Goodaye all, just arrived in Melbourne, from Mackay, but managed to take part and visit for the Goulburn Convoy for Kids. It seems to have been a big week-end with I believe two other truck events on and unfortunately, these are often the only times we get any good press. The organisation and planning that goes on well before and during such events, is all too often unseen and unsung by those who simply take part.
Yes drivers and sometimes their families give up their rare free time to take part, often spending hours making the trucks look good, but unless we get the public in to such events, we are too often simply preaching to the converted. I still think we missed the one chance we may ever get during covid, to both be recognised and put our views and needs forward, because when the shelves were empty, suddenly the public realised they needed trucks. We were treated badly in so many ways, yet still expected to deliver everything to everyone.
The NRFA put out a six point plan, yes some covid stuff, but other long standing issues and we asked all other associations to back it. A couple did by phone and email, but none came out and helped push it and then of course, the shelves were refilled, still some shortages, but we were then forgotten again and remain that way now. We missed a big chance, but we as those still on the road really needed our associations to stand up for us and those who were still working simply can’t do it alone.
But back to Goulburn, it was I believe a record turnout for them, trucks were lined up to the top of Governors Hill and nearly filled the showground track, but then many of the drivers left soon after and at 5.30, I was the last truck on the track when I left. There was still a band and it did rain a bit, but I think the organisers, all the public, families and kids who attended seemed to get good value and enjoy the show. I would have liked to see some more interaction between the trucks, drivers and public and will work on how that might happen, but well done to all involved, organisers, supporters and participants.
The roads and rain have played havoc with many people’s lives and homes, but the roads have not coped and the damage to them and then the cost and increased damage and maintenance to every truck on the road, let alone the added time, distance and fuel seems to be ignored by all except for those who have to pay for it. Not as important if you have lost your home, but our lives on the road are not valued very highly by anyone other than us it seems at times and this must change.
There is still so much to fix to have every driver safe, well paid and with a life that will never be the same as those who can be home each night or even work from home, but if we don’t or won’t help one another, who else will. I would like you to think on this. The good old days, weren’t that good except in memories and then you forget all the bad stuff, but we can improve the future, but only if we try and we work together. How to get you all involve3d to do this is the big question. Yes I would live to see every truckie do more, or just do one thing to make things better, but that is only likely to happen in my dreams. What can you do, what will you do, to help? Let me know. Cheers and Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.