Bruce Highway Heavy Vehicle Fatigue Survey

Including “Truckie Reviver”


This project resulted in RAAG being “Winner” 2013 Queensland Road Safety Industry and Business Awards, announced Rockhampton 22 October 2013,  CARRSQ/RACQ, supported by Queensland Government.

Please click on to the full research report for the project:

Truckie Reviver Report



Undertake post-construction assessment of the new Waverley Creek Rest Area, approximately 160km south of Mackay at St Lawrence, and better understand fatigue management needs and practices of professional heavy vehicle drivers utilising the site.

The primary goals of the project are to:

  • Engage a broad range of stakeholders to determine issues of important information:
  • Involve the expertise available within the RAAG Inc. contact base to prepare a survey form suitable for data collection to gather information on site suitability and current fatigue management issues.

Engage with drivers to gather information and promote the site:

  • Aim to engage with up to 500 drivers.
  • Draw Heavy Vehicle operators into the facility by way of giveaways, free sausage sizzle and hot and cold drinks, with the intention of encouraging drivers and companies in the future to plan a rest break at this facility.
  • Provide driver education to promote effective fatigue management:
  • Highlight the need to plan rest breaks, and stop when tired, even just for a power nap.
  • Distribute to drivers appropriate fatigue management information and brochures
  • The project will support the Strategic Direction of RAAG by providing enhanced driver engagement and accurate data to support improved rest area design and greater understanding of heavy vehicle driver fatigue requirements. It will support the following RAAG Strategic Objective from the RAAG Inc. Strategic Plan Sept 2012-August 2015:
  • Objective 2: Reduce road crashes involving fatigue.

The following statistics highlight the number of H.V. fatigue related crashes Mackay – Rockhampton in the last five years:

From the QTA Transporter News Brief 13/2/13:

The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economic’s latest Fatal heavy vehicle crashes Australia quarterly bulletin for April-June 2012 was released last week.

Key points in the Bulletin are:

During the 12 months to the end of June 2012, 225 people died from 200 fatal crashes involving heavy trucks or buses. These included:

  • 124 deaths from 112 crashes involving articulated trucks;
  • 86 deaths from 73 crashes involving heavy rigid trucks;
  • 23 deaths from 23 crashes involving buses.

Fatal crashes involving articulated trucks:

  • decreased by 10.4 per cent compared with the corresponding period one year earlier;
  • decreased by an average of 1.8 per cent per year over the three years to June 2012

Fatal crashes involving heavy rigid trucks:

  • increased by 25.9 per cent compared with the corresponding period one year earlier;
  • decreased by an average of 8.1 per cent per year over the three years to June 2012.

Comments from the Australian Government included that, while the number of fatal crashes and fatalities both continued to fall during the period, any loss of life is unacceptable.

Also this latest bulletin shows that over the last five years the number of crashes involving articulated trucks and rigid trucks has decreased by 13 per cent, and the number of fatal articulated truck crashes is down by 18 per cent.

See at:

A detailed survey form to be prepared in order to meet the requirements of the project:

  • A significant requirement is the collection from drivers on suggestions for improvements in design for rest areas, with examples of ‘best practice’ where available.
  • The survey form will possibly be two pages with one side devoted to fatigue management, and the other devoted to Rest Areas in general, including specific queries on Waverley Creek.
  • If possible, and undertaken post-survey, there may be an opportunity to supplement the survey with detailed GPS tracking from companies where their drivers currently rest between Rockhampton and Mackay in order to identify other locations within range of Waverley Creek that are also utilised.


Operational Plan

Commencing 12pm on a Sunday and continuing on a 24 hour basis until 12pm on a Wednesday, conduct a HV “Truckie Reviver” manned by RAAG Volunteers at the Waverley Creek Rest Area:

  • RAAG will coordinate the project, inviting sponsors from the HV industry, collect giveaways from interested parties (including 500 covered, embroidered” Crash here” pillows donated by MIRSA, etc.).
  • A continuous sausage sizzle with drinks and fruit will be run.
  • National trucking magazines and newsletters will be engaged .
  • A local media release will go out seven days prior to the project.
  • Promotion will be organised by RAAG and include the Australia Trucking Assoc. [ATA], Qld Trucking Assoc.[QTA], Natroads, etc. prior to the event, and Channel 40 during the project.
  • Requirements will include a caravan for use by survey staff, marquees for shade with tables and chairs, etc.


The tentative date is 17-20 March 2013. This is a tight timeline, so achieving this will require the following:

  • 17 January 2013: RAAG approves project plan
  • 17 January 2013: Commence arrangements:
  • Approach potential sponsors for giveaways
  • Contact volunteers
  • Commence media promotional campaign
  • Initial contact with industry organisations
  • Write to relevant Ministers
  • Book required equipment, etc.
  • Send out manning roster
  • 01 February 2013: Commence consultation on survey form requirements
  • 14 February 2013: Close consultation on survey form
  • 21 February 2013: Finalise equipment and approve budget
  • 01 March 2013: Finalise survey form (RAAG signoff)
  • 11 March 2013 Survey postponed by “Cyclone Tim”
  • 03 April 2013 Recommence manning roster
  • O8 May 2013 Recommence media releases for weekly trucking newsletters
  • 13 May 2013: Commence assembling equipment
  • 14 May 2013 Distribute fliers to trucking companies, Macs truck stop
  • 18 May 2013 Site set-up
  • 19 May 2013: Commence Survey
  • 22 May 2013: Cease Survey
  • 27 May 2013: Commence analysis
  • 14 June 2013: Finalise analysis and commence final report
  • 28 June 2013: Final report provided for peer review
  • 18 July 2013: Final report endorsed by RAAG for public release
  • 01 Aug 2013: Consider running survey at Nebo


As a minimum, the following stakeholders will have strong links with the project:

  • RAAG Inc.
  • DTMR Mackay, DTMR Road Safety, DTMR Freight Programs (Brisbane).
  • Qld Police Service.
  • NTI insurance.
  • CQU Prof. Lee DeMilia
  • Dr Barry Kochevatkin, Mackay Base Hospital
  • Advice on survey from Qld Trucking Assoc. and Aust. Trucking Assoc.
  • SES St Lawrence/ Isaac Regional Council
  • Other stakeholders as identified through the life of the project


  • Bushman’s Bread Contact: Marlene Maguire Supply bread
  • Woolworths Mackay stores, Contact: Andrew Delbridge, supply bottled water, soft drinks, snags and other supplies including sauce, fresh fruit, cleaning materials etc. etc.
  • Single Transport Services : Carol Single, Air con Van, generator, electricals
  • Mackay Sugar, Lighting, Cables, Urns etc.
  • Crokers Fuel 200 litres for the generator
  • Mackay Wholesale Meats to feed the volunteers!

Who will benefit

The aim of the project is to improve future design of rest areas, gather information from heavy vehicle drivers and promote use of rest areas. As such the following stakeholders will be beneficiaries of outcomes:

  • Heavy vehicle drivers and companies utilising this section of the Bruce Highway through increased awareness of Waverley Creek Rest Area and the potential to incorporate it fatigue management planning.
  • DTMR and other owners of rest areas such as local councils will gain knowledge of the level of success in the design of this facility, and be able to improve designs in the future.
  • Bruce Highway motorists and their passengers will benefit through having more fatigue aware heavy vehicle drivers on the road, thus decreasing their risk as well.
  • The economy will experience benefits through potential reduction of road crashes which cause enormous costs for fatalities, injuries, equipment costs and huge costs for delays on this road with very limited detours available and long very uncomfortable waits on the roadside in this remote area without commercial facilities.
  • Decreasing the very high costs for emergency services attending fatigue-related heavy vehicle crashes.

Risk Management:

  • The location of the temporary facility: This will be discussed and approved by TMR Mackay ahead of the event to ensure it is safe and will not reduce safety within the rest area.
  • Traffic impacts: The potential for increased traffic accessing the site due to promotion and offers of free giveaways will be assessed and discussed with TMR Mackay to ensure safety is not adversely impacted.
  • Access to support services: Planning will take place in regards to electricity supply, lighting and refrigerators, cooking with camping gas and fire hazards, food preparation and hygiene requirements. Storage will comply with local government requirements and Isaac Regional Council will be engaged to ensure any other issues are identified.
  • Appropriate signage: DTMR will be engaged with to ensure signage for drivers is adequate prior to the project; the final project brief will be signed off by TMR Mackay to ensure compliance.
  • Insurance: RAAG Inc. has current public liability insurance, which will be checked to ensure it covers public events of this nature.
  • Intended Audience: It is likely this event will attract the attention of motorists/campers in the adjacent motorist rest area. The use of appropriate signage indicating the function/facilities are for use by drivers of heavy vehicles only will be erected, and potentially the use of bunting to ‘rope off’ the area is to be considered where appropriate.
  • Checklists prepared for food, electrical, signs, other equipment, manning roster, also fliers, and contact lists of all involved.


A post-event evaluation will be undertaken and will examine what worked and what didn’t. RAAG will compile a report with recommendations/learning for future events. Views will be sought from:

  • Drivers and the general Public
  • Volunteers
  • Organisers
  • Other Participants
  • Final Report


Costs for the event will be minimised through the use of volunteers and accessing resources of RAAG members, TMR, and other associated organisations where possible.

  • For RAAG incurred expenses, an initial Budget for the project is to be compiled and approved by the RAAG Inc. Executive Committee at the February 2013 General meeting.
  • A final report on expenses will be submitted to the RAAG Inc. Exec. Committee at the first monthly general meeting after the project.


To ensure a coordinated and collaborative approach with associated stakeholders to reduce the incidence and severity of road crashes on all roads within the Mackay RAAG focus area, with particular attention to the Bruce Highway, Peak Downs Highway and associated western arterial roads by targeting identified crash causal factors through driver education programs and initiatives.

The Mackay Road Accident Action Group must fulfil a variety of roles relating to the promotion of good driving behaviours including:

  • Advocating good driving behaviour
  • Planning future initiatives
  • Coordinating the implementation of planned initiatives
  • Facilitating the progression of driver awareness initiatives
  • Providing expert advice to stakeholder groups
  • Monitoring trends in road crash causal factors
  • Evaluating the effect of initiatives and actions taken

The Mackay Road Accident Action Group recognises the fact that their efforts while limited by resources and the availability of group members will continue to be actively involved in developmental activities to reduce road crash trauma.