30th June 2021.

Goodaye all. Picked up my new 1kg weight from physio and my red band for even more exercises yesterday morning, but all seemingly going well. My doctor is from Sydney, so now have a phone consultation hooked up for next week to discuss further actions and when I can go back to driving. The driving is not the problem in itself, it is the loading and unloading and then even more than that, it is the in and out and pulling yourself up and in and out of the truck all day.

A quick run to Darwin would be fine if someone loaded it for you, but then even with breaks and meals and load checks, even a pee if needed in one of the far apart toilets if you can find one, each time hauling your full weight from the ground up the three steps into the truck, puts your whole weight on the shoulder. Even doing the three points of contact, you then at some stage as you move up, have all your weight on one arm and so, a bit over my 1 kilo limit.

But now I am starting on weights and strength improvement, we should be on the last leg of the road back to the road. I have not missed the hassle, have missed most of the people and interaction, missed my audiobooks, but have got hooked into the Assassins Apprentice series and am now onto book 3 and the second and third are well over 600 pages, but really interesting and entertaining.

The new TIV Kenworth should have come off-line in Melbourne yesterday, but they have had some shortages and I will know soon where it is at. It has to be painted and then have some things fitted in Melbourne, pre-delivery in Wagga Wagga and then to Brisbane to have the rest of the equipment supplied and fitted, so still a way off from the road. Perhaps it will come together in time for my birthday?

It seems many have enjoyed the Churchill Fellowship videos, so will carry on with them. The first shows Taylors Transport who not only were involved with the racing (and I think their bloke won) but had a fleet on display and supplied the two Volvos for people to pay and have a drive. Previously as long as you could reach the pedals, they let you pay and drive, of course with an instructor and on a closed course. But there was a new regime running the show and they were a bit more up on liability, so you had to at least have a car license.

Convoy in the Park, Donington Raceway, England 2018

You will see in the background a Kenworth 900 series with a reasonable bunk. It was one of two, again you could pay and have a drive, but they were only allowed to be registered as bobtail, they could not legally tow a trailer in England, they would never get round many of the places I did visit, but an interview with the owner will follow.

The next video with lovely Sue did cover much of the concerns we all have, car drivers that do not understand trucks. It was a measure of how much the owner of Taylors want things improved, that they would supply the trucks, trailers and drivers for the whole show and then the funds raised went I think to a nominated charity, so a very big effort.

Interview with Sue after her drive in a Taylors Volvo at Convoy in the Park.

 It is a unique opportunity to gain through the Churchill Fellowship system to be able to extend your knowledge, gain information from others overseas and then hopefully use that to help and improve the livers of other Australians. The field of endeavour, the areas covered, from medicine to music, agriculture and operation of facilities and equipment is so diverse, there is little that cannot apply. Previous Churchill Fellows have learnt how to save, improve and enrich lives and I feel very honoured to have been chosen and had the chance to learn. Covid has seriously affected the ability of all to travel and curtailed much of the fellowship visits, but from where I sit, it has and will again, help many Australians in the future.

Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


24th June 2021, a fine outcome.

Goodaye all. Sorry for a late and thence, mid-week post. Another week closer to a full (hopefully but maybe only 90% for the tendon as it had shrunk and they could only reattach it so far up) recovery. I can start weights in two weeks and hope to be ready by the time the new TIV is delivered.

I will offer a large thank you to Highway Advocates for both advice and representing me in court in Dubbo yesterday. I was fined for exceeding 6 hours work in a 6.25 hour period from October last year. I was stopped just coming out of Dubbo by a Highway Patrol officer I had met only once before. At the time I was not given a chance to look and comment, other than told, here it is. I did say I had a tracking device in the truck and he was welcome to check it, but he was not interested in doing so.

When the ticket arrived, I then asked for a review, explaining both that I marked my logbook at midnight at Euroa and again the start of the next day, yes I had made a mistake in not marking a 15 minute break, but I also sent a screenshot of the Teletrac device clearly showing I had a 15 minute break from 11.57PM to 12.12AM. I asked for the ticket to be withdrawn, also detailing the way the logbook forces us to give away our time. We must count work back, so had I started at 8.07 PM and finished at 2.07 AM, I would be required to show 6.25 hours worked, yet had only worked 6 hours.

Now had I worked 10 hours straight, worked 16 hours in a day, or done something really stupid and unsafe, I would expect and accept a fine. We are talking about a possible 5 minute breach at the end of a days work (following which I had an 8 hour break) a driver with a good record trying to do his best and when I asked for the fine to be rescinded, they said, “We cannot rescind the fine” which is crap. They can, but would not. Is the government so needy that they will simply fine anyone for anything, even when it is so minor, not a road safety issue and I not only showed I had simply made a mistake, I had possibly not even committed an offence, but then I could and did, show a third party tamperproof device that confirmed I had a break, there-by nullifying the exceeding 6 hours driving.

Interestingly, the dates on the ticket charging me with breaking the law were incorrect. We could have asked for a dismissal on that basis, but they would simply have sought to amend it. How can I make a 5 or 10 minute mistake and be given a $453 fine, when they can make a two day error and then say, we will just amend it?

NVHR are publicly saying (and I welcome their intent and believe it is genuinely being driven from the top) that they intend to pursue on road enforcement first as education, before punishment. Yes, if you make the same mistake three times, or have a continued bad record and then can be seen to perhaps disregard the law, you deserve and will get a penalty. However, if it is minor, does not affect roads safety and could be an error instead of deliberate deceit, then a warning is far more likely to be a fair response. Am I being a dreamer, do you think we should be punished for every minor error and does that improve road safety?

This is one of the main reasons NRFA endorsed the “Position on Police Policing of HVNL” requesting such powers be removed from Police. If the NHVR are the overarching authority for the HVNL and the Police are not trained to the same level as NHVR inspectors, then they should not be policing the HVNL. We do not have a review process, we have a farce and those who simply do not have to live on the road with the over-zealous and virtually punitive penalties and fines we suffer all too often, for things that have no real road safety benefit or value.

We need someone to help us get a fair go till such times as the NHVR act and change the way we are targeted, punished and abused. The HVNL review may go some way to changing the penalties, giving some flexibility and fairness, but that is still some way off.

Thank you again to the Highway Advocates team, they know transport law, they recognise our issues and on road problems and if you feel you have been wronged and unfairly or incorrectly charged, then contact them and they may be able to help. Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle/ Rod Hannifey.

13th June 2021 The start of the Churchill Fellowship Trip 2018.

Goodaye all, I will continue on with some of the videos from my Churchill Trip. The trip started at “Convoy in the Park” at Donnington Raceway north of London. I got a small site for a stand, put up my banners and went searching. I did many videos during the trip, some good and others not so, but this first one here, was my second attempt. I spoke with John about industry problems and solutions, he nominated rest areas as the worst, I do have photos of some of the laybys, but most have to pay for sites and one driver told me it cost him 50 pound for one night close to London, but all you get is the spot, no shower, no meal included or anything. A shortage of drivers, lack of representation for drivers and even cargo theft. One fellow had his curtains slashed in roadside parking bays twice in a fortnight.

The second video is of truck city at the show. Not a Kenworth in site here, but there were two in another spot, one of them originally owned by Burt Reynolds. They are not allowed to tow trailers, just can be driven to shows and if you see some of the roads, including the one into the raceway, you would understand why. They take their artwork seriously don’t they and all must be scared of the dark??

The truck racing was pretty good and I will show a short shot next week. The entertainment was good and the stands and crowds seemed to have a good time. I spoke with people at the DAF stand and they do very well there. At that time there were new rules to come into place for trucks entering London itself, you had to be able to see virtually down in front and beside the truck and if you could do it with mirrors or cameras, that was initially acceptable, but would not eventually pass the proposed next step of the laws.  

I did visit the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and as John says, it is more a group for the bosses than the drivers. It seems they are pretty much on their own and have problems with overseas, untrained drivers coming into the market from Europe and also, the issue of then having both right hand and left hand driver trucks operating on their roads.

The photo attached is of a rig that went past me when I did visit the RHA and the next is one of the laybys, not much to write home about there. The stories from the drivers mostly told the sane tale, lack of facilities, not listened to, but meant to carry and deliver for all.

You can see the truck at the front has its wheels up on the curb, not much room.
If you look down on the right, you will see the little roadhouse.

Look closely, that is a rigid, towing a dolly and trailer and then towing a caravan!!!!!!!

I am working on the next TIV, now due off the line in Melbourne at the end of this month. Mostly going to plan, but both the ancillary extras and my recovery, will likely see it on the road in August, but with an interim set of trailers till the new ones come perhaps in November. Never give up is the motto. More updates and videos next week. Cheers and Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.  


TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle/Rod Hannifey.

The TIV when the trailers had the night before, rolled over 1 million kilometres.
Caricature from my mate Bruce Outridge from the Lead Pedal Podcast, Canada.

Goodaye all, a new look and a look back at some of the videos from my Churchill Fellowship trip in 2018. We had hoped to use more of them for “TRUCK That Australia” episodes, but without a major sponsor and with the effort of doing the Truckies Top Tips and then the Caravan and Roadtrain videos, we simply could not do it all. Maybe they will return, I sure hope so. You can find the episodes at and I would welcome your comments.

I drove into the night crossing into Canada and found few truck stops, they are named differently there and I may well have missed a couple as was getting a bit tired, but the time had changed as I had driven east, so when I finally pulled up trying to find a motel, it was well after 3 in the morning local time. The first place was full and the second had one room left and I got a few hours sleep, as had interviews planned that day.

So on August 9th 2018, I had arranged to meet with the editor of Trucknews in Toronto and ended up doing a podcast interview with Bruce Outridge, he is an ex driver and does the Lead Pedal podcast from Canada. It took a bit of good luck and phone tag to get together, but then when Bruce asked where was I staying and I had no immediate plans, he and his wife put me up for three days and they reckon Aussies are good people! We then went to a truckshow the next day and whilst on Bruce’s balcony having a beer, I got a call from the NHVR saying we had been awarded funding to do the Truckies Top Ten Tips (for sharing the road with trucks), something I had been promoting since 1999 in written format and which I had wanted to do on video for quite some time.

The following is from my Churchill Fellowship report, filed on my return to Australia and available to read, all 60 plus pages, on the Churchill Fellowship website should you be so inclined.

10th August. After a lovely breakfast, thanks Carmen, we did a bit of shopping, me looking for a phone with no success, whilst Bruce and Carmen attended to a few things and then headed to the Great Canadian Truckshow at Flamboro. This was only the second year for the truckshow and attending on Friday being the set-up day, had only a number of very keen and passionate people there. But all the trucks were beautiful and there were drivers doing all the last-minute touch ups and polishing for the real full on show for Saturday and Sunday. The driver shortage or is it a pay shortage in the USA, is the biggest people issue in the industry wherever I have gone. The UK is looking for drivers, the US and Canada as well, with several companies attending this smaller show, all aiming to recruit drivers to the fold.

Each company had a truck and or staff on hand and hope to get some good leads and drivers during the days of the show. Being set up day and having 85 trucks last year, I can only imagine they will have a fantastic turn up of trucks and wish them all the best for the show. A barbeque was held for all attending Friday night, but we left to have some tea and Bruce has other commitments tomorrow, so I was invited back to Bruce and Carmen’s again for the night in the guest room they can use for visitors.

I spent time on the phone with Matt Richardson from the Truck Training School Association of Toronto, another contact from Stan and another friend of Bruce, but all those Stan put me in contact with, are friends and industry colleagues and have all been interested and welcoming.

Canada was the birthplace of the b-double and where Australia got the idea from and that was the reason I wanted to include Canada in my itinerary. There are still very new looking combinations on the road in the same original spec, prime mover with a tri-axle and then a bogie and from my perspective, we have gone a long way from there, going then bogie/tri, then tri/tri, quad/quad super b’s and now up to the very recent announcement of a b-quad. With such different weight laws in the many states of the US, Canada has both a Federal regulation and then each of the provinces has its’ own as well. Sounds like the bad old days in Australia, perhaps we have moved forward, even if only with some things, with the NHVR.

So these two short videos show some of the trucks at the show. I would have loved to have stayed for the whole event, but Bruce had other commitments and I did too, but Bruce later sent me the caricature above. I thanked him and Carmen his wife then, I have done two podcasts with Bruce since the trip and maybe this will get him onto doing another with me. I will thank them both again for looking after a little lost Aussie truckie. Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.