 

“Cancerous eyes, mastitis, horns just touching the scalp….” The list just seems to go on….and on.

And now, on top of all that, there’s the dreaded (well, much-hated anyway) NAIT – the controversial National Animal Identification Tracking system, with which the Government wants to put the onus on transport operators, rather than just farmers, for ensuring every animal carted has a little white ID tag in its ear.

 

Otherwise they’re threatened with a $400 per animal fine – and even the mild-mannered Wilson gets feisty at the thought of it: “The transport industry has had enough. We’re sick of being the easy target!...

 

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