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Grain Carriers Code of Practice
SARTA has invested a lot of time and effort in developing a Grain Carriers Code of Practice.
Click Here for a copy of the Grain HML CML Gazette
The Code was Registered by the Department of Transport Energy & Infrastructure on 22 November 2010.
The purpose of the Code is to provide Grain Carriers and their Drivers, as well as other Parties in the Chain of responsibility, with a Reasonable Steps Defence under the Compliance & Enforcement laws on Mass, Dimension and Load Restraint.
The C&E laws provide that IF a party who has infringed is able to demonstrate that they complied with a Registered Code of Practice, then they will have a prima facie Reasonable Steps Defence.
Breaches in the Minor category are protected under the Code provided that the operator can demonstrate compliance with the Code.
The Grain Code does NOT provide any protection against Substantial or Severe category breaches. All Severe category breaches WILL be prosecuted and even breaches in the Substantial category are likely to be prosecuted - although the officials may elect not to prosecute the smaller Substantial breaches (but do NOT rely on this).
To benefit from the prima facie Reasonable Steps Defence protection against Minor Category breaches, the driver/operator MUST be making a genuine effort to load legally AND they MUST follow the procedures set out in the Grain Carriers Code of Practice.
In essence, in relation to the significant difficulties of loading legally in the paddock, especially on sloping ground and after rain overnight (heavier grain), the Code provides a reasonable but generous opportunity to achieve legal loads WITHIN THE FIRST THREE LOADS, PER TRUCK, PER DAY, PER PADDOCK.
YOU MUST HAVE RECORDS & A SYSTEM
BUT to be able to access this flexibility (remember you MUST be able to show (NOT JUST CLAIM) that you genuinely attempted to achieve legal loads) you must comply with the record-keeping requirements of the Code and be able to show that you followed the Paddock Loading Procedure set out in the Code.
You MUST have in-house systems and procedures to underpin the Code - because the Code simply sets out the responsibilities of each party for Mass, Dimension, Load Restraint and in a limited way re Fatigue Management and Speed. It also sets out a detailed Paddock Loading Procedure that you can apply.
You will therefore need to set up and manage your own records and procedures, which can be quite simple.
A copy of the Code is available here.
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