5th February 2023

Goodaye all, back in lovely warm and muggy Mackay, got in Saturday evening after loading Friday morn, but I had to wait in Sydney for nearly two days for the mezzanine floors to turn up for this load. They were coming, but that truck had a problem and I waited some more, hoping they would be done and tidied, as they had been taken out during the refurb and then disappeared. I eventually found them, asked to have them cleaned up welded etc, but it was only partly done, but they will do the job and I will push to get them fixed when we can.

The unload in Sydney at Auburn was fun, glad I asked about b-doubles, trouble with the single with the roadworks out the front and a site, not real truck friendly, but all done. Certainly got more on with the mezzes, but longer to load and unload tomorrow morning, then sort out which mines to visit and do a couple of days here.

This will be an interesting week for timing as have to be in Wagga for the NRFA Conference Friday/Saturday, but hoping it will come together, either I get in and out of Melbourne Friday or load for Melb Friday out of Dubbo for Monday delivery and go down that way.

Caught up on some cab cleaning, but even had the shirt off in the cab with the Icepack on today, did some writing, making a long and detailed reply to the request from Transport NSW for information on truck rest areas. Have been informed of first steering committee meeting in Canberra in a fortnight so looking forward to that getting underway.

Spent time talking to a driver this morning in a section of industry that is at the peak of gear and effort, had his own, had some dealings with Police and RTA over the years, some good, some abysmal, treated so bad, got out of trucks for awhile, but finally came back. Even with the best gear, job and boss, he said, “Why would you come into this industry?” I can clearly understand his sentiments, yes he had many good years, but the treatment by some has not just taken the gloss off, it has lost yet another good driver top the industry by simply overzealous treatment by the bad few on the other side.

Also had a discussion with another steering committee member who I had not met, we have many of the same ideals and hopes and are both, like I believe all on the committee will be, looking forward to seeing change.

This funding is over ten years, it is linked to the HVSI through the NHVR and how that will work will be one of the many questions we will be asking at the start. The problem has been there and growing worse for years with more losses than gains, spots closed for “road safety” as seen by someone who does not need somewhere decent to sleep and rest. We have a lot to catch up on, so we will not fix it in a year or even three, but we will be working on it. As all of you should have seen by now, there are five drivers, plus myself, Glen still holds a wheel, so 7 plus the association people who may well bring some background support and information.

We have never been asked or included, we have been asked to contribute, but without real intent to listen many times and I truly hope this is a start, not just a single occurrence. Glen will push that as will we all, but as the largest and biggest single users of the roads, yes, there are more cars, but we spend more time, cover more distance and more often, more of the country than others, it is our lives on the roads.

Can we see real change, will the HVNL review actually deliver anything of value for the time and money spent, that is yet to be answered, we can only hope. Time for some more writing and then bed. Till next week, 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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