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.

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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