Goodaye all. Sorry for missing Sunday and you will think it strange for a post on a Thursday, but all will be revealed. It all went downhill from about Thursday, loading again back to Melbourne was OK, so on my fifth leg for the week, but we had 6 trucks in Melbourne and I was going to be the last in after unloading two drops of wool. I wasn’t sure when the first place opened and due to finally getting the new screen for the Teletrac device, we had been trying to meet up since November and finally did Wednesday in Melbourne.
There were some issues and it now needs a new modem, but the rest is working fine. Having taken longer than planned, I got out of Melbourne after 4, had a shower and tea at Lavington, then pulled up at a little village of Girrel (where there is now two green reflector bays) at 1AM. Got unloaded OK then went to load my wool, but it wasn’t ready, so lost a bit more time and then later down the road decided to have tea at the Caltex at Wodonga. I had read a post about good food and thought, I would give it a try. Food was good and very good value, then a mate turned up I hadn’t seen for ages and the talking went a bit longer than I planned and I didn’t get into Footscray till 12.30AM.
I had got a park, a fellow tapped on the door and I let him and the next bloke round me as they only had single loads, then after completing my 7 hour break, went in to unload. Done and off to second drop and found the dickhead driver, me, had been thinking of other things, as will follow, and not delivered all to the first drop. When loading, I had split the two drops on the two trailers, but in the meantime, forget how and missed some on the back of the front trailer, so after unloading, back again and was told, most people don’t like coming here once and you came back. I was very lucky then as when I left there were 3 full b-doubles lined up to go in.
So by now we had a load, but it was likely to have a late loading time, all good. Rang to check on 4PM load time as told and yes, load ready, come now at 3.15. Oh good. Got there, opened up, started loading, two drops again, and load numbers changed slightly, so modified my plan. Ol mate on the fork wanted to put the part load on the b trailer and then split the other drop over both, no way, started loading and had to have mezzanine floors up for number of pallets. He loaded front section, then found next lot of pallets would not fit under mezz, so unload and reload that section again. Loaded and back to the depot and fuel, we had been waiting for a delivery and saw trailer lights on, yet I hadn’t turned them on. MMMM. Rang our mechanic, explained, yes lights work etc, OK see how you go, but then I tuned the park lights on and the ignition came on, rang mechanic again, that is not good.
He was to chase Kenworth and after I rang back again and he said wait till tomorrow because Kenworth would not answer the phone, I said what about an auto elec? So he tried them and they said they would be there in a while. Bloke turned up, explained and he said, do you have reversing lights on trailer? Yes. That is the problem. He had had it happen before, pulled the plug apart and disconnected the reversing lights and finally on the way. So pulled up at Barnawatha for bed at midnight, up and keen to go at 7AM, truck wouldn’t start. The auto loom has a problem and it was back. Lifted cab and removed fuses to rest, but no go. Rang mechanic, me again, need more help. Got Cummins from Albury had to finish another job, came and played, dropped cab and happened again, lift cab covered one possible wire, dropped cab, rang mechanic and told and said loom needs either replacement, big bucks or auto elec to sort, can’t do now so go and hope for best, yes OK.
This is getting long winded I know, but we are getting to the serious part now. So finally home 7PM Saturday night and with the need for a 24 hour break to keep me safe, meant I could not leave til 7PM Sunday to do my two timeslots Brisbane AM Monday, lucky we have good laws to keep us safe with insufficient flexibility to allow us to drive when fit and sleep when tired when nearly everything we do is affected and controlled by others.
Out 7PM Sunday night after making a quick video which you will see later, but I don’t have with me, bugger, to Gundi for a cat nap, into Brisbane, do first drop but no dock, round the block then back in, down to yard, swap trailers, back up for second slot which we were told was changed to 10AM after loading in Melbourne to be told, NO, 6PM tonight. Lying wretches. So now can’t load and get home.
Went to get load in morning, no, stocktake on, sorry not booked, wait and ring and wait and ring and OK, go and get this load. Loaded and back to yard, can you take this urgent pallet, yes fine and on the road.
The reason this was all a problem, was that in getting back to Dubbo at 11PM Tuesday, I was booked on a 10AM flight to Sydney Wednesday and still had to get all my gear out of the truck and trailers. Why is that you ask? Because after 9 years and 9 months in this my beloved TIV, I am stepping out of the truck and am flying to Sydney to have shoulder surgery and will be off for about 3 months.
Yes I may have been a bit keen trying to get an extra trip in, but I had allowed for a couple of hold ups as often happens, not 5 or 6. So it is goodbye to this set of trailers and the K200. Another driver will be going in them and I have asked him to recognise he may well get called up as Rod, it has been a long journey and that I don’t expect him to do anymore than look after it and do the right thing.
But I will be back. This timing for the surgery etc is all in yet another plan, to see me return with a new truck and trailers. I did not want to get out and then expect to get back in after such a time and whilst I have been working on this new TIV for years, it has only started to come together since December, but there is still a lot to sort and organise and I hope to have it ready when I am.
Next blog (and I will keep it going while off the road, the same for the Triple M spot) I will list all those who have helped make it happen, but I will thank everyone who has contributed here again and to all on the road, for now, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.