29th October 2022, BACK to WORK.

Goodaye all, thanks to all who commented and responded to my last blog. A few have called up on the road as well and I do appreciate your support.

Well first week back at work, an early return, but I had pushed my exercises etc and have things in place with work for a sensible plan to get me back on the road. Being my left shoulder will help. It was not a simple return, I know you will all be shocked that it did not happen as planned. Suffice to say things delayed my actually driving out the gate, till nearly 8pm after getting out to work early that day.

The truck was due for service, it had not been fueled or washed etc due to some extra factors and by the time I left, I simply had to get going to have any chance of getting unloaded on the way down and then getting loaded the next afternoon in Melbourne. The Newell was open to trucks south of Forbes and just for fun, let’s poke that bear. After the second last major floods, there was a plan supposedly put in place to floodproof the Newell, or as best as possible. Then there was the last floods and they said, bugger, this flood is different and we will have to relook at what we were going to do again, before we do anything at all.

Now had they simply started on the perhaps 8 areas and culverts that cop most of the water and so then flood and or fail, so at least doing one a year, then we would have had maybe the four worst ones improved for now, if not fixed for the next 50 years. But no, we are still all thinking and planning and the transport industry and its’ customers have been failed again by those who do not have to drive through the failures when it is open, or go hours out of their way each time it is closed and not just for a day, but weeks on end.

This is a major transport route, it should be part of both a national highway network that must be improved and made not only safe for all who use it, but recognised as a major transport corridor. I think we have gone backwards since the Feds gave the responsibility for such roads to the states. Many transport companies are now avoiding the Newell if they can (and I would welcome comments and or actual change of use issues) and going through Sydney.

This is only putting much more pressure on the lack of truck bays on the Pacific Highway, which after having millions spent making it is a much better road, perhaps one of the best and better than the Hume as it is now, but without a changeover site for those needing it. I asked, when the road was being built, but here we are again chasing our tails and begging for facilities that should have been included during the build, not still being pursued years after it is done.

Why wasn’t the industry properly consulted and the Gatton roadtrain pads completed before the Toowoomba bypass? Why are we not included in discussions and consultations about things that affect us directly and then those who make the decisions, not even a bit. This must change!

So it has been a flat out return and here I am in sunny Mackay, finally able to sweep out the floor and start to get the truck back to where it was. There is still some more to do and I had hoped to be home to do some this first week-end back, but if all goes to plan, I will be back up here next week-end to be able to speak at a transport industry forum (but missed the one in Dubbo Friday) in Mackay next Wednesday. We will see. Depending on the weather and things, I may even talk to you all tomorrow. 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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