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27th February 2022 TIV Thanks.

Goodaye all, now this post may be a bit boring for some, but I have to thank many people for their support of the new TIV. Without them, it would not exist. The list is long, some have contributed more than others and there are still bits to complete and trailers to come.

Kenworth make exceptional trucks, they stand up well on our roads and many are running well into their third decade or more and last year was 50 years since they started manufacturing in Australia, we make design and test more trucks here now than cars. I am very happy with the improvements over the last K200 TIV, this one rides better, is quieter inside, has the upgrades I missed out on with the last one, the smart steering wheel, front curtains and new dash. It has double bunks and I have some more work to do to complete the inside, as I will be living more in it than anywhere else for the next 5 years. As Luke says on the Nightshift, Rod is off to bed in the hotel Kenworth. Sounds like a good title for a song!!

Cummins engines are world renowned and they now have a joint venture in the USA with another supporter, Eaton, so we will see new and even better product from that in the future. Both have supported the TIV and given me help and even allowed me to help them in the past, particularly with the programming of the Ultrashift (and will be talking to them again soon).

GME supply UHF and CBs and aerials and again, did the fit out for me moving and fitting things to suit and to get the most out of truck to truck communication. There were a couple of others I targeted for in-cab things, but had no success, though still have a couple of plans if I can get that support to make it more, inside.

Tramanco supplied the on-board scales and that incredible technology that sees the truck (and later the trailers too) “read” the road and both define and locate the failures we all feel each day. CTI Central Tyre Inflation Australia, was on the last TIV and is now on the steer as well on this one. It is the first thing many ask about, as you only usually see it on log trucks etc, but the safety and tyre life benefits are well worth the fitting, it could be said, above the safety aspect that you may never realise has saved you, the improvement in tyre life should pay for itself.

Icepack from Haultech Services have a vastly improved service level and include a heater function as well in the new Icepack, so no matter where you are in Australia, you can get good and consistent temperature control for that all important, good nights sleep.

King Bars went to a lot of trouble to both design and then listen and work with me to have the front piece that will protect and make a statement for the new TIV. It is a new design with the first aluminium backing plate and we will test it out. They did a terrific job with the painting as well.

SAF Holland supplied the turntable and painted it to match and will be involved with the new trailers as well. Thanks to Kenworth at Bayswater for fitting it, just have to hook up the telltale lights now. Michelin tyres came specced with the truck, but we have plans for something a bit different in the future if we can get approval, so watch this space.

Inland Trucks, Kenworth and DAF dealers both at Wagga Wagga, Dubbo and Griffith have helped with improving the exterior lights and some chassis plate, some in Wagga Wagga and the rest in Dubbo and are again, long term supporters of my efforts.

NARVA have supplied the showy parts of the lighting (and there is more to do inside and out when I get time) and the serious parts as well, the new Mark 2 LED driving lights are incredible and I can say they nearly turn night into day. I am not scared of the dark, but both want to see and be seen.

DANA axles, with discs right around is a step forward in technology and safety and makes a big difference when bobtail as well.

3M even fitted the conspicuity tape for me that both make the paint job and the truck stand out, both in the day and perhaps even more safety wise, in the night. As with much of the other bits and pieces, there is more to come.

Lockleys in Melbourne did the painting, I am very impressed and think it has come out well. TRUCKWRITERS in Caboolture completed the scrolling, like many others fitting me in late and well past our booked times, there are some words and a mural to add in recognition of Kenworth’s 50 years of manufacturing and then with the last lights, outside will be nearly done.

Rod Pilon Transport have not contributed to the truck as all these participants have as such, it will be their truck in the end, but without their support, I could not have even started down this path. If I win the Lotto, I might buy it and do more for the industry, but as an employed driver, I could never do this alone, so I thank Rod and Ben and all there who have in any way, supported this initiative thus far.

To all who have helped so far, thank you for making a dream become a reality. Off the see what roads are left and if I can get through to Brissie after unloading in Gundi in the morning. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

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20th February 2022 The new TIV is on the road.

Goodaye all, missed you all last week as picked up new truck, had an electrical problem, finally sorted, that’s the trouble with electronics, good when it works, but often hard to find the problem. Seems when it was built and the engine fitted, the ECM harness got a tug and or the clamp was pulled wrong or something and the 5 volt wire which controls many of the ESC, ADblue and Active Cruise was down to only two strands.

The few times I had it looked at, there were no codes, so in the end I had to try and get it to Kenworth at Shepparton without resetting it, and that meant no accelerator except on cruise and that made the trip there quite interesting. But once there and with codes still active, they were able to trace the fault and it has not missed a beat since.

When I had previously taken it up from Wagga to Brisbane for all the gear to be fitted up there, the trouble started and I said to all who gave me a hard time, that was the only time it would give me trouble. It did happen briefly coming back out of Brisbane and it was checked there and calibrated in Dubbo and then when I actually got it on the road, it happened worse, though others who shifted it for me either had no trouble or it simply did not move and play up.

So it was the same problem all along and I stand by my wish, hope, prayer, claim and comment, it will not let me down again!! There is still more to do to complete it and then the interim trailers and then a new set and I am set for the next five years to take passengers and go to shows and to try and get some more stuff done to improve our lot.

I was re-elected as President of NRFA yesterday at our AGM, the conference and truckies breakfast we had planned for Toowoomba has been deferred due to covid till July 9th and we look forward to as many of you as possible attending. So if you want to make a difference, join up, take part and help me achieve more. I am still happy if you want to join any other transport association, just join one and push to make a difference.

Getting ready for work now, was going to Perth last week but their rules keep changing, so did a change over in Port Augusta instead, but now planning to head over for a visit, till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.  

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6th February 2022 Is it a light at the end of the tunnel, a new truck or a train

Goodaye all, had a lovely experience at a truckstop, the little one just out of Young on the road to Wallendbeen, during the week. It is a small place and whilst they do have a lit “OPEN” sign in the window, it is hard to see. Before I left, I did suggest a sandwich board out the front. It seems they had asked Young Council for permission to put up billboards but were knocked back. The lady was very friendly, filled my coffee cup herself for and they had potatoe scallops of a good size for one dollar each.

Now that is not all that much of a remarkable experience, but in these days of lousy and filthy showers in many places, corporate changes and those who control some sites not seeming to give a fig about us, it was a welcome change. The lady even comes in early in the morning on her own time particularly for truckies, so give them a go if you are through there.

Been a busy and somewhat traumatic week, still trying to sort the new truck, but I think there is light at the end of the tunnel and believe you me, I have been concerned it may be a bloody train. Had some vehicle issues, lousy facility issues and trying to sort it all amongst everything else and then yesterday after asking for plans for a rest area upgrade for maybe 12 months, finally got them to be truthfully stupefied to find RMS plans to tear down trees and destroy a good rest area by “improving” it. I replied saying I would start a revolt and the fellow rang in response to my fairly blunt email, saying even he was surprised, but it is not yet funded and so I have time to influence the plan.

I will make some calls this week and will also be taking part in a meeting as a member of the Newell Highway Taskforce Tuesday and have already raised my concerns and will follow up there as well. If I do not get some sense out of them, I will start a campaign and seek your support. Seems we are likely to lose another rest area in the “Back Creek” overtaking lanes north of West Wyalong, so another issue to raise and follow up.

It seems to have been a bad week for trucking crashes, I personally have not seen or been close to any and had not heard other than from other drivers, so what is the problem? Have you had more pressure placed on you, is it simply a combination of stress on top of stress on top of the usual shit? I did an interview with the local paper and don’t believe I layed it on too thick, but the lady I spoke with said she had no idea what it was like. So do you have a specific problem or even better, a solution. Off to Brissie now, have helped daughter shift house, so more time off this week-end than usual and certainly more time than in the last three weeks, only 18 hours home in that time, but still not enough hours to catch up.

Next week, new truck photos, I hope!!!!! Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

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30th January 2022 Trying for photo, but not yet.

Goodaye all, well here I am in sunny Maryborough (it was when I started and has just rained) waiting to load tomorrow. Wednesday night over to the castle, too late for a feed at Sandy Hollow, so a sandwich and milk, then Thursday up, double split to unload and second trailer tarped, good tarp job by the loader except for covering the side lights. Roll the tarp, no help and lucky no wind and even still in a bit of shade, then two pick ups and off to central Qld.

It was urgent freight and trying to plan delivery times when pick up had some issues, some ugly freight etc, but said hope to be in Friday night, so if that is no good, Saturday morning, but thinking already, another week-end away. Rang and yes, no load till Monday, so enjoy the time off two thousand kilometres from home.

On the way out after loading, rang to confirm delivery windows etc, the sending depot to follow up and ring me back. Getting closer and no call yet, so rang again, so which one first, will come back to me, thanks. Rang yet again even closer now, yes the farthest one first, thanks, then rang them to confirm we were all on the same page. So when will you be there, Friday night as I told all yesterday, Ok will ring you back.

No immediate reply, so into BP Clermont for a feed. Last time I was there for a feed, nearly a year ago now, two things of note. Sitting and eating, I noticed my right arm muscle above the elbow much bigger than the left. I had first thought, geez those push ups each morning working well, till I looked at the left arm. I rang my son and asked him as he is into body building why they would be so different and he said, “You have probably torn the tendon” and this then led to the shoulder surgery as not only had I torn the tendon, but torn the shoulder apart as well. Seems still doing the push ups had strengthened the other of the two tendons and meant I could keep working, as I did till I went in for surgery.

The other thing was the size of the feed. I think then I got four rissoles and salad and chips and even potato salad included and I enjoy my rissoles and salad and could not finish it all, as I had also asked for bread and butter which I usually eat to clean up the last of the gravy etc. Without the bread and butter, I could have finished it. So the feed this week was just as good. The owner (and cook) had gone into town for supplies and the other bloke did not want to give me less than the best, so said there would be a short delay. No call yet to rush in and unload that night so all good, could not unload till the morning anyway and only a couple of hours to get there.

Catch up on my diary, have a coffee while waiting, dinner came and once I can show you the picture, 5 rissoles and I still got the bread and butter and ate it all bar a bit of rissole. Last time I had asked and been given a dish and taken the last rissole for the next morning, (then I had a frig in the old truck) but not in this one as I had only planned to be in it for a month or so. Now into my fourth month in old number 32, wish I had put the frig in, but such is life.

Finished dinner, go to the loo and the phone rings. Hello, “Yes where are you and when can you be here?” At Clermont, about an hour and a half, “No good, I have to go now, so in the morning?” Had they rang back hours before, I could have been there and unloaded, but in the scheme of things, still stuck away and can’t load till Monday and I had a bloody good feed at a fair price. Thanks BP Clermont.

So off to the delivery point, able to park right outside and a bit of reading, still on the “Tawny Man” book five now into the “Assassins Apprentice” series and would highly recommend to all. Up early in and unload, off and ring the second drop and make a time, had a serious call to sort the last bit for the new truck and all things being equal, will be registered and on the road next week. Thank you to Inland Truck Centres for the work to finish it off. I am chomping at the bit, now for the trailers.

I have spoken with a couple of trailer builders and they say they cannot build me a set of trailers, if I supply most of the components, their system will not work that way. It will be a one-of, but I would not have thought that so hard, but I will find a way. Should be on the road with the interim trailers, a tidy up, new paint and a new set of curtains to celebrate 50 years since Rod Pilon started the business. He bought his first truck in 81, but started the RPT business in 82.

So fifty years of building Kenworths in Australia last year and still going strong. So many Kennys years old and done millions of kilometres and still on the road, how many old Benzs and Volvos etc still doing the hard yards? Funny how we still build trucks here and many of the truck manufacturers use Australia as a test bed, when we don’t build cars here anymore.

So thanks to Kenworth and all who have supported the new TIV, there are many and once I have it on the road and a few photos, will list and thank them all here. Congratulations to Kenworth for the effort and the trucks (and still listening to episodes of the “Copy Southbound” podcasts and stories of the past) congratulations and sincere and heartfelt thanks to Rod Pilon for his support and allowing me to do it again and for reaching that milestone.

It seems we will get an apprenticeship scheme for truckies, long overdue and welcome, but sitting here and just chatting with another driver who is about to retire, his comments about why we don’t have enough drivers, when all those who tell us how and what and where and why to do it when none of them have to, is still seriously one of the problems. Can I fix any of this, not on your nelly? Can you, good luck, but if we all got together, we might have a chance, but alone, it is simply hard work. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.   

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26th January 2022 Happy Australia Day, please have a beer or something for me, about to hit the road again.

Goodaye all, sorry for gap and been flat out, stressed getting truck sorted, trying to do it all, work, chase people and survive on the road. Old mate in an Argosy came across at me on the way to Port Augusta, had an idiot overtake me yesterday coming home and thought that was pretty stupid towards a blind crest, then the dickhead behind him waited till he could see a car coming and he went to pass me in a double and if I had not slowed and veered off, there could have been a tragedy. And that is just the highlights.

So a bit of a change, an open double to Port Augusta, had them unload and reload while I had a break, then off to Adelaide. Transport SA have told me the green reflectors have been put up on the Princess as a trial and if it goes well will expand them to other roads. There are now a couple more in SA and Victoria and NSW following this trip. If any of you have seen or used the ones on the Princess (and I have asked for photos and a list of sites but not forthcoming yet) please let me know what you think as it should help make them understand the value of them to us till one day we have enough truck rest areas.

I will be ringing them, coming out of Adelaide, as unless you pull off into the servos off the freeway, there is nowhere to stop and check your load, have a leak or anything till Nuriootpa and with my herd of rhinos (hopefully photos to follow) on top of some of the load, I had to check them etc, plus the wallowy bit near Roseworthy Road was better than most roller coasters I have seen, though the bit south of the pads north of Forbes is back and worse than it was when I asked them to fix it last time. Anyone else thinks this is dangerous (and from the skidmarks off into the bush, one bloke who didn’t know, see the signs and or slow down probably thinks it is) ring 131700 and explain the issue to them please. I too, will try!

So another week-end away, have just got dressed and even put my workboots on for those who wanted to hassle me over my thongs in the new truck photo (it was a week-end, I had just travelled and hadn’t even got in it yet) so I could do a TV bit for ad-blue, am trying to cram a few days jobs into a half day and am off to Newcastle, then central Qld hoping not to get stuck there for another week-end away.

Thank you to every single person who has contributed to the new TIV. It is nearly done, rego and a few finishing touches to complete, get the interim trailer sorted and on the road!! I can’t wait.

 To those who have offered comment and support (except the thong Police) thanks for your support. It has been a long road and I must say, pretty stressful the last few weeks, but there are always others worse off and I am thankful for what I have. I will say to you, when I started all this, I said, “The worst that can happen is I waste my time, my effort and my money and nothing changes, but if I save one life, then everything after that is a bonus.” And there are those who say I may have saved a few already. Let’s hope many more can be saved. Till next time, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

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16th January 2022 A full on week.

Goodaye all, another week of life on the road. Now those who do this will say, just another week, grow a set and get over it and others who don’t will wonder if I am telling the truth. You do know why you make plans, just so someone else can stuff them up, or you can blame Murphy. There used to be a column in a caravan magazine I wrote for, and it seemed to blame Murphy for everything. Now that may be right, but you must take some responsibility surely, don’t you, for your own actions etc?

So, knowing the current state of the transport game, you must be even more flexible than normal, we have had some changes in staff, so a few issues there, I have been towing different trailers, rather than my set and that has raised a few more and then there is that flexibility thing.

When I went home Saturday morning, getting a new logbook on the way and filling it out up to that point (well filling in the last two days of my record from when it ran out) and thinking, won’t complete today just in case, we had a plan. Load trailers Monday early in Dubbo, all good. Then I got a call there was another plan, which meant taking loaded trailers Monday, so being the ever keen driver, I texted Sunday morning and said, with the trailers loaded, I could go today and get a start. I was told no, all under control, have a rest and go Monday.

So plenty of time, but come Monday morning another new plan already, load asap and I of course, had made some plans for me before work, based on out loaded later that day. So rush into my stuff, get part done, out to work and yes load when you can, but can you take another driver to check them out? Sure, but he is still coming, then come back here and go to a completely different place than any of the earlier plans.

Now all through last week and towards this week-end, I had been working on and trying to find a way to get the new TIV back to Dubbo, allowing time to arrange completion of signwriting, so it can then be finished and registered in Dubbo. MMMM, maybe will still work, new fellow turned up, we had a chat with the Transport for NSW gents at Parkes, very nice fellows and all was good with a couple of words and discussion, then load. From last week, I had planned a phone hook up with NHVR re fatigue etc and of course, I was trying to watch and help old mate, we had a curtain jam and it was nice and warm and other trucks waiting.

Nearly loaded, started chatting, old mate finished loading, then out on the road and I kept going till nearly back at the telescope. This group, the people involved along with a couple of other groups, are seeing me hoping we will get at the least, listened to and some issues addressed this year. Back to Dubbo, drop off old mate, get some tyres done and away after 7.

Got to Mt Thorley, had a nice walk finding the place, had planned to ring and organise opening times and unloading place (not even sure we could get a b-double in there), but phone conference took  much longer and once you have someone involved and interested, you don’t normally want to let them go unless you have to.

Parked outside, thinking they will either wake me and unload me, or wake me and abuse me for being in the wrong place. Very affable and helpful chap knocked on the door, as you are in a double, just back up and will unload you from one side. That done then off to load. Again, from plan A or B or somewhere, had agreed to a local radio interview for Tuesday morn after the news and tried ringing the place I was loading as per instructions, but had not got anyone to answer. Finally they did, on the way and will meet me at the gate and did, just as I started the radio interview, so could not even really explain my rudeness in ignoring him, as I was live on air.

Finished, explained, opened up, started loading, a couple of count and product issues, but on the way to Dubbo. Rang in, where is the plan now, not sure for tomorrow, will sort later, OK thanks. Had planned to get the truck and trailers washed with some time spare, but nothing available then, so checked out (read put some more up) previously marked but now with some missing, green reflector bays on the Golden Highway. Absolutely bucketed down on the way home, glad I didn’t waste the time getting it washed, back home, service booked for the morning, then load etc.

Covid has affected staff everywhere and we were a few mechanics down etc, so asked them to ring me when done. I rang checking, yes part done, come and load, so grabbed some shopping and out. Load was two drops, but the number of pallets did not fit the easy delivery plan and some was overwidth, so a bit more space wasted, load in the sun and getting thirsty, back to the yard to top up and with different trailers again, get some more tyres done.

By the time was ready to go, late and headed off to find the highway blocked at Marsden, so go the long way round through Cowra. Now I had still been working on the “pick up the new TIV plan” as I went along, trying to co-ordinate a load that would get me up there, time to get it home and a plan to then get back to the truck.

Double split to do drops, into Melbourne to load, out and up the Hume to blow the first tyre I have done in a while. When I managed to limp up to Albury, missed the truckwash again, then they could get no one to do a call out to change it, thought bugger it, will go to bed. But then thinking, its cooler and if I go to bed here, this will mean the end of the plan, so ran a bit further up the road, still round the long way, got the tyre done in the morning and into Dubbo.

Then some more changes, add another extra trailer will you, hooked it all up, but then it won’t turn! Unhook, re hook with some help, down for more tyres and a fire extinguisher and out late to find the Moree man said, no you can’t just drop that here! Out, missed tea, got to Moree and bless his soul, he came out with his young bloke and unloaded me, but of course had to triple split to get in, unload, drop odd trailer and then hook the other two back up and made it south of Millmerran and went to bed.

Got into Charlton, finally managed a shower and then with the help of the lovely Melissa, an NRFA member and friend, with some pure luck earlier in the week having the signwriting mostly done and getting the truck back to the Brisbane depot, went and picked it up and headed off to Dubbo getting in 1AM this morning.

Had my daughter put up a request for a lift back to the loaded one Saturday for Sunday, but no takers and our only driver heading anywhere near that way was not answering the phone, so eldest son offered to take a long drive and has just dropped me back at Charlton. The family has paid and paid for what I do and yet, here they are helping again. It has been a full-on week, trying to co-ordinate others interests, works needs and customers, suppliers and those magnificent people who support the TIV and me at the end.

But it is in Dubbo, a few more jobs and even one driver who was looking at in in the yard before I left toady, said, “Now you can start putting all your other stuff on it, that will keep you busy for a bit” and truer words were never spoken, it will not be truly “finished” for months etc, but it looks good and now to trailers which I know you will be shocked to hear, are giving me some grief, but more about that next week. Till then, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

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9th January 2022, Podcasts, trucks and penalties.

Goodaye all, back at work for a full week, though started Tuesday, down to Melbourne and back, then a roadtrain to Brisbane, back to Dubbo Saturday morning and due out to Melbourne again tomorrow. Sometimes quiet on the road, a few calls from drivers with issues to follow up and due back on the Nightshift next week.

Those of you who are into audiobooks and follow my Facebook page “Audiobooks for the road” will not find a post for this week. I was talking to a mate last week about the new TIV and some other industry issues and he told me he had done a podcast and spoke of associations etc and I should have a listen. So I looked it up and downloaded the 27 episodes so far to a thumb drive and for this week, have been listening and am into number 11 I think.

I have known a few of those interviewed so far, known of a couple of others and whilst it is about industry generally, it does have a focus on those from the past and or who do up old trucks. There has certainly been some talk of quick trucks (those that “cracked”), what it was like in the old days compared to now and what rules got broken then.

I have found it mostly interesting with one episode a bit hard to hear properly in the truck and will pass that on to them. It has not opened my eyes as such, as I have had similar conversations and heard much of the history, though I am sure you would agree there is very little of it in print. If you have a recommendation for a good history book on the Australian road transport industry, please let me know.

I would recommend “They Came like Waves” by Jeffrey Ffrost as a good place to start and will chase the names of Ray Gillehard’s (please excuse my spelling if wrong for now) book, the one from the fellow who started in Tassie, went to the states and now lives in Bundy and of course, Ted Steven’s book on the blockades, which of course has had both participants from that time and others commenting on it, in some podcasts.

It has been good for a change and I will finish some more after some more audio books for a break, but if you are interested in the old days, fast trucks, transport history and restoring old trucks, have a look at “Copy Southbound”.

The two issue that have got much attention and comment that are issues of mine, have been of course, rest areas and the current fines and penalties. I aim to continue my efforts, but would ask you as readers (or listeners if you listen to the podcast of the blog), what specific fines and penalties do you see as excessive and what would you recommend in their place.

I aim to make up a list and with NRFA support and approval, submit it to the NTC. We have already flagged to them our absolute aim and intent to be a part of the penalties review and have sought a guarantee that their will be further industry participation and involvement. So any comments or suggestions? Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

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31st December 2021 The last post (for this year).

Goodaye to all NRFA members and prospective members. I trust you had a good Christmas and wish you all a TRUCKING Good 2022. We have grown this year, our stand at the truckshow went well and with the new TIV on the road soon, I hope to attend events and fly the NRFA flag and will continue to do my best for the industry, the NRFA and the TIV for the next four or five years. If you want to help and be a part of something, join the NRFA and help us to help you. Till next year, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey NRFA President.

To all who read this blog, thanks for your interest. To those in the road transport industry, I would ask you to do one positive thing this new year. To those outside, I seek some understanding and even, perhaps empathy for those who live on the road, so you can have everything you do have. In the UK they have t-shirts, “Without trucks, you would be cold, naked and hungry ! “

There are some fantastic people in this industry, as there are in others, but like in all other industries and jobs, the few who do the wrong thing, not only make it hard for the others, they often undermine the good work done. Please when you are on the road next, look at the trucks. They are everywhere and most often, when simply doing the right thing, you will not see them at all, unless you look, but as soon as one does something wrong, you will take note.

So to be fair, you have to balance all those you don’t normally see simply doing their job, with the odd one who makes a mistake, stuffs up or simply, is one of those we would rather not be on the road either. To all a TRUCKING Goood New Year. Cheers and Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

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26th December 2021 Someone who needs a hand.

Goodaye all, I hope you have had time with family and or a Merry Christmas. I had not planned to do a post this week-end and will be back at work Tuesday on my way to Melbourne. I have a mate from many years ago who has a family member who has not had the best Christmas. I will not tell you, but ask you to have a look at the Go Fund me page for him. If you can help and show some Christmas spirit, it may be worth more than simply another present.

He has had a go, been stitched up, kept trying and then come unstuck, and suffered not only serious injury, but is now in financial strife as well. If you can help, I will thank you, but his family will be even more thankful. Please have a look at https://gofund.me/04e86b95 and help if you can. Take care on the road and will be back next week. Safe Travellling, Rod Hannifey.

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19th December 2021 Christmas is Coming.

Goodaye all, hello from downtown Port Augusta. Got out of Dubbo later than planned after my 24 hour break so could do this trip, trailers not ready, one not loaded and then a couple of mechanical and half done issues to sort. But got in right on time to meet the crane, unloaded a roadtrain with some containers and mining type gear, over to the servo and fueled up, the truck and me and had a kip, now some catch up and then onto Whyalla to load tomorrow.

Had to que up to get a covid test in Dubbo Friday and with the truckies sites at Dubbo and Forbes now closed, it will be even harder for those still needing negative results to get into Queensland and other states.

The one at the Dubbo showground is still open and another truckie had driven in bobtail but then had to park and walk in, as you normally go into the shed in your car. However truckies results done quick and had mine that afternoon. Had to hook up to yet another state app for SA and was half hour late into SA, but all good at the border.

Fantastic light show on the way over and some entertainment on the UHF. Heard one exchange where it seems two drivers were approaching a signed narrow (but still two lane) culvert and one driver thinking it meant too narrow, lit up the other because he did not stop. Yes some are narrow, but if careful or you simply slow a bit, no problem, however, blinding the bloke coming at you as they reach a narrow bridge seems pretty stupid to me, what do you think?

There was then an exchange with each calling the other out, there was no contact, no sideways trucks all locked up, but the blinder was not from here. Seems if you don’t give way to him, simply because he thinks you should, he was happy to blind the other bloke and that seems far more dangerous, than simply slowing if you are not confident enough to get through a narrow culvert!

Been a fairly interesting week, got loaded in Bundaberg Monday after a bit of fun finding the mill, the last road in, looked like a dead end and I thought, looks like I will be backing the b-double out of here, but was one of those that looked bad, but was OK. A few in front, so out after lunch, then unloaded Brisbane Tuesday, loaded back out after some dispute on orders, excellent feed (as always) at Fisher Park Truckstop and then had to traverse the back road into Wee Waa with the front road still closed, though only signed at the end after you head down there, due to flooding.

Back out that way, then a meeting with NHVR re fatigue and invited the new staff member there for a trip when the new one is on the road. Now have the CEOs of the ATA, Infrastructure Australia, Glen Sterle and Kym set for trips in the new year and with efforts from Transport for NSW re rest areas, SA doing the Eyre Highway with green reflectors, there is a small light at the end of the tunnel.

I hope the new TIV will be done next week, but it seems it will have to be pin stripped later as I can’t get onto Tony at TRUCKWRITERS. Luke on the Nightshift actually asked about whether the lines on trucks are still done by hand and I explained about Tony and now his son still doing it. Thanks to all who have kept faith and time and space to fit it in at this busy time of year. I just have to get it back to Dubbo for a few lights and rego and then onto and into the new year and four or five years of keeping pushing the barrow.

At this stage will be home for Christmas, but possible will be working between, not sure yet and probably won’t know till late in the week. Sane for new year, so would like to thank all who reads this, expect you won’t mind if I don’t post next week-end, but if home and have time will catch up before new year. May I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a TRUCKING good New Year. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.