Frustration by the Truckload. 4th February 2018.

Goodaye all. I am sure you have seen and heard of “Operation Rolling Thunder” in the press etc. The biggest ever blitz on the trucking industry across four states? The Police officer I heard on the radio said they were “sick and tired” of crashes involving trucks and I have to say, so say all of us. What happened to all involved is a tragedy and it was also for all those car occupants, killed by other car drivers, too! Yet has there been a blitz on them for causing all that loss of life and for causing far too many of the crashes involving trucks? NO!

We do not go to work to kill people, we have been asking for education for drivers about sharing the road with trucks for years and what has been done? NOTHING! I did years ago, after writing to each state, get more questions on trucks in the driver handbook and in the test, but it is not enough.

There is a lot of frustration building in the trucks and on the road. Many drivers are talking about blockades and the like, as the only way to get heard. My view is that unless you have a maximum of six issues and you can supply six solutions and you can present a united front to the government seeking those changes, you will get nowhere with a blockade and will simply piss people off.

We do need some changes, both to help us to have the flexibility and rest areas to safely and individually manage our fatigue. We need education of motorists from the early years to share the road with trucks for their safety and ours and we need the bad bits of road fixed, as too often after a crash, they do not get recognised and it seems even harder to get such things fixed now than it was years ago.

Many crashes are a contribution of events and circumstances, where if only one thing changed, it may not have happened, or the consequences may have been different, perhaps even worse. Do you go to work to be involved in a crash? Of course not.

But can we improve things, yes. So readers, what are your suggestions. If you have the power and capacity to change things, then I offer you a ride in the truck with me to see our side. Can those who have never even ridden in a loaded truck for more than 5 minutes, really tell us how to do it? We want to deliver our goods, we want to have a safe workplace and we want to get home to a family we see too little of. What can you do to help? 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.

6 replies on “Frustration by the Truckload. 4th February 2018.”

Dashcam video footage of these drivers of cars driving dangerously needs to be uploaded to particular websites such as example; dashcam drivers Australia so statistical information can be gathered and referenced as evidence-based events to prove to the Government representative this is happening. Even photos of unsafe roads and infrastructure. I recently gained some success with the Queensland Main Roads Department regarding a section of the Cunningham Highway at Purga where sections of the road foundations were subsiding caused pot holes and vertical drops of 1metre at the edge of bitumen resulting in some guard rail posts to be in the ground only 100mm. After being told the highway had no safety issues i decided to take some photos of the safety issues and also previous google satelite imagery which is date stamped to prove my point. I e-mail these to the Queensland Department of Main Roads with my concerns aswell as including the Local Government Minister which resulted in some action within a few weeks.

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I believe I’ve found an answer to all the problems I’ve encountered as a truck driver for the last 28 years – i’m leaving as soon as I find another job that doesn’t involve carting freight. I’m over it mate.

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1. I think that the model of CoR and HVNL is on the right track, I have witnessed first hand if embraced the model will work, for HV drivers to make up 25% of all work related deaths is something that we should be shouting from the roof tops.
2. I think the media needs to stop demonising drivers, reported the driver made to attempt to stop as if it was an intentional act, if he was having a micro sleep how was he going to react, again the root cause may have been a number of factors however reporting that a large retail chain is exerting pressure on drivers with unrealistic deadline doesn’t make a good sound grab.
3. The regulatory bodies need to be better equipped and resourced with competent people with a knowledge of HV. It is embarrassing seeing senior representatives referring to a road train as a B Double then going on to say how they are going to change the industry, they also have to be brave and take on the cowboys by being proactive rather than reactive.
4. Drivers have to take responsibility as well. my pet hate is drivers that tailgate there is little chance that their reaction time is that good that in an emergency situation they are going to be able to stop, to me that is a major concern more so than LV drivers and cyclist. I have seen quad road trains attempting to overtake each other and being on the wrong side of solid lines for extended periods. Drivers need to fix their backyard first and stop whinging about others that just creates noise that detracts from the real issues.
5. Training not only drivers but all in the supply chain, for years the Transport Manager was usually an ex driver, scheduler ex driver, safety ex driver, compliance officer ex driver all with no formal qualifications, I am not suggesting that ex drivers have no place in those areas but invest some time and money in up skilling and training them first. A barber has more formal qualifications than most in the transport industry.
6. Finally be Brave! if your tired stop and rest, if the vehicle is not roadworthy, don’t drive it, if the schedule is to tight ignore it be late if necessary, if it is not right and you all know when it isn’t don’t do it, if you hurt/kill someone or yourself that will stay with you forever.

That’s my six, be safe and keep fighting for better conditions.

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