Goodaye all. I need a holiday to work on my efforts to complete my Churchill Trip, the next TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle and my family. The more you do, the more there is to do, but it is hard to do it all while you have to work in a job that means you are on the road and away from it all. Yes there is the marvellous internet, but that is another cost of both time and money and both are in short supply at the moment.
I have nearly completed my Churchill report, still have maybe 60 business cards to reply to, need to sort out which to pursue from the trip and all the rest. Then there is the future, what to do and when and how. I have some things I would love to pursue, but they will take more time and money and whilst I do have some spare time on the road, often it is time that I simply can’t use to the fullest, as I am waiting to load or unload, waiting for the truck, the customer etc.
Then of course there is the time you need for meals, showers and sleeping and again, it is not just the time to do one thing, it is the whole time it takes to stop, order, que etc and then get going again. I love what I do and it is also my hobby and my passion, as most of you who know me will agree. It is simply the issue of time and if you have a set job and hours, it is easier to arrange. As with all our laws and penalties, they are designed and policed by those who do not have to live by them themselves and I don’t think they listen and give us a fair go all the time.
Having seen the truckstops and facilities in the USA, we are not in the same league. Yes there are still not enough spaces there and not all rest areas are the same, but the scope and size of some and the facilities and regularity on some roads, is so far in front of us.
Then there is the driver shortage and what to do with that. I see a young fellow did a story saying we must focus on the positive and there is a marvellous future in the industry and that there are many opportunities for young people. That is true and it is not. If those of us who do this job because we love it are leaving, then there must be something wrong with the job. Another fellow wrote a piece saying he has told his children to stay out of trucking.
Surely there is a reason behind his comment, not just that he doesn’t like it. He is trying to help and protect his children from the life he now leads, never home, living in a truck, lousy facilities and food on the road, bad drivers who are not taught to share the road with us, always blamed by default for crashes and the loss of peoples lives and fined if he works overtime again, by those who have every facility they need within walking distance of their office chair.
I want it fixed, I want it fair and I want to help. I will be called a dreamer or worse, but I have tried and I have not yet given up, but if I tell people how good a job it is when it isn’t, am I not making it worse, because they will leave and tell others it was not what they were told it was.
I will mull this over as I travel this week and would welcome your thoughts and comments. If you are a driver, is it a good job and would you tell your kids to do it? If you are a member of the public, how do you see us? If you are a person involved with our laws and or policing them, how do you see your role and how it affects us? Do all of you recognise what we contribute to your way of life and or what we give up in our lives, so you can enjoy yours. It has been said that the Australian economy used to ride on the back of the sheep, that was years ago.
A journalist said to me it now rides on the back of a truck, yet we seem to be maligned, tarred by the actions of the few and not recognised nor appreciated for the job we do, hence my questions to you. I would welcome your views. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.