Forestry industry’s first driver drop in day

Friday 25 Nov 2022

Softwood forest growers of Southern NSW and North East Victoria joined forces with one of their major customers, Hyne Timber, to host a driver safety day and start a conversation with the forestry transport industry.

All truck drivers leaving the Hyne Timber Tumbarumba mill during the day pulled in for a conversation on driver wellbeing and fatigue, chain of responsibility and load construction, said HVP Plantations’ Northern Customer & Haulage Manager, Steve Blake.

“Around 45 drivers had the chance to talk to forestry industry representatives on what they need to be safer on the road,” Mr Blake said. Forest owners and managers representing around 95 per cent of the local industry worked together to plan the event, including HVP Plantations, Forestry Corporation of NSW, Hyne Timber, PF Olsen, Southern Cross and Hume Forests.

“This is one of the ways we are engaging the forestry transport industry on safety and our focus is on a two-way conversation so we can target future actions,” said Forestry Corporation Haulage & Sales Manager, Linda Cotterill. “Hearing drivers’ stories of working in the forest industry really bought home what a big part of our community it is and how much people care about it.”

Special guest Alan Pincott from Australian Trucking Safety Services and Solutions was also on hand to talk to drivers about their needs and concerns. “It was great to see a holistic and unified approach and have the chance to meet drivers who know their stuff – the forest industry is ahead of others in this space.”

Hyne Timber’s Green Mill Manager, Angela Pappin, was also very pleased with the day and conversations flowing from it. “It was a great joint effort, collaboration and opportunity to listen to drivers.”

The next event is already in motion, planned for the Visy Pulp and Paper mill in early 2023, where organisers expect to engage even more of the industry, hear their feedback, and continue to collaborate and progress safety focus and support in the forestry transport industry.

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