29th March 2022 Westbound and Down.

Goodaye all, seems I am roadtraining all this month, Sunday evening headed for Peth with a b-triple. Fairly standard trip over, I was the last of four to leave (trying to get as much done in my 28 hours home) and arrived first, but one did a changeover, another had an engine problem that was “fixed” and then became a major engine problem, like, needing a new engine, so he was held up a bit more.

I got in to Perth, dropped the back trailer and got the two “A” trailers unloaded Wednesday afternoon and the third Thursday morning, did ring and see if I could load early, but was told no, noon WA time Friday, so was given the chance to get the lot washed, did some shopping down the road etc during my 24 hour break and then headed out Friday.

I was then asked would I do a changeover at the border and then go back again. Why not! Made it back to the border Saturday evening where the other driver was waiting, changed over giving him the b-triple and picking up a roadtrain and headed back, nearly making it to Balladonia and then getting back to Northam at 5PM Perth time Sunday, only to be told the Roadtrain Permit allowing them to travel under escort into Perth still had a curfew on Sunday night and we would have to wait.

By the time I would have been able to split, go in and do the dog run and then come back, I was still quicker into Perth and saved probably 100 litres of fuel, so sat and waited, chatting and in the end, we had a convoy. WA Transport Inspector and four roadtrains and due to the time, it may have been the last escort. The lady at the bus at Northam said they had done over 400 roadtrains, some singly and up to three at a time during the period the escorts were in place.

It must be said there are two things to comment on, first is obviously the WA government recognised the need to help the transport industry and went to the pretty unusual effort of arranging staff, signs and co-ordinating it all to allow roadtrains to travel all the way into Perth. On the other side, why can a PBS “A” double at the same weights, the same number of axles and only 5 or 6 metres shorter, do it every day anyway?

With all the current roadworks between Perth and Northam, I was told it was towards allowing 36 metre roadtrains into Perth in the future. There is a 40k speedlimit, cameras and arrester beds on Greenmount, so it is not like you drive along and go, “Oh Goodness, there is a big hill here I didn’t know about”  and whilst there are bigger hills and others in other cities, what else is needed to make it safe?

The WA Inspectors I either spoke with or who escorted me in the two times (and there is no need for an escort outbound, just have your flashing light at the rear and observe the curfews) were affable and helpful. So our convoy got into Perth about 9.30PM Sunday night and as it was due to finish at midnight, may have been the last.

Having had another of our drivers offer to do the second trailer unload (Thanks Neil) which saved me time and then meant I could take part in another of the “Driving Health” podcasts, of which the last of 6 happens on Wednesday and I would encourage you all to look it up, either directly or via Monash University who is running them and I would welcome your comments.

Time now for an NRFA Board meeting, my spot on Nightshift, then a radio interview with my local Dubbo station and a late sleep in before I load. Now I have to either do a dogrun or find another way out as a roadtrain and I am looking into that for when I load tomorrow. Hope to be back on that side of the world by next Saturday/Sunday. Till then Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey. And then the phone played up, so a day later, such is life.

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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