25th July 2018 Visiting the Homeland.

Goodaye all. With a delayed flight out of Sydney and then a long que at Hertz due to it being both summer holidays and a Saturday in England, my arrival at Donnington Park Convoy planned for 10AM local time, became 3PM. Such is life. But I got in and met the organisers, agreed to set my stand up Sunday morning and started interviewing drivers.

I asked drivers (after explaining the Churchill Fellowship and the trip) what is your biggest concern with road safety here and how can you fix it? Whilst there is always a variation of how different people see things, the themes mirror some of our problems, but with some minor and some major differences.

Other drivers, was the first answer of many and it seems not only do lorry drivers here have to do their CPC every 5 years now, which must total 35 hours of training, but it was said by many, that car drivers are taught to pass the test, not to drive for the rest of their lives and it seems, they are taught absolutely nothing about sharing the road with trucks.

A few did say other lorry drivers, with the last I just asked when visiting one of the few secure truckstops, saying the standard of lorry drivers is falling badly. The CPC as a system is not a pass/fail, so what value does it have, asked many I spoke with.

I am currently visiting with Alan Taylor Transport in Huthwaite in Nottingham Shire and will be going out in a truck with one of his drivers tomorrow for a run. I met Alan at the Convoy, where not only did he have a truck in the truck racing, he had about 50 plus trucks on-site, including two that were offering drives for a minimum 5 pound donation to a charity and when I spoke with one of the drivers on Sunday, not only was there a big que, they had raised nearly one thousand pounds on Saturday alone.

I then filmed an interview with a young lady after she got out from her drive in the Volvo and trailer. The entertainment was wide and varied and after filming some of the tuck racing, be a very quiet and demure bloke, I asked where the announcers were and again, after lots of who and why, ended up doing a live interview between races and got many visitors during the rest of the show who commented.

The large banner of the TIV drew many, but the Australian Heavy Vehicle Combinations panel with the roadtrains, got not only much comment, but was photographed by hundreds. Even whilst I was away and talking to other drivers, the fellow in the stand next door who watched over mine, said there was always someone looking or photographing the panel.

So the Convoy show I rate very highly for itself and my me, yes a terrific start to the fellowship trip. I have spoke with many, interviewed more and filmed some more again and will put up a survey here for all to contribute to. I visited the Road Haulage Association in Peterboro and whilst they are mainly a company support group, plan to follow up with them in the future. Whilst there I saw a rigid with a very long trailer as a motorhome and then towing a caravan behind that! Hopefully will have some photos next blog.

So here is the survey and I would welcome you distributing it and or replying.

Driver Survey as part of
Churchill Fellowship Trip 2018 to study trucks and road safety overseas by Rod Hannifey.
It is prohibitive to print, carry and hand out forms overseas to many drivers and have only some filled in and returned and even on the road in Australia and perhaps, not the best way to get information. So this will be online in a number of sites and will aim to allow drivers and others to contribute and comment online towards the aims of the study tour.

Please fill in and comment as you see fit. I am only one fulltime employed driver, but the more who contribute, the more likely we are to see any change. Nothing happens overnight, unfortunately things can take many years to see any change, but nothing will happen without both a start point and the intent to carry it through.
Please use as much space as you need to answer any question and I thank you for your help to try and improve road safety.

Country
Age
Drivng task (EG local, short haul, longhaul)
Average Kilometres travelled per week or year.
Vehicle Type
Cargo carried
Your biggest road safety problem
Your solution to that problem
Your best road safety idea
Rest Area comments. What do you have and what do you need?

Please add any further comments and Thank you for your time and response. Rod.

I will be off in the truck in the morning and Thank Alan Taylor for the trip, the use of his wi-fi now and his help and comments. He too is another video interview seeking comments. I could write for hours, but you will have to keep following and I will try to find access and hope for better in the USA. As always my Thanks to all at Rod Pilon Transport and of course, to the Churchill Fellowship for this opportunity.

Sorry for the delay in getting this out, my phone simply will not work, look out Telstra and I hope it works in the USA. Cheers and Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

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