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31st October 2021 A week-end in Mackay.

Goodaye all, here I am in Mackay, unloading tomorrow morning. The new (2 years old) BP truckstop still has “TRUCKERS” signs, so back to them to ask again ”WHY”, can’t you at least use our own terminology. We are “TRUCKIES”. Now of course we all would like more room to park and there are only 5 marked b-double spaces here, one single if you park on the line, a couple for coaches and 4 to 6 for caravans depending on their size and how they park.

So over $1000 worth of fuel in on arrival, I slept here amongst the Icepacks with my Viesea on for a bit and then off so it would not flatten the battery, a reasonable nights sleep I suppose. At one stage there were 11 trucks parked up, of course in the coach and van bays as well, no coach turned up and only one van to park that I have seen.

Now I have had discussions with BP and others over the years and we would all love more parking, for trucks everywhere. I do fear we are going backwards in some ways, but we must keep trying to be heard, but be reasonable as well. But with such sites, on a major highway, how can any council approve a major truck facility with 5 or 6 parking spaces. They want to sell meals and the facilities, showers, lounge, laundry and all are welcome and a part of such a complex, but you can’t do any of that in five minutes and the trucks keep rolling through.

The kitchen did close late in the evening, though there was hot food still available and the site is 24 hours. Yes they have to pay for the land, the upkeep etc, but so many sites from Melbourne to Brisbane where a commercial fuel site has been built and they must comply with all the council requirements, how many car park spaces, how many toilets etc, but why do they not require more truck spaces. We buy the fuel and food, we even deliver it all as well, yet they allow 5 parking spaces on a highway with hundreds of trucks a day, why?

I dawdled up yesterday, stopping at a few green reflector bays and must say the bays on the Bruce from Rocky north and from Banana up (though the road house was closed, don’t know what is happening there?) seem to be far better signed and more frequent. There are some big legs from Taroom north with little shoulders, few stopping spots, but some good stockpile sites that we could easily and safely use. The states seem keen to keep us out of them in the most, a few have been marked previously, but the way they are set out, have good shade and room and are often only used for three months every few years, still leads me to ask why we can’t use them more?

This does lead to one issue, the rubbish along the side of the road. While walking up and down the road to confirm line of site and suitability as a green reflector bay etc!!, it is impossible to ignore the rubbish. Do you all keep your rubbish in your truck till you stop or use a bin? I have a small rubbish bin and empty it when I fuel or stop overnight using the bins provided. What do you do? Lazy motorists that simply eat or drink and then throw out the rubbish, are destroying our roadsides with rubbish and then of course, when it rains it is carried off or the mowers come along and chop it up. I must say, I will be also contacting road authorities re the old guideposts simply thrown or left on the road side. Are you doing your bit, or do you throw out rubbish. You may well think it not important, but get out and have a look or walk along the road and you must agree, it is not hard to keep it and dispose of it in a better way for all.

Well time to finish this and go and pull the toolbox apart and have a clean out. I need a milk crate or container for straps etc, will see what I can find when I get it all out, then maybe lunch, audiobook reviews and chase up the next TIV bit s and pieces. 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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