13th May 2018. A Megaweek.

Goodaye all. By early AM tomorrow, “TRUCK That” May will be on the air at http://www.truckingnation.com.au for your viewing pleasure. It covers Ben Maguire’s trip with me in the TIV and his interview and my attendance at Megatrans and four interviews done there. I would welcome your comments and your sharing it with your friends if you see fit.

As always, without the help of Rod Pilon Transport, I would not be able to attend such events. Thanks also to the Megatrans show organisers for their support. I had initially hoped to take Ben to Brisbane, but with the Public Holiday up there, it meant there was only one way to go, south, if I was going to get three trips in and be at Megatrans, so thanks to all at Pilons for the help with the loads and their ongoing support.

Thanks also to Kenworth for their support and for the posters showing the current range, an excellent promotional piece and give away. The TIV was the only Kenworth on site and I was proud to fly the flag for them. The fellow guiding me out at the end was very impressed, saying this was a real truck and he wanted to drive one like it one day.

After arriving in Melbourne with Ben, I unloaded, reloaded and was back on the road to Dubbo Monday night, unloaded and reloaded in Dubbo Tuesday and back in Melbourne with just enough time to get the truck washed and be the last truck in to Megatrans ontime at 4PM Wednesday. Getting in and onsite proved fairly easy, getting out was a bit tighter and more fun.

Whilst the TIV was washed and clean, any of you involved with trucks will know and recognise, that just getting it washed does not make it ready for a show. To be honest, I could have spent another full day on it, but once on site started on the little bits and the detailing that can take hours and would have loved more time to do a better job, but am happy with how it presented.

A bit of touch up paint, tyre black, tidying all the little bits (sorry no time for polishing anything) and worked till 7PM that night and back onto it again the next morning before the show opened. A couple of people asked was this just a show truck and when I explained it was a fulltime working truck and the truck was 7 years old in July at 1.4 million k and the trailers nearing 10 years old and 2 million k, many commented on how well it looked for what it has done.

The first visitor to the truck when the show opened came up saying he knew I was attending and wanted to shake my hand for the green reflectors, saying he was tired and they had helped him, even though the first three were missing. Everything after that was just a bonus.

I spoke with many exhibitors, including some who are supporters of the TIV, like Tramanco, ANCRA, NHVR and TCA and did interviews for “TRUCK That” with Paul Retter AM, CEO of the NTC and Peter Anderson from the VTA and others. I had a fellow from Boston in the USA compliment me on the truck and its aims and efforts and held discussions with many visitors and exhibitors.

Megatrans was more a coming together of many in the supply chain rather than a truck show, with many exhibitors at one end focusing on cargo handling, forklifts and storage, then into freight movement and control with robotic display in a number of stands. Then there was the data and freight management section flowing into the road transport suppliers section, which included the newly launched in Australia, Diamond Reo brand.

A gentleman near me with a prototype of straps for load binders across the roof of trailers, said he had terrific inquiries and could have sold the truck he was using three times and it would be sold after the show to one of those for sure. Congratulations to the organisers for the aims and intents of Megatrans. There was a Ministerial Breakfast and other major meetings which I was not able to attend to comment on, so cannot say how they were attended, but I am sure we will hear from other press who did.

As I do not go to such events to sell, my aims are different from most and I was happy both with those who visited me and the TIV and those I managed to visit. With “TRUCK That” it also allowed us a terrific platform for the interviews and access to those we would not normally meet on the road. Thanks to those we interviewed for their time and the rest of the attendees we filmed.

I would now like to ask all readers to answer one question for me. What do you see as the biggest problem in road transport. I would like a wide view snapshot, please give me a list if you wish, but for this exercise, pick what you see as the biggest problem from your personal perspective, but make sure to tell me which perspective you are responding from.

If you are a driver, is it the fines, the scrutiny, the lack of rest areas or complete lack of respect for the job we do? Is it pay, the roads or the rules?

If you are a regulator or deal with road transport from a policy or policing aspect, what do you see as the biggest issue?

If you are a motorist, what do you see as the biggest problem, but then I will need to know if you have ever been in a truck. One of the reasons for the TIV to take passengers, is to allow those who may not have the chance, but who may well be in a position to influence our lives on the road to see and feel the issues, not just read about them. All who have done a trip have said, it was very worthwhile to help them better understand some of our issues.

If you have another perspective, please feel free to contribute. I aim to start a short list of target issues and then to tackle them with the best effort I can. Rest areas, split rest and ridiculous fines with no relevance to road safety, are currently at the top of the list, but I would welcome your feedback. Cheers and Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

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