Trucks and Caravans and Rest Areas.

Goodaye all. Yesterday I attended the Retreat Caravans rally at Mudgee. I had been invited some time ago and having planned my Churchill Fellowship trip for this year, was unsure of my ability to attend. No one else had stepped up and having deferred my trip, I again offered to attend. I had deliberately chosen the 3PM timeslot to allow for what happens in this job.
Tuesday back into Dubbo from Brisbane, truck due for service and trailers due for rego inspection, so a day off, very unusual in the middle of the week, write the list and see how we go. Thursday morning trailers down for inspection, part loaded on the way back, filled nearly to the brim in the yard, then a bit more just to make life interesting and away at 4PM.
Into Brisbane 2.30 AM, took my break then into the yard to take off the extras, off to the first drop, going well, then to the second drop, 2 hours in the que, then, can I do a pickup, or two, depends what time I get out. Fellow unloading said, as you will all have heard before, no one came early this morning and there has been a que since 10 AM and he is on his own. To the pick-up, wait for an hour, then the forky had a problem getting the IBCs into the space on the floor and whilst I thought I was diplomatic, it was starting to look nasty, but the foreman came along and helped out, then we were underway. Not a chance of the second pick-up, but back to the yard to fill up and could barely even get in the yard. A further delay.
Finally loaded and off at 6PM, scoffed tea going up the Gap, at 67 tonne going slow enough, a cuppa at Goondiwindi but no copies of Owner Driver yet, damn and then to Bellata to bed. Up on hours but legal, so back to the yard, drop the trailers, home shower, in the car and got to the site at Mudgee just after two with time for a cuppa before set up.

Earlier that morning, travelling southbound through the Pilliga, a truckie on the UHF, “You are a #$%&*%$ idiot in the van, nearly took the bullbar off the front of the truck”. I replied, “I do understand your frustration, but abusing them (and few will be listening) will not help, surely trying to explain the problem would be better”. This of course sparked comments from others that “You will never educate them”, so I again replied, “Well I am off to try this afternoon, speaking to a group of vanners and yes, like us, they are not all perfect, but surely trying to educate instead of abusing them, will be better in the long run”.

Further down the road, “on the UHF again, “Bloody caravan has baulked me again, slowing down for the bottom of the hill, then speeding up, what a goose”. Through the roadworks and he deliberately did it again, it was obvious and so I said on the radio, “What a helpful vanner, looks like he did that deliberately” and the reply was, “I did”. I again called up, “So why would you do that mate?” Reply, “I’m not your mate”, my reply, “Obviously, but why would you do that?” No reply.

Truck in front of me got the one behind the van to read off the rego and he rang the Police and they said they would come out and have a chat with him. The three vans then separately pulled off and let us all (now a que of over 10 vehicles) past, with the last van, the offender, stopping in a rest area. Had I not been running late, I would have stopped to chat nicely and explain.

Discover Downunder were on site at Mudgee and did an interview with me prior and then filmed a bit of my presentation and we hope they will extend the message even further.

Slight technical difficulties meant I could not use the videos embedded in my Powerpoint presentation, but a good crowd, unfortunately due to time, no copies of my “Rvers Survey” to give out nor copies of Owner Driver, which this month details the story of the truckie listed previously here, who overtook a van nearly running a car off the road. I was hoping to show the vanners, I was not completely biased and was aware we too, as truckies have to do the right thing.

We could though show the sharing rest areas video as below and it was welcomed and applauded at the end. One suggestion was a petition to get more rest areas built and I hope to have this up later today. I welcome your comments and hope it is accepted in the theme in which it was done, sharing rest areas.

Thanks to the Retreat Caravans Family Group for the invite, to Discover Downunder for the filming and to Stephen at Whiteline Television for the video. Please share it. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


By truckright

An Australian truckie aiming to improve both how the road transport industry is seen and understood by the public and to improve road safety for all.

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