Goodaye all. The TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle (TIV) would simply not exist without the help of those who have supported, sponsored and or, assisted with product. The first major contributor, was Ken Wilkie. Ken also writes for Owner Driver magazine and has since the first issue. He is an owner driver and leased me his K104 to start off the TIV. I had a dream and lots of thoughts on what could be done to improve how we are seen, particularly by the public. We have magnificent looking trucks on the road that promote tractors and dog food and vineyards, but there were none that promoted us.
In very simple terms and truly without sufficient recognition from me and many others, Ken was buying a new truck and knowing I was looking to do something a bit different, he offered me his current truck to start off the TIV. Ken told me later many had asked why he would support “my” dream? His answer was that his father had offered his life for this country (and we recognised that with words on the side of the sleeper “In the Anzac Tradition, Truck supplied by Ken and Dot Wilkie”), but Ken was only lending me his truck.
As a single truck owner driver, it was a magnanimous gesture and I was able to take the truck into the Rod Pilon Transport fleet and will cover their support next sponsors blog. I had Ken’s truck for two years and it changed from this when I picked up the new Rod Pilon Transport trailers from Vawdrey in Melbourne,
to this, when I returned it to him, thanks to many hours and many contributors.
I will never be able to thank Ken enough and some of the story will remain untold, but suffice to say, Ken did help me get the TIV on the road and without that help, it may never have happened. Things changed after I started with the truck, but Ken honoured that commitment for the full two years, an incredible level of support. Thank you Ken and Dot Wilkie for your friendship, help and unequalled support.
The current TIV has been far more than a part time hobby on top of my job, it is a passion and I am proud of my efforts and its achievements, but more could be done. The only way to do that is to do it more and it is hard to do that, as an employed driver. I will look for and find someone who will supply a truck and set of trailers to allow me to do this fulltime, but still be a working truck and am actively working on the next (and most likely the last) TIV now. My aim is to have it on the road when I return from my Churchill Fellowship trip next year, or soon after.
It will then be able to attend more events and be in front of more people to show another side to our industry. Getting people into the truck on the road, getting in front of them at events and shows and explaining more about trucking than they will ever see on a sensationalist grab on tv, I believe can and will, make the roads safer for all, not just for truckies. If you want to help make this happen, please let me know. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.