Do you know your role in the Chain of Responsibility?

Under the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) law introduced in 2018, all parties across the supply chain share an equal responsibility to comply with Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), even if you don’t drive or operate a heavy vehicle.

The CoR framework sets out the legal obligations of each participant in the transport supply chain, with a strong focus on improved safety outcomes. This changes the way your business needs to approach and manage the safety and operation of heavy vehicles. 

Everyone, from the employers and management teams to your consigners, dispatchers, loaders, contractors, partners and drivers, share the responsibility for the business being compliant and running safely, both on and off the road. 

Do you know what role you play in the CoR?

Operator/Manager/Scheduler Responsibilities

The role of an operator, manager or scheduler under CoR includes things such as but not limited to:

  • Ensure rosters and schedules do not require drivers to breach driving hours or speed limits.
  • Assess whether a driver is fit for duty
  • Record driver activities, work and rest times
  • Ensure drivers do not work while impaired by fatigue or while in breach of their work or rest hours
  • Maintain vehicles and ensure properly functioning speed limiters are fitted
  • Ensure vehicles are not loaded to exceed mass or dimension limits and are appropriately restrained
  • Ensure drivers moving freight containers have a valid container weight declaration
  • Consult regularly with other parties in the supply chain to identify risks and issues that may contribute to breaches of the HVNL.

Consignor/Consignee Responsibilities

The role of a consignor or consingee under CoR includes things such as but not limited to:

  • Ensure loads do not exceed mass or dimension limits and are appropriately restrained
  • Check that operators carrying freight containers have a valid container weight declaration
  • Your delivery requirements must not require or encourage drivers to:
    • Exceed the speed limits
    • Drive while impaired by fatigue
    • Exceed regulated driving hours
    • Fail the minimum rest requirements
  • Consult with other parties in the chain to identify risks and issues that may contribute to breaches of the HVNL.

Loading Manager/Loader/Packer Responsibilities

The role of a loading manager, loader or packer under CoR includes things such as but not limited to:

  • Ensure that loading a heavy vehicle will not cause or contribute to the driver driving while impaired by fatigue
  • Work with other off-road parties to make reasonable arrangements to manage loading/unloading times
  • Ensure vehicle loading/unloading does not cause delays and advise drivers of any delays of more than 30 minutes
  • Ensure loads:
    • Do not exceed vehicle mass or dimension limits
    • Do not cause the vehicle to exceed mass limits
    • Comply with the load restraint standard
    • Are placed and secured in a way so they do not become unstable, move or fall off the vehicle
  • Provide reliable weight information to drivers prior to the journey
  • Ensure load documentation is accurate
  • Ensure goods packed in a freight container do not cause the container’s gross weight or safety approval rating to be exceeded.

Driver/Owner-Driver Responsibilities

The role of a driver or owner-driver under CoR includes things such as but not limited to:

  • Comply with your relevant fatigue management work and rest requirements
  • Keep an accurate work diary and records required by law
  • Respond to changes in circumstances (such as delays) and report these to your base
  • Ensure your vehicle does not exceed mass or dimension limits
  • Ensure your load is properly restrained
  • Check and report on all maintenance issues
  • Obey all speed limits and road rules
  • Subcontractors should also follow the lawful requirements of their prime contractors and be able to demonstrate compliance
  • Identify and report hazards and risks associated with the transport task.

For more information visit the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

Since the CoR legislation came into effect, we at Fleet Plant Hire have substantially increased our investment in the development of our state-of-the-art contractor management system. This has enabled us to closely monitor the compliance of our contractors and business processes and address breaches if and when they occurred. We also offer comprehensive training for our team members in CoR to help them understand their responsibilities under the new legislation.

30 years of plant hire and material solutions

Fleet Plant Hire (FPH) has been providing an extensive range of plant hire and material solutions to both large and small infrastructure construction businesses, Victoria wide for over 30 years. 

In the late 1980s, FPH’s founders identified a need within the earthmoving industry for a business that not only understood the requirements of civil construction projects but also the need of construction plant contractors. Thus, FPH was born. From inception to now, FPH moves forward with the continued commitment to ensuring it has the resources, hard working team and foundations to deliver on its promises.

Since this time FPH has built and upheld a reliable, trustworthy and ethical reputation across the industry and proven itself as a major player in the earthmoving and civil construction industries.

The FPH team has developed strong, longstanding relationships with our contractors and clients over the years which has led to the successful involvement of a wide range of large scale projects across the state. We currently hold a database of over 2,500 registered and compliant contractors which only continues to grow. 

FPH has always been an innovative and motivated company, looking to new technologies and systems as an opportunity to continually exceed expectations. 

We currently operate a fully integrated Quality Management system that ensures our targets are met or exceeded wherever possible. This ensures that our daily operations are “system” based and not “personality” based. This makes for a safe and harmonious work environment for all our employees, contractors and clients. 

Internally, we also operate a state of the art Contractor Management System which allows us to match quality local plant contractors and equipment to projects, supporting local jobs and increasing skill sets among local communities.

A word from our Managing Director, Chris West:

As 2021 draws to a close, I reflect back on the year that was. With the social distancing guidelines brought upon by global pandemic and numerous lockdowns in Victoria, we had our challenges and roadblocks but our team has remained resilient and has adapted to the changes to continue to deliver the best possible service to our clients. I’m looking forward to another big year in 2022.

The efficient & effective removal of 1.3 million tonnes of biosolid materials

Fleet Plant Hire (FPH) is proud to have been involved in the beneficial reuse of 1.290 million tonnes of clay-rich biosolids from the Melbourne Water Eastern Treatment Plant in Bangolme. Our client, Progress Earth, engaged FPH every year over five years to ensure efficient and effective removal of this biosolid material. The project has now been shortlisted for the 2021 Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) Victoria Earth & Training Awards.

The CCF Victoria Earth & Training Awards recognise companies within the Victorian civil construction sector who have been involved in a project that demonstrates excellence and innovation in the fields of construction, project and environmental management.

For years Melbourne Water had been looking for opportunities to reuse clay-rich biosolids stockpiled at the Eastern Treatment Plant but were unable to get beyond technical and environmental limitations. This was where Progress Earth came in with the discovery that these clay-rich biosolids could be suitable for reuse as a geotechnical fill/capping material.

The project commenced in 2014 after two years of extensive planning. The project was challenging for all those involved as the reuse of clay-rich biosolids had not been attempted at this scale before. Strict compliance was required.

The project began with a commitment to remove 250,000 tonnes of clay-rich biosolids into the landfill cap but it quickly and significantly expanded in scope and scale. In 2018, FPH carted the 1,000,000th tonne of clay-rich biosolids from the site.

The efficient & effective removal of 1.3 million tonnes of biosolid materials

In 2019, 52,000 off-site truck movements and 1,290,000 tonnes later, the clay-rich biosolid removal project was completed.

With the significant volume of material to be removed from the site, it was crucial that trucks were meeting the strict weight requirements set by Melbourne Water, in compliance with the National Heavy Vehicle Register (NHVR). Progress Earth was the first company to utilise and purchase a set of portable Weigh In Motion (WIM) weighing scales from WIM Technologies. Being portable, this was an effective and productive method to conduct compliance checks on what was a short term seasonal job site.

FPH’s ability to maintain the position as supplier for Project Earth each year made the task a little easier as the systems in place did not need to be reiterated each season. 

The resulting landfill cap land area is now able to support a wide range of land use options including the potential to develop the site into a solar farm.

Congratulations to the team at Progress Earth on this magnificent achievement. FPH wishes you the best of luck at the upcoming CCF Victoria Earth & Training Awards.