29th August 2021 These troubled times.

Goodaye all, what a week and the next will be very interesting. How are we supposed to keep up when not only do they move the goalposts, they move the bloody field as well. Who makes such decisions without consultation and speaking to the one group most affected, whether it is the Qld border issue, “You need a jab to come in, does it apply to truckies, were not sure we’ll get back to you, no it doesn’t” so why did you scare the life out of many, just for fun!!!

We have complained about Police interpretation of laws and look what happens, some Police decide to interpret the law, that truckstops are restaurants, so we can’t use them and when we fight back, they then close the lot, only to find, “They are wrong!!!” Who will be held accountable and I have asked Glen Sterle and his office this specific question? How can they either individually or then the whole force, go against a National decision made when this happened the first time, that we might be close to human and need a feed, shower, toilet or sit down meal, to be able to keep delivering every single thing they use???????????????????

So much for truckies general health, let alone their mental well-being on the road. We are already being treated like lepers, allowed to carry companies freight so they can make a profit, but not allowed to use their toilets. No wonder people think we want to block the roads, there is without doubt, a lot of concern, frustration and genuine pain and suffering doing the job now, let alone these groups overriding national rules that might just allow us to survive, so we can keep carrying this country.

Then this group of Facebook warriors claims we are all in “it” we are going to block the roads and overthrow the government, but did one of you hear which of our problems they plan to solve, or how, or even a whisper that will even think of us, once they rope the few in and then blame the failure on us? Everything I have seen and heard so far, say this is a group that plan to use us, not to help us at all. And yes, many people say they are behind “us”, but will this blocking the roads actually solve one of our issues, let alone fix them all? NO IT WON’T.

There was the strike affecting Toll drivers, a completely separate issue and now another group of truckies have got to the end of their tether and started another stoppage tomorrow. As above, I have not heard any solutions, but recognise the frustration.

If we could agree on six problems and provide six solutions (remember the government do not even know what the problems are, they don’t live on the road and unless they are saying we are important to show “they care”, I fear they don’t care at all), this would be my list.

  1. We are happy to do our part and be tested every 7 days, nothing less is necessary or fair on us, unless they provide numerous 24/7 testing centres in places we can all access. This must include sites where we can get vaccinations. We were left out from the essential list for so long and it will take time to catch up and trying to keep working, get tested every three days and still have to book and que weeks in advance and lose more time and pay to get vaccinated is not only unjust, but unworkable for some.
  2. We will apply for and carry a national freight permit if required, valid in every state and for a minimum period of 14 days. The states must abide by this, there will be no rule or border changes without industry consultation and without less than two weeks notice.
  3. As now, truckstops must be allowed to operate, we must have access to toilets, showers and facilities if you want us to continue carrying your needs and not get sick or tired trying to comply with multitudes of different rules each day. No facility can refuse us access to a toilet, we will happily wipe down a seat before and after use. If refused or they fail to provide us with such facilities (as they must do under law for their staff) they should be fined. How many of you do not have access to a toilet? Do you really want us to pee and poo in your garden?
  4. There must be a moratorium on non road safety related logbook fines. We are not lawless or above the law, but any fines issued by Police under the HVNL, must be reviewed by NHVR before they will be actioned. We do hope the HVNL review will affect some of these concerns, but it will not solve this for many months and we cannot continue being fined for clerical and minor time errors. The cost to the community of us fighting such onerous fines for little more than a mistake, is not only a waste of taxpayers money, it is not in any way, fair justice.
  5. We require a national road standard, the road to be accepted as our workplace, major crashes investigated and not simply the driver charged first and last. Roads and road repairs must meet that standard or be repaired to that standard within an agreed time frame.
  6. There must be a national truck rest area strategy to provide suitable and sufficient truck rest areas. This to improve our safety and that of other road users, to improve our ability to get good quality sleep as and when needed. In relation to drivers and sleep, there must be consultation on reasonable size sleeper berths. Not more freight, but better places to live and sleep in when on the road.

The above to be done with reference to a panel of road safety, road authority and truck representatives, this will include some of the trucking associations and some drivers and owner drivers and be set up immediately to provide input and fairness.

The top four items are achievable, reasonable and will provide some balance and consistency to allow us to do our job and deliver the needs of the Australian people and will cost the government no upfront cash, but will make trucking safer and fairer.

The last two can be set in motion, the roads will take time and we accept that, but it must be started and committed to and will save lives and money in the future if done properly. The last will take time, but can be done in a cheap interim way, whilst the longer term plan is set up and rolled out.

I don’t think any of this is too much to ask and if we don’t get a fair go, many will go broke and lose all and if not, there will be not only more unrest, there will be tragedies on the road caused by people trying to comply and yet stay safe, fit and capable of doing this job.

I would welcome your views. Thanks Rod.


21st August 2021, what a covid mess looks like.

Goodaye all. How many of you live in Australia? Oh sorry, that’s right, we don’t, we live in separate states, yet expect road transport, which not only carries the nation, but delivers it too, to operate with both hands tied behind their backs. Oh yes, when there is no toilet paper on the shelf, we are essential, but why can’t people see it goes so far beyond that. Then again, oh yes, we will finally after having to beg, make you essential so you might be able to get the jab, but we want you to keep working and supplying everything for us, but don’t mind if we make it as hard as possible, change the rules every couple of days, put out statements where people then get told they don’t have a job if you don’t have a jab yet, but where the hell do you find the time and place to park your b-double while you are trying to survive, do tests every three days, and keep carrying the country????????????????????????

How can anyone in government expect our respect, when they treat us as less than second class, change the rules like they change their minds and have people freaking out, because they did not think it through, did not talk to us and did not explain and or give it some thought as to how it would affect someone living in a truck, before scaring and by default blaming us, when all we have done is keep doing the bloody magnificent job we do everyday?

We know there is a virus, we are not all perfect, but human like you and we are trying. Yes there are a few who tried to get across a border, but most have not only gone out of their way to comply, they have bee vilified, told they can’t use toilets and now again, no you can’t eat or shower in a truckstop. Where the hell are we supposed to do it then and how the hell are we supposed to stay fit, healthy, not drive tired, when you keep screwing us over?

No wonder truckies are getting upset. But blocking the highways is not the answer. You will simply be bulldozed off and fined (now that’s a bit of a shock isn’t it?) just like we get fined for everything else, far too much of which has nothing whatsoever to do with road safety. NONE OF US GOES TO WORK TO HAVE A CRASH, TO TAKE A LIFE, LET ALONE ENDANGER OUR OWN AND OR OUR ABILITY TO FEEED OUR FAMILIES THAT WE SEE TOO LITTLE OF, yet that is too often how we are portrayed and treated.

I have said the same thing for many years, if we want things to change, we have to agree what the problems are, offer the government the solutions (because they don’t have a clue what the problems are to start with) and do so as a united group. If all the different sectors (and few other industries have so many groups and beyond that, we are all in trucks from one end of the country to the other, trying to do our job and deliver everything to everyone every day) so how can we meet, agree and present that solution?

I have been in some meetings, raised these issues and each of the state groups and industry associations have done what they can, but few drivers are in associations and so how can those associations truly represent the drivers on the road? And those drivers on the road, don’t have the time, the resources, the money or the ability to get together and agree either. So how do we fix it?

I would like to hear your solutions, because I am getting older and whilst I have not given up, I think we are going backwards in some ways. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.  


August/ 7th July 2021.

It seems I did not post this up, I will find an excuse later, but add it here as it is still so relevant. Cheers Rod.

Goodaye all. How can we ever get a fair go, when we can’t even get a standard border pass and or protocol for state borders now. We explained what the issue is, we can’t all carry another forest worth of permits for each state each week, nor can we comply when you change things overnight.

You know we will do our best to comply, you know we can’t afford hours and hours of delays at borders, yet what has been done to solve this, nothing? If the pollies ran out of toilet paper, maybe then we would get some action and common sense if both formulating, applying and managing such things would get them a clean bum?

Truck lanes at borders will cost nothing, will help flow and give us a chance to deliver that paper and everything else. The states all want to be different, they want to maintain their power base, we understand all that, but why would you make things that much harder to cross borders when we supposedly all live in Australia?

We have come some way to having national transport rules, some will say we still have a long way to go, but at least now we have two sets of rules, one for the east with NHVR and one for the west and north, better than 7 sets.

So then we have the issues of lack of rest areas and even with the Pacific Highway, with millions spent improving it, there was no provision for a change over facility included. We are pushed to be compliant, we struggle to get drivers due to lack of facilities etc and when we set things up so a driver can get in a loaded truck, drive to the half way point, change trucks or trailers, then drive home and have another local driver unload and reload for the next night, so the interstate driver is home in his own bed each day, we need places to change the trucks and or trailers.

We waited 30 years to get one on the Hume at Tarcutta and we needed one 15 years ago on the Pacific, but now it is all four lanes and truly, probably the one of if not the best road in Australia, there is not enough rest areas and no where set up for changeovers. How can this be so? Are we truly that less of a group of workers, that we don’t need toilets or places to sleep or comply than any other working group?

Back to the Churchill Fellowship videos. Now for those of you who enjoy watching trucks go round and round, or spinning up tyres and doing burnouts, this may be something you enjoy. It is not everyday you see prime movers towing caravans with only one intent, but it seems the Poms have a funny sense of humour.

Now I am not making any comments other than, it is a truckshow and such things seem to be enjoyed by the crowds, I had even heard of it before I visited the Convoy in the Park, so it seems they have done it before, but please do not take offence if you are a vanner. I didn’t do it! Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


13th August 2021 Catch up time.

Goodaye all and thanks to all who wished me happy birthday for Wednesday the 4th, just turned 64. I have been slack and hope you will keep faith with me. It is much harder to be relevant when not on the road, but I have kept up with news, events and hear from many still doing the job. I have certainly had more time than normal, but.

I have been trying to do many things and have been at work doing office duty Monday, Wednesday and Friday, was doing physio each Tuesday and Thursday but have now completed the early part of treatment and continue with my twice daily exercises and physio visits once a fortnight.

The surgeon did ring and have a phone hook-up, says he would like to see me once more before Christmas to confirm and feel, all is well. The excellent lady doing the physio reported to him on my progress and last week said my strength is coming back well. The surgeon says the bicep will be to full strength in nine months, (or at least the most it will return to, as it could not be attached all the way up as they shrink once torn off, if left too long) hopefully 85 to 90% of what it was before, but the shoulder will take 12 months to heal to full capacity.

I had to do a medical for my Dangerous Goods License and being over 61, my two year one for my normal MC NSW license and our yearly Trucksafe medical. No one needs or should have to do three medicals in one year and each will now accept the others, as long as they are within 6 months. That is at least a common sense outcome, but it cost $400. I passed and have submitted all the paperwork, to work, EPA and RMS and had to follow up with RMS to make sure they got a copy.

Then I had to get the next extension for my Capacity to work and the doctor I saw, said I wasn’t 20 anymore and should be more careful. Thanks doc. I have been feeling good and am chomping at the bit to get the new truck on the road and back into it. It is built, but a few issues have delayed it, but hope to have them sorted and on the road soon. I spent time on the phone yesterday sorting the new bullbar and lighting to go on it, so it should look good when it hits the road.

There are many supporters and suppliers who are contributing to the new TIV and once it is on the road, there will be further changes. We are seeking a few new things, both to see how they work, but to trial them in a working truck, not just to fit them and walk away, but to do some serious trials for fuel consumption, tyre wear and application and of course, to have something that is right up there with the current technologies and report all this back to those who have and will supply the equipment.

It is one thing to put something on a truck and forget about it, that will not support a case for improvement, you have to test things under real world environments to confirm, or deny, that they work and can supply something better and that it will last. Much of the technology on trucks is hidden, you don’t really see it and even more, if often works without fanfare or obvious impact. The truck travels along and gets the job done, yet all these things behind the scenes can and do both contribute and improve driver safety.

We are all human, we make mistakes. I don’t think AI is better, nor do I think it is anywhere near ready to take over, but if it is set up and operates to help us, then it can do just that. Our roads are not all perfect either, but they are built, designed, repaired and costed by humans, so there are many factors involved in how well they do their job. I have said before we have a large country and area, but a relatively small population, so we simply don’t have a bottomless pit of money to have perfect roads.

But we must get good value, safety and longevity from these assets that we all pay for and they do provide us with the ability to travel, for business and pleasure. There are certainly times when I travel, (really bump and grind down the road thinking, this is not good enough) or think about the issue, are we getting good value and for someone who lives and works on the road, there are times I am certain, we are not. I am not a road engineer, but I have to live with the results and at times, it seems we build at the cheapest cost, yet don’t consider the long term and how then if done badly or to a lesser standard at the start, that the ongoing maintenance will cost far more over the life of the road, let alone will that cheap fix, when it does fail or deform, cost someone their life?

The road is still not recognised as our workplace, if it was, it would have to meet all manner of laws, to keep me and you safe. Those who use and or share it would have to be trained better and governments could suddenly be liable for damages and even deaths and sued accordingly, if they failed to provide us with that “Safe Place of Work”. And that is a can of worms all governments don’t want opened up.

So to finish off, how many of you would agree that if the road is my workplace, it should be built and maintained to the highest possible safety. It is your goods, your clothes, food, fuel, your manufactured products or the supplies you need to make them we are delivering and it is true, TRUCKS DELIVER AUSTRALIA. I would welcome your comments. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.