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April 7, 2014 1:15 PM, EDT
Australian Trucking Association CEO Sees Similarities With U.S. Regulations
Michael G. Malloy/TT

The head of the Australian Trucking Associations said he sees similarities in U.S. rules and that he saw “some innovative designs” in trailers at the recent Mid-America Trucking Show.

The group’s CEO, Stuart St. Clair, met with American Trucking Associations officials April 7 in Arlington, Va., comparing notes on the countries’ trucking regulations and concerns, most of which are similar.

St. Clair came to the United States and visited MATS as part of a delegation with Chinese manufacturer CIMC, which makes trailers and containers and has extensive operations Down Under.

“Many of the same questions are asked back home that are asked here — how do we improve productivity, safety and viability,” St. Clair told Transport Topics in an April 7 interview.

The country’s famous “road trains,” which can run as long as 53. 5 meters (about 180 feet) and weigh up to 300,000 pounds, can run as many as four trailers, and require 16-liter engines with 600 to 750 horsepower, St. Clair said. Australia has Euro V emissions regulations, similar to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules that were set in 2010.

Most of Australia’s trucking regulations are in the same realms as their U.S. counterparts, including hours-of-service rules, weights and taxes. It is also developing an electronic logbook rule, although “there’s a bit of a way to go yet,” St. Clair said.

About 47,000 trucking companies are in Australia, although about 74% have one driver. St. Clair said his association represents approximately 5,000 companies.

Toll Group, which also has some operations at U.S. ports including New York/New Jersey and Los Angeles, is Australia’s largest trucking concern. It is unionized, although the overall trucking industry is “not very unionized at all,” St. Clair said.