27th February 2022 TIV Thanks.

Goodaye all, now this post may be a bit boring for some, but I have to thank many people for their support of the new TIV. Without them, it would not exist. The list is long, some have contributed more than others and there are still bits to complete and trailers to come.

Kenworth make exceptional trucks, they stand up well on our roads and many are running well into their third decade or more and last year was 50 years since they started manufacturing in Australia, we make design and test more trucks here now than cars. I am very happy with the improvements over the last K200 TIV, this one rides better, is quieter inside, has the upgrades I missed out on with the last one, the smart steering wheel, front curtains and new dash. It has double bunks and I have some more work to do to complete the inside, as I will be living more in it than anywhere else for the next 5 years. As Luke says on the Nightshift, Rod is off to bed in the hotel Kenworth. Sounds like a good title for a song!!

Cummins engines are world renowned and they now have a joint venture in the USA with another supporter, Eaton, so we will see new and even better product from that in the future. Both have supported the TIV and given me help and even allowed me to help them in the past, particularly with the programming of the Ultrashift (and will be talking to them again soon).

GME supply UHF and CBs and aerials and again, did the fit out for me moving and fitting things to suit and to get the most out of truck to truck communication. There were a couple of others I targeted for in-cab things, but had no success, though still have a couple of plans if I can get that support to make it more, inside.

Tramanco supplied the on-board scales and that incredible technology that sees the truck (and later the trailers too) “read” the road and both define and locate the failures we all feel each day. CTI Central Tyre Inflation Australia, was on the last TIV and is now on the steer as well on this one. It is the first thing many ask about, as you only usually see it on log trucks etc, but the safety and tyre life benefits are well worth the fitting, it could be said, above the safety aspect that you may never realise has saved you, the improvement in tyre life should pay for itself.

Icepack from Haultech Services have a vastly improved service level and include a heater function as well in the new Icepack, so no matter where you are in Australia, you can get good and consistent temperature control for that all important, good nights sleep.

King Bars went to a lot of trouble to both design and then listen and work with me to have the front piece that will protect and make a statement for the new TIV. It is a new design with the first aluminium backing plate and we will test it out. They did a terrific job with the painting as well.

SAF Holland supplied the turntable and painted it to match and will be involved with the new trailers as well. Thanks to Kenworth at Bayswater for fitting it, just have to hook up the telltale lights now. Michelin tyres came specced with the truck, but we have plans for something a bit different in the future if we can get approval, so watch this space.

Inland Trucks, Kenworth and DAF dealers both at Wagga Wagga, Dubbo and Griffith have helped with improving the exterior lights and some chassis plate, some in Wagga Wagga and the rest in Dubbo and are again, long term supporters of my efforts.

NARVA have supplied the showy parts of the lighting (and there is more to do inside and out when I get time) and the serious parts as well, the new Mark 2 LED driving lights are incredible and I can say they nearly turn night into day. I am not scared of the dark, but both want to see and be seen.

DANA axles, with discs right around is a step forward in technology and safety and makes a big difference when bobtail as well.

3M even fitted the conspicuity tape for me that both make the paint job and the truck stand out, both in the day and perhaps even more safety wise, in the night. As with much of the other bits and pieces, there is more to come.

Lockleys in Melbourne did the painting, I am very impressed and think it has come out well. TRUCKWRITERS in Caboolture completed the scrolling, like many others fitting me in late and well past our booked times, there are some words and a mural to add in recognition of Kenworth’s 50 years of manufacturing and then with the last lights, outside will be nearly done.

Rod Pilon Transport have not contributed to the truck as all these participants have as such, it will be their truck in the end, but without their support, I could not have even started down this path. If I win the Lotto, I might buy it and do more for the industry, but as an employed driver, I could never do this alone, so I thank Rod and Ben and all there who have in any way, supported this initiative thus far.

To all who have helped so far, thank you for making a dream become a reality. Off the see what roads are left and if I can get through to Brissie after unloading in Gundi in the morning. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


20th February 2022 The new TIV is on the road.

Goodaye all, missed you all last week as picked up new truck, had an electrical problem, finally sorted, that’s the trouble with electronics, good when it works, but often hard to find the problem. Seems when it was built and the engine fitted, the ECM harness got a tug and or the clamp was pulled wrong or something and the 5 volt wire which controls many of the ESC, ADblue and Active Cruise was down to only two strands.

The few times I had it looked at, there were no codes, so in the end I had to try and get it to Kenworth at Shepparton without resetting it, and that meant no accelerator except on cruise and that made the trip there quite interesting. But once there and with codes still active, they were able to trace the fault and it has not missed a beat since.

When I had previously taken it up from Wagga to Brisbane for all the gear to be fitted up there, the trouble started and I said to all who gave me a hard time, that was the only time it would give me trouble. It did happen briefly coming back out of Brisbane and it was checked there and calibrated in Dubbo and then when I actually got it on the road, it happened worse, though others who shifted it for me either had no trouble or it simply did not move and play up.

So it was the same problem all along and I stand by my wish, hope, prayer, claim and comment, it will not let me down again!! There is still more to do to complete it and then the interim trailers and then a new set and I am set for the next five years to take passengers and go to shows and to try and get some more stuff done to improve our lot.

I was re-elected as President of NRFA yesterday at our AGM, the conference and truckies breakfast we had planned for Toowoomba has been deferred due to covid till July 9th and we look forward to as many of you as possible attending. So if you want to make a difference, join up, take part and help me achieve more. I am still happy if you want to join any other transport association, just join one and push to make a difference.

Getting ready for work now, was going to Perth last week but their rules keep changing, so did a change over in Port Augusta instead, but now planning to head over for a visit, till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.  


6th February 2022 Is it a light at the end of the tunnel, a new truck or a train

Goodaye all, had a lovely experience at a truckstop, the little one just out of Young on the road to Wallendbeen, during the week. It is a small place and whilst they do have a lit “OPEN” sign in the window, it is hard to see. Before I left, I did suggest a sandwich board out the front. It seems they had asked Young Council for permission to put up billboards but were knocked back. The lady was very friendly, filled my coffee cup herself for and they had potatoe scallops of a good size for one dollar each.

Now that is not all that much of a remarkable experience, but in these days of lousy and filthy showers in many places, corporate changes and those who control some sites not seeming to give a fig about us, it was a welcome change. The lady even comes in early in the morning on her own time particularly for truckies, so give them a go if you are through there.

Been a busy and somewhat traumatic week, still trying to sort the new truck, but I think there is light at the end of the tunnel and believe you me, I have been concerned it may be a bloody train. Had some vehicle issues, lousy facility issues and trying to sort it all amongst everything else and then yesterday after asking for plans for a rest area upgrade for maybe 12 months, finally got them to be truthfully stupefied to find RMS plans to tear down trees and destroy a good rest area by “improving” it. I replied saying I would start a revolt and the fellow rang in response to my fairly blunt email, saying even he was surprised, but it is not yet funded and so I have time to influence the plan.

I will make some calls this week and will also be taking part in a meeting as a member of the Newell Highway Taskforce Tuesday and have already raised my concerns and will follow up there as well. If I do not get some sense out of them, I will start a campaign and seek your support. Seems we are likely to lose another rest area in the “Back Creek” overtaking lanes north of West Wyalong, so another issue to raise and follow up.

It seems to have been a bad week for trucking crashes, I personally have not seen or been close to any and had not heard other than from other drivers, so what is the problem? Have you had more pressure placed on you, is it simply a combination of stress on top of stress on top of the usual shit? I did an interview with the local paper and don’t believe I layed it on too thick, but the lady I spoke with said she had no idea what it was like. So do you have a specific problem or even better, a solution. Off to Brissie now, have helped daughter shift house, so more time off this week-end than usual and certainly more time than in the last three weeks, only 18 hours home in that time, but still not enough hours to catch up.

Next week, new truck photos, I hope!!!!! Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.