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Truck Assist | Know Your Truck

Truck Assist partnership

Truck Assist partners with Jack Le Brocq and TEKNO Autosports

Australia’s leading truck roadside assistance and online insurance provider, Truck Assist, today announced a new partnership with up-and-coming Supercar driver Jack Le Brocq and the TEKNO Autosports team.

Truck Assist will back Le Brocq’s TEKNO Holden Commodore in the endurance race rounds of this year’s Virgin Australia Supercars Championship at Sandown (Melbourne), Bathurst (NSW) and the Gold Coast, plus the series Grand Final in Newcastle (NSW).

Le Brocq is the standout ‘rookie driver’ of the 2018 Virgin Supercar Championship season, with five top 10 finishes including a season-high fifth outright in Tasmania earlier in the year.

Truck Assist’s debut as the TEKNO Commodore’s naming rights sponsor at the Sandown 500 in September will mark the first time its orange-and-black colours have been seen in the sport.

“Truck Assist is excited to partner with Jack Le Brocq and TEKNO Autosports for these premier Supercar events,” said Alan Hasted, General Manager, Truck Assist.

“Jack’s a major talent with a big future in the sport. He’s someone we’re proud to throw our support behind and to have as an ambassador for our business. There’s a genuine synergy there,”

“TEKNO Autosports has long punched above its weight in Supercar racing. They’re a small tight-knit team – perfect for us to partner and grow with. Together we’ve got some exciting things planned along the way.”

To that end, Truck Assist will promote its heavy vehicle roadside assistance and online truck insurance capabilities around the Supercar program, including trackside activations with customers and other key company stakeholders.

Le Brocq’s Truck Assist TEKNO Commodore will contest the three endurance races, the Sandown 500, the Bathurst 1000, and the Gold Coast 600, where team owner Jonathon Webb will share the driving duties.

“It’s awesome to be partnering Truck Assist for these important events and to be able to bring a new sponsor to the sport,” Jack Le Brocq said.

“Our Truck Assist Commodore looks fantastic in orange-and-black, and Jonathon and I are looking forward to continuing our progress toward the front of the field.”

Truck Assist revealed its Supercar sponsorship at the TEKNO Autosports headquarters on the Gold Coast today alongside their restored, custom 1946 Ford Jailbar truck, to be publically debuted at the upcoming Sandown 500 “Retro Round”.

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Small Business Corner

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Truck Assist | Small Business Corner

Fair Work Ombudsman builds web advice portal

ATN

APRIL 2018

Small businesses can now refer to a new website set up by the Fair Work Ombudsman to answer some of the most pressing questions on their workplace obligations.

 

The Small Business Showcase aims to make all the information and resources a small business could need available in the one place – covering topics as diverse as hiring employees and calculating their pay, to resolving workplace issues.

 

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James is urging small business owners to participate in the showcase to ensure they’re up-to-date with their obligations under workplace law.

 

"Our Small Business Showcase is a great opportunity for small businesses to brush up on their workplace relations knowledge, download practical resources and find out more about the assistance the agency can provide," James says.

 

"Our experience, backed up by research, is that small businesses can be overconfident when it comes to compliance – failing to check the rules to ensure they’ve got things right."

 

The Ombudsman’s push comes after changes were made to the Fair Work Act last year, doubling the maximum penalty for failing to keep employee records or issue pay slips to $63,000 for a company and $12,600 for an individual.

 

The changes also tripled the maximum penalty for knowingly making or keeping false or misleading employee records to $12,600 for an individual.

 

James says the ombudsman expects employers to have checked the rules that apply to them – adding that it needed them to promptly rectify any errors when problems arise.

 

"Small errors arising from issues such as not passing on the annual wage increase or incorrectly classifying workers can add up to big underpayments over time – which can make for expensive and unexpected back-payment bills down the track," James says.

 

"What we want to do now is make it even easier for small businesses to access the information they need to implement positive workplace practices and help their business succeed at any time of the day."

 

The showcase includes six instructional videos demonstrating how small business owners can use Fair Work Ombudsman resources to meet their obligations as an employer.

 

It also has a series of opinion polls and surveys running throughout the showcase that will provide small business owners with the opportunity to share insights and highlight the key workplace issues facing small businesses today.

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Peter Doyle | Small Business Corner

Anger Management

It seems we are living in an increasingly angry society.

People are steaming inside, and it doesn't take much to get them to blow their top!

 

We Live in An Angry Society

Every other day we see or experience anger that's gotten out of control, for example:

  • the epidemic of road rage;
  • the heated debate over the same sex marriage survey;
  • the tapping foot and impatient huffs while waiting in the supermarket queue.

There is nothing wrong with anger in itself - it's a normal, human, emotion.

However it's what we do with that anger which can ruin possessions, relationships and even lives.

 

The Positives of Anger

Anger can be a great motivator - it can propel you into action, to address injustice or change the status quo.

Or - have you ever found yourself scrubbing the shower, or tackling an overgrown garden bed when something (or somebody) has really ticked you off?!

It's when we allow anger to manifest inappropriately, that it can cause real damage.

 

Anger And Relationships

It is an unfortunate fact of life, that our nearest and dearest tend to be the ones most often on the receiving end of our anger.

We've all lashed out with unkind words when we are tired, impatient, and have had a bad day, often at somebody who really doesn't deserve to be spoken to that way.

If we are lucky they forgive us and make allowances, but over time it can chisel away at even the strongest of relationships ...

At its worst, anger can result in aggression, violence and trouble with the law.

Uncontrolled anger can also take a toll on our physical health, leading to issues such as high blood pressure, muscle tension, substance abuse, heart attack, and stroke.

 

Anger Management Counselling

If you sense (or have been told) that your anger is getting out of hand, a psychologist can assist you with:

  • addressing any underlying issues;
  • identifying your triggers;
  • recognising when the pressure is mounting inside you;
  • exploring options for dealing with anger;
  • and equipping you with strategies to better handle your ferocious feelings.

In anger management counselling at our Gold Coast psychology clinic, we may draw on therapeutic techniques such as cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness, conversations of alignment, emotional anchoring, and the use of motivational-insight cards.

In keeping with our holistic approach, we may also recommend:

  • Improving your nutrition and exercise habits;
  • The Guidelight Saturday morning Yoga Group;
  • Our Wellness in the Wilderness Day; and
  • Calming the Heart techniques.

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Truck Assist | Small Business Corner

Opinion: Future Growth and Efficiency

ATN

MARCH 2018

The future of the Australian transport and logistics industry is bright. Over the next quarter century, the transport and logistics sector will have access to some shiny new technologies that will undoubtedly increase the efficiency of transport operations around the country.

 

The Australian population is forecast to grow by almost 40 percent through 2040. So, it makes sense that over the next 25 years, the demand for transport and logistics services will grow at a similar rate. Forecasts show that Australia’s domestic freight task is expected to grow by 26 percent over the next 10 years, more than double in 25 years, and triple by 2050 to service the expanding number of metro and regional Australian residents.

 

It’s imperative then that future transport technology be implemented to help Australia’s transport and logistics industry keep pace with the country’s growing population and improve its ability to service the Australian people.

 

Advancements in drone technology and the rising commercial availability of electric and autonomous vehicles are the primary areas where greater efficiencies in Australia’s transport and logistics industry will be driven.

 

Drone Technology

While there are still some large barriers to the commercial use of drones, not least of them being the safety aspect and risk of conflict with general aviation users, the adoption of more sophisticated drone technology may be a viable way to ease the logistical burden of Australia’s increased urbanisation on road infrastructure.

 

The widespread use of drone distribution may still be a while off, but the implications of such technology is most certainly worth the wait. Using GPS, drones will be able to deliver small parcels directly to consumer locations in addition to their fixed addresses.

 

However, before that happens, drones are currently filling the airspace of warehouse interiors. For example, Walmart has equipped small drones with optical scanners to scan inventory in its gargantuan warehouses (the smallest is the size of 17 football fields). These fly around completely autonomously and can scan a volume of inventory in one hour, that would otherwise require 50 humans – that’s a huge cost and time saving.

 

Electric Vehicles

Australia’s increased urbanisation is expected to make intra-city freight take up an increasingly significant share of the domestic freight task. Therefore, in the short-term, we can expect to see a continued shift towards fuel-efficient and low emission vehicles, with increased use of electric-powered and hybrid vehicles for short-haul transport in urban areas.

 

Tesla is due to begin production on the automaker’s electric truck, Tesla Semi, in 2019. They have already secured another major buyer in Albertsons Companies, one of the largest foods and drug retailers in the US.  Prices of these electric trucks will range between 150 - 200 thousand dollars that range between 300-miles and 500-miles. Upon comparison, performance advantages in terms of speed, a 20% decrease in the cost of operation and less vehicle maintenance are just a few of the benefits promised by electric vehicles (EV).

 

In addition, EV manufactures SEA Electric and Daimler, already have trucks in testing and operation. These vehicles have a limited range, suiting them for intra-city delivery.

 

Autonomous Vehicles

Truck manufacturing companies Daimler, Volvo and Peterbilt are leading the charge in the development of the first commercially viable autonomous truck. Back in 2015, Daimler took the first step: obtaining a licence for road use in the US State of Nevada.

 

The Daimler Freightliner Inspiration Truck used a ‘Highway Pilot’ system to semi-autonomously relieve the strain on truck drivers faced with long hauls. Of course, the shift from semi-autonomous vehicles to fully-autonomous, unmanned vehicles will not be overnight.

 

Current automatic breaking, speed control and lane sensing technology available today are giving us a taste of what a truly autonomous vehicle could be like. So, as companies develops this technology further, we can expect that, this time in 25 years, unmanned trucks will be redefining the transport and logistics industry.

 

The freight industry's major markets span the entire Australian economy. That’s why efficient road freight transport is integral to the country’s economic performance. As the population grows at rapid pace, so too will the need for quicker, safer and more accurate transport and logistics services.

 

Embracing technological change is the only way companies will be able to meet these demands. Drones, EVs and Autonomous Vehicles are some future transport technologies that are guiding the way. Those operators who first adopt and successfully implement these efficiencies on a large scale will be well-placed to service Australia’s increasing freight task as the next 25 years unfold.

For more industry news, insights, events, and a place to chat about the things that matter to you, join us at the Truck Assist Club.

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Gillian Bristow | Small Business Corner

Subcontractors vs. Employees

Whether you’re a new business owner, a contractor thinking of becoming an employee, or an employee thinking of becoming a contractor it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself in for. The difference between an employee and independent contractor is based on many different factors, such as degree of control over work performed, hours of work, expectations, risk, and benefits, and can have massive legal implications if unclear or dealt with wrongly.

 

Employee Meaning

An employee is employed by a company in a part-time or full-time capacity under a contract agreed upon before commencing work. Some common indicators of someone being an employee are:

  • Boss controls how work is performed
  • Part of the business on an ongoing, regular basis
  • Paid under contract
  • Company supplies equipment and materials
  • Company handles tax, super and workers comp
  • Represents the company they are employed by
  • Entitled to benefits – sick leave and the likes

 

Subcontractor Meaning

Comparatively, a subcontractor is a firm or person that has a contract with a contractor to provide some portion of the work or services on a project which the contractor has agreed to perform. Some common indicators of someone being a subcontractor are:

  • Does work their way
  • Stand alone as their own business, can work for multiple businesses at the time
  • Issue an invoice to be paid
  • Subbies supply own equipment and materials
  • Subbie handles own tax and super
  • Represents themselves or their own business

Learn more about contractors & their rights and responsibilities here.

Pros & Cons of Employees vs Subcontractors

Employee

  • PRO: Guaranteed income & fixed work hours
  • CON: Lack of control over work you do
  • PRO: Leave benefits
  • CON: Limited scope for development
  • PRO: Less responsibility or risk
  • CON: Might not be paid what you’re worth
  • PRO: Job security

Subcontractor

  • PRO: You’re your own boss
  • CON: You don’t get benefits or paid leave
  • PRO: You can charge a higher rate
  • CON: No job security
  • PRO: You might pay lower income taxes
  • CON: Few labour law protections
  • PRO: Flexibility of how and when you work
  • CON: No workers compensation


Why Does it Matter? 

What's the difference and why does it matter? We asked our expert, Gillian Bristow, to explain things from an employer's perspective and some legal considerations to keep in mind! Gillian is a lawyer with 25 years practice in the transport sector, helping transport clients in relation to all aspects of their businesses, including negotiating contracts with clients, agents, suppliers and subcontractors and assisting with tender submissions. Here’s some things she thinks you need to know.

Whether you’re running your own subcontracting business, or are a business using subcontractors, it pays to know where you stand.  Contract laws in Australia changed recently. Whether you’re a business owner, employee, or contractor, learn more about contract terms and what’s considered unfair if you’re involved in transport.

How confident are you with the differences between employees and sub-contractors? Still not sure? Drop us a line in the Truck Assist Club forums, or comment below, if you've got any more questions we can put to Gillian!

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Truck Assist | Small Business Corner

Keeping the Wheels Turning

OWNER DRIVER 

FEBRUARY 2018

New Zealand-based farmers Sara and Sam Orsborn decided to help out a mate who’d bought a transport company and taken interest in the paperless system the couple were using to run their stockfeed business.

 

"My husband and I are running the family stockfeed business as well as farming but about 10 years ago some mates of ours bought a livestock transport company," Sara explains.

 

"My husband Sam had built a basic system to run our stockfeed business right from the ordering through to the dispatch and into our accounting program.

 

"Anyway our mate said, ‘let’s come up with something similar to get rid of all this bloody paper I’m dealing with’."

 

That fateful day marked the early beginnings of the now thriving transport management system – MyTrucking – but back then the couple had no idea how far the idea would go.

 

"We got out a whiteboard with them and they mapped out the five steps most transport companies have.

 

"Traditionally they were taking a phone call and writing it in the diary and then the second step was to write out a manifest or run sheet for that truck for the day. The third step is that the driver wrote out a docket and the fourth step is they wrote on that docket the price. Finally the fifth step was manually entering that information into their accounting program, so in total five steps."

 

Together, the couple were able to combine Sam’s technical know-how and Sara’s marketing expertise to take their mate’s business needs and build a program to handle the day-to-day scheduling and accounting.

 

"Sam came up with a basic system that would do it all from one step and then import into their accounting program – so really it all started from just helping some mates out and that was it."

TIME SAVER

 

Sara and Sam went back to running their stockfeed business, while in the background news of their time-saving program spread by word of mouth.

 

"Another transport company here in New Zealand saw it and were running their business using a diary with a highlighter and pen and they said, ‘hey, we want that’," Sara recalls.

 

"So we replicated the software and they started using it."

 

It wasn’t long before another company approached the couple, but this time they figured it must be a product the industry really needs.

 

"A few years later another company enquired about it so we thought, ‘there’s a bit of an opportunity here’."

 

"Sam and I did a bit of research to see what other programs were out there and there’s a lot of fantastic programs that do amazing things but there is actually nothing specifically for the rural transporters.

 

"So we saw an opportunity and thought, ‘right let’s do this!’"

 

In 2014 an early cloud-based version of the program officially became MyTrucking, an endeavour that all started with Sam and Sara helping out a mate.

 

"We redeveloped the software and put it into the cloud in April 2014, that’s when MyTrucking really came about," Sara says.

 

APPLICATION EXPANSION

 

A move into the Australian market was inevitable after rapid success in New Zealand.

 

"An accountant in Australia was looking for ad-on solutions for their transport clients and they found us," Sara explains.

 

"From there it’s grown through word of mouth, which has been fantastic for us.

 

"That’s how the whole business has grown and in this industry everyone seems to know everyone."

 

The aim for MyTrucking in Australia, Sara says, is to offer small to medium fleets a time-saving system that allows them to focus on driving rather than burdensome administration.

 

"There are so many small to medium transport companies that are still run on paper which is still a great system, but we can make things run more efficiently.

 

"It saves a lot of that admin paperwork as well as phone calls and if you add all that up it saves a lot of time and money."

 

The basic principle from the beginning for the MyTrucking team has been to provide a single-entry solution, which means you enter a job when you get it and it flows right through the invoicing.

 

"There are a lot of programs out there but they’re all quite complex and you need a lot of training to get up to speed.

 

"Whereas ours has replicated the good old diary or spreadsheet, and really the spreadsheet and the diary aren’t broken … we’re just making it easier and making them run more efficiently," Sara says.

 

The mobile app is constantly being improved and updated to offer more features, but Sara says the real benefit lies in the portability of the entire system for operators.

 

"If you’re out of the office and running all your drivers and other trucks from your truck, you can add jobs and simply make changes and update the mobile app for drivers as you need.

 

"It saves a phone call to drivers and it helps the smaller guys who don’t necessarily have an allocator in the office at all times.

 

"You can even ring directly from the mobile app, so you’re not trying to find phone numbers, you or a driver can call from the app and all the contact details for jobs are in there."

 

Record keeping is kept simple with the program, something Sara and Sam intended to achieve from the start, adding to time-savings but also freeing up the mounds of paper records you typically find at a transport company.

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SINGLE ENTRY

 

The software is compatible on Android and iOS devices and the company is a Xero and MYOB partner, so from initially entering the job on whatever system you choose right through to accounting, it remains single-entry.

 

"You’ve got all that information there in one place and one thing people really love is the history," Sara says.

 

"As soon as you click the job you instantly see all your previous jobs and so you might not have done a job for a client for years but straight away there is the last pricing exactly as it was.

 

"The big thing is the time savings, it’s cost-effective, you know there’s not folders of paperwork and you can login anywhere on holidays or anywhere and check what’s going on and check what’s happening."

 

Nowadays MyTrucking is used by 180 businesses across Australia and New Zealand, meaning Sara and Sam had to enlist the help of some committed support and tech staff along the way.

 

"It started with Sam and I and one developer and we were doing everything and anything and now we have three more in our support team and three full-time developers.

 

"We have an office here on the farm and I’ve got a young family so the key is having a great team around us," Sara says.

 

"We want to be the leading transport management program across New Zealand and Australia, that’s where we want to end up."

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IN OPERATION

 

Goondiwindi-based Carpendale Commodities & Transport, an 18,000 acre grain farm with commodities and transport arms, took on the MyTrucking software in July 2017 and they now swear by it.

 

Owner//Driver caught up with two of the company’s drivers during the recent grain harvest, who rolled up in two of Carpendale’s double road train Mack Super-Liners.

 

Drivers Ashley Wade and Dave Grey were both pretty stoked about the MyTrucking app simplifying their job, which means more time behind the wheel and less time messing around with a pen and paper.

 

"We get receipt printouts at jobs and we used to have to then re-write half of them, now we just take a photo with the app and it’s sorted," Ashley says.

 

Back at the Carpendale office, logistics coordinator Nathan Jorgensen reckons MyTrucking has halved the administration workload, which frees up time to build the transport operation.

 

"It’s cut the workload by 50 percent around the office, especially at harvest time," Nathan says.

 

"When we enter a job, the information pre-fills a lot of the time, and it isn’t double handled."

 

The big benefit for Carpendale and its drivers, Nathan says, is having everything in one place within the app, from the address of a farm through to contact details.

 

"On the logistics side it’s just as good as the invoicing, it’s a huge time saving and because contact details and farm details are all there, it saves so much time and mistakes."

 

"I can also do things remotely, which saves everybody time."

 

Sara and Sam set out to offer the best service in the game, something Carpendale Transport can confirm they certainly live up to.

 

"The service has been great, I can’t fault them," Nathan says.

 

"We’ve had that much help getting it all setup and the moment you have a question, you’ve got someone calling you to answer it."

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For more industry news, insights, events, and a place to chat about the things that matter to you, join us at the Truck Assist Club.

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Dan Adler | Small Business Corner

The Beginner's Guide to Running Competitions

The Rule of thumb with competitions is unless you’re running ‘a game of skill’, you’ll need to apply for competition permits, that is unless you’re only letting Queenslander’s enter, then you can do a random draw. You’ll need to display your permit numbers on all advertising and direct people to your website for full terms and conditions. A game of skill on the other hand is when a competitor must do something challenging in order to win, not just a random winner picked from a barrel. Here’s a company you can use to register for competition permits: https://www.competitionpermits.com.au/  Also, another thing to remember is random winners need to be advertised in national newspapers – something to factor into your budgets.

 

Outside of the topic of permits, which can be a game changer for some competition organisers, here’s some other tips:

  • Games of skill can be things like:
    • Answer in 25 words or less…
    • Send a photo or upload a video in response to a challenge
    • Find the answer to a question or solve a riddle by directing them to your website or in-store for the clues
  • Remember to advertise the promotion / competition start and end dates, how and where they can enter, and what’s up for grabs (and the value of the prize pool)
  • If you have the lead time from competition start till end date too long you risk losing people’s interest
  • Keep people engaged in the lead up to the draw by offering smaller prizes that surprise and delight your audience
  • People feel they have a better chance of winning a competition with multiple small prizes in the draw compared to those with one super large prize
  • Celebrate the winners name and location online, and via social media, proving the competition was real – there are a lot of sceptics out there!
  • People are generally pretty lazy, so keep the competition mechanics simple or you risk it being a flop
  • Ensure you flag in the T&Cs whether you intend to keep their details on file for future marketing and promotions
  • Capture relevant information that you can use for future communications e.g. email, mobile, postcode
  • People who are really keen to win will be happy to give you helpful insights about where they first heard about you, or if they have been a customer of yours, or provide hints why they haven’t!
  • Ideally get people to enter online to capture their data, not via paper entries, or you risk a lot of data entering which can cost time and money
  • Make the prizes relevant to your audience’s desires, but more importantly align the prizes to your business and brand
  • Final tip – make people do something that’s linked to your business and brand in order to win, if not you risk just getting prize pigs entering who will not deliver any measurable return on your investment

 

If you need help with your competitions and promotions, feel free to contact me at next Thursday.

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