29th November 2020 Roads and rest areas again.

Goodaye all, another week on the road. I did get a call from a mate who rang and complained about a pothole under the Jerilderie camera. He was given not only an undertaking that it would be fixed, but that the person would contact the Safe-t-cam people and ask them not to issue any fines for those who tried to avoid the pothole and then ran foul of the camera. Had he not rang, many may have got camera fines, but it doesn’t always work that way. Let’s hope it went the way it should have. Well done Chris.

Another contact through a Facebook friend request, who complained about Victorian roads, when asked were they aware of the number and had they called, tells me they have and have had no action. This is why I am still asking for a national road standard, so we know what is deemed acceptable, we can contribute to that standard, not simply have car drivers think we are whinging and we can then hold the road authorities to account.

Then once we report a section of road, depending on the traffic volumes and when the next maintenance is due, it should be fixed within a specified time, dependant on how bad and the above factors. Serious failures and large potholes etc, should simply be left till next time the crew is out that way. A car could hit it and swerve into the path of a truck, a motorcyclist could be thrown well off the road from some of them and whilst you can look and should also be watching the road and driving to conditions, it is hard to see in the dark and round corners. Lives should not be at risk for any longer than is absolutely necessary, to get the problem fixed.

I read at one stage that truckies in the USA were aiming to charge the road authorities for damage caused to their trucks by some of their roads, but have not seen it get up and no surprise, imagine if it did and then maybe we could follow. We are required to be compliant, meet very high standards and be under intense scrutiny, yet I still think that we are not getting good value for the money spent on roads.

What good is it to have two or more people sit in cars at both ends of roadworks all day and tell trucks there is roadwork ahead? Yes, there have been idiots who have slammed into parked vehicles, but if their radio is down or off, then what will them being there change? Some of those do not even speak clearly enough to be understood and I have suggested that on the radio, both politely and with the aim to help, yet why are we paying them for this if they don’t care enough to even be understood. Surely there is a better and cheaper way to do it, instead of having people bored stupid sitting in a car all day calling us up. More money to pay people for little value.

Roads cost a lot, we must get good value, not simply supply large profits to million dollar companies to do a lousy job and then when it fails, pay again. Someone must be responsible for the work, the value and the life of the road, or we will simply continue to pay for something and get little value for it.

On a very positive note, I must congratulate the Tasmanian Trucking association of r getting actual, not implied, intended or promised, support for a Tasmanian Truck Rest Area Strategy, something I would very much like to see done nationally. There are obvious factors that have seen this get up, a lack of through traffic which swells truck numbers needing rest areas, a concerted effort by the association not only in pushing the case, but putting out a document few could realistically argue against and someone in government prepared to put their neck out and support it.

With many towns bypassed over the last few years as the highways were improved and then also more and more wire rope barriers taking away shoulders and spots that could be used, even if not the best or safest spots and of course then, not formally signed and or recognised by the authorities.

But they have agreement and a plan for some immediate and some longer term improvements and I would hope when all done, that at least one state will have enough suitable and sufficient truck rest areas for all those who need them. Their report which is 122 pages long, does say they were way behind and failed to meet all previous requirements for the number and spacing of truck rest areas and I hope this can be used as a guide on how to see things improved. Well done all involved. Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.    

22nd November 2020 Roads!

Goodaye all. Am I the only one who has a problem with our roads and the way they are managed? We must all as I do, recognise we have a large country and a small population, we do not have the people to generate the taxes they do in the USA. We have wide open spaces so no state or district can be aware of every small road failure in all of their area and we cannot expect them to inspect thousands of kilometres of road each week.

With that as a start point, those who control the funding do little driving on our roads, their time is too valuable and they mostly fly. Those who distribute the funding you would hope, would have local knowledge, road building skill and understanding and common sense to ask and or learn if they do not have all the above. Biggest problem with common sense, is that it is not very common now.

Then why, from where I sit bouncing and banging along what is meant to be a National Highway, the Newell, which runs from Brisbane to Melbourne, having to travel on a road where some of the failures can have my wheels off the ground and or throw me around the cabin to the extent my seatbelt will allow, but that only limits the travel, not removes the impacts.

Yes we have generally better roads than we did in the past and yes, they are often wider, safer and carry much more traffic. Yes we have freeways and they deliver much of the city traffic to and from work. But our country depends on roads, not just for freight to and from everywhere to everywhere else, but so you can go visit Grandma and or have a holiday.

Trains do a good job moving bulk commodities and freight over long distances, Perth maybe and they tried to do Darwin and failed badly after spending millions of our dollars. I do believe that rail link should have been built during or immediately after the war, but what would I know. At one stage we had 28 different rail gauges in Australia, no wonder we don’t have as good a rail system as the USA. But no matter where the trains run, you need trucks at each end as no train a kilometre long will stop at the back of your supermarket, nor will it call into your farm to pick up your grain.

So for now, we need trucks. So if you want us to be able to deliver your freight at the cheapest cost, you have to have good roads, so our trucks can travel safely on them. My most recent question to all has been, why must trucks be road friendly, when roads are not truck friendly and why must we be fined for failures caused by the roads. We should be charging the road authorities for repairs, given the roads are meant to be safe, aren’t they?

I have been ringing road authorities for nearly 20 plus years making them aware of road failures. When I started, I was often told, we don’t get many truckies ring to tell us of these problems and so we often don’t know till our crews find them (and even that doesn’t always get things fixed either) but the truck I drive has the technology to graph and locate impacts into the truck, yet the road authorities will not recognise the data. Yes they may be scared it will mean they will have to accept the road has a problem and then find the money to fix it.

I do not ring about a divet the size of my palm, I ring when there is a failure, either badly built, badly repaired or simply, it has failed and I tell them for my safety, for your safety, so they know and can act accordingly to fix it in a timely manner and so that some poor bugger doesn’t come along and not being aware, hits the hole or irregularity and then goes under the front of another car or unsuspecting truckie who only went to work that day to feed his family and who will then invariably be dragged through court, even though the crash was not their fault and possibly have their lives and that of their families destroyed while it is all sorted out.

If lucky it will happen quickly when someone realises it was not the truckies fault, but at worst, it will drag on for months and destroy them and one day, they will be proved not guilty, but it will be too late for them then. This is a worse case, but I have been asking for over 5 years to get one section of road repaired and still it is not done. It is not the only issue, far from it, even the promoted new Dubbo bridge, which the community, the council and many others see as a half arsed cheap non solution to Dubbo’s current and future transport needs, is yet another issue where those who build and pay for it, from my point of view, simply won’t firstly properly consult those who will use it, nor will they listen to them when they disagree. How do you fix any of this? I would welcome your thoughts. Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

15th November 2020

Goodaye all. After my last post I loaded Monday, rang TMR re the missing bins at the truckstop opposite the Caltex in Rocky, asked them about getting someone to contact me re the possibility of some additional informal green reflector truck bays and am still waiting for a reply. I stopped in at Narrabri and spoke with the local paper about additional truck parking and whilst the council has slightly moved the offending sign that was hitting trucks trying to use the small northbound bay, it is still over the gutter.

They have also rejected my request for consideration of reopening the area beside McDonalds and say that Woolies will have to be consulted for any change in front of their store, so I have failed to get their initial support, but maybe the paper can help.

It has been a big couple of weeks and then I did an airbag and got held up getting home Saturday, and have a lot to catch up on, so will call this a day and hope to entertain you with more of my life on the road next week. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

8th November 2020 Five states in six days.

Goodaye all. I have just had dinner with my brother-in-law and his lovely family in Rockhampton. I loaded Sunday, into Melbourne Monday, got out at 9PM Monday night, so some long nights to then get into Brisbane for AM Wednesday, a couple of pick-ups and out to Moree that night. Unload in the morning, do some shopping at Narrabri, then onto Newcastle.

Loaded Friday morning and off to a mine north of Emerald, yes open there 24/7, rang and gave them a time and then the next drop sorted, both done without too much fuss and back to Duaringa for fuel and tea, then into Rocky for a 35 hour break.

I did stop in Narrabri again now northbound, to get a new logbook, on the last page and had a chat with a fellow there who suggested we needed a trucks only bay in front of Service NSW for exactly the reason I stopped there. I told him I had already rang the council about increasing marked truck parking and had then followed up as requested with an email. I now have to add the bit there, but did get a phone call back from council after I chased them when shopping, hoping to get to someone and confirm if the issue had been discussed at council yet.

I was told the original lady was now on maternity leave and the next in line was away till Monday, so we agreed they would ring me on their return. I had also walked over and checked out the parking beside McDonalds which I had a hand in getting opened up to trucks years ago. It now has a better surface and when it was closed some years ago and I rang and asked why, had been told it was due to complaints about dust and rubbish. At the time I did comment, then surely it would have been wise to put some bins there? It seems now I have been told of a truck tyre that caught alight, but am yet to confirm. However, I did get a call from Narrabri Council saying the sign beside the northbound Truck Only Bay had been moved away from the road. It was too close and had been hit already by those trying to be well clear of traffic. So a small win, but a start.

The Woolies at Narrabri is one of only two or three supermarkets I can easily access between Melbourne and Brisbane. With harvest on now, it is even more valuable to all the drivers living and working in their trucks locally helping with the enormous amounts of grain currently being transported to silos. Yes there are some truckstops that they will use, but to buy and eat there all the time is an expensive exercise, so they need supplies and many probably cook there own while in the ques at night, as not all work 24/7. The truckies must be putting not only hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Narrrabri economy, but they are also providing jobs for the towns people.

We just need a bit more signed parking to make it a bit easier and I don’t think that is too much to ask. I will keep you informed.

I had parked up with a truck beside me and there was a bit of a breeze, but when I could not sleep and got up to move back a bit so I could turn on the Icepack, there was someone behind me, so I suffered the heat and finally got some sleep. Up and some exercise, then a walk to Bunnings to try and fix a small problem, no good, but ah well, clean out the toolbox, the bunk area, the storage box and catch up on paperwork, then off for a cuppa and tea. It will be into bed early tonight to load for Melbourne in the morning.

I had an email from a driver about a new BP at Tullamarine, have passed that onto BP, another about the Wyong servos and a refusal to allow us to use the toilets, so will have to follow that up and am out of audio books, so will have to transfer some from the laptop to a thumb drive to get me home again next week-end.

Many of you may recall the video interview Whiteline Television did with “Mr Positive, Chris Harmer”. Chris has had a remarkable recovery, but is still unable to drive and we went back for an update. The power of faith from being told he had 12 to 18 months to live and now being cancer free is a terrific recovery, but he has a long way to go. You can see the video at www.truckingnation.com.au Till next time, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

1st November 2020

Goodaye all. Home for my 25 hour visit with the family for this week-end. I did get one night home during the week, a rare change and it worked well as I was not needed that night and had some media to do for our “Stop the River Street Bridge” campaign the next day. I did check out the site as it was raining that afternoon and am keen, but wasn’t going to spend four hours in the rain washing the truck, with the forecast for more rain. I could not stand without slipping that afternoon, yet nearing midday the next day, checked out the site and drove in and parked along with a couple of local prime movers for the handover ceremony.

I did a radio interview in the morning, loaded and then took part with a number of Dubbo stakeholders, from the convenor of the group, the mayor, small business reps and other transport entities at the handover of about 11,000 signatures to see Dubbo try to get a decent and long term traffic solution, instead of a half arsed cheap patch, that will not solve anything now or later. Did a tv interview, then bolted to Melbourne.

I had been to Brisbane Monday and after loading headed north. Less than half an hour out of Dubbo, a siren behind and a random license and logbook check. The gentleman was not exactly friendly, found an error but did not accept my reasoning and said I will get a ticket in the mail. I explained I did not go to work to break the law, we were talking about 15 minutes (or less the way we have to fill in the book), but it was an error and he thinks I should pay. I was cranky with myself and yes, I did make a mistake, but it will show I was legal and I can back it up, so we will see what the review process thinks of it when I fight it.

If I was an hour out, then that is not an error, but there was info in my book, that had I been given the chance to look at it properly and think on it for more than a second, I could have shown it was a mistake, not a breaking of the law or attempt to deceive. Forgive me if I might agree with those who often make the comment, this is about either revenue raising, or putting me in my place. We will see.

I spoke of UFOs on the “Nightshift” radio spot, unidentified farming objects, bright lights out in the middle of dark paddocks and many of them are trying to beat and or deal with the rain, to get crops off. I wish them all success, as what we grow for food and export, contributes to all our libves, in one or more ways.

The other issue was the change in the USA of the differences in many truckstops there. Mandatory Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs which we call Electronic Work Diarys here) started a change where fewer drivers have time for sit down meals and as here, when Covid struck, many US truckstops were initially closed, but then reopened when it was recognised nothing would get delivered without trucks on the road. Many stayed closed for sit down meals and there is a trend for more grabbing something to eat in the truck.

That sounds more like a recipe for less healthy, more overweight and more stressed truckies everywhere. Is this what we want as drivers and what we all need for safe and reliable road transport. Looks like it is going in the wrong direction to me. Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

25th October 2020 Back to work.

Goodaye all. Have a week off, dig some holes at home, in the yard of course, go to Canberra for some filming stuff, and get some more support for the next TIV. That was last week. Back into it Sunday, though cleaning the skidplates on both trailers, is not always my favourite way to start the week on a Sunday and have been running ever since. I have Teflon plates on both turntables, so no grease and with the truck in the shop getting the clutch sorted and the trailers due for annual inspection for rego, they had to use another truck to move them. Two trips to Melbourne, then to Purrawunda and into Toowoomba Friday to get the EBS sorted again.

The truck has only had one previous problem with the EBS since we finally sorted the issue of how to fit the radar sensor. Herd supplied the bullbar a terrific effort of support, but they could not cut a hole in it as it was a FUPs bar. After a lot of questions and effort, it was found that with about 1mm tolerance, we could simply mount it on the top of the base. Once hooked up it worked well till it did not and thanks to Knorrr Bremse and there excellent support, it was found the harness under the engine had a join and with a small oil leak and the usual fluids under an engine, the contact got muck in it. It should not have been in that position, but was replaced and moved to a better and less prone spot and has been good since.

Like all things electronic, it works well till it doesn’t. Then being something that either you can’t simply see or feel to be the issue, you need both specific knowledge, tools and for the thing to play up when you inspect it. How many of you have had a problem, gone to get it fixed, to then find, there’s nothing wrong with it at the moment, so you head off only to have the fault reappear. You simply can’t fix things with a shifter and a hammer anymore, can you?

Had my break whilst repairs underway, a few phone calls, rang and put my views on an article about industry safety, then into Brissie to load and get out and deliver on the way home Saturday morning.

Problem was a pin to the ECM. If I think back, I can attribute these pins to 8 breakdowns and issues. Always got going, but something so important in how things work, yet so small in size and makes you wonder if it is not properly designed or built for the task. I will talk to Cummins and if any of you with trucks have had similar issues, I would be interested to hear.

Watching trends in the USA about truckstops and meals, they too had issues early on with the virus and being forced to close food centres, but then were recognised as essential to keep their truckers on the road. Many sites did close and have still not reopened and there seems to be a trend of more buying meals and heading off, with the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate cited as one issue that started the trend and the virus only pushing it further.

I am hoping to build a kitchen box, any thoughts and suggestions welcome and if you are a caravan manufacturer, maybe you would be interested in being a sponsor and helping me build the ultimate one for a truck with your knowledge and expertise with vans and or motorhomes. Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

11th October 2020 A week off

Goodaye all, I am having a week off, the truck needs a clutch and so I have made up a list with a few other jobs for truck and trailers and plan to work on family, a couple of books and the next TIV. Thank you to those who have commented on the “phone a mate” idea. If you will have a go and ring a mate to offer a Goodaye and perhaps empower one person either to seek help, or simply to think of, contact and even possibly help another driver, then I am glad that my mate rang me with the idea. Some of you may see a video which mentions me and this idea, but he did go a bit hard, I did not save anyone’s life, I simply found out after the event, but hope by putting the idea out there, that one of you may truly save someone doing it tough.

There are many drivers who over the years have tried to do their bit to see things change, there are many more who have either complained and done nothing, or simply thought it all too hard. Nothing will change unless someone makes the effort, sometime it will still not change, but you must either support someone who makes the effort, make it yourself, or shut up and don’t whinge about it, if you are not prepared to actually do anything constructive.

It is hard to do it on your own, the associations and other groups cannot solve all our problems overnight and the government, unfortunately doesn’t even know nor care, what the problems are, let alone know what the solutions may be. So you can have a go, you can join an association, but even then, joining alone and paying a fee, does not fix it all. If you don’t like what an association, union, group or bunch of blokes do and think you can do it better, then join and make it happen, or at least try. No group can get things done without member participation and support.

Just joining and then doing nothing may give the group numbers, but unless you participate, provide input, give your views, etc, how will anyone know what you want to see done. Our biggest problem as an industry, is that we are all individuals, like every other group, but then we have owner drivers and company drivers, local and intra and then interstate and then we have all the industry sectors that each want possibly different things or even similar things but in different ways or for other reasons.

We have overnight express, general freight, tippers and tankers, livestock, oversize and all the others as well, which are all part of the transport industry, yet have differing needs, representation and issues. Then of course if we were all local drivers, we could have a meeting and maybe be heard, but we are spread from one end of the country to the other and trying to deal with day to day issues, let alone industry wide ones that need more effort than one bloke or one association can change.

What has been your experience with the union, with the associations that represent us, have they listened, have they acted or do they not truly represent you, whether you are a local tanker driver or an oversize driver or pilot, or any other group. If you have the answer to all our problems, then please let me know how to solve them for you and I will do my best. If not, join one group or the other and try and help them achieve the impossible, to solve all our problems. Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

5th October 2020 A new TIV and Call a Mate.

Goodaye all. The TIV will live on. I have a commitment for a new truck in the new year and am now working on new trailers as well. I am hoping for a big launch, for something a bit unique and something that will stand out and continue the aims I have had from the start.

  1. Improving roads, yes our trucks are better and so are some roads, but many are not and it is our lives that are at risk. Yes we must be road friendly and comply, but the roads should then be truck and driver friendly. I should not have to ring road authorities to complain about serious failures and then still wait months for them to be fixed. Yes we are a large country with a small population, but we must get better value and safety for all by building, fixing and maintaining our roads to a standard, something we do not have now. We need a National Road Standard and it must be maintained for our safety as well as for all others.
  2. Improving Road Safety for all, through better education about sharing the road with trucks. I have been promoting the Truckies Top Ten Tips for over 20 years now, yes we have the videos finally, but not one road authority will include them in driver licensing, so until we get people to understand us, they will continue to risk our lives and theirs every day.
  3. Raising Industry Awareness through attending industry and other events, having riders in the TIV and participating in media and other efforts.
  4. More and better rest areas, we need a National Rest Area Strategy, we are losing more sites than we are gaining, we still do not have enough and I am still asking for green reflector bays to be national after only 20 years. If we can’t get a bit of dirt marked, what hope do we have of having enough suitable truck rest areas to safely manage our fatigue?

 I will commit for a minimum of four years, hope for maybe another one or two on top of that if health and family will allow and intend to continue the work I have done for over 20 years now. I would welcome any support, the majority of those sponsors who have supported the TIV from the start, have committed to extend that support into the new unit and I thank all for that help in achieving a dream.

When I first came up with the idea of a vehicle to promote the industry and road safety, even I thought it might not happen. But a few said they would contribute, then others did, but with the curtains, I was told, “It will never happen, no one will pay for that” but I kept asking till I found someone who would help with the application, though the design of both sets so far were mostly, all mine. Attards accepted my design, helped with the production of both sets and the original curtains are now on another set of RPT trailers and I am planning for a BAB Quad trip and photo shoot.

The current curtains are 9 years old and will live on for a bit with the current truck. I am hoping to find a protégé to take on the current truck when the new one arrives, any takers? I do not expect anyone to put in the time I do (and few of you would even have any real idea of that) nor do I expect them to do shows, but they must respect the effort I have put in, and do the right thing as best they can, that is all I ask.

There will be new curtains and I will again cover most industry sectors, the Australian Heavy Vehicle Combinations panel will be updated and slightly bigger, as it has had so many comments and photos, it was the best addition to the original curtains that I made and thanks to Kenworth for helping with it then and again for the new one. I will aim to cover all who have helped over the next few months, but thank them all here as well.

Ken Wilkie holds a special place both in my heart for his simply unheard of help, by supplying his Kenworth to get me going, and then his outstanding contribution to the road transport industry over many years, then Rod Pilon bought me the current trailers and then the K200 and Rod and Ben and all the staff generally, continue to support my efforts to this day. I will not say it has been easy, my family have all suffered, mostly in silence for the time and effort I put in, but I love what I do. I am often told I have two jobs and only get paid for one.

In these times and with many good projects and road safety efforts in place, we must all work together to keep us all safe and in good spirits. We live on the road in general isolation much of the time, have rarely been recognised for the work we do and the lives we so often save, anticipating and or dealing with the actions of those who have never driven a truck, let alone lived in one on the road. A mate rang me the other day and has committed to ring a different mate each night when at work, to simply ask how they are going. I think this is a terrific idea and started it that night as well.

A couple of years ago, during my Christmas ring around to mates, two of a dozen blokes I spoke with in a couple of days, had suffered marital breakdown and had been in varying degrees, close to suicide. This industry is very unforgiving of the toll it takes on our families and many marriages do not survive and the effects of those marriage failures can be severe, have a long period of self -punishment for the failures, perceived or otherwise of the driver, let alone the impacts on the children and others involved.

There are many programs underway, yet we are all very cynical of the proposed, proffered, promised and perceived changes that others offer. Mostly we all hope they have good intentions, but if we want things to change, if we want to help others who may be struggling for whatever reason, we must participate and make sure that no one wastes the time and money to re-invent the wheel, but listens to those involved, who have been there or who will at least listen and offer valuable and specific help or at least, direct us to those who can provide help.

Do you know someone who has struggled, have you taken the time, even if only to ask, are you OK or can I help in any way? Most blokes will not simply open up and tell you their woes, many will not want to burden you with their problems, but sometimes, simply asking or offering, can start a recovery and what has it cost you, a little bit of your time and surely we can all at the least, offer that. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

27th September 2020 Did you miss me?

Goodaye all. Two week ends ago, I had a theme and story, but 26 hours home for my break left me short. I had a column for owner Driver to get in and things to do, but not enough time to do this as well, my apologies. That story was “Technology in trucks and the saga of the starter motor”. On my way to a farm in the middle of the bush, road closed due to covid and rang TMR to be told go 100k out of my way as the only border crossing open, then stopped to check out a green reflector bay, only to have the auto, flash up a code.

Having previously reported the starter motor not working every time, so knowing it was due, but again, busy on the road and not long enough in Dubbo to get it changed the week prior, with the auto code flashing and no go, had to stop the truck to reset the auto. Four goes to start, in the middle of the night and a farm to get to, but made it there and went to bed to get up and unload, then it would not start at all. Rang the workshop, knowing what he would suggest, tilt the cab and hit the starter. Did that and got it started, kept it running all day, back to Dubbo late that night and of course, it did start the next morning, but it got replaced. Leccy said, lucky you did not hit it in the wrong place (and there is not much room to do so either) as you can short it and have it end up melted on the ground. MMMMMMM.

The technology part comes with all the electronics on trucks now. Fantastic when they work, leaves you little chance to fix when they don’t. The auto code has not reappeared, so that is good, but the previous issue with the EBS and active cruise which was fixed, is back again since my trip to Mt Isa. Seems there are three brake light switches, one for normal, one for the Jacobs brake and another for the ACB. One was always coming up with a code that no one could sort, but this one drops out the cruise, stops you from doing a burn and has the EBS light on. So will have to go back again for another look and hopefully something simple, we will see.

So last week, having got home Wednesday to get the starter done the next morning, caught up on emails and thought, only going to Brissie, will leave the laptop home. Got to Brissie, split trailers to go to a fun spot to unload, then a phonecall, you will be taking a roadtrain to Mt Isa. Back to the yard, hook up trailers again, go and do another pickup then back to have a 24 hour break before leaving. Do my dog run Saturday, have to change the dolly to the other trailer when I got there with the second one and then, away we go.

It is awhile since I have been that way and the undulations west of Drillham kept me bouncing and meant a serious effort to check and resecure the load was needed after a nights camp at Morven. Was looking for a parking bay before there, but only one stopping bay it seemed for well over an hour. It is good to see Queensland acting to ensure truck bays are left for trucks but with only 21 truck only bays in Qld, as per their own admission to the Senate inquiry, no wonder we get tired looking for them.

Lots of business at the PUMA at Morven whilst doing check and prestart, so walked over and they agreed to put up a copy of my new poster as below. Thank you very much to Dick and Stuart from ATCC for the work and printing of the posters. They have done this for me previously and the old ones are in truckstops across three states at least. If you have a space that sees much motorist traffic and want to help us be better seen and promote sharing the road with trucks, you can probably get one printed. Let me know.

The next night I made it to just past McKinlay, where yet another old favourite truckstop has disappeared. Last time I was up there I had a terrific meal and they even had a lending library of audio books, but yet another gone, so sad to see.

It would seem I can’t add a PDF file here, so you might have to check the Facebook page? Rod.

Sorry if it is hard to read here, but in poster size looks the part and we can only offer it and have such things available for motorists to read, we can’t make them!

Into Mt Isa Monday, a couple of drops and then our depot manager took ill and I was asked to stay for a bit. Two triples, an AB triple and a roadtrain meant there were many hands and much to do and when a plan was sorted, I left Tuesday with another roadtrain load for a gold mine to deliver on the way, stopped at Longreach, marked some more green reflector bays and then to Toowoomba for a pick up, back into Brissie and load to get home for inspections for my trailers for rego, done Friday afternoon.

There is more to tell, but this will have to do as still have much to catch up and do and will detail big plans next week. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

6th September 2020 Happy Fathers Day.

Goodaye and Happy Fathers Day to all. I have just been out for lunch with 3 of my four boys and have got a call or covid hug from my three girls. I hope you get to be with and or speak with family if on the road.

Out Monday into the closed state of Victoria, been there each week since well before all this started, so went twice this week for fun. First time out, do not really still know why, but nearly an hour to get through the checkpoint at Kalkallo. I had started the day with a double split to do a delivery, only to follow one of Visys into the same street, which believe you me, is not what I would imagine would be a b-double route, but the way they went, is not open to all it would seem. I am confident I could get into the delivery site, but would have to do it a certain way or would simply not be able to get out as a double. Will have to do some more research.

Then due to that longer than hoped double delivery, smoko and different forkies etc, got delayed four hours to load, then the delay on the way out and being at HML weights, could not shortcut through Condoblin, had to go to Tomingley before I could cut across to get to Nyngan the next day, so all those things conspired to completely screw the next days plan.

Slept in a new green reflector bay just north of Parkes, got up and rang in and said, “Houston, we have a problem”! Luckily there was a solution, thank you Geoffrey for then picking up the load he was to take and then taking it back to the yard for me to come in later and reload and he went and loaded mine at 1.30, which I had no chance of doing. It meant he got the direct drop and I then got first a split and then another double split, to deliver Thursday.

A bit better loading window, but back to work to top up a bit and out of Melbourne at 67.8 tonne, checked weights at Broadford and away we go. I must say a well thought out idea from Vicroads, allowing all bridges to be left on, so we can check weights. It will go a long way to help us be compliant if you load different stuff all the time and for those who load mostly the same freight, you should be able to get it near perfect. TMR in Queensland leave the scales on at the entry and exit to the port in Brisbane, but I did ask RMS about leaving the ones on north of Parkes and they were not interested, even when I spoke of the other states doing the same.

Back to Dubbo Friday, fit a new mudflap, change a couple of curtain straps and make some plans for trailer service and then HVIS is due, so tentative plans for early inspection etc with next service. Had to email a new photo for my DG license, rang to check and the lovely lady there sorted it late and then processed it and have a copy with a new card to come in the mail.

I got an early call from a respected driver who asked about the current ATA/ Big Rigs have s ay in the HVNL. It asks you a number of yes/no questions, but does allow you to comment, why you agree or otherwise. I spent some time explaining my answers and whilst I have done written and oral submissions etc, I will not give up or miss another chance to have a say. Have a look and make a comment, please. Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.