Goodaye all. Well as per a favourite Pink Floyd song, “but your older, shorter of breath and one day closer to death”, yet still keen to both make an effort and make a difference. It is terribly sad for those drivers who have just lost their job a week before Christmas, who’s fault is it? Will the truth ever come out and will those responsible ever pay the price they should? Or will they get away with it and just start again?
One driver I heard from, has now had it happen more than once and will be unlikely to ever catch back up, let alone get the wages and benefits he was entitled to. How can such a big concern, working full time and with set runs for some of the biggest transport companies in Australia, fold like that? Lets’ hope someone is held to account and wish that it doesn’t happen again.
If you were lucky to have family at home, presents and good food and everything else, take one minute to consider those who did not, those who work to give you the lifestyle you have, truckies and many others who all work through such days and we all forget them at times, I fear.
I did a radio interview with a mate on a local community station Friday afternoon and we discussed the TRUCKRIGHT year. He was very happy to give me the chance to get a view to others and I thank Mark for the opportunity. I even got a Facebook message from another who heard the conversation travelling along the Hume. Mark, after asking when I was working over the break, did say it was the first time in the years we have been chatting on the radio that he recalls, where I did not go to work Boxing Day, but I will quite likely be on the road across New Year’s Eve.
I can’t recall spending Christmas night on the road, but did get home one Christmas morning, telling my children I had driven from one side of the country to the other, over four full days to get to them at the end of the U2 Tour. From Perth via Melbourne to Dubbo and you can read all about it in “Rock and Roll Trucking” in “The Best Australian Trucking Stories” by Jim Haynes and it is available on audio as well, if you are interested. Many times, on the road Boxing Day and New Year’s Day to deliver the following day, but too often away when family needed me and for that I will ever be ashamed I could not be there, when they did.
But it is the start of a new year and so I wish you all a TRUCKING Good New Year. My aims are to get;
1. A National Truck Rest Area Strategy up, so we have national standards for design, placement and capacity. The same standards for roadside bays, informal green reflector bays in all states and recognition of the need for more for all, but specifically for truckies. How we can use stockpile sites and old road alignments when roads are improved and or duplicated, instead of wasting those assets.
2. Some minor changes to fatigue laws allowing split rest, personal use and nose to tail shifts for all, but not on consecutive nights and with other limitations.
3. Keep on with the work of the TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle and get a new one on the road.
That should keep me reasonably busy. Any help or suggestions welcome, so travel safe and see you next year. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.