Goodaye all, last post may have left you guessing, we were told we could not discuss trip till after arrival in Katherine and all was in place. We loaded out of Sydney Friday, back to Dubbo for a 24 hour break, early Sunday morning jump in roadtrain and off to Bourke to hook up third trailer with another triple in front of me, so 6 trailers in total to Katherine for the NSW Rural Fire Service. There was some politics involved, which I can’t and won’t comment on, other than to say we did our bit and got there on time, for them to tranship and then set up a tent city for those who had been moved out after their town was flooded and were moving back, still without much repair done.
Unload my three trailers Wednesday morning, off to Darwin for another 24 hour, actually over 38 but who is counting, so I could make it back home in one trip. Load the three trailers singly Friday morning and off. Into Bourke late Sunday night and then into Dubbo Monday, pick up my A trailer and off to Newcastle, unload and reload and now in Moranbah. Have been pushing and squeezing hours, as have committed to do a talk on sharing the road with trucks at Narromine on Sunday and trying to get there and be legal and keep all happy, work and customers alike. It might still work, but getting close for another 24!
During the trip to Darwin, had the good vanner (and this couple of stories will work well on Sunday) who when I called up did answer, though had no sign on the van and was happy to back off and help me past. Then there was the other vanner, no radio, at least did not answer on 18 0r 40, who sat on his 84 while I overtook him for over a kilometre with a triple roadtrain. Yes I could see for 3 or more k, yes I had waited till I had such sight distance and yes, I was trying to meet that deadline for Katherine. Good vanner even commented “I was waiting for him to at least back off a bit” and I said, “Yes, me too”. The other vanner I met on the way home from Bourke now with only two trailers on, had his car on the whiteline, but his van well over the centreline, so he got a good flash and point to move over!!
Outside of a flat at Threeways going up, (thanks Jason for the hand with this one) and another at Cloncurry on the way home, the only other real issue, was the idiot who tried to overtake a triple with little to no sight distance and had I not been empty and swerved to the left and braked to let him in, he may well have hit the oncoming car headon beside the lead trailer.
Good some good photos etc and enjoyed the trip, but now have yet another list of things to follow up. Yes a few more green reflectors in the Territory and I did ring and speak with Dept of Transport whilst there, road failures long overdue for fixing and not just the 200 potholes, but the craters and complete road failures still there months after the floods will be part of next call.
Then the roadworks to improve??????? The road north of Augathella, nice but narrow surface with NO Shoulder, but 45 degree slope that go a long way down and this on a road for triples!! I thought they were to make the roads better and safer, not pretty but unsafe, so yet another thing to follow up. Getting time for bed, so will add a photo and hope to talk to many interested vanners Sunday if all goes well. Safe Travelling, Rod.