29th March 2020 A viral time.

Goodaye all. Life on the road was never as good as it has been portrayed. Now whilst many truckies are still working to keep the wheels of industry turning, we have been thrown out the door with some issues. I recognise the issues with the virus and social distancing, but the closure of showers and every roadhouse eating area, must be seen to have been short sighted for those of us who live on the road. It is an issue with keeping showers clean, but not impossible, though again, we have to do our part. Some sites have made an effort and we have to recognise that and tell them, it won’t hurt you to say thanks, will it? And then we may well get better outcomes.

I did stop for a shower at one place during the week and will NEVER go there again. It is a company branded site and the showers were a disgrace, looking like they haven’t been cleaned in weeks with mould growing in the corners. I will be contacting the parent company after finishing this.

We need to be able to get out of the truck to sit down and eat. We need good healthy food and not only will eating take-away for weeks on end not help, we simply don’t have access to supermarkets in a b-double. I can only park with-in co-ee of two places on the Newell Highway from Melbourne to Brisbane. Many blokes are self-sufficient, some do their own cooking, but not all have the time,or the capacity within their truck to do so. I carry milk and cereals, some tinned meals etc, but we all need to be able to sit down and eat, let alone have a break out of the truck.

I believe the union, Glen Sterle and others, including members of the National Road Freighters Assoc, have been pushing for change and my understanding, having just spent an hour on the phone for the monthly NRFA board meeting hook-up, there should be an announcement allowing us a place to eat, due this week. We all recognise many have lost their jobs, there are bigger issues than just us, all we are asking is for some recognition of needs of living on the road.

I do hope with the less traffic on the road, there will be less crashes and perhaps, if we all then just thought a bit and rushed a bit less, we may even save some lives.

I have to do a few other things now before leaving for Melbourne, one of which is to contact the fuel chain responsible for that roadhouse and I will let you know what response I get. Please be safe, please do what you can to help others and I will do my best to help my fellow road travellers. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

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