It’s Christmas time again and as we come to the end of another year, it is a time to reflect upon the year which has just past and look at our hopes and dreams for the years to come.
The fact of the matter is that we do live in interesting times. The trucking industry and the truck world is in a period of flux. As a result, we do not know what the trucking industry is going to look like in 10 years time.
The big ticket is, of course, the move towards zero emissions trucking and phasing out of fossil fuels. For many of us who have been involved in the industry for a long time, it is difficult to conceive of a trucking industry without diesel, as we say about ourselves, we have ‘diesel in our veins’. Well, the next generation of trucking folk will not have diesel in their veins and a phrase like we have hydrogen in our veins is not likely to become common parlance.
At the same time as all these competing technologies vie for their place in the trucking industry, which is a transformation and change which we know will happen is becoming inevitable.
The other change that people in the trucking industry will be looking for is changes in the way that the trucking industry is treated by the government. We have been waiting for a long time for a new HVNL and it’s it still appears to be well over the horizon.
At the same time, the search for carbon free trucking will play into this we have to drive hard for serious efficiency and productivity gains just to survive as an industry. This is where schemes like the PBS scheme come into their own and could enable the industry as a whole to vastly improve productivity across the board.
However on past experience there will be one issue which is unlikely to improve much in the next decade and that is the problem of access. The only thing to blame on this score is our system of government. The division of duties between federal government, state government and local government is an issue across the country.
More of an issue is the fact that those local governments at the bottom of the food chain have been starved of funding over a prolonged period. This has led to a deterioration in the standards of our roads at the same time as the trucking industry is looking to improve productivity.
With longer, wider, heavier trucks in the pipeline, the infrastructure which we use gradually gets worse year on year. A substantial change in this equation would make a big difference both for helping to move towards zero carbon emissions and to greatly improve overall efficiency of the transport industry. It would enable trucking to properly contribute to the gross domestic product and the Australian economy.
Let’s hope for the best and work towards a prosperous 2024.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the team behind PowerTorque!