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Delivery Pressure A Heavy Load For Drivers

Release date: 9/07/2015

Northern Star, by Leah White, 9 July 2015

Pressure on truck drivers to meet client deadlines may have contributed to the number of truck crashes involved in this week's spate, according to the NSW Transport Workers Union.

Trucks were involved in four of the eight incidents on our roads between Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon.

Transport Workers Union assistant state secretary Richard Olsen said the Northern Rivers was a particularly bad area for truck crashes due to heavy traffic movements and single-lane sections of the highway.

"It is a bad area, there is a lot of traffic and truck movement between Sydney and Brisbane so the area is prone to incidents involving trucks," he said.

Mr Olsen said truck drivers were under even greater pressure during increased traffic times, like school holidays, because they still had to deliver their product in a set time frame.

"We've had report after report, government enquiry after government enquiry, consistently indicating there is a huge link in the manner in which workers perform and the rates and pay conditions drivers are given," he said.

"There's not been a huge improvement in the way clients are treating truck drivers at the end of the day.

"There's still far too much pressure on our drivers to get the product from A to B."

Mr Olsen said surveys had found truck drivers attributed pressure from clients to meet deadlines in "unrealistic time frames" as one of the key factors in crashes.

He said the pressure on drivers could sometimes result in speeding, incorrect loading and fatigue - which were the main causes of truck crashes and rollovers.

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