27th January 2020 Happy belated Australia Day to all.

Goodaye all, it has been an interesting week. Happy belated Australia Day to all. I hope you did something truly Aussie. I must say I enjoyed the new extended version of “We are Australian” from the Melbourne benefit concert, it nearly brought a tear to my eye. Well done to Bruce Woodley and all who took part.

Completed one trip Dubbo to Melbourne, flour down and chemical back. Back in Dubbo Wednesday, replaced a couple of Air Tabs on one trailer curtain, wrote a list of mostly minor repairs to be done along with a major “C” service for the prime mover, due every 100,000 kilometres, so twice a year.

Intercooler out for cleaning, check all oils, do bearings and other items on the list, all on top of a normal oil change and service, along with doing services on both trailers as well, while the truck is being done. So little things like a light torn off by a roo a week ago, another out that we had to order a replacement for, but not safety critical, included to be done at the same time.

With such a job, well over a days full work for two blokes and subject to what they find and may then include other things, good time to go off filming.
Thursday I did manage to get to the dentist for a little filling, sent a heap of emails for those supporting (or at least those I am asking to) the next TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle, before flying out early Friday morning. My flight was on time out of Dubbo, but the next was a late plane into and then out of Sydney and that led to an on tarmac quick hop into the next one in Alice Springs. That turned out not to work so well, as my luggage and the tripod for the film camera didn’t make the transition. We got to Uluru and I had nothing but my camera bag.

We asked and followed up the lost luggage, but with no real clothes shopping available there, I had to wait and whilst we did film off the shoulder Friday, if you ever have to carry a true film camera, you will know they are not light nor easy to carry, let alone hold for an hour or so filming etc. After arrival at the resort, we went out to the Rangers Station and did an interview to confirm filming, what we could and couldn’t do, as any commercial filming must be approved and permits issued before you even go there.

Stephen stepped up and filmed off the shoulder Friday afternoon, we waited for the right light and got some good footage. I went out very early to watch the sunrise Saturday, as many others did and I do recommend you do if you ever get to visit the rock, too good an opportunity to miss whilst there, as I don’t think I will be there again at this stage, then back for a bit more sleep. Out to the airport to our late lost luggage, get some clothes and a tripod and now we were fully kitted. Then we headed off, again meeting with the ranger to confirm filming angles and specific issues to avoid, got set up and filmed and moved to different sites, again finishing after sunset Saturday.

A big well done to all the small but passionate Whiteline Television team, Stephen and his wife Sarah, producer Jessica and my on camera partner, Amelia.

We were well received and often helped by many of the true tourists, giving us some quiet when we needed it, some space and even turning off their cars, so we could film and it was warm and the flies were very friendly, so thanks to any we inconvenienced, even if only for a little while.

Some of course asked what filming here had to do with roadtrains, but of course those who spend their time on the road holidaying and seeing this marvellous country we live in, are those we are hoping to help be safer on the road and they will be at and visit, such places. But to get there, they will be on the road, sharing it with us as we deliver the goods. Even the tourist brochure for the resort, mentions the roadtrains that deliver all the goods, food, fuel and equipment for those who stay there.

Now Qantas had been apologetic about the luggage when we found it missing, (you would think they would count the number to transfer, but maybe there was another issue) and we did get it the next day, it just meant no clean undies etc, till then. It could have been worse, without the camera we would have been there for nothing!

But then they cancelled the flight Sunday and that threw a whole new heap of angst into the mix. Others beyond ourselves, had commitments and connecting flights and whilst we were never told early of a problem, I must say the young lady from Qantas in Uluru took it all in her stride. A couple of people were getting stroppy as you might expect, but she asked us all to give her some time as she played musical flights and needs and she took each in turn and sorted it out. Someone said they would not have wanted her job for quids, but she got it all sorted and I wish I had her name to give her a well done.

Some were moved onto direct early Jetstar flights, but I and a few others, due to the much later departure of the Jetstar flights, simply would not make the connecting flights all ready booked to get home, so were put up in Sydney for the night. I would have rather been home and when I spoke with my son telling him of the delay and not to pick me up, he said it was pretty lame. I remarked, I would rather them cancel the flight if they thought they had a problem, than have it fall out of the sky later.

It is all about how you look at it. My son had given me a book when I said, I need something to read while waiting at the airport in Sydney and that book was “The Alchemist” 25th Anniversary edition. I had never read it and finished it on the plane to Alice Springs, but it certainly has a message. It says it is the book translated into more languages than any other and I enjoyed it. Back to work tomorrow if the service etc is all finished. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

19 January 2020 Goodaye again.

Goodaye all, did you miss me? Big couple of weeks and ended up in Mackay yet again late last Saturday night, for a Monday morning delivery. Had to get there before midnight to get my 24 hour break in for the week. Must say I had a terrific feed at the BP at Clermont, nearly couldn’t finish my fourth rissole and perhaps then didn’t need the bread and butter. The salad was good, including potato salad as well, good value for the size and went down well.

Back into the “Nighshift” show each Wednesday at 1AM, they had two weeks off over Christmas and even got back up after getting into Brisbane Tuesday night early from Rockhampton. Had a wheel seal fail, could smell the diff oil when I pulled up in Mackay and had to get it fixed at Brown and Hurley Rocky, job well done and they replaced the bearings as well. While I was there was asked if I was looking at a new truck and told them I was, but speaking with Kenworth and hoping they would support the next TIV. I was asked what the “Airtabs” do and was told the curtains stood out and looked good.

Visited young George at Glenmore Homestead in Rocky, a bit tight through the gate, but had tea and a beer with him along with doing a phone hook-up for our National Road Freighters Association meeting. Thanks for the hospitality George and Tony the next morning. Now have somewhere to park if needed. We will be having the next conference in Dubbo at the Macquarie Inn on the 15th February. I am seeking people to supply items for the auction on the night, will be doing some media and have to email and get approval from the council to park outside for the event.

Down to Moree for a delivery, on the radio, then to bed unloading in the morning and then to Dubbo for a load that took a bit of sorting. 37 pallets, but many overwidth made for a challenge, but got done and ringing with sweat, back to Brisbane. The next day after a pick-up, the wheel seal on the other side went out in sympathy, just starting to weep, but again picked up by the smell. It has cost me a chance to go straight through to Melbourne today as must be fixed before leaving Dubbo Monday.

Loading for Melbourne tomorrow and hope to be back in Dubbo for Wednesday, sort out some local stuff, then fly to Alice Springs Friday morning for filming for our next safety video, Caravans and Roadtrains. Truck and trailers will go in for C service and some minor repairs while I am away.

I will be entering the Truckies Top Ten Tips (for sharing the road with trucks) along with the Green Reflector Marking of Informal Truck Bays into the National Road Safety awards this week. If nothing else, I just hope it helps each get some further promotion and recognition towards improving road safety for all.

Both have been now over 20 year projects and while I must say, I wish they were wider used and spread, each has made a mark and is recognised by some. I will keep on trying to have each a national program. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

5th Jan 2020 Have a Truckin’ Good 2020

Goodaye and a Happy New Year to you all. I have had a few days off, but done a trip to Melbourne each week, going down Boxing day and then again on New Years Day. So still doing my part to keep the wheels of industry turning. No real dramas on the road, mostly quieter than normal traffic, till on my way home this morning, with one imbecile deciding to overtake on a blind corner with a car coming the other way, which then went off the edge, lucky there was a wide enough bitumen one, or it could have been much worse.

It is one thing to go to overtake when you can see in a truck and run out of room because the fellow you have followed for some time, then speeds up, either because they are an idiot or simply because they do not want you to get in front. If that’s the case, then if you do the limit, only those who are speeding will want to pass you and why if someone waits till it is safe to overtake, would you be so ignorant to then speed up?

I had caught up to a caravan with two cars behind. The cars had ample opportunity to pass the van, but did not, so I had a go, did one car at a time with plenty of room, as I was right up on my weight and the next upcoming overtaking lane was uphill, so buckley’s chance to get past there, another little issue. To the credit of the van driver, though I could not even see his mirrors from behind him (technically illegal) he did pull over in the next town, indicated and gave me good notice what he was doing (seemingly had no UHF radio, I called on both 18 and 40) so I overtook and the now little train of cars behind did too. The vanner had sped up when I started on the second car and foiled me there, but did help further on.

The other issue only half an hour before, was a van. Yes, a little truck, but not a truckie, at least I don’t think so, as no truckie would do what he did. Again with him travelling about 85 to 90 in a reasonably new vehicle so well capable of doing the speedlimit, we were approaching an uphill overtaking lane.
I had stayed back a bit to get a run up, was on him at the start of the extra lane, got nearly past him before I started to lose speed, uphill at 67 tonne will do that, and he just sat there beside my back trailer all the way to the end of the overtaking lane and had to push in behind me. Now again, if you want to travel below the speedlimit, within reason, that is your right, but like anything, we would all then expect some recognition of the fact, that others might like to get somewhere.

If he wants to go slow, then why not let the other vehicles safely past as well in an overtaking lane. Why be a prick and sit beside the truck (and once past I never saw him again, so it was not me holding up the rest of the traffic) instead of letting them pass you in the safest place available, an overtaking lane. Is it just an “I’m alright stuff you attitude”?

It has been a terrible Christmas with fires and for those who have lost family on the road. What is your solution to the road safety problem? We could of course ban all cars off the road, we could all do 60 kph everywhere, but then all our food and exports would cost more and we would have truckies falling asleep everywhere, because we simply don’t have enough rest areas now, imagine how many we would need then? What do you suggest? All the best for a TRUCKING Good 2020. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.