Goodaye all, I am off to work now having had a different week last week from my usual. Out to the farm to unload, friendly people and nice trucks. Back into Moree and then loaded cotton with no facilities, not even allowed to make a cup of tea and in que for four hours before loading, then to Sydney and treated pretty much the same there.
Made it to Newcastle for the next morning, now a day late, but had to get the roadworks crew to shift witches hats, as I refused to try and drive under a 3m tree and branches when they wanted traffic off the side of the road for resurfacing work. Didn’t sleep all that well, up early to be told, yes you can turn around down the street, not on your life, back to wait to load to be told yours won’t be ready for maybe two hours or more, so back to bed.
This is the life of many drivers. Hurry up and wait. There are now some companies in the USA about to start paying by the hour and some do here. What do you think? How many people go to work expecting to do up to 70 hours a week, but only be paid for 50? Would you? Yes there are issues, but do we want to have drivers in trucks in the future or robots? So many drivers cop a fine for something completely unrelated to actual road safety and then say, bugger this, I can earn more driving a forklift with less stress and no fines and be much safer.
It is good to see rest areas getting a run in the press, but as with all things, it can be good or bad. Those promoting the “fight” between truckies and RVers want to sell press time. Those of us on the road want a fair go for all, somewhere to be able to get good sleep and rest and to be safe on the road and education will get us much further and faster than fighting.
I would welcome your views on how to solve the problem. Please check my website for the RVers Survey, the Truckies on Road Code etc. Channel 18 for RVers is to me, one of the best tools for those with a UHF, and or at least being confident and happy to use it. To those truckies who abuse RVers on the UHF, all that will do is show them what gooses we are. Yes I understand frustration on both sides, but abuse will not get you anywhere.
We need more and suitable rest areas and I have been asking for this for years. As an interim measure, I started the green (previously blue, but Vicroads and WA would not recognise them saying the fireies would get confused) reflector marking of informal truck bays now on 19 years ago. If it has taken me that long to get one major highway done plus parts of four or five others, no wonder it has been such a fight to get good rest areas. I welcome the support of the ATA, NATROAD, CMCA and Caravan Club of Australia and many others, but we have waited too long.
The idea of a summit where we can all work towards the same goals seems worth a try and TRUCK That did seek funding to do the Truckies Top Ten Tips for motorists and the Top Ten Tips for RVers and are still awaiting the answer as we simply can’t do it alone.
Let us hope we can get the government to provide for us at the very least, suitable and safe places to sleep and rest. We will not get what they have, nor have we ever asked for 5 Star facilities, but we need someone to be fair dinkum and get something started now. What do you suggest? Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.