22nd January 2023

Goodaye all, feeling a bit melancholy (thanks Luke at Triple M for the bottle of wine for Chrissie, finally had a chance to have a glass or two) perhaps the wine is why. I have done three radio interviews this week, plus back into my spot on Triple M, one for Australian Truck Radio, a new year hello, one with ABC Dubbo after the announcement of NSW Minister For Regional Transport and Roads announcing an invitation for truckies to contribute and nominate where we need rest areas and or increased capacity and what we would use them for? It is specifically about three highways but will accept comments across NSW so get in and have a say, I certainly will and have done directly already.

You can participate here

I was asked was I aware of this and did I have a comment. What do you think? Yes I had many, including the fact that many of the new overtaking lanes on the Newell (and this is aside from the fact most have had repair work done on them within months of completion and the one south of Peak Hill is now being done again for I think the fourth time) have come at the cost of truck parking bays. The reporter was surprised to hear this, funny that! Starting at Trewilga, south from Boggabilla, Back Creek north of West Wyalong and my current fight, at the dipper in the Pilliga.

Of course, not only did I explain I had spoken to the authorities when they started each of these works, during said works and again nearing completion, each time being told, “Yes we will look into that” only to have each works completed and more truck stops lost. I also gave the reporter more than he needed, but have offered him a ride as well to see it from our point of view.

Then there was one with ABC Wagga simply to say Goodaye for the year and give a plug for our upcoming conference in Wagga on February 11th. Check the website and or Facebook page and join the NRFA and come along.

Truckie Tuesday on “Nightshift” from 1AM to 3 is back on the air, so a few callers and some about EWDS with one fellow then texting me at 4AM asking which one I was now using. Loaded out of Melbourne for Sydney, got truck washed at King of the Road at Albury and as always, terrific job done and left looking a million bucks, into Sydney and looked like being held over for two days, then after one night had to double split in the rain to deliver and goodbye clean truck, then load wool for Melbourne. Made it down, three drops, reload and home Saturday morning to get two new windscreens.

I need to get some time in Dubbo to sort out my water tank and toolbox to complete the chassis, have a mate doing some stainless and hope to have that fitted and finished within the next month, then start on trailers. There have been many who have contributed to this truck and I will detail them all when it is done, but thanks to them here as well.

Thanks to those who have called up and said they enjoyed my podcast on “Copy Southbound” and at this stage, Bruce is coming to our Wagga Conference and I hope that will give him something a bit different, lots of passionate truckies together hoping to improve things for all on the road.

I have to catch up with my audio books page and find some blue window tint now for the new windscreens, so will wish you all Safe Travelling, Rod.


15th January, Roads, ranges, rest areas and a conference.

Goodaye all, well a big week, six legs and with starting at Wagga Monday morning, was chasing my tail most of the week, but got it all done without as much angst as I had anticipated, but it meant using my hours and that breaks were just enough.

Roads and the impact into the trucks and drivers is out of control. Yes there has been floods, but the issue is the repairs, the value and how long we will have to suffer it. I stopped where previously we had a decent size informal (but marked by someone we both know with green reflectors) truck bay. Transport for NSW have come along and improved???? The road by building overtaking lanes which have already got the bitumen coming up and failures as well. We could previously get 5 plus b-doubles in this bay and it had some shade. Now we will be lucky to get two in there and we lost the one on the other side of the road.

When I woke up there were a number of utes and I approached one lady to ask about the guideposts and she said, “He is the boss” as another ute pulled up. So I approached the fellow (and if he was named or known, most of his comments would lose him his job he said) and he detailed some of their problems. I said from the start I recognised they can only do what they are told and often, those above won’t listen to those doing the work.

He detailed struggling to get the right crews at the right time with the right gear, being told to use local labour where they could, but often they do not have the expertise or skills required, being forced to do things the wrong way or with the wrong product, yes when delays extend works, they start in summer and then finish in winter, still using summer product and vice versa.

The bay in question had guide posts between it and the road and then more at the back meaning you could not get parked and leave much room for anyone else. I asked him to remove at least one and he said “leave it with him”. But it is yet another failure that will cost more to maintain and then fix properly. Why? So do we keep throwing good money after bad?

I am also having a discussion, about to get heated with Transport for NSW about the loss of truck parking bays and the placement of overtaking lanes on the Newell, let alone the state of the section south of Forbes. Yes I know it rained, yes there is still water for miles and miles across the floodplain, but why is the road still buggered if they spent all that time and money to open it? Why do we do half arse repairs on roads, spraying tar that all goes back up on cars and trucks instead of doing proper repairs?

I travelled down through the village of Pilliga yesterday coming home from my last drop at Wee Waa and the failures along there, north and west are simply rough rock sections that have not been touched in months. Yes, as at the start, I recognise there is a shortage of skilled staff etc, but do we even have a plan, is someone making sure we are getting value for money from the works done? Look at the Toowoomba bypass, work had been stopped by the union over safety issues on a site that was meant to be the eighth wonder of the world according to TMR and look at it now.

Consultation with industry would not have solved the failures there now, but we may have had a better long term outcome that did not need mile high banks. What will it cost now, enough that it could and should have been done without the dip in the middle, but what would us truckies know?  The frustration level is growing, so let’s now be positive.

The NRFA Conference in Wagga Wagg at the RSL on Saturday the 11th February should be on your calendar. You should join the NRFA and then attend. We have a good range of speakers including and ex NSW Highway Patrol officer who told me at one stage he preferred dealing with truckies, so his chat may be very interesting. Join, come and have a say and help us to help you. Don’t sit back and whinge and want it done, help make it happen.

I started listening to the Copy Southbound podcast last year and have now listened to the last five this week. Funny enough during the week I had a number of drivers say they had enjoyed listening to mine, but the one with Max Keogh, an industry legend I met once at an ATA convention and the Graeme Burke one were not only very good, but again raise then issue of why the concerns they both have are still not solved, (not here the paragraph above) but I will keep trying. Off tomorrow to load for Shepparton. Cheers and Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


8th January 2023 Roads and truck rest area value.

Goodaye all, welcome to 2023 and I hope it serves you well. Will be short this week, yes home yesterday after being very concerned where the next southbound overtaking lane is being built in the Pilliga and have emailed Transport for NSW (again) seeking answers.

The failures in the roads seem to be patched at times and at others, completely ignored and left to try and kill us! The Newell is a major highway, yet it does and has not for years, received the funding of others. Yes that has changed and it is having work done, but is the quality there? Are we getting value for the money spent, not from where I sit and bounce and bang up and down the road.

Into Melbourne last week and all the drivers in the rear bump trucks sitting there in the Tulla tunnel for hours on their phones without a worker in site, good value there obviously. Looking forward to seeing who will be on the rest area steering committee, should be announced this month for the first meeting in February. Thanks to those who have offered comments and suggestions to me directly and will try and include them, but there will and must be, wide consultation with drivers to not only show I or someone else did not pick a site they want fixed alone.

There must also be work done outside of simply more rest areas. One mate had a go at me some time ago, saying the caravanners all loved me, because every time I got a new or improved truck bay, they got somewhere new to park. Another fellow believes the signage for trucks is not clear enough, what is a truck and is a truck bay for trucks only, or simply saying trucks can fit.

Why is it that all car bays, mostly with no truck signs, have all the toilets tables and chairs and shade? If that, then why can’t we at the very least have parking to be able to walk in and use them. We must have a National Truck Rest area Strategy, where no section of road over 25 which has major work, can’t be dome without consultation for truck rest areas. No single truck rest area to be closed, removed or reduced, without same and replacement spaces. Better use of stockpile sites, industrial areas etc. I have raised these issues in early discussions before the entry process was even decided, but it will be a group of associations and drivers and I look forwards to working with them all.

Off to Wagga to unload in the morning and hightail it into Melbourne to try and get loaded tomorrow afternoon. Safe Travelling till next week, cheers Rod.


31st December 2022 A TRUCKING Good (Late went to the fireworks) New Year.

Goodaye all, Christmas for lunch at the Zoo with most of family, out Boxing Day, one son came all the way from Tassie, last son to arrive managed to get here Boxing Day morning for quick visit after some delays, so all 7 home for a short time, been awhile since all home together. Hugs and photos and off to work.

Had put my hand up to work and would have liked more time with the out of town sons who came home, but had offered and so 5,400 k’s in five days, Dubbo to Port Augusta, drop dog trailer and single to Alice Springs, two containers off, bugger, Hall of Fame closed, will get there to visit one day, back to Port to pick up 2nd trailer and deliver drill rig near Adelaide and reload for home, back today.

Did a quick TikTok from a parking bay south of Alice, need to make some calls re rest areas etc, marked two green reflector bays, but left my tin on the back before Wilcannia and lost my extras, so could not mark anymore. Road very quiet, a TRUCKING Good New Year to all and especially those still on the road. Off to watch fireworks in Dubbo and will see you all next year. Safe Travelling, Rod.