Goodaye all, well here I am in sunny Maryborough (it was when I started and has just rained) waiting to load tomorrow. Wednesday night over to the castle, too late for a feed at Sandy Hollow, so a sandwich and milk, then Thursday up, double split to unload and second trailer tarped, good tarp job by the loader except for covering the side lights. Roll the tarp, no help and lucky no wind and even still in a bit of shade, then two pick ups and off to central Qld.
It was urgent freight and trying to plan delivery times when pick up had some issues, some ugly freight etc, but said hope to be in Friday night, so if that is no good, Saturday morning, but thinking already, another week-end away. Rang and yes, no load till Monday, so enjoy the time off two thousand kilometres from home.
On the way out after loading, rang to confirm delivery windows etc, the sending depot to follow up and ring me back. Getting closer and no call yet, so rang again, so which one first, will come back to me, thanks. Rang yet again even closer now, yes the farthest one first, thanks, then rang them to confirm we were all on the same page. So when will you be there, Friday night as I told all yesterday, Ok will ring you back.
No immediate reply, so into BP Clermont for a feed. Last time I was there for a feed, nearly a year ago now, two things of note. Sitting and eating, I noticed my right arm muscle above the elbow much bigger than the left. I had first thought, geez those push ups each morning working well, till I looked at the left arm. I rang my son and asked him as he is into body building why they would be so different and he said, “You have probably torn the tendon” and this then led to the shoulder surgery as not only had I torn the tendon, but torn the shoulder apart as well. Seems still doing the push ups had strengthened the other of the two tendons and meant I could keep working, as I did till I went in for surgery.
The other thing was the size of the feed. I think then I got four rissoles and salad and chips and even potato salad included and I enjoy my rissoles and salad and could not finish it all, as I had also asked for bread and butter which I usually eat to clean up the last of the gravy etc. Without the bread and butter, I could have finished it. So the feed this week was just as good. The owner (and cook) had gone into town for supplies and the other bloke did not want to give me less than the best, so said there would be a short delay. No call yet to rush in and unload that night so all good, could not unload till the morning anyway and only a couple of hours to get there.
Catch up on my diary, have a coffee while waiting, dinner came and once I can show you the picture, 5 rissoles and I still got the bread and butter and ate it all bar a bit of rissole. Last time I had asked and been given a dish and taken the last rissole for the next morning, (then I had a frig in the old truck) but not in this one as I had only planned to be in it for a month or so. Now into my fourth month in old number 32, wish I had put the frig in, but such is life.
Finished dinner, go to the loo and the phone rings. Hello, “Yes where are you and when can you be here?” At Clermont, about an hour and a half, “No good, I have to go now, so in the morning?” Had they rang back hours before, I could have been there and unloaded, but in the scheme of things, still stuck away and can’t load till Monday and I had a bloody good feed at a fair price. Thanks BP Clermont.
So off to the delivery point, able to park right outside and a bit of reading, still on the “Tawny Man” book five now into the “Assassins Apprentice” series and would highly recommend to all. Up early in and unload, off and ring the second drop and make a time, had a serious call to sort the last bit for the new truck and all things being equal, will be registered and on the road next week. Thank you to Inland Truck Centres for the work to finish it off. I am chomping at the bit, now for the trailers.
I have spoken with a couple of trailer builders and they say they cannot build me a set of trailers, if I supply most of the components, their system will not work that way. It will be a one-of, but I would not have thought that so hard, but I will find a way. Should be on the road with the interim trailers, a tidy up, new paint and a new set of curtains to celebrate 50 years since Rod Pilon started the business. He bought his first truck in 81, but started the RPT business in 82.
So fifty years of building Kenworths in Australia last year and still going strong. So many Kennys years old and done millions of kilometres and still on the road, how many old Benzs and Volvos etc still doing the hard yards? Funny how we still build trucks here and many of the truck manufacturers use Australia as a test bed, when we don’t build cars here anymore.
So thanks to Kenworth and all who have supported the new TIV, there are many and once I have it on the road and a few photos, will list and thank them all here. Congratulations to Kenworth for the effort and the trucks (and still listening to episodes of the “Copy Southbound” podcasts and stories of the past) congratulations and sincere and heartfelt thanks to Rod Pilon for his support and allowing me to do it again and for reaching that milestone.
It seems we will get an apprenticeship scheme for truckies, long overdue and welcome, but sitting here and just chatting with another driver who is about to retire, his comments about why we don’t have enough drivers, when all those who tell us how and what and where and why to do it when none of them have to, is still seriously one of the problems. Can I fix any of this, not on your nelly? Can you, good luck, but if we all got together, we might have a chance, but alone, it is simply hard work. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.