31st June 2020. Two weeks away.

Goodaye all. Having gone to Corowa Sunday afternoon two weeks ago tomorrow, unloaded Monday morning by driving across the road and backing the b-double in, then loaded out of Melbourne. Got the truck washed at King of the Road, thanks gents job well done, then via Dubbo for a service and through to Mungindi late Tuesday night, did my spot on Nighshift then to bed.

Unloading Wednesday morning, it rained as I unloaded, terrific, told to stay off the dirt in the rain, so a slightly longer trip into Brisbane, loaded for Bellata, just there in time that night for logbook, but much more rain, then loading out of Tamworth Thursday for Newcastle said, “Whats’ next”, told maybe a load for Melbourne, mmm not what I had planned. Said, well you better get it organised so I can load tonight with much tongue in cheek. Never heard anymore, unloaded late Thursday night, then to Beresfield for a shower and some cheap left-over chips and to bed.

Thought, if I had not heard from anyone by 8 would ring. Rang at 8 Friday morning and asked, “Whats’ going on?”. “Well, I’m sitting here waiting for someone to tell me whats’ going on”. Ah, well we are waiting for an answer on another truck, but if its’ not ready, you will be loading for Mackay. A bit later called and told, Mackay it is.

Had an incident late Saturday night, vehicle approaching did not dip their lights when I did at about 2k, I then put them back up around 1k, no dip, no flash, then around 500m I flashed a few times as there had been no flash back to say “this is low” or such and I was getting worried they may be asleep, then I left mine on low thinking, OK don’t want to blind them as they pass. But what happened was I got a bottle into the windscreen.

Luckily it was only plastic, though it still had water in it and was doing 200k when it hit. I had a small star in the screen and it spread it across my side. Having passed the Police at the border at Mungindi, I rang Triple 0. I lodged a complaint and it was the NSW copper who I spoke with and then rang me back when they stopped the bloke at the border. He said it happened in Qld, he had passed the details on and I would hear from Qld Police next week. The driver admitted throwing the bottle, said he was sorry, but was not really contrite according to the copper.

Qld Police did follow up, said it is a serious offence, the throwing, even if only a plastic bottle. I have spoken with Pilons and they have agreed to use it as a safety discussion and I have spoken of it on Nightshift last week. The other vehicle was a RAM ute with a large tri axle horse float on the back, so it may have been the load and or the float that lifted the lights and from another I have seen, they have those eyeball lights, which once up a bit, are very bright. I have them in the low beam, but trucks have self levelling lights where Ram utes don’t. The other driver said he had flashed me back to the NSW copper, but told the QLD one he had not flashed me. My understanding is that you can’t fit these bright white blinding headlights unless you have self levelling suspension and I am sure many of you have been blinded by those who have either bought them aftermarket and or load up the back of the ute and blind all in their path all night. We must find a solution to this.

Got to north of St George (back through Mungindi again) to bed and made it to Mackay late Saturday night. 37 hours till I could unload, truck filthy, so walked up to Bunnings and got insect screen and paint. It did not dry and hope to fit tomorrow morn. Walked down to Woolies for supplies and back to reading.
I started the Rangers Apprentice series and have finished it, mostly on audio books, but thanks to another driver, now have the books of the Brotherband series to carry on with and finished the first, caught up on paperwork etc.
Unload Monday morning, gave a copy of Owner Driver in exchange for a cuppa, thanks. Down to Gympie, (a GPS fail I will have to send another email about now) to load the next morning for Melbourne. Many many straps, chains, many tightenings, thanks to the next driver for a hand to finish off, and away to Melbourne. Some new tyres in Dubbo on the way through, tea at the Tiger Moth Inn in Temora and into Tullamarine for early morning. Lots of straps and chains to get off, then loaded back out of there Thursday, quite a saga.

Stopped at gate, what are you here for, load to Brisbane. OK, wait here will be door one or two, back soon. He came back and asked, OK can you back into door two? Turn it round so you can head back out the gate to back into the door, a bit offset, got in, you did that well, thanks. I had said at the gate, it is a mezz floor load, was then asked are your floors down, yes, then that will be fine. Mmmmm, ok then.

Same bloke, you work for them, Rod Pilon Transport on the door, yes, OK. I asked again about the mezz floor load and the name of the customer, and mate says, Oh sorry, they are next door, good practice for you. Thanks, walk next door, even tighter to turn around so I can load and said, “Hello to empty warehouse” “Yes?” “I’m here for a mezz floor load for Brisbane. “No, that’s for tomorrow”. Not on my paperwork. I ‘ll make a call. Yes, since you are here, we will load you now.
What about the mezz floors? No boss away so we can’t move them and we can double stack the pallets. I got the load as I was the only truck with mezz floors! 68 pallets, to the yard for fuel and a shower, and back for another truckwash.

Sorry it’s so dirty, well that’s what you come her for isn’t it. True, thanks and another top wash done. Up the road, to bed and back into Dubbo where I fitted some new mudflaps and hair on my skirts (this will make some of you think a bit, but if you look at a photo of the truck, you might understand, otherwise I will explain next week). So lots to catch up with.

I did ring TMR Qld and put in a complaint about the bridge before Grateful Ponds Creek and about three lots of unmanned yet still signposted roadworks and still have to follow that up. I also put in a complaint to RMS, now my third on this and will be another email now, about a dropped culvert 20k south of Forbes on the Newell. It is a failure and yet still untouched. (Email done).

I am now taking part in our monthly NRFA Board meeting and have to finish all the rest before leaving for Brisbane. Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

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