7th June 2020 Home, away again.

Goodaye all. I am currently on my 24 hour plus break at the BP Truckstop Duaringa, between Emerald and Rockhampton. A fairly busy week with many changes along the way. Thursday, “Should I rush, no, then, plans have changed, hurry up. Then again, a big (you are loading for Emerald surprise) so now plenty of time again. Then, me, hang on, if I don’t get unloaded Saturday, to be perfectly legal I can’t unload Sunday with the receiving hours, so I better get my finger out.

Damn green reflectors would not stick on in the morning cold (and I missed a terrific photo with the brilliant full moon descending over the TIV, should of gone back straight away!!!) but got unloaded in good time, then decided to have my 24 hour break here. Not the most glamorous of places, but can fuel, get feed, have shower etc and plenty of parking so can be well out of the way of others.

Had some cool nights during the week with the doona on, last night got warm here and heard another bloke hit his Icepack so thought, me too. Strange noise so turned it off and this morning found a stone jammed in the side grille. Took some swearing, but luckily no finger or hand damage to crack a couple of bits off and then flick it out. Thanks to my brother in law (who stopped in to say Goodaye on his break) for the help.

Rearranged the tool boxes, turned all my hand winches so they have the teeth on the inside when attached. With the teeth on the outside, due to a low turntable height, they can rip into your guards and I still have the original ones since new, 9 years old next month on the truck and 12 years on the trailer. Bought a lighter so I could fix the end of some straps, do audiobooks and this and next to refit the grille screen that the pint didn’t dry on last week end away.

Getting a few good photos here, the A B-triple combination very popular. Mine too dirty, so will clean the floors and mats etc, catch up on reading and my diary and set up to go into Rocky tonight for pick up in the morning. Got a couple more calls on the way up saying “Are you lost or what are you doing up here, but they enjoy the spot on the radio. Thanks to all who do, for listening.

Our roads? Last week-end away I rang the TMT Road Report number 131940. After much frustration with the voice service which cannot seem to understand with the higher noise of a truck, like many phone voice services, I was eventually put through to a bloke in Maroochydore, who of course knows little of Central Qld. I complained about the service and the frustration of asking for an operator, only to be given a list of problems in Townsville, then detailed some issues on the Gregory Highway.

Seeing I was heading that way again, I sought Googles help to access TMR Emerald, so it took me to the corporate switchboard. Some more round and round, but eventually I got onto a fellow who took my complaints with the service seriously. Few call now and far less will, if the system simply does not understand what you want and you get messed around for 5 minutes trying to get to talk to someone. Then if they aren’t truck friendly, they may not understand the issue.

I was then passed onto the Rockhampton office, for this area and again, detailed the issues which it seemed so far, mate from the beach had not passed on. Both these people were professional and interested and I do hope we will get somethings improved, including not leaving 60 zones up when no pone and no work actually happening on the highway.

Another interesting chat with TMR re work at Yelarbon. Been trying to get 400 metres fixed for five years now. They have done a patch 200m away and not the problem bit. That call was not as friendly, though I recognise it is not the fault of the person on the other end, but 5 years and then do a bit 200m away and then move off elsewhere. I did thank them for the really bad, 2.3G hit at 13.2 k south of Yelarbon just before the northbound parking spot.

Then RMS, again started well, calling Rod to go through your list. That’s good, thanks. First item, severely subsided culvert, worse in the last month all of a sudden, we might get to that in September. I don’t think that is good enough, it is dangerous and of a truck has a crash because of it, I will tell then you knew and did nothing. (On my way north later that week Rough Surface and Reduce speed signs were being put up and I hope an early repair will follow).

Next issue the closing of Tomingley Rest area, will be closed till June as it is a hazard during toilet construction. To that I say “Poppycock”, though not to her, but a driver expecting it open will be stuck on the side of the road for 7 hours because of the Safetcam site immediately after and I have raised this before. She is looking into it and so we did not progress any further on the long list. But a thank you for the repair being done on Doctors Creek Bridge in Narrabri, one I have complained about and they have had a few goes at patching, was being done seriously late last week.

So much time trying to get roads fixed, much frustration, but some action, though much further effort required. I hope many of you may have read the story in Owner Driver about road funding and how big the backlog is. We all know and have to deal with it. It is about time our workplace was much safer. You and I can do so much, but the authorities must do much more in roadwork and help educate new drivers about sharing then road with trucks and so far, I would fail them on both. What score would you give them out of ten? Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

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