Cootes Transport loses Shell trucking contract following fatal crash

 

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  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
The Victorian trucking company involved in a fatal fuel tanker crash in Sydney’s northern beaches late last year has lost a major contract to supply Shell petrol stations across the country.

Cootes Transport, a division of the Mark Rowsthorn-chaired McAleese, advised the market on Thursday that it had been unsuccessful in tendering for the contract, which is due to expire at the end of June.

BP has also notified Cootes that it has not short-listed it for its fuel transportation contract in NSW.
Cootes Transport loses Shell trucking contract following fatal crash


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this is a wonderful example of how companies like shell have been allowed to move dangerous loads from rail a safer form of transport to road with dire consequences.  this issue also highlights just how unsafe trucking these chemicals around on road is not good for our society.

shell should also be fined and a lsw passed to require chemicals of this type to be moved on rail.

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  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
shell should also be fined and a lsw passed to require chemicals of this type to be moved on rail.
JimYarin

Remind me when a heavy freight line was built to Mona Vale?  I must have missed that significant bit of infrastructure work.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

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this is a wonderful example of how companies like shell have been allowed to move dangerous loads from rail a safer form of transport to road with dire consequences.  this issue also highlights just how unsafe trucking these chemicals around on road is not good for our society.

shell should also be fined and a lsw passed to require chemicals of this type to be moved on rail.
"JimYarin"


It's not the best time for promoting the safety benefits of rail hauling dangerous goods...the Cootes accident killed two and the oil train explosion in Quebec killed 47...you cannot spin rail safety while that accident is fresh in people's minds, and I imagine PN and Aurizon are more than aware of that fact.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
I have to agree with some of Jim's post. This accident whilst tragic and probably avoidable does highlight the dangers of trucks and dangerous goods.

The image for shell is terrible and I also agree dangerous goods should be on rail as much as possible.

It also highlights the true state of the trucking industry. Desperation in attempts to drive profit have caused a race the bottom in terms of price.

This has caused maintenance to be cancelled or deferred.

Who do you blame?  Shell of course.
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner


It also highlights the true state of the trucking industry. Desperation in attempts to drive profit have caused a race the bottom in terms of price.

This has caused maintenance to be cancelled or deferred.
freightgate

Bold statement.

So you are suggesting Cootes cancelled maintenance?  I heard from inside Cootes that the regulators went totally over the top after the relevant incident and that brand new trucks were grounded for petty reasons.  

Can you be sure the rail industry is any better than trucking?

Deferred maintenance happens in all fields.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Deferred maintenance happens in all fields.
DalyWaters

When an Industry mingles right In the hart of the general public, the correct maintenance and compliance Is critical.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
It would be great if OP actually provided the full article so people could read what was actually amiss, rather than just smearing the operator and its deceased driver.

http://www.smh.com.au/business/cootes-transport-loses-shell-trucking-contract-following-fatal-crash-20140130-31o2p.html
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
There is nothing wrong with a discussion in the incident. What do people fear.

I have said myself the incident was tragic. I also believe that where possible dangerous goods should be shipped on rail. This was certainly the case in Victoria for some years prior the a change of legislation.

That is the safest option. Shell knows this I am sure. They engaged the transport company I think knowing they has driven the price down. What price do you put on safety and the life of the drivers ?

The drivers death and the death of the other innocent people is a tragic consequence of what on the face of it looks to be cost saving on maintenance. We may never know the truth.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
It would be great if OP actually provided the full article so people could read what was actually amiss, rather than just smearing the operator and its deceased driver.

http://www.smh.com.au/business/cootes-transport-loses-shell-trucking-contract-following-fatal-crash-20140130-31o2p.html
ZH836301

There are only three paragraphs (four sentences) out of seventeen missing from the article you post and the Railpage Australia™ "copy" of that article.  I'm not sure why they have been omitted, but I'm equally not sure why you think their omission "smears" the involved parties.  The link to the full article (on The Age) was also clearly provided.

A discussion of rail in the context of this incident is completely misleading (Lac Megantic aside).  This was not line-haul of petroleum products - this was local distribution.  Rail transport was not possible.  You are never going to be practically doing local distribution on rail.
  QSB6.7 Chief Train Controller

Location: Going off the rails on a crazy train.
Bold statement.

So you are suggesting Cootes cancelled maintenance? I heard from inside Cootes that the regulators went totally over the top after the relevant incident and that brand new trucks were grounded for petty reasons.

Can you be sure the rail industry is any better than trucking?

Deferred maintenance happens in all fields.
DalyWaters

Having worked in maintenance of vehicles, trucks and machinery for 14 years, I have to agree with you, deferred maintenance happens every where.
Just look at your own cars, when were they last serviced?
Most bean counters look at maintenance when trimming the fat.  It is an easy area to make cuts in.
Repairs/maintenance can me classed as; scheduled, routine, just in time and break down.
If you cut the first three, the fourth happens.  Often with catastrophic results.
  mickamious Junior Train Controller

I have to agree with some of Jim's post. This accident whilst tragic and probably avoidable does highlight the dangers of trucks and dangerous goods.

The image for shell is terrible and I also agree dangerous goods should be on rail as much as possible.

It also highlights the true state of the trucking industry. Desperation in attempts to drive profit have caused a race the bottom in terms of price.

This has caused maintenance to be cancelled or deferred.

Who do you blame? Shell of course.
freightgate


Big comment to make...

I've driven ALL sorts of trucks for a range of companies before settling down in our family business.
Cootes were really good, i never had any dramas and all my maintenance issues that i reported we're fixed at the next maintenance interval.

Of course, if it was serious, the truck would be put off and i'd jump in another whilst mine was at the mechanic getting fixed.

Trucking industry believe it or not mate, is relatively safe. What you don't understand is half the smeg truckies have to put up with on the road and by the sounds of it.. you go by what the media tells you.

I suggest you go look at Truck Cams on YouTube and you might have an eye opener!
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
Regardless of whether or not the trucking company and customer in question were right, wrong or just unlucky....the issue is that the heavy road industry are far away from matching the rail or aviation industries in safety & accreditation regulations and are one of the most over subsidised industries in the country.

When the road industry match rail in safety regulations and start paying their way and stop leeching off the public purse, the market will decide what the correct mode is for the transport of commodities. Obviously, where rail isn't an option, trucking will always be required - but with proper regulation and cost recovery by the Govt infrastructure authorities, road transport will then be as safe as it is possible to get and paying its way. Then if accidents occur - it will just be bad luck (more than likely motorist caused) and there will be no legitimate criticisms or recriminations that can then be sheeted home to the trucking industry or the customer. Until then, trucking is a sitting duck for condemnation (legitimate or not).
  woodford Chief Commissioner

I have to agree with some of Jim's post. This accident whilst tragic and probably avoidable does highlight the dangers of trucks and dangerous goods.

The image for shell is terrible and I also agree dangerous goods should be on rail as much as possible.

It also highlights the true state of the trucking industry. Desperation in attempts to drive profit have caused a race the bottom in terms of price.

This has caused maintenance to be cancelled or deferred.

Who do you blame? Shell of course.
freightgate


Just being the devils advocate..........

Is rail freight in a much better state, both state and federal governements appear to think little of track maintenence and appear to spend as little as possible. It was only luck that prevented a major accident on the Melbourne Albury line.

The lack of any kind of targeting on infrastucture spending gives one the impression most people must think the world has no future...............

woodford
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Is rail freight in a much better state, both state and federal governements appear to think little of track maintenence and appear to spend as little as possible. It was only luck that prevented a major accident on the Melbourne Albury line.
woodford

The ATSB don't appear to agree with your last sentence.  A system with an inspection regime that detects in a timely manner the development of faults and then responds with measures to mitigate those faults is not relying on "luck".

Look at what the typical Australian rail passenger is willing to pay for a ride.  They appear to spend as little as possible too.  Clearly then they also think little of track maintenance.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Freight is the major revenue contributor to the advancement and revenue of track owners who maintain the infrastructure.

We appear to be alone in Australia in thinking the world is still investing in expensive and unsustainable road networks. The rest of the world has moved on.

The more freight to use rail the more revenue and therefore the more money to pay for maintenance.

Does this still hold true?
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
the issue is that the heavy road industry are far away from matching the rail or aviation industries in safety & accreditation regulations
12CSVT

You say that like it's a bad thing.  Soon you will have to be licenced to use a hammer.

We appear to be alone in Australia in thinking the world is still investing in expensive and unsustainable road networks. The rest of the world has moved on.
freightgate

Citation needed.  The rest of the world still invests in its road network, it just does the same with its rail network.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Cootes transport will feature in tonight's 4corners programme on the abc. The investigation will focus on the poor state of the company's assets and a lack of maintenance. A whistleblower comes forward to tell all.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Cootes transport will feature in tonight's 4corners programme on the abc. The investigation will focus on the poor state of the company's assets and a lack of maintenance. A whistleblower comes forward to tell all.
freightgate

Preview,
http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2014/01/30/3934918.htm
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
You say that like it's a bad thing. Soon you will have to be licenced to use a hammer.
ZH836301

What I find incredulous, is despite the ongoing death toll, year in, year out, on the roads involving trucks, major truck related incidents just don't seem to prompt the expected "over the top" regulatory crack-downs that other transport modes (especially rail) endure. Road authorities and government seem to be accept truck related disasters as "brown stuff happens", whilst getting in a lather about motorists exceeding increasingly unreasonable speed limits by 2 or 3 kmh!

Meanwhile, for the inherently safe rail industry, the slightest deficientcy in increasing demands for more and more complex documentation or the most minor derailments are treated like the sky is falling in! (So, yes, rail workers probably soon will need a licence to use a hammer!!)

If there was any justice in the comparative treatment of road vs rail incidents, the Kerang disaster, for instance, should have prompted a massive regulatory backlash against roading, such as banning heavy trucking companies crossing any railway level crossing until they had a] supplied the Govt with highly detailed risk assessment plans for crossing railways in their areas; b] put all their drivers through detailed retraining courses, supplied by Govt approved RTOs at high cost, on the protocols for crossing railways; c] supplied the Road authorities with route plans for their trucking operations with level crossings identified, crossing procedures documented and driver qualifications listed - and - d] enacted new legislation, that all heavy trucks have to stop short of a level crossing and contact the local rail authority to request permission to cross.

Of course, the trucking industry sector would have rioted at such burdens being placed on their featherbedded existence, but with their poor safety record, why should they get away with blithely killing people, whilst rail gets constantly harrassed for just "seeming" to do something unsafe and just takes it in the rear end?
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
trucks in NSW make up around 8% of all vehicles but are involved in over 22% of all accidents in state. i believe it is much higher in south australia.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
trucks in NSW make up around 8% of all vehicles but are involved in over 22% of all accidents in state. i believe it is much higher in south australia.
JimYarin

What's their proportion of vehicle - kilometres, which is the real basis for accident rate?

I could quite easily believe that the time spent on-road for the typical truck is several times that of the typical private vehicle.

The more freight to use rail the more revenue and therefore the more money to pay for maintenance.
freightgate


Generally true, if the rail line has spare capacity for more freight.  Rail lines that don't exist don't have spare capacity.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Generally true, if the rail line has spare capacity for more freight. Rail lines that don't exist don't have spare capacity.
donttellmywife

If enough funds to maintain them properly was available, and access to those lines was equitable and open - then maybe that could be the case.

Look at the state of the rail network in Vic atm, and you can understand why trucks still dominate the landscape.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
The more pressing issue is Victrack seem to delight in removing anything rail related rather than working with operators to find solutions utilising the spare resources.

Victoria is too quick to pull out infrastructure which could have future earning potential and more importantly deliver future cost reductions to business. Rail is still the safer option.

I hope tonight on the abc the programme takes a critical look at Shell.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
What I find incredulous, is despite the ongoing death toll, year in, year out, on the roads involving trucks, major truck related incidents just don't seem to prompt the expected "over the top" regulatory crack-downs that other transport modes (especially rail) endure...[whinge]
12CVST

So you're basically just having a whine at rail accreditation processes apparently crippling the rail network and in some sort of deluded revenge want to wrap the road network in red tape too - well doesn't that just make perfect sense.

a/ Trucks are relatively safe to km travelled
b/ Adequate compliance measures already exist for roads
c/ If there are equity issues with bureaucracy it needs to be solved with less, not more
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
So you're basically just having a whine at rail accreditation processes apparently crippling the rail network and in some sort of deluded revenge want to wrap the road network in red tape too - well doesn't that just make perfect sense.

a/ Trucks are relatively safe to km travelled
b/ Adequate compliance measures already exist for roads
c/ If there are equity issues with bureaucracy it needs to be solved with less, not more
ZH836301

Yes, I most definately am having a  darn good whine / whinge or however you want to describe it, but not in the way you are framing it. My issue is not just simply with the excessive bureaucratic zeal that accreditation obligations are piled on the rail industry, but the completely inequitable manner it is applied across the rail and road modes, considering the relative risk pertinent to the two modes.

The inequitable nature of the application of regulatory constraints to rail vs road is completely counter-intuitive to the relative public risk of both modes. So whilst the intent of regulation is to protect workers and the public, it pretty much achieves the objective with rail, which was already a low risk transport mode (whilst in the process arguably going over the top), whilst in response to the demonstrated poor performing heavy road sector, virtually abrogates any responsibility whatsoever. It is illogical to have a relatively safe mode regulated to within an inch of its existence whilst a high risk mode is allowed to get away with murder (literally).

Additionally, this isn't just a matter of "Oh, the bad govt dept is picking on me (rail), boo hoo, pick on him (road), for a change". The imbalance in regulatory burdens skews the relative economic outcomes for both modes in a way that doesn't serve the public interest. And no, that DOESNT make perfect sense.

As for your last points; a] " relatively safe to the kms travelled" ? By what measure? Cars? certainly not any other transport mode thats for sure! b] "adequete compliance measures already exist for roads"? Rubbish. Even if they did, they are routinely ignored. The rate of occurrences of overloading, poor load retention, unroadworthy vehicles, fatigue through excessive hours, drugs, record tampering, speeding and all manner of other driving offences belie such a ludicrous claim - and - c] "equity issues....solved with less not more" well half right. What is needed is BALANCE and appropriate regulation for the risk. If the heavy road industry (and I mean heavy road - thats articulated and multi-articulated - not your average mid sized delivery truck) regulation was brought up to even half to three quarters that which rail is required to comply with, the reductions in truck caused road truama would be reduced considerably (to maybe match that of rail).

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