27th October 2019 Spreading the word.

Goodaye all. Thank you to the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia for their invite to their national rally at Elmore last Sunday. From the time I pulled up, there were people reading the banners I use at shows, asking questions and inspecting the TIV.

The first “workshop” held at the truck, had quite a number attend with an informal session on why I was there and general questions about trucks and the TIV. A number made the effort to climb in and inspect the interior with many commenting on the array of extras in the cab. At the end I had to beg off to get to the next more formal seminar, held inside with a Powerpoint presentation using photos and videos, including our sharing rest areas video. That went for an hour and a half with again, a need to call a halt to more questions to end the session.

At the end it was standing room only and many outside looking in. The organisers said after they were unsure how many would attend, but were very happy with the numbers who did. All I can say to those who suggest many people will not listen to our side of things, is that we must give them the chance. Abusing them over the UHF will do more harm than good and those who come to listen, I believe are far more likely to take something away of value, that will help them not only be safer on the road, but that will give them some better, if only minor understanding of some of our issues.

Stephen McCarthy from Whiteline Television and his lovely wife Sarah made a weekend away of it and then attended Sunday, filming our next TRUCK That Australia episode at the rally. Any of you who haven’t seen the previous episodes can do so at http://www.truckingnation.com.au where this latest episode, along with all our top tips and rest area videos can be seen. If you like them, please share them and you will help us make the roads safer for all. The Top Tips videos have been rereleased here and on Whiteline TV and have had some get excellent exposure. All we want now is for the road authorities to use them for young driver education. Do you think they fit the bill?

There was a fellow on site selling stickers and I had a lady come and tell me they had been selling them with Channel 18 etc 75mm tall, so I set off in search to discuss this. On arrival, he said many had come along since my seminar asking for 200mm tall, so they had taken my comments and examples on board and I further explained why it was important. I left with a mutual agreement of the suggested size.

Along with my spot on Triple M at 1AM Wednesday, where we discussed engine acronyms and management systems, I was then contacted by ABC radio re “Gator treads”, a USA term for retreads coming off on the road. I spoke on the rise in CTI systems for trucks and trailers and the systems on the TIV to check tyre pressures and temperatures, but that with the sensor inside the tyre, it can be hard to get them replaced, though as the systems and parts improve, it will further extend tyre life and reduce failures. It all depends of course on whether you buy premium tyres and or retreads or the cheapest and how well you maintain them and both check them and pressures regularly.

I then did a spot on 4 RO in Rockhampton Thursday afternoon when travelling through in response to a call for “What are you doing now” and was given a fair go talking about the videos of the top tips, hoping to help educate young drivers and some of our issues on the road. So got to some motorists, some motorhomers and now to get back to HVNL Review paper number 7 due on the 30th and then the senate inquiry, now extended to the 8th November. Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

19th October 2019 CMCA National Rally.

Goodaye all. It has been a cool day here in Melbourne. Every time I planned to get the truck washed it rained, so it will not be its’ best for tomorrow unfortunately. I have spent the day catching up, submitting number 6 submission to the NTC HVNL Review, working on number 7, Effective Enforcement and that is up to page 5 so far with more to do. It is due at the end of the month. I had started my submission to the senate enquiry which was due Thursday just gone, but there has been an extension to 8th November, so I will have a bit more time to extend and detail it better.

Any of you who want things improved, do not miss the chance to have a say. I have just spent a couple of hours going through the current submissions, 15 so far I think and whilst there are some saying virtually only that nothing will change, there are a couple of very detailed and valuable submissions and with the extension, I urge any with trucking knowledge and passion to contribute.

Importance of a viable, safe, sustainable and efficient road transport industry

On 11 September 2019, the Senate moved that the following matter be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by April 2020.

Some audio book reviews, replies to emails and a bit of surfing and chasing industry news and stories, tuna and rice crackers for lunch, rice cream and fruit for tea. Had plenty of food with me, so lived out of the truck, but had use of the depot, good for out of the rain.

Will be off in the morning to Elmore for the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA) National Rally doing a workshop in front of the TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle and then a seminar inside. One of the members saw me at the “Stone the Crows” festival in Wagga and invited me to attend. CMCA is the largest group of RVers with I believe over 30,000 members and their own magazine “The Wanderer” which I have had articles in over the years.

I have attended a couple of previous rallies, but many years ago and the last, only by car as the engine in the Kenworth needed some warranty overhaul work. Always better with the TIV there.

Thanks as always to Rod Pilon Transport for arranging the work to get me here.

It has been a bugger of a week, with a flat steer tyre, luckily I had enough time and space to stop safely on a turn off lane, but needed some help and a tyre as by the time I stopped, it was down on the rim, but no further damage.

Must have been something on the road, there was a mark on the inside, but saw nothing prior to the deflation and found nothing on the road or in the tyre?
That held me up a bit, but a rubbed through radiator hose did much more damage to my time. It was of course hot and as my parts procurer and mechanical assistant is a bigger fellow than me, I was the one to get under the truck and there is not much room. Covered in coolant etc, but due to the delay was not able to load that night as planned and that made the next day a long one. The joys of trucking.

Those in the depots helped, loading me again in Dubbo so I could have a feed etc and then a bit of fun in Melbourne at a drop where it was a bit tight, but again, all good, just fun getting out. Loading completed and back to the depot for a top up, but all gone home, no problem.

A good night’s sleep last night caught me up and keen to chat and disseminate tomorrow, then unload Parkes Monday and see what the world of transport will deliver for next week. Till then, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

13th October 2019 Hello again.

Goodaye all. Two Mondays ago, I had a plan to sleep in, do my blog etc, then ring work for a loading time as the other truck was loading at 9AM, normally the first slot for outsiders, so I was to be sometime after that. At 7.05 AM, I got a call, “You have to load at 8AM”. “When did you find this out?” was my reply. “Just now, they sent the details after we left Friday, sorry.”

It was a scramble, but I made it. The week just rolled on from there with little room for blogging or much else. Coming into Brisbane last Thursday (having confirmed when leaving Toowoomba I would be loading in Brisbane, topping up in Warwick, then drops at Moree and home) I got another call. “When will you be in Sydney?” “I am not going to Sydney.” “Yes you are now and I need to know when you can load?” “I will work it out and get back to you.” When loading in Brissie, I asked can I unload Monday? Reply, buckleys. Thanks.

Suffice to say, the next two days were a lot of fun, not. Got into Sydney, M7 entry closed, so having had just enough time to get to one place, had to settle for the other. How do you plan for such things when you don’t live there? Not the best spot for good sleep either, but what do you do? Two drops, out early for Newcastle I thought, rang to say will be on time to load, but with most of the population of Sydney leaving too, so well over an hour to get from the depot onto Pennant Hills Road alone.

Rang again on the way, sorry delays, will be 10 to 15 minutes late, not good, will call them, damn. In to load, they all want to go home, funny that eh? Loaded, weights and freight not as I asked, but they were keen to get away, further discussions about now doing a drop on the way, maybe, check with work, yes if OK with me. Finished loading and went to loo, came out, everyone gone and gate locked. Stood in the middle of the yard yelling “Hello”, no answer. Luckily gate was only dummy locked when I went to check.

On the road and off to Narrabri for a shower and bed late that night. With holiday Monday and time available, attended the Narrabri Truckshow on Saturday. The first there for a number of years and supported by the town and many local businesses, well done to all, 63 trucks in attendance and a good first show and will only grow and expand. Due to restrictions of space and access, only trucks, no trailers allowed, so could not display the TIV with trailers. Did some touch up painting, enjoyed some good discussions, a couple of “thank yous” for my efforts, photos and then on the road with one stop along the way to clean some guide posts (where there were still some old blue reflectors) arriving in Roma after midnight.

Sunday morning, offered a couple of Green Reflector Bay posters to the servo there, grabbed a coffee and off. Did a drop to a mine on Sunday evening (the extra one asked about Friday), what a bit of road, 20 kph too fast for the corrugations for about 4 kilometres, and that after going to the other one, similar name but different and the instructions had left out a turn. Then being told on arrival, that’s not us, it is down the road a bit, no you can’t turn round inside, you will have to do it out there. Not easy, not impressed, not very helpful, “Thanks for that”! Pulled up late that night for bed.

Did more painting Monday, cleaned inside truck, caught up on reading, did shopping, then unload Tuesday. I do not have an internet connection in the truck, simply another bill I don’t need and can’t justify for the odd time needed. Normally do all the extras at home or in depots, but not these last two weeks. Home finally today after getting sopping wet in Brisbane loading Friday, just made it into Tamworth, unloaded and on my break now and off tomorrow to load for Melbourne.

Next week won’t be home for long, I have been invited to do a talk and have a truck display at the CMCA National Rally on Sunday. If all goes to plan, let’s hope, I may be able to let you know how it went next week.
Any of you vaguely interested in trucks and road safety might consider putting in a submission to the current Senate inquiry. Glen Sterle from WA got it up and whilst we still have the NTC led HVNL review underway, every chance to contribute can only help. Wil it change things? Let’s hope. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.