7th April 2018. Join the TRUCK That Australia Drivers Club.

Goodaye all. Well for something that I thought about years ago, it is good to see it become a reality. I suppose this is the second time such a thing has happened in my trucking world. The first was the TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle (TIV). It was never real, until Ken Wilkie asked me if with his truck, would that get my idea started. And without that, the TIV may have never come to exist. Here it is now, the concept about to reach ten years. Wow! Who wants to buy me a truck and or trailers to see it reach 15?

I had thought of a drivers club some years ago, planning to go with the TRUCKRIGHT Drivers Club. There was a need then, but how to get it up without the opposition of the union and other groups? It did seem too hard to even contemplate and it is one thing to do something yourself, but another to get many others involved and on board. The catalyst for this birth, was probably “Operation Rolling Thunder” and the way, as always, that the authorities and press seemed to want to portray us. Show all the bad with bad statistics and ignore the good.

The number of people that were watching the Blockade 2018 site and the rabble it became, certainly showed two things. The first was there was a lot of disgruntled and unsatisfied drivers out there not happy with how we were shown and the second was don’t use Facebook as the platform for such a venture. The other factor was undoubtedly, TRUCK That. Meeting with Stephen McCarthy and doing the “Sharing Rest Areas” video struck a chord between us with Stephen then saying there was a gap in industry media and we should give it a go and try and fill it.

That has given us a showcase for our efforts and I hope it is recognised for what it is, two truckies having a go at something so different, that it is a genuine effort to see things change. Whilst we are still doing it and now TRUCK That RV as well and keen, it has given us a springboard for the drivers club. There are those who have a problem with what I do for some reason. I rarely get it to my face, but others tell me of those who belittle my efforts and that is fine, you can’t please all the people all of the time.

The TRUCK That Australia Drivers Club surmounts that problem of being just me and has the backing as such of the videos and another partner in Stephen. This not only gives us more spread and ability to reach people, it did simply mean we could not sit back and do nothing with all the drivers who want things done and either could not find a home or group that they would support.

I know how frustrated we all become when nothing seems to change. I recognise we have been asking for 20 years to have better roads, rest areas and to do something to educate car drivers about sharing the road with trucks and I have been trying for that long, but it is hard on your own. I have tried and dealt with nearly every group in that 20 years and have been told both that nothing will change, or you will never get anything to change.

I have certainly not achieved all I want to, but I am proud of the TIV and even in just getting the Newell done with green reflectors and surely you must give me at least an “A” for effort there, this year it is 19 years since I first asked and the first blue reflectors went up. You could say, gee that took you a long time, what have you been doing, but trust me if you knew, you would not complain.

Our industry session on the Nightlife with Phil Clark on the ABC Tuesday night, with myself and Sharon Middleton from Whiteline Transport went fairly well and I have received some nice calls and comments for it. I also spoke with Luke Bona on the Nightshift on TripleM on Friday morning and he is a keen supporter of the drivers club idea.

So where to from here, let’s get some members in and see what we can do.

During this week I rang the Policelink service three times, twice for animals the last where I missed a cow that literally jumped up from the side of the road and scared the daylights out of me and could have been a lot worse for the small car in front of me. The other was a car abandoned on the side of the Newell south of Moree and on my way back that night as a driver warned another of it being there, the local towie called up saying he was on his way out to recover it. Maybe I saved a life or prevented a crash, we will never know but you must try. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey

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