2011 a bad year for small truckers: NRFA

New year unlikely to be a good one for small operators, according to an owner-driver representative group

By Ruza Zivkusic | Janaury 27, 2010

The new year is unlikely to be a good one for small operators, according to an owner-driver representative group, which claims many are likely to closer their doors.

The National Road Freighters Association (NRFA) claims reduced freight volumes, higher government charges, increased regulation and more restrictive access issues will affect the livelihood of small carriers.

"This will limit little blokes’ advancement in keeping up with the big multi-national carriers. Small operators will not have the resources to fund the bombardment of change ahead of them," NRFA President Mick Pattel

"People that I know personally who are really struggling at the moment have never struggled in their lives; it worries me to the point that these people have established businesses 40 years ago and they’re saying to me they don’t think they can get through this year."

The NRFA also fears the expansion of GPS tracking technology, such as the Intelligent Access Program (IAP), which is currently voluntary.

The National Transport Commission is currently working on a electronic work diary scheme, but is strongly pushing for it to remain voluntary as an alternative to paper-based reporting.

NRFA President Mick Pattel believes older truck drivers cannot cope with the technology.

"If this all becomes mandatory across the whole industry, you’re going to see a massive exodus particularly of the older operators who can’t turn on a computer let alone understand the workings of one. So when satellite tracking is pushed upon them a lot of them will walk away," he says.

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