Altona Truck and Trade Show 18th March 2018.

Goodaye all. We both attended the above show, a completely new event for drivers and industry suppliers held at the baseball club at Melton. Organised by Chris Smith (from Australian Custom Trucks) but trying something a bit different with his willing and enthusiastic team, too many to name here and many I could not give all their details. I am sure Chris will have the requisite thanks up for his team on his show page. Good to see industry people having a go at something new.

Stephen from Whiteline TV came down from Sydney and we did six interviews and will have a special edition of “TRUCK That” up within days of the show. NHVR, Natroad, Transport Women and both Yogi and Steve Grahame from Outback Truckers all spoke with us and there were some nice trucks in attendance, including some KLOS Custom Trucks and many other individuals, including a couple of nice Peterbilts.

I got on site early Friday while Stephen drove down having finished his trip that morning and this was a trade day with trucks arriving and trade stalls setting up. Friday night was snacks and a few drinks, (thanks to the sponsors who made this possible) and Saturday more trucks arrived including the new Prostar race car transporter and many others. The public came in from 10AM and milled about through the trucks and stalls. The Mack Muster may have drawn some Bulldog tragics away and I saw a few on the road on my way home Sunday and from a couple I spoke with, hear it was a good turnout there as well.

Outside of our filming for TRUCK That, I spoke with many drivers and also those in the trade stalls and made some good contacts and perhaps even some supporters, for the next TIV. A good day, many asking about the drivers club and I did a presentation on stage detailing the intent. Yogi and Steve from Outback Truckers also did a talk about the show and the music was good and the band on Saturday night even better.

I left before the brekky got underway this morning, as the rain was coming and I also had to go back to work to unload and reload due to a change of plan, but that is trucking.

It takes time to get anything started and running and with a few more trucks and more public, I think it will grow to become a regular event. I thank Chris for the invite and congratulate him and his team for this first up effort.

I found out the pins in the one trailer wheel we had to reline two weeks ago, was the thing that wore out first. I was hoping I would get the trailers to 2 million k with the original brake linings, but this one had stepped out a bit and wore the lining on one side, though there was still meat on the shoes, once the pins start to wear, you may as well do the linings. Still 11 sets to go and they should all reach 2 million. I must say a very good testament to BPW suspensions and the Groeneveld auto greasers, both considering I reckon the Newell is at least twice as bad as the Hume, if not more so.

We have the name registered for the “TRUCK That Australia Drivers Club” and an ABN and now just have to complete the bank account and we will be up and running. Yogi said he is one million percent behind the club in his interview. We are also looking for a co-host for TRUCK That, to spread the load and give another view, so if you are keen and enthusiastic about the road transport industry and want to help with your time and knowledge, send an email to telling us what you can bring to the show. We would welcome your comments and your helping get us some more viewers and subscribers to keep the ball rolling. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

13th March 2018. Look at the trucks!

Goodaye all. An interesting week, starting off with a breakdown, damn intercooler hose blew off again. Meant another 7 hour break on the side of the road, but hopefully sorted now. Never had the problem before and then 3 times in a fortnight. Seems the alignment of the turbo on the new crate motor was out and pushing the interconnecting tube and putting pressure on only one side of the hose and clamp.

Our local radio announcer from Dubbo has moved to Canberra and taken on a radio program there. He and I spoke of trucks semi-regularly over the years and he read of the ATA press release and asked me for comment. We covered that and discussed how we are seen. I finished asking his listeners to look at the trucks around them. Too often they see the one that does the wrong thing, they think it is too close or whatever, but they simply do not “see” all the others that are just doing their jobs and delivering the freight.

I was then invited to do a host spot on Big Rigs new podcast for this week and we spoke of EWDs, a driver getting pinged for a pee, women in trucking and the TRUCK That Australia Drivers Club. Thanks Kirsten for the invite and it is out now. Please let me know what you think. Then another radio interview with my mate from YassFM, the community station there and we again talked trucks. I spoke of the drivers club and why it has come about and again asked listeners to look at trucks. You will see this is my theme for this week and whilst more than usual, doing three radio interviews in a week, a good chance to put another view forward.

Lastly, still on the road on the way home Saturday morning, a radio interview with my mate Grant on the ABC in Wagga Wagga. We spoke of my upcoming attendance at the “Stone the Crows” festival in Wagga Wagga, where I have attended now for thee years and how the numbers who came to listen to me talk about trucks quite amazed them and I will do two presentations on sharing the road with trucks over Easter. More time away from family, but that is when the flock, gather. We are planning to launch “TRUCK That for RVers” and get some feedback. Of course, I asked for listeners to look at trucks.

Lastly the latest “TRUCK That” episode is up, a special edition seeking support for the next TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle. I have so many people to thank, from Ken Wilkie who helped by virtually giving me his truck for two years, a truly magnanimous gesture, one unmatched by any, to Rod Pilon and all at Rod Pilon Transport who have allowed me enormous scope and support with the current truck over the last ten years. The only way I can do more than I do now, is to have a truck and trailers supplied and so have the time to do more and still feed my family and pay my bills. If I win the Lotto I will buy a new TIV (or if you win the Lotto you can buy me one) and I am very proud of what the TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle is and what it has achieved, but it and I are only one truck and one driver and we need more involved and more and better understanding of the job we do.

This to get better conditions on the road, better laws and not only recognition for the job we do, but some empathy from those who rely on all we deliver, for the life we lead. It is not all roses, being your own boss and king of the road. It never was and it is worse now than it has ever been, but sticking to the positive, I would welcome you listening to the podcast and watching the video. Your comments and support and sharing these in your own networks might just help me find the right person, to make it all happen. Thanks and Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

4th March 2018. How do you see trucks?

Goodaye all. Got my submission into the Staysafe committee last Sunday night, but not allowed to reproduce it anywhere else according to the rules. When I looked before submitting, still only 7 submissions. So will we get heard and will we get a fair go? Let’s hope, but with only one driver submitting, will they understand how we feel and what our needs are? It is unlikely I am sure you will agree.

Still waiting for the club registration to come back and will then register an ABN and open an account. Three of our drivers have spoken to me and are keen to join and others as well, so sorry to carry it on for so long, but if we want to have a proper club and act legally to be heard, then we have to comply. Don’t give up on it, I have been involved for many years and little that is worthwhile is achieved overnight.

I have done interviews on “Nighshift” on MMM with Luke and he has offered support and I will send him the club aims and intents for his Facebook page to keep it going along, Thanks Luke and Jess. Once we have that in place, I will get it out there as and when I can.

To the members of the public, how do you see trucks now? Do you recognise what we contribute to your way of life in delivering your food, clothes products and fuel? Do you understand that those who say put it on rail, do not understand how rail works and that you need trucks to get the product on the train and then to deliver it from the train. How do you put 1,000 consignments on all at once and get them off all at once because everyone wants it delivered now!

Do you have a rail siding in your backyard, does the local supermarket? Of course not, so we need trucks to deliver the things we need to use and to live. Yes rail has its’ place for very long haul and bulk commodity freight, but road transport delivers over 75% of domestic freight, not only because we do it well, but we do it efficiently. Now that means we need the road to deliver it to you and we go to work to earn a living and to pay our bills. We DO NOT GO TO WORK to be involved in road trauma and all too often, it is not our fault, yet we will be blamed first and then after such an event, those who survive it will see it in their nightmares till the day they die. Do you think that is what we as truck drivers want? No.

So I would welcome your honest appraisal and comment.

  1. How do you see trucks?
  2. Do you really understand what it is like to live and work on the road?
  3. Do you recognise the need for trucks?
  4. What do you suggest we do to improve both road safety for all and how we as the trucking industry is seen?

I would welcome your serious suggestions. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


17th December, Christmas 2017. Seems I missed publishing this one, so will do now. 4/3/2018.

Goodaye all. Two things I would like to raise. First is I would like to wish all a Merry Christmas and a Trucking Good 2018. It is a time of year for reflection on what has happened and towards a time of year to set goals and yes even, New Years resolutions, but either way, a chance to reflect first, what have you done and what can you do better.

You are responsible to yourself first, your family and friends and then perhaps the wider community. I wish I could change the world, or at least, parts or pieces of it, but that is a dream that I will not achieve, yet I can make plans to change the things I can, or at least try. I want to be a better Father and one day, a better husband, as with this job, each I have failed to do as good as I would have liked to.

This leads to the second thing. How many of you outside of the trucking industry truly recognise or understand the life of an interstate truckie. This is not a whinge session or woe is me, there are worse jobs and many better, but ours seems to be so lonely in so many ways. When you start, is it being not really, but the King of the Road, like the old days getting the mail through, delivering the goods, being your own boss out on the road, seeing the country. If only any of that was true?

I wrote this years ago and will include it over the next few instalments. I would welcome your comments.


Out here in highway land life is like a fairy tale. There are good princes and knights of the highway, there are beautiful princesses waiting at castles across the land, there are wicked monsters and RMS officers, waiting to prey on the good and simple folk. Now for the story. Once upon a time there lived a happy truckie, Drivealot was his name. He lived in a small castle, (well a man’s home is his castle, isn’t it) in a beautiful valley far away from the city with his wife Laughalot and his two children Talkalot and Hungryalot.

He was happy because he was his own boss, sort of. He could do whatever he liked with his truck, a big Carryalot with 400 horses under the bonnet, (and couldn’t they go through the chaff), but only as long as he paid the finance company, Takealot. He could come and go as he pleased as long as he wasn’t too fast, too heavy, too slow and or too late because then his customers would be wanting to know why he wasn’t where they thought, he should be. Of course Drivealot did his best, like all truckies do.

He looked after his truck like it was his own, it would be in 200 years when his son’s sons had paid the last installment. He serviced it and washed and polished it and of course he drove it all around this large bountiful and beautiful but unforgiving land. While he was off on his travels his time was his own, sort of. As long as he drove, stopped and slept as was decreed by the Royal Log Book he wouldn’t incur the wrath of the Lord’s Armies.

Now one army wasn’t enough to watch over truckies, there was the normal army in blue uniforms and then there was the special forces in the brown uniforms. The blue uniforms watched over everyone, their job was to protect the people from themselves and each other and by and large they did a mighty fine job. The brown uniforms were especially interested in truckies. They were there to protect everyone else from truckies and make sure they (the truckies) complied with the Royal Log Book which we will look at next. Safe Trucking, Royal Subjects.

So what do you think? It does not cover the depth of this job, though gives a somewhat jaded but comedic view I hope. Does this make it look worse or better? I can only see things from where I sit and I would hope over time you can help me to help others.

Please consider the truckies who will be away from home and family during this season, those who will be on the road perhaps thousands of kilometres from those they love. so someone else can have their food, fuel, clothes and presents to have an Australian way of life. Merry Christmas all. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.