18th June 2018 Short and sweet at it has been an even bigger k week.

Goodaye all, much to do and too little time to do it. A near 6,000 kilometre week ranging from Dubbo to Brisbane to Maryborough in Western Victoria, then to Melbourne back through Dubbo to Jandowae, then Brisbane and Wee Waa on the way home.

Nearly at my delivery point in Maryborough and the road was closed. In a b-double simply going ahead can lead to much pain and financial loss, so whilst contemplating where to go, I saw a car stop and there was a UHF aerial visible. I had been on the phone to eldest daughter and turned the radio back on to be asked, “Are you right there in the Pilons’?” Not really, was my reply. “Where do you want to go?” Johnson Street, “All good just follow me, I live in here as well and the roadworks can be a bugger”.

The gentleman got me round the block and in and I then asked the best way out to Melbourne and he pulled up, we shook hands and he gave me further directions and said he was with the Highway Patrol. Help that was recognised and much appreciated, but I was still thinking on the directions and cannot remember the fellows name, but he went out of his way and “Thanks mate”

Coming back from Jandowae, Dalby has most of the main street currently torn up for improvements. This was one of two wide loads that were due through early, but told to wait by traffic control according to one of the Police escort vehicles. It was bedlam and there was some comment on the UHF, but getting angry and abusing others from a point of anonymity is not all that brave nor of much value. We all have to try and work together more and I hope you will agree.

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I did spend time on the phone with RMS during the week and hope that will bear fruit and did get to send a list of culverts and issues for the Newell from Moree north and there are a couple of doozies there.

Next biggest issue is my Churchill Fellowship trip and much to do to get that sorted. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

11th June 2018 A big week.

Goodaye all. A quick recount of this week.
Saturday evening off to Emerald with a sleep in the Pilliga. Stopped at Miles to complete new headlight set up, Ding another RPT driver, stopped in to check on me as I had the bullbar down, all good and Thanks Mate, then tea and off. Many green reflector bays marked Miles to Roma, with some further north as well, well done. Arrive Emerald 11.30 PM Sunday, 15 plus hous driving time from Dubbo.
Monday morning, in for on site mine delivery and do induction, blow in the tube, clear, pick a blue marble so no drug test required, escorted down into the pit. Some photos while unloading, then in front of the dragline and a cup of tea on the way out.

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Down the road to load some cotton, back into Emerald to load some more, then off to Brisbane. Nearly made it all the way, sleep at Logan Motorway Heathwood, then down to the port to unload Tuesday morning. Back to Lytton to load IBCs (international bulk containers holding up to 1000 litres of product) for Goondiwindi. Visit Cummins to reset DPF problem to get me home, then to Fisher Park Roadhouse just over the top of the Gap for a lovely meal of rissoles, tomato and onion gravy, salad and chips, bread and butter and coffee, beautiful. To bed at Gundi early.
Up for a quick unload at 7.30AM, an even quicker cuppa and on the road to Dubbo. Had my load picked up for me, but still too late to have new DPF fitted, so off from Dubbo at 5.15PM for Melbourne and hope it will last another trip. Listening to State of Origin, ring ahead for a quick tea at the Tiger Moth Cafe Temora, then hear the end of the game and on to Benton’s Hill rest area south of Wodonga and to bed. Since parking bay “improved” camber is now the other way and head lower than feet. Tried that way, as head to drivers side is the norm, but woke early Wednesday and had to change ends. Another issue with parking bays and surely you will agree, you need to be comfortable and familiar to get good sleep. So far, already done a weeks work for many on a 38 hour week.
Up at 9AM and into Melbourne for paperwork and fuel, not far to unload, but have to split the trailers to get in and then fight for my spot in the que. A good blow on the air horns sees the pusher in change his mind. Round the corner to wait, then load more IBCs for Wellcamp for Monday, then patiently crawl out of Melbourne with thousands of others. By the time the current roadworks is completed and with two new towns being built on the northern outskirts now, the traffic will be clogged even further back, what terrific planning!

Met Stephen from Whiteline TV at BP Lavington for a coffee and photo, unusual to have us both in our trucks to meet on the road with our different schedules. Then chatted with him to West Wyalong and to bed just before 1AM. Up and 8, scoff some breakfast and off to Dubbo to drop trailers, fix a gate and wait for a lift home. DPF will be replaced and a seat issue addressed, is the plan.

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Lift home and into the shower, fuel and check the car (Thanks Adam for the loan of the car) to drive to Canberra for tea with eldest daughter (who we hope will take part in “TRUCK That” in the future with stories etc) and Stephen from Whiteline. We had planned to do filming for the June “TRUCK That Australia” episode in Stephen’s studio, using green screen to show even more of his talents and skills. Talk till late sorting plans etc, up Saturday and filmed and played and discussed till 6PM, then into car and back to Dubbo. Thanks to Stephen and Sarah and the boys for your hospitality and efforts.

Home 11PM, up the next morning and off to work to have a new seat problem, more frustration than sense from me, but sorted after some verbal discussion with self and off with youngest son in tow moving north. Lunch together at Bellata and pulled up at Wellcamp to try and have some of this written and catch up on paperwork till 11PM.

Made and received many calls, loaded and unloaded as needed and others will have worked longer and or harder or both, but I still have a lot of catching up to do. The biggest is to sort my upcoming Churchill Fellowship trip. Till next week and sorry for being late. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

2nd June 2018 Join the club!

Goodaye all. There are so many issues to address, it can sometimes be daunting, but if you or I don’t do anything, will it change or improve? The aims of the TRUCK That Australia Drivers Club is to get a sufficient number of drivers involved so that we can say we in some small way, represent those who live and work on the roads of Australia. If we can get at least ten or twenty blokes that run most of the major highways, I do believe we can get more done, than I can alone.

I see a driver made a comment in Owner Driver about coming back to driving fulltime and the changes and even further erosion of rest areas and roadhouses he has encountered. Others I have spoken to during the week ask, “Why would you do this job now?” And it is a very good question. Where boys from drivers families used to spend time with Dad in the truck and learn to love the job, most truckies tell their kids to get a “better” job, knowing the impact it has on a families life.

There is a push to get more women drivers, but we can’t get a toilet for men, let alone one for women in many places and what do they do at a site where they say, sorry you can’t use our toilets? Some roles and places do have such facilities and I mentioned when talking to Luke Bona on “Nightshift” the Vicroads rest areas on the Hume were the best I had seen for size and facilities. Another driver followed up though, saying they do not extend to other Victorian highways.

Luke’s co-host, Jess is getting ready to take her license test and said since being part of the show and listening and talking to many truckies, she has a better understanding of some of our issues, but had not been taught anything in her training for her license, about sharing the road with trucks. She is going to monitor it and let us know if that changes.

I am working on my Churchill Fellowship trip to leave at the end of July and any with road safety contacts in the UK, Canada or the USA, who might be interested in trucking in Australia and who might be interested in helping me to get the most from the trip and offer a contact, would be welcome. Off to work early this week to get part way to Emerald for Monday morning, so short and sweet for now. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.