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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.

By truckright

An Australian truckie aiming to improve both how the road transport industry is seen and understood by the public and to improve road safety for all.

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