26th March 2023

Goodaye all, an interesting week for me with calls back from TMR and a Heavy Vehicle Rest area Committee meeting, finalizing our application guidelines, but a bad week for industry with some sad and serious crashes. My thoughts go to the families of those involved.

So I have a mate who drives in Central Qld and there is the McKenzie River rest area on the Fitzroy Development Road south from the Peak Downs Highway towards Dingo. I have previously spoken with TMR asking who put up some green reflectors (though the border for TMR Mackay finishes at Middlemount) and there were (till I was there some months ago) not only no green reflectors, but only one signed bay for that stretch to Dingo! They are still to get back to me.

But at the meeting called by the Assistant Police Commissioner which I attended in Mackay some months ago,  I raised the issue of new signs at this rest area stopping westbound trucks from entering from that end. Two other drivers had agreed there was now a problem. There was no come back from the TMR chief who attended that meeting, so I have chased again. Finally got a call three months later after I had complained about the new toilets on the road towards Belyando from Clermont having hand written signs saying “toilets out of order” and the fellow apologized for the delay, saying he had been off on leave and thought it was sorted now.

Yes it had been, they were not even technically opened and neither were the ones at the intersection of the Peak Downs and Fitzroy Roads when I rang and complained there was no toilet paper in any of the loos. Then if they are not open, why are they left open with no signage to say otherwise??

So I explained the McKenzie problem, weeks later he came back and said, no, there are no new signs there, so I asked my mate for photos and sent them in, more quiet, then the call. “Yes there are signs there as part of an upgrade”, really well what do you know? “But your new signs now expect a loaded AB triple at over 100 tonnes gross to do a U turn across and block both lanes to get in and then do the same to get out when there is a corner blocking line of site!!!!!!!!! Yes they seem to think that is safer and I and others disagree vehemently. So I asked them to remove the signs, they are wrong and have created a hazard, not removed one, that I want a response and will keep asking and emailing and ringing until they are removed, unless they will build another rest area on the other side. No we don’t have the money and he does not have the power, yes I understand that, hence the request for you to put my comments forward and to respond to them.

This is yet another time that those who think they know what it is like to drive trucks, have no clue. Their intent is genuine, did they consult anyone, let alone a truck driver, many will ignore the signs, but then will the local copper decide this is an easy mark? I will follow up with the TMR boss from the meeting and the Police, but this is why we must have a voice, even if only to know what they are doing and to comment first. We all see what we think is sometimes a stupid waste of money and we do know there is no bottomless pit of same, yet we must get better value, because it is our lives they are playing with. If they won’t even agree the signs are there, how will we get them to listen?

If you have any such issues, let me know. Another mate rang, tearing his hair out over the crashes, saying and rightfully so, you have been trying to fix this shit for years and nothing changes, no one listens, but please tell me who can and will? He wants, like many, a changeover site on the Pacific, during the week it was mayhem at Kempsey. I gave him some steps to take and he has said he will and with a new NSW government, maybe we will get some action, so we will have to push and even scream to get this underway. Again, if you use the Pacific, if you see and live this problem, write me a paragraph, not ten pages, but a fair and reasoned explanation of the problem we can put forward. I don’t do changeovers and certainly not on the Pacific, so I need five who do to give me something to push with. Will any of you do this? Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.  


19th March 2023 A week-end in Dubbo and jobs done.

Goodaye all, a week-end at home, got in Friday and unloaded, checked for a week-end job, but nothing extra so will load Monday afternoon. Fitted a short term water tank to the truck, got a few more things tidied and have plans to see the scales fitted Monday morning and some brackets welded for another piece. Made some calls, some nice reflective tape coming for the trailers, got a call back from Vicroads about a ripple on the Hume they have been unable to find for over 12 months now and note TMR did do some work on the culverts south of Yelarbon.

Sunday night now, lights on side done and a couple fixed and lit as well, fitted the Ecofins to the top of the cab and roof light bar, am getting small extensions for the cab wings and once fitted will complete the Ecofin perimeter. Mowed, pruned, cleaned as well and now to scrub the shower. Then off to bed, will be a long day tomorrow but such is trucking. Been hot, didn’t even have breakfast or lunch, keen to get the lights fitted and on and thanks to Toby for the effort, still a few jobs to do, but getting there.

Spoke with our workshop manager and asked to get jobs done Friday, saying if we get these few things done, they will be all finished and I said, “I will leave you alone for months, you won’t know what to do with yourself” and he said, “They will never be finished”. True there will be minor repairs, but I had this list when I first put them together and always had intent to see most of it done overtime. We have plenty of other trucks and trailers to work on, yes they are the 50 year RPT set, but they have to work as well and yes, I want them to look good and will do my best to make that happen and then keep them that way. Have had comments from customers and some on the road saying they look good and will be better when completed, just little things I will see and know but few others will appreciate or care about.

Same with the truck, yes I am always looking for ideas, little things and the biggest cost and item will be to have the water tank and toolbox specially made to fill the gap and complete the chassis, but that will be one of those jobs I will work on and sort over time. Some dash lights to sort, some blue lights to set up on a switch for shows and some cupboards to fit and nearly all done, again to the initial plan I had from the start.

Am hoping to do some stories for mags and get to some shows, pity to miss the Oaklands show today, had I a load for Melbourne, could have gone, but we will see for the future. Hope to have some photos for next week. Off to the showers, till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


12th March 2023

Goodaye all, well nearly a stuck in for two plus days week-end like the last, just a different spot, but again a couple of calls and thanks very much Andrew for getting me unloaded Friday night in Mackay, then after a night north of Rocky, got back and went to fit mudflaps I could have breakfast with my sister-in-law Saturday morning (thanks for breakfast Betty) and her husband and say Goodaye, then get into Brisbane last night.

Had a lot of paperwork to catch up on this morning, worksheet and diary, then a clean of the cab, chat with a couple of drivers, make some calls and then measure ready to fit some mudflaps, file the edges off the dropdeck chassis on both trailers, yes slow with a hand file but no grinder here and it only cost some time and sweat, no I did not hit them but marked from before and had to have it tidier as you do.

Breakfast of fruit cookies (Thanks Grandson Cody) with yoghurt and just had the last of my Coles raisin and oat ones from last week for tea with the same yoghurt. Went out for lunch with a man looking to help drivers with stuff, checking into that first and will see where that goes soon.

After borrowing Dutch’s drill, the man from lunch from above, drilled all the holes before we went to lunch (then came back to fit them, glad I had not unbolted them all), then damn, only brought two long and two short bolts, not 4 long ones, did one side, need some minor mods later but plan and outcome is what I wanted, so other side when I can get more bolts.

Took a couple of photos, had planned to wash truck for them, but no room or gear and raining here and there, so decided to get into computer and did so just before it bucketed down, so no kore photos, will try in the morning now. I must say the Bruce Highway down to Gin Gin at least is looking better and has more stopping bays and sites than I have ever seen on it. Still more work to be done and will look forward to the Gympie bypass but need more sites closer to Brissie.

Trouble was the car and caravan drivers. One vanner, doing around 90, I was the fourth vehicle behind him into the long overtaking lane and still had 500 metres to go and he tried to pull across in front of me, then sat there beside me till the end and had to slow to get back in. The signs all say, “ALLOW OVERTAKING VEHICLES TO PASS” NOT “Pull out in front to stop them long before the end of the overtaking lane and then stay at 90 kph!”

Some cars would do 90, then as you had a chance to overtake, speed up to 100, but then back to 95 or 90 and then wonder why you are still behind them k after k? Some more rain, but had it so hard near Springsure on the way up, had to slow to see the road and of course the road to Mt Isa has been closed after the torrential rain up there. Hope all get out of it OK.

Well time for a shower now it is cooler and hope to get a decent sleep, then load in the morning. I did manage to visit home for clothes Wednesday before heading off to load and knowing there was no way I would be home, so the third week away and hoping to get home next week-end to get some more lights fitted to the truck and finish that other mudflap. Cheers and Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


5th March 2023

Goodaye all, here I am in downtown Griffith, can’t unload till tomorrow morn, but it could have been worse. I had to deliver to Bourke loading out of Brisbane Friday and was told they did not open till Monday. As you might imagine, it is bad enough getting here last night and sitting till Monday, let alone sitting in Bourke for nearly two days and then not getting into Melbourne to load tomorrow. So I made some phone calls and explained my request, normally no problem but boss was away for week-end and would see what he could do. He rang back and said the best they could do was 3PM Saturday. I said thank you that would be very much appreciated and it was and I left there are arrived here about 10.30PM.

There is of course a backstory to this, and it started loading Monday for delivery to Shepparton Tuesday morning, two drops there then into Melbourne. Got to Shep just in time to do my spot on “Nightshift”, then later in the morning up and in to unload, got to gate and lady walked out and said, “You have to go in the other gate”, the sign I had passed said TRUCK ENTRY then in smaller letters 6 PM to 6 AM. We discussed this and she said ”Will you be able to back out?” I suppose we will find out as I backed the b-double back out onto the street, lucky it was not a busy spot. Seems she has not and does not want to see the sign as it is.

Then into the next gate and walk around for a bit till I find another small sign, ring this number for deliveries, so I did and they turned up. A compliment on the rig, unload, a copy of Owner Driver and off to the next place. In, have to take two pallets off and test product, yes I can sit in the lunchroom and have coffee after I sign in, OK thanks. An hour or so later I wander out and they have nearly unloaded me, all good, but the driveway out is an angular downhill and turn nightmare, but by running over a bit of the garden, no damage, just use the mulched bit, got out no damage.

Noticed a tyre doughy, stopped to put some air in to get into Melbourne as no weight on it and enough air to get me there. I had only driven 4 meters in the yard in Dubbo before I went to load and picked up a wall screw from some new work. I had picked up 40 for that reason, but this one I missed and it too could have been worse.

Off to Melbourne, go to last place I delivered with the address on our paperwork, no one home, ring the place, no we haven’t used that for months, Oh thanks, back to other site just down the road so all good there and new warehouse all done and even has a cover so we can unload in the rain now without getting wet, bonus. So then round to tyre place and got it repaired and to yard, but can’t load till tomorrow, so tea and an early night.

Wednesday morning, Plan, A, then B, then C and we are off to load, then to top up and made an effort to get into Dubbo to get trailers serviced and few jobs done. Had been told I would be adding a third trailer for the leg to Toowoomba/Brisbane or Gatton pads as such, but after getting my trailers done and some extras, asked about the other trailer. You have to go and load it, OH!!! No one mentioned that.

Find it, check it over, put some gear in it, rush off to load, broken gate nearly took out two fingers and then the pole fell out of the curtain, I doubt my steel caps would have saved my toes if it had hit on the end. Ring and inform workshop, back soon with work for you, how long 45 mins? Back to yard, organize repairs,  put some more straps on as I had to double stack some pallets, hook up and no clearance to the second trailer. The dropdecks just don’t like others in front, talk of transhipping, but in the end by now getting late, leave it for now and go as is. But then have to clean turntable from the trailer I loaded and then skidplate from my A after greasing the loaded trailer turntable, having greaseless is good most of the time.

So out late, a quick shower at Moree and into Toowoomba. Up to unload in the morning there, in to Brisbane depot to unload as won’t make timeslot and then get to load. Off to load and after about 15 minutes discussion about the weight of the product, I was wording up my next column for Owner Driver. You know how you try to help people and they will not listen.

Paperwork lists product as being 1100kg, but three times previously I have explained, complained and weighed product before. Paperwork is correct I am told, no it’s not, so we will go and look, yes please. We check the container, no weight listed, we weigh the container, 1400plus KG! The clerk goes back to the office and I detail again to the forkie. He goers off to explain but finds a manager who then comes and asks me to detail issue and I do, for which he thanks me and says will be fixed.

I raised the issue for two reasons, the first is what if a driver comes in and loads a full load of this product, based on their paperwork, then goes out very overweight and has a crash and kills someone. The supplier will be in the shit, and very deep. The second is they are being ripped off for cartage and so is everyone else. It should not take three times to get it fixed and I should not have to virtually hassle people to be listened to, particularly when the info I supply is confirmed.

My column would have been, why must it be so hard to help people, now it will detail what we go through to be heard. I may save a driver from a fine or a crash and this company from a major and very serious COR breach, yes I got a thank you, but it was the third time I had raised it and was the problem the last two times, that I am “just a truck driver?”

So an interesting week, trailer airbags stay up now, save lots of time building up air, got a couple of shockies done and have even asked workshop manager to write me something, the roads are killing them. In our submission for the shock, hidden request for comment on rego rises, I commented that they are asking us to pay more for less, the roads are not being built or repaired properly, we must get better value before we pay more, then the roads wreck the trucks, let alone the driver and then we get pinged for worn out trucks. What a vicious circle and it is our lives on the road!

I got most of the tar off the truck while sitting, another bloody problem with their lousy repairs, so now back to the truck for tea. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


26th February 2023

Goodaye all, Monday and Tuesday in Canberra for the inaugural meeting of the Truck Rest Area Steering Committee. All ten members attended and whilst we discussed many things, some with passion, there was never a raised voice or heated word. There was some frustration, some of the things we would all like to see fixed and or improved, are “outside the remit of the committee”.

This is of course government speak for “you can only affect the things the committee is charged with acting on”, but we had some others attending from other areas and whilst the other things raised cannot be acted on directly by us, we can always hope there are those who can and who will. But no guarantees.

Did we solve all the issues of the last 20 years, of course not, no one can in two days after having states and others ignore us for the last 20. Am I positive we can see change? I think all members want to see it, we had a wide enough group, but not too many to find agreement on most things, we know what is needed, the thing now is to keep pushing and working towards a set of guidelines and then push those hard.

Will we fix it in a year, no. Will we all be trying, yes. To any who can do better, please let me know how. The funding is there, the need is overwhelmingly there and we just need the right focus and effort from states, local councils and of course, the road authorities to act. If I could have a bobcat and a month and permission, (which will never happen), I could fix some things in the short term, but we need that and long term solutions as well. So we will see.

Starting work in the middle of the week can be fun, when the trailers are not ready and things have not gone to my plan, then it can be a real bugger and so from finally getting to work, finishing loading trailers and hitting the road Wednesday evening, I was running all week to make it work. Dubbo to Shepparton, to Melbourne, to Sydney and then home Saturday morning to spend a few quality hours doing some of the things Ion the trailers I had hoped would be done while I was off did again, not win me friends at home.

But the truck got serviced and the new wings fitted and another few hours today and the Ecofins are now fitted on both sides, but still the top of the cab to do. With some more work on the trailers, a few more jobs on the truck to complete and I should have this set just perfect in time for the new ones, once we can agree on the configuration.

Have some more jobs to do, audio books and an NRFA report, so will talk to you all next week. Cheers and Safe Travelling, Rod Hanifey.   


19th February 2019 Conference and join an association, preferably the NRFA.

Goodaye all, again short, trying to write submissions, letters of support, sort life and try and not upset all family all at once, then off to Canberra tomorrow to be in deeper shit. So be it.

As I said last week, conference went well, thanks to the many who worked to make it happen, provided support or auction items. Our NRFA Facebook page has a list and we had logos and banners from most on display at the event. Also those who attended in whatever capacity, our speakers and our panel members, the crew who did the rollover recovery demonstration and those who organized and helped with that.

Of course the work that comes from the conference, will decide in the longer term how effective it was and all that takes more time and effort. Had a driver approach me Monday morning speaking of yet again, lack of industry consultation on rest areas. This time a specific case and waste and I am following that up with him and will raise in Canberra. We have a long way to go, but I am positive we can achieve some improvements in the short term and more in the long term.

Yes I have seen all the naysayers bag the funding, the committee and life in general. What have those done to help. Will they join as association, no. WHY NOT? We have all been burnt by those who promise the world and then deliver nothing. I have never promised, I have said I will try and I would hope most of you would agree, I have. Have I done enough, some of you would say no, my family will say way too much.

Will I keep trying, yes for a few years yet, will I survive, who knows? Again I will ask you to join the NRFA. I will not promise you anything except to show over 20 years of effort. Has that achieved anything you rightly ask? Much of the effort you will never see or here of any of those results or even simply attempts to see change. I am not here to list crow or tally them, simply to try and make those of you who watch but don’t act, aware of the timer and effort it takes to get anything done.

I have had rest area designs changed, sites fixed cleaned, improved and built. I had had roads fixed, improved and repaired and of course the blue/green reflectors have seen about once every few months, someone tell me it has helped and even occasionally ,I am told I have saved a life. But I have not solved the industries problems and if you think I have failed there, then what have you done to help.

The NRFA is recognised, is working, struggles to have the time money and resources to go to every meeting and respond to every request. Could you do it< I doubt it but please give it a try or support those who do it for you. Can we fix everything, No and we will never say we can, but will we try yes. So if you can’ or won’t put in 20 hours a week, will you support others who do? If you join NATROAD or your state association, it will cost you much more, they want your numbers and input like we do. Will you get good value, only you can answer that.

If the NRFA had 1000 members out of the 200,000 truckies, not a lot to ask, we could do more and so could I. Join one, anyone, contribute in a small way and help us to help you, if you won’t, then stop whinging and complaining on social media and in truckstops that the industry is buggered. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.  


12th February 2023 National Road Freighters Association Conference.

Goodaye all, home for a short visit, try to sort some storm damage but not enough time to complete it all, and have to head out to Nyngan to unload in the morning. My first but only 7 hours home in two weeks, so will be short.

The National Road Freighters Association AGM was held Friday night and with a couple of new board members and one swap of positions, the board was voted in and I was returned as President. I only made it there by ten minutes, then went and had a shower and then we had dinner and a last minute sort for the conference. The Conference held at the RSL in Wagga started off with a semi trailer recovery demonstration which went well and drew a good crowd, then we headed in to the nitty gritty.

From where I sit, it went well and many did comment the same. I did get told of one fellow who said he would not be attending another. When I asked him politely “Why?” he said we are still trying toi fix the same problems from 20 years ago and I said “Yes, but if there was no one here, then nothing would even remotely be likely to change and we now have both federal funding and support, along with truckies on the steering committee for truck rest areas, a scenario few would ever have imagined and it will still take time, but you must agree, a big leap”.

I was asked by someone else earlier in the week about why drivers won’t do this or that to see things change. I replied virtually word for word, we are still working on the same stuff and they have every right to be both frustrated and cynical. We have been promised solutions form every inquiry I and others have contributed to over the last 20 years with little change, till now. At least, that is my hope and belief. If I didn’t think there was some value in giving up my time and losing earnings, I would not be able to keep doing it simply for fun.

Others asked how it went and I said, “The conference went well on the day, but the real work and any value, will come more from what happens following the event”. Chasing up on discussions, invites to participate in some more bodies, so more time off to do so, but it is hard to complain something is not done or fixed, if you don’t turn up to have a say. I would welcome comments from others who attended, from that perspective, often it is hard from inside to know if you have hit the mark, the right mix of information, discussion and hopeful;;y, some conclusion, or at least, a path towards same.

I will though thank all the board, and a couple who carried most of the load setting it all up, thanks to the CandC team, every who put in time and effort to attend for the NRFA and all the guests and supporters. Those I will thank both personally and in the next post, but have to shower and go. Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


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.


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.