20th May 2018 Phone calls and messages.

Goodaye all. This weeks calls have been a mixed bunch, but all with a theme of drivers in crisis in one way or another. One driver wanted to chat for 15 minutes and two hours later, after discussing all the industries woes, he explained he is alone and living in the truck after thirty plus years of marriage.

The next was again, concerned about the industry and rates and spoke of being so angry with where his life and business was going, that he made a mistake, but thankfully no damage, only wounded pride. Then there was a call about a driver involved with a suicide and did I know of others, yes, but few want to talk about it and we will as always, get the blame first and the impact will not be recognised nor treated the same, as for others.

Then a message about the “fight” between truckies and caravaners in the west, but no recognition of the issue anywhere else in Australia or any real positives. I have replied offering another view and info and will see if I get a reply.

I spoke of the drivers club to the drivers, one wanting a new union, one wanting us all to stop, others in other discussions simply wanting things to improve, but how do we do it? Did we really get any real improvement from the original blockades? Yes genuine blokes trying to make a difference, but no real change to the life we lead on the road. Others have tried since and my view overall, is that until we all agree (and yes, more chance of me walking to the moon) and put forward a maximum of 6 issues with 6 solutions, we will never get any real change.

For over thirty years we have asked for better roads, more and better rest areas and education of drivers about sharing the road with trucks. Yes there are more things, rates and how they do affect not only our lifestyle, but the ability of owner drivers to compete and make a living and maintain their trucks, but how do you fix that? When I started in road safety over 20 years ago, I knew as an individual driver, I would not have any chance to influence this.

So what do we do and what do I do? We cannot get any real change and I have tried to do so for many years. Do we give up? No of course not. Will the drivers club be a better way or a good start, or simply not get any traction and just be another good idea that fails to achieve any real change? That my friends is up to you.

I will not give in and will keep trying and I would hope at least some of you recognise 20 plus years of effort and whilst some do have some idea of that cost and effort, there are still those who have a problem with what I do and want to, mostly behind my back of course, say I am doing it for me. To them my question has always been, what have you done to get anything improved and more that happy for you to step in and step up. How many of you will join the TRUCK That Australia Drivers Club and help, instead of whinging in truckstops? Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

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