Goodaye all, in the middle of a normal, read normal to interstate drivers week, I picked up the new truck from Wagga Wagga and delivered it to Brisbane. They had struggled to get someone to deliver it when most of their part in the next TIV (though a bit more to be done in Dubbo now before final delivery) was done and being the eternal optimist, I thought I could simply fit it in the middle of a normal week.
Tuesday, our change over was due out early, never normally happens, I was still on my way back to Dubbo, having been to Dalby, Brisbane and back to Daly then Mungindi and so had to ask the driver to wait, Thanks Peter, then had to arrange safe pick up of the new one, got a shower and a kip and early Wednesday morning, off to Brissie. Through Dubbo for fuel and thought I would go through Mendooran as had come down from Goondi and not heard it was now closed.
In the rain, the truck faltered but then took off again, but coming into Coona, it derated. Still early, so made some calls, added some ad-blue (but then wasn’t the problem anyway and bottles just had long enough funnel) told maybe throttle sensor but being special, none anywhere, can you get it up to cruise and try that? Current truck no cruise and was in 50 zone, so had not had the chance to try.
Took off and yes, works on cruise but towns will be interesting, then it must have dried out (and now having to go via Tamworth due to Newell closed) came good till the fourth lot of rain and another lot of flashing lights and buzzers and no accelerator, but cruise OK. Now running behind plan and up on hours, divert to Brown and Hurley for a booking to check it in the morning. Jump in another changeover to go back to Dubbo, but he hadn’t known till the last minute as thought with road closed etc may get stuck in Brissie! I was starting to think that too and my week and plan would have had major ramifications for a lot of things and reasons.
But another long night in the passenger seat, home to Dubbo, get my truck serviced!!!! Before I left and then into Melbourne with a few little things to just nearly have me tearing (the last) of my hair out, but Friday went OK and out that afternoon and home yesterday.
So it does exist, it did sort of breakdown (and I have told all who want to take the mickey out of me, now it has broken down, but I still got it there, it will not break down till after I get out of it in 5 years, STOP LAUGHING ALL OF YOU) it had the bullbar test fitted, had some checks done for the Icepack and is booked in for the scales etc tomorrow. I will be back up there Tuesday and might get to check in, but doubt it as have a late morning timeslot south of Brissie.
One mate I called up said it looked good and that was even without the bullbar and maybe without it all the ACB wiring being open at the front, was where the problem with the rain came from, but will check up on that Monday. So a few more steps, but again, I am in the debt of many who have contributed, but hell, am I looking forward to having it on the road! Hell yes!
Oh and on the way up in the new one, I had committed to a meeting with Transport for NSW about truck rest areas. I think there were nearly 50 in the phone hook up and I will state two things here. I have been critical of all states, including NSW for the lack of facilities, lack of consultation and completely ignoring our needs in being safe and having suitable and sufficient truck rest areas. I hope this meeting is the start of a major change within Transport for NSW to consult, listen and act. Yes it all costs money and we all know there will not be 20 new rest areas built tomorrow, but back to being that optimist, I am looking forward to improvements.
I did suggest they give me a grader and I could fix the problems on the Pacific in a couple of days, but they declined that offer. I thank Paul Pulver from LBRCA from also taking part, giving his views and support for many of my comments. Yes it is a small consult from the trucking point of view, but again, I am taking it as a serious start and one of the major things we pushed was more, wider and serious industry consultation, in planning, before during and within construction and this was not only agreed to, but said would be a major change. Nothing happens overnight, it has taken a long time and there is no reason we could not have had more industry participation in this meeting, but too many views at once can see things bogged down and then the process simply takes longer to get started. I look forward to much change and will keep pushing.
So a day off, to catch up with some sleep, do a column and all this stuff, more for the new truck and say hello to my children. Another normal week!!!!!!!!!!!!! Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.