29th July 2018 Clean Rest Areas?

Goodaye all. A truckie has started a Facebook page with the intent of getting our rest areas cleaner and I have been invited to join and just posted the following comment on “The stinkin places transport operators park lets clean up our work place” page.

Goodaye Mark, thanks for the invite. I fully support your intent, both to get all who use rest areas to treat them better and to have those responsible for those sites do the same, though would like to make an initial suggestion and that is the sites name might well gain more involvement and support if it was simply, “Lets Keep our rest areas clean” or similar. Some might not recognise your aim and stop reading before they recognise your intent.
 
I have often written suggesting blokes can pick up a few bits of rubbish while building up air in the morning, but you are right in saying there should be no need for anyone to pick up someone else’s rubbish.
Lack of rest areas, those in any group who abuse them and those in offices who have every facility on every floor, certainly do not really understand or care about our needs on the road. Most truckies, most caravanners and most travellers, we would all hope, carry their rubbish in a bag in the car or truck and dispose of it properly. However the world is changing and less and less seem to care or think of others. In walking along roadsides scoping for green reflector bays, the rubbish that flows from about half hour out of most towns, after people have eaten etc, is truly disgraceful. Keep trying and let us hope we will get an improvement. Cheers Rod Hannifey.
What are your thoughts? I know a few years ago, RMS at one stage threatened to close the Muldoons Rest Areas on the Hume Highway, saying the maintenance cost was too high and we did not design them, nor were we invited to participate, so who’s fault is that cost. In the USA, Virginia closed 18 rest bays, again citing the cost of up keep, yet we are required to comply with fatigue laws and told by people who live in their own bed and if not, live in a damn site more luxury when away from home, than we do on the road.
And now the taxation office wants to halve our meal allowance for living on the road. We are copping it on all sides. What is the solution? Some say advertising in rest areas, some say we just want more, but the money is not there to build one for cars, one for trucks and another for caravanners to free camp in, so where do we turn. My belief is that we need more, that are better designed and built with input from the users and I have asked the National Transport Commission to pursue this with a National Guideline for Truck Rest Areas. They have made a start and soon there will be a call for industry participation towards those guidelines. Will you take part and contribute, do you have a solution or will you sit and whinge? Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

 

23/7/2017 A working week.

Goodaye all. Whilst many truckies do more kilometres than I do and some do less, it has been a busy week. So just to give you an example of a life on the road, this was it. Left home Sunday afternoon to be at Barnawartha by midnight for a timeslot Monday morning. Unloaded there and into Melbourne to load. Arranged to have a new screen fitted for the TRANSTECH EWD and got that done (Thank you to Richard and Jack for the fitting and TRANSTECH as sponsors of the TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle) and made it back to Parkes by 2.30AM to bed.

Tuesday into Dubbo fuel, tea at Bellata roadhouse and off to Chinchilla arriving 11PM. Wednesday, unload there in the morning and then to Brisbane, round the block to get in and then screw the wheels off to get into the yard and load there for a few hours. To the yard and fuel and at 12.45 AM slept at parking bay in the Pilliga.

Thursday off at 8.15 AM to Dubbo to unload, the forky steady and on the phone a bit, then fuel, reload and off again to Brisbane pulling up at the Cunningham rest area just south of Warwick at 12.45 AM again.

Friday into Brisbane for a timeslot, got that one, split the trailers to get into the next drop to find they have moved the receiving spot and you don’t have to split trailers now, thanks a lot, hook up to find the next delivery point closes at 1.30PM on Friday. Back to the yard to get that off, reload to be told I have to wait for a late pickup, then told I will be too late to deliver so now I can go. Arrived Moree at 12.10 AM to unload Saturday to be told I was lucky to get unloaded as no one else wanted to work. Out of there after a cup of tea and a hit to the trailer roof from the forky, new back to forks damn, then to Dubbo to fuel and reload for Monday, have to be on the road by 3PM Sunday for a timeslot in Brisbane and a few minutes to wash the oil off the back of the truck before dark, from the workshop issue earlier in the week. I will get my 24 hours at home, whilst doing this and that, the blog, emails, Audiobooks for the road etc.

Maybe 6000 k for the week and close to my maximum 72 hours work and whilst I love what I do and the hobby part of it as well with my road safety efforts, there is not much time left. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

 

 

14th July 2017.

When I visited the Tomingley Rest Area south of Dubbo a couple of weeks ago, scoping for our video, I could hear a horn blowing for some time. As a car went past tooting the horn, I saw the caravan it was following had the rear rhs tyre in pieces. I left a few minutes later and heard trucks call the van and others comment on the problem. Old mate in the van made it another 20k up the road before finally stopping, still with part of the van on the roadway and tiny bits of the tyre barely keeping the rim off the road. It was probably stuffed as well. Now I did not stop, as he was in a bad spot and there was nowhere for me to park safely, he had also passed another rest area and at least three wide shoulder spots where he could have stopped safely and well off the road.

Now many of us do not react well to horn blowing or light flashing and as he was perhaps travelling a bit slower, he may have thought that was the reason for the actions. However, surely there must come a time when anyone would think, what is the problem if a number of people try to make contact? I would imagine if the window was wound down he should have heard something as I could hear it from 50 metres away when he went past. He could have done much more damage, and even when he stopped, he did not get right off the road.

He would have been up for tyre and rim then, could possibly have caused another incident when the tyre flew apart or by where he did finally stop and if he had a radio, could have been contacted. How do we help such people, do they need more education or could it be, he wasn’t interested in anyone else on the road? I would welcome your views. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

Sharing Rest Areas Video.

Did filming yesterday for sharing rest areas. Thanks to all who took part and helped. Rod Pilon Transport for allowing me the time and flexibility to do all I can towards improving road safety with the TIV. Stephen McCarthy from Whiteline Television who is aiming to set up a new trucking television show and this will be one part of that.
Lance and his Isuzu and van, an ex truckie, who drove all the way from the other side of Melbourne to take part, Chris and Bizzi who drove down from Dubbo with their retro van Chiquita, John and his partner in the Jeep who was a good vanner in helping me to get past them south of Parkes and who, when I called him up on the UHF, agreed to come in and take part, to the other vehicle owners who will appear in the video that were simply on site or drove in and allowed us to include them, to Lindsay Brothers Transport by default, the driver who slept through the whole exercise being in a frig van with the motors running keeping his cargo cold, showed another side.
The aim is to get all, both truckies and vanners to recognise they can help each other by simply having some thought for others when they park up, to vanners in better recognising our needs with logbooks and penalties and the intent, is to give any tired driver, somewhere to park safely. We need MORE and BETTER rest areas for all. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

1st July 2018

Goodaye all. One of our major issues is that the laws under which we operate are made and policed by those who do not have to live by them. I do not know any driver who wants to work 17 hours a day, 7 days a week, but I know a lot who want to do the job and get home safely to a family they see too little of.

They also want to be able to drive when they are fit and to sleep when they are tired and until we all become robots or have autonomous vehicles, each day and each person needs to be able to deal with their day and their fatigue individually. Again, we all recognise there is a need for rules and whilst we are all human, there will be those who will break the rules, for whatever reason or intent they see as pushing them to do so.

As interstate drivers we operate across state borders and both need to recognise the law varies, but we would also like one day to have Australian road rules for all, not different rules in every state. Few others really have to regularly deal with this issue, that crossing an imaginary line on the ground means you can be fined for something that was legal on the other side. I think we have made some improvements, but we all live in one country, not seven.

Even with our national laws and regulations, when changes are put up for comment, how many even get to know of the proposals or changes and how many will then comment or contribute, possibly thinking they will not be listened to or worse, are not confident they can explain in words, a problem they would struggle to explain talking to someone, who does not have to live on the road under those rules.

It is hard to keep track of changes unless you are linked in and then there is the further problem of over supply of information and being able to trawl through it to what you need and or what is important. How do we balance all this?

If you have a solution, let me know, but we must try to make the effort, because if we do not, we will not be heard and we will be given laws and rules that do not make the roads safer, or make our job better, but will convince someone else they have made a difference, even if it makes things worse. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.