15th April 2023

Goodaye all, well to those who say b-doubles are only for linehaul and that we shouldn’t have to split after my last post, I reckon I did pretty well, 8 splits in three hours. And we all know not every place is set up for them, but I recall years ago ringing a place and asking, “I am in a b-double, will I be able to deliver there?” “Yes we have them here all the time” only to get there, have a struggle to even get in the gate with the cars parked in the road and then be told, “You won’t get that round the back”, ah the joys of trucking. “Yes we had trucks here with two trailers (19m double it seems) but yours is much longer” “Really!” I doubt if I had said a 26m b-double would have changed anything.

Yes it has happened since, then on the other side I have been told no, said I will have a look and got in all but once and that was for a car opposite and the likelihood of damage as I screwed round and down through the gutter. Some were impressed, others don’t care, they just want their freight picked up, taken away and their money made.

A short week on the road, early on arranged for new drive tyres and to fit the rest of the Atlas balance rims to the drive, having fitted to the steer previously. The tyre fitter made Simon’s (from Atlas) day when he said, “You will be surprised how much more milage you will get with them fitted”, “Why have you seen many around here (Dubbo) with them fitted?” “Not a lot, but one group got over 300,000 on the drive after fitting a set.”

I of course rang Simon to pass on and he was impressed as all too often, people don’t know what so many others who use them, have gained from the fitting of Atlas balance rings. Even one of our mechanics wanted to know how they worked and what was in them. I should have painted them though and that would have made them stand out more and added a different look.

Also found my other Durabrights, seems when the truck was painted and they put the rims back on, they did not know the difference and I had wondered why they were not all the same shine until I looked at the markings, but it was a big job to pull them all off for fun if they weren’t on there anyway. That would have meant a couple of calls to find out why,  but I will email the man there and ask him to be more aware. It has of course marked the inner circle, but the outside having been covered in so much crap, shines better than the others now cleaned up. When I left the tyre shop, at least two there and then some of our blokes at work said, did you put the rims back on wrong?

The 509 we have has super singles on the steer and had after a wheel alignment and everything else checked, still not got a lot in mileage and I had told Ben Pilon of my fitting a set to truck 55 and suggested he try a set and he ordered two and had one set fitted to the 509 the same day. Then before I left for Brisbane, got my new rego plates, so another little thing many won’t notice, but mean something to me.

I had been told on the way back to Dubbo, “We have a bit of a plan for you” “Should I be scared?”, “We’ll sort it when you get here.” So a train to Adelaide then Alice, nearly like my Christmas break. But not till Thursday, so OK make my plans, then yes, no, yes, no, yes but later then no not going after all my plans made to suit. Truck was in for service as well, a little over, but did A,B and C all in one, so good time use there. With having to now load Friday instead of simply hooking up Saturday, had to forego the eye test, but got the back of the b trailer all sign written (and I have been trying to get that done since November) finally got my scales hooked up, another long term project and a few other little jobs and after all that, then loaded 3 pickups of wool for Melbourne Monday, so off tomorrow.

So some jobs at home, Swift grow the lawn as soon will be too late and it will stop growing, wait for some 3M tape to finish the sides of the trailers and we will see what the back of the b trailer will bring. There has finally after only 30 years, been much talk and discussion and awareness of mental health issues in road transport. Transhelp and TRUST were two groups who, in different ways and levels, helped drivers and their families with stuff after the often tragic events we see or can be involved in on the road, or simply when there was no one else to turn to. How many companies really care and what would or could they do, if you had such issues?

So the attached photo shows the back of the trailer. Those of you who remember my old trailer set will recall the TRUCKIES TOP TEN Tips (and I will fit a different one each month) but in conjunction with GME, the new back suggests “The road can be a lonely place, if you want to chat, Call Rod on UHF 24”.

I did do a counselling course when I became an Ambassador for Health in Gear and thank them for providing that, but no, I don’t have all the answers, but how many people could you honestly count on to offer you good advice or to really listen to your problems? Again, I can’t fix them, but I may be able to offer a friendly listen or someone else to help. We will see how it goes.

I know and have spoken to drivers who have been the first on site, or who have been involved in a fatal or even a vehicular suicide and again, I have not been in that situation, but bottling things up often leads to worse outcomes. Can I help, maybe, will I listen, yes, will that help, that is up to you.

But yes I get calls from many, some have an issue, some don’t know who else to ask, some want job advice etc, the list is long and varied and I have never refused to try and help, but of course, cannot always solve the problem or fix it. Yes, there have been some who have been critical, some who have become nearly pests, but also some who have become really good friends and supporters and who now ring road authorities and report stuff that I don’t see or know personally and that may never have happened without that initial call.

I have had some, often through Facebook as well, who say, “I know you are busy but” and again, my number has never been hidden, is on every Owner Driver column and elsewhere and whilst my Facebook page is under my name, it is my main contact site and where some have said, “Sorry to bother you on your personal page” I have only had two who have taken my initial response to a friend request wrongly. In the interest of seeing if someone is genuine and in road transport, my initial reply is nearly always the same, “Re friend request, I usually ask where you know me from and for some background info please, cheers Rod.” The couple who replied suggesting I thought I was someone special or too good, missed the point. I don’t know anyone who is asking to friend me more than anyone else does, many have been hacked or scammed and I am sure you will be shocked, but there are some out there who don’t have anything in mind except to hassle people. What do you think, is my reply fair?

So some more things to tidy, shopping to do for the road and have to be in early for the que at Packtainers. Till next time, 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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