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Information for truck drivers and transport operators

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Handing over the paper work at Tamworth saleyards. Image: Peter Dundon.

Your responsibilities

Truck drivers and transport operators have legal, financial and ethical responsibilities for safe, high welfare transport of livestock under their care.

Under the Land Transport of Livestock Standards and Guidelines:

“The driver or transporting company is responsible for the livestock from the point of loading of livestock (including inspection and assessment of livestock during loading and during the journey), to the point of unloading and notifying the receiver of the livestock at the destination.” (Land Transport of Livestock Standards and Guidelines).

Checklist for transporters and drivers

  • I have scheduled my journey to manage fatigue and understand how it may impact animal welfare.
    • Problematic livestock that go down during the journey and require constant management have the potential to push drivers outside legal working hours under National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) requirements.
  • I have clear directions, agreed loading times and average livestock weights.
    • Good directions and contact numbers are essential to ensure you arrive to load on time. All drivers know that getting lost and burning unnecessary working hours can have serious flow-on effects to other loads scheduled for the week.
    • Knowing the average weight of cattle takes the guesswork out of managing load weight limits as there are strict laws in some states including NSW.
  • I have done my pre-loading inspections and the livestock are fit to load for the intended journey.
  • I have aligned my fatigue management requirements with livestock welfare management.
    • e.g. avoid loading livestock that will be held on the truck during a mandatory seven-hour break in a 24 hour period. Longer trips may require spelling in yards.
  • I am aware of my regulatory responsibilities under the chain of responsibility.
  • I take advantage of specialist training materials and courses provided by organisations such as ALFA’s Feedlot TECH - Livestock Handling – Animal Wellbeing for Transport
  • I act with professionalism and take responsibility for livestock under my care.