18th July Number 1

Goodaye all. How can we ever get a fair go, when we can’t even get a standard border pass and or protocol for state borders now. We explained what the issue is, we can’t all carry another forest worth of permits for each state each week, nor can we comply when you change things overnight.

You know we will do our best to comply, you know we can’t afford hours and hours of delays at borders, yet what has been done to solve this, nothing? If the pollies ran out of toilet paper, maybe then we would get some action and common sense if both formulating, applying and managing such things would get them a clean bum?

Truck lanes at borders will cost nothing, will help flow and give us a chance to deliver that paper and everything else. The states all want to be different, they want to maintain their power base, we understand all that, but why would you make things that much harder to cross borders when we supposedly all live in Australia?

We have come some way to having national transport rules, some will say we still have a long way to go, but at least now we have two sets of rules, one for the east with NHVR and one for the west and north, better than 7 sets.

So then we have the issues of lack of rest areas and even with the Pacific Highway, with millions spent improving it, there was no provision for a change over facility included. We are pushed to be compliant, we struggle to get drivers due to lack of facilities etc and when we set things up so a driver can get in a loaded truck, drive to the half way point, change trucks or trailers, then drive home and have another local driver unload and reload for the next night, so the interstate driver is home in his own bed each day, we need places to change the trucks and or trailers.

We waited 30 years to get one on the Hume at Tarcutta and we needed one 15 years ago on the Pacific, but now it is all four lanes and truly, probably the one of if not the best road in Australia, there is not enough rest areas and no where set up for changeovers. How can this be so? Are we truly that less of a group of workers, that we don’t need toilets or places to sleep or comply than any other working group?

Back to the Churchill Fellowship videos. Now for those of you who enjoy watching trucks go round and round, or spinning up tyres and doing burnouts, this may be something you enjoy. It is not everyday you see prime movers towing caravans with only one intent, but it seems the Poms have a funny sense of humour. Now I am not making any comments other than, it is a truckshow and such things seem to be enjoyed by the crowds, I had even heard of it before I visited the Convoy in the Park, so it seems they have done it before, but please do not take offence if you are a vanner. I didn’t do it! Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


30th June 2021.

Goodaye all. Picked up my new 1kg weight from physio and my red band for even more exercises yesterday morning, but all seemingly going well. My doctor is from Sydney, so now have a phone consultation hooked up for next week to discuss further actions and when I can go back to driving. The driving is not the problem in itself, it is the loading and unloading and then even more than that, it is the in and out and pulling yourself up and in and out of the truck all day.

A quick run to Darwin would be fine if someone loaded it for you, but then even with breaks and meals and load checks, even a pee if needed in one of the far apart toilets if you can find one, each time hauling your full weight from the ground up the three steps into the truck, puts your whole weight on the shoulder. Even doing the three points of contact, you then at some stage as you move up, have all your weight on one arm and so, a bit over my 1 kilo limit.

But now I am starting on weights and strength improvement, we should be on the last leg of the road back to the road. I have not missed the hassle, have missed most of the people and interaction, missed my audiobooks, but have got hooked into the Assassins Apprentice series and am now onto book 3 and the second and third are well over 600 pages, but really interesting and entertaining.

The new TIV Kenworth should have come off-line in Melbourne yesterday, but they have had some shortages and I will know soon where it is at. It has to be painted and then have some things fitted in Melbourne, pre-delivery in Wagga Wagga and then to Brisbane to have the rest of the equipment supplied and fitted, so still a way off from the road. Perhaps it will come together in time for my birthday?

It seems many have enjoyed the Churchill Fellowship videos, so will carry on with them. The first shows Taylors Transport who not only were involved with the racing (and I think their bloke won) but had a fleet on display and supplied the two Volvos for people to pay and have a drive. Previously as long as you could reach the pedals, they let you pay and drive, of course with an instructor and on a closed course. But there was a new regime running the show and they were a bit more up on liability, so you had to at least have a car license.

Convoy in the Park, Donington Raceway, England 2018

You will see in the background a Kenworth 900 series with a reasonable bunk. It was one of two, again you could pay and have a drive, but they were only allowed to be registered as bobtail, they could not legally tow a trailer in England, they would never get round many of the places I did visit, but an interview with the owner will follow.

The next video with lovely Sue did cover much of the concerns we all have, car drivers that do not understand trucks. It was a measure of how much the owner of Taylors want things improved, that they would supply the trucks, trailers and drivers for the whole show and then the funds raised went I think to a nominated charity, so a very big effort.

Interview with Sue after her drive in a Taylors Volvo at Convoy in the Park.

 It is a unique opportunity to gain through the Churchill Fellowship system to be able to extend your knowledge, gain information from others overseas and then hopefully use that to help and improve the livers of other Australians. The field of endeavour, the areas covered, from medicine to music, agriculture and operation of facilities and equipment is so diverse, there is little that cannot apply. Previous Churchill Fellows have learnt how to save, improve and enrich lives and I feel very honoured to have been chosen and had the chance to learn. Covid has seriously affected the ability of all to travel and curtailed much of the fellowship visits, but from where I sit, it has and will again, help many Australians in the future.

Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


24th June 2021, a fine outcome.

Goodaye all. Sorry for a late and thence, mid-week post. Another week closer to a full (hopefully but maybe only 90% for the tendon as it had shrunk and they could only reattach it so far up) recovery. I can start weights in two weeks and hope to be ready by the time the new TIV is delivered.

I will offer a large thank you to Highway Advocates for both advice and representing me in court in Dubbo yesterday. I was fined for exceeding 6 hours work in a 6.25 hour period from October last year. I was stopped just coming out of Dubbo by a Highway Patrol officer I had met only once before. At the time I was not given a chance to look and comment, other than told, here it is. I did say I had a tracking device in the truck and he was welcome to check it, but he was not interested in doing so.

When the ticket arrived, I then asked for a review, explaining both that I marked my logbook at midnight at Euroa and again the start of the next day, yes I had made a mistake in not marking a 15 minute break, but I also sent a screenshot of the Teletrac device clearly showing I had a 15 minute break from 11.57PM to 12.12AM. I asked for the ticket to be withdrawn, also detailing the way the logbook forces us to give away our time. We must count work back, so had I started at 8.07 PM and finished at 2.07 AM, I would be required to show 6.25 hours worked, yet had only worked 6 hours.

Now had I worked 10 hours straight, worked 16 hours in a day, or done something really stupid and unsafe, I would expect and accept a fine. We are talking about a possible 5 minute breach at the end of a days work (following which I had an 8 hour break) a driver with a good record trying to do his best and when I asked for the fine to be rescinded, they said, “We cannot rescind the fine” which is crap. They can, but would not. Is the government so needy that they will simply fine anyone for anything, even when it is so minor, not a road safety issue and I not only showed I had simply made a mistake, I had possibly not even committed an offence, but then I could and did, show a third party tamperproof device that confirmed I had a break, there-by nullifying the exceeding 6 hours driving.

Interestingly, the dates on the ticket charging me with breaking the law were incorrect. We could have asked for a dismissal on that basis, but they would simply have sought to amend it. How can I make a 5 or 10 minute mistake and be given a $453 fine, when they can make a two day error and then say, we will just amend it?

NVHR are publicly saying (and I welcome their intent and believe it is genuinely being driven from the top) that they intend to pursue on road enforcement first as education, before punishment. Yes, if you make the same mistake three times, or have a continued bad record and then can be seen to perhaps disregard the law, you deserve and will get a penalty. However, if it is minor, does not affect roads safety and could be an error instead of deliberate deceit, then a warning is far more likely to be a fair response. Am I being a dreamer, do you think we should be punished for every minor error and does that improve road safety?

This is one of the main reasons NRFA endorsed the “Position on Police Policing of HVNL” requesting such powers be removed from Police. If the NHVR are the overarching authority for the HVNL and the Police are not trained to the same level as NHVR inspectors, then they should not be policing the HVNL. We do not have a review process, we have a farce and those who simply do not have to live on the road with the over-zealous and virtually punitive penalties and fines we suffer all too often, for things that have no real road safety benefit or value.

We need someone to help us get a fair go till such times as the NHVR act and change the way we are targeted, punished and abused. The HVNL review may go some way to changing the penalties, giving some flexibility and fairness, but that is still some way off.

Thank you again to the Highway Advocates team, they know transport law, they recognise our issues and on road problems and if you feel you have been wronged and unfairly or incorrectly charged, then contact them and they may be able to help. Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle/ Rod Hannifey.

13th June 2021 The start of the Churchill Fellowship Trip 2018.

Goodaye all, I will continue on with some of the videos from my Churchill Trip. The trip started at “Convoy in the Park” at Donnington Raceway north of London. I got a small site for a stand, put up my banners and went searching. I did many videos during the trip, some good and others not so, but this first one here, was my second attempt. I spoke with John about industry problems and solutions, he nominated rest areas as the worst, I do have photos of some of the laybys, but most have to pay for sites and one driver told me it cost him 50 pound for one night close to London, but all you get is the spot, no shower, no meal included or anything. A shortage of drivers, lack of representation for drivers and even cargo theft. One fellow had his curtains slashed in roadside parking bays twice in a fortnight.

The second video is of truck city at the show. Not a Kenworth in site here, but there were two in another spot, one of them originally owned by Burt Reynolds. They are not allowed to tow trailers, just can be driven to shows and if you see some of the roads, including the one into the raceway, you would understand why. They take their artwork seriously don’t they and all must be scared of the dark??

The truck racing was pretty good and I will show a short shot next week. The entertainment was good and the stands and crowds seemed to have a good time. I spoke with people at the DAF stand and they do very well there. At that time there were new rules to come into place for trucks entering London itself, you had to be able to see virtually down in front and beside the truck and if you could do it with mirrors or cameras, that was initially acceptable, but would not eventually pass the proposed next step of the laws.  

I did visit the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and as John says, it is more a group for the bosses than the drivers. It seems they are pretty much on their own and have problems with overseas, untrained drivers coming into the market from Europe and also, the issue of then having both right hand and left hand driver trucks operating on their roads.

The photo attached is of a rig that went past me when I did visit the RHA and the next is one of the laybys, not much to write home about there. The stories from the drivers mostly told the sane tale, lack of facilities, not listened to, but meant to carry and deliver for all.

You can see the truck at the front has its wheels up on the curb, not much room.
If you look down on the right, you will see the little roadhouse.

Look closely, that is a rigid, towing a dolly and trailer and then towing a caravan!!!!!!!

I am working on the next TIV, now due off the line in Melbourne at the end of this month. Mostly going to plan, but both the ancillary extras and my recovery, will likely see it on the road in August, but with an interim set of trailers till the new ones come perhaps in November. Never give up is the motto. More updates and videos next week. Cheers and Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.  


TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle/Rod Hannifey.

The TIV when the trailers had the night before, rolled over 1 million kilometres.
Caricature from my mate Bruce Outridge from the Lead Pedal Podcast, Canada.

Goodaye all, a new look and a look back at some of the videos from my Churchill Fellowship trip in 2018. We had hoped to use more of them for “TRUCK That Australia” episodes, but without a major sponsor and with the effort of doing the Truckies Top Tips and then the Caravan and Roadtrain videos, we simply could not do it all. Maybe they will return, I sure hope so. You can find the episodes at and I would welcome your comments.

I drove into the night crossing into Canada and found few truck stops, they are named differently there and I may well have missed a couple as was getting a bit tired, but the time had changed as I had driven east, so when I finally pulled up trying to find a motel, it was well after 3 in the morning local time. The first place was full and the second had one room left and I got a few hours sleep, as had interviews planned that day.

So on August 9th 2018, I had arranged to meet with the editor of Trucknews in Toronto and ended up doing a podcast interview with Bruce Outridge, he is an ex driver and does the Lead Pedal podcast from Canada. It took a bit of good luck and phone tag to get together, but then when Bruce asked where was I staying and I had no immediate plans, he and his wife put me up for three days and they reckon Aussies are good people! We then went to a truckshow the next day and whilst on Bruce’s balcony having a beer, I got a call from the NHVR saying we had been awarded funding to do the Truckies Top Ten Tips (for sharing the road with trucks), something I had been promoting since 1999 in written format and which I had wanted to do on video for quite some time.

The following is from my Churchill Fellowship report, filed on my return to Australia and available to read, all 60 plus pages, on the Churchill Fellowship website should you be so inclined.

10th August. After a lovely breakfast, thanks Carmen, we did a bit of shopping, me looking for a phone with no success, whilst Bruce and Carmen attended to a few things and then headed to the Great Canadian Truckshow at Flamboro. This was only the second year for the truckshow and attending on Friday being the set-up day, had only a number of very keen and passionate people there. But all the trucks were beautiful and there were drivers doing all the last-minute touch ups and polishing for the real full on show for Saturday and Sunday. The driver shortage or is it a pay shortage in the USA, is the biggest people issue in the industry wherever I have gone. The UK is looking for drivers, the US and Canada as well, with several companies attending this smaller show, all aiming to recruit drivers to the fold.

Each company had a truck and or staff on hand and hope to get some good leads and drivers during the days of the show. Being set up day and having 85 trucks last year, I can only imagine they will have a fantastic turn up of trucks and wish them all the best for the show. A barbeque was held for all attending Friday night, but we left to have some tea and Bruce has other commitments tomorrow, so I was invited back to Bruce and Carmen’s again for the night in the guest room they can use for visitors.

I spent time on the phone with Matt Richardson from the Truck Training School Association of Toronto, another contact from Stan and another friend of Bruce, but all those Stan put me in contact with, are friends and industry colleagues and have all been interested and welcoming.

Canada was the birthplace of the b-double and where Australia got the idea from and that was the reason I wanted to include Canada in my itinerary. There are still very new looking combinations on the road in the same original spec, prime mover with a tri-axle and then a bogie and from my perspective, we have gone a long way from there, going then bogie/tri, then tri/tri, quad/quad super b’s and now up to the very recent announcement of a b-quad. With such different weight laws in the many states of the US, Canada has both a Federal regulation and then each of the provinces has its’ own as well. Sounds like the bad old days in Australia, perhaps we have moved forward, even if only with some things, with the NHVR.

So these two short videos show some of the trucks at the show. I would have loved to have stayed for the whole event, but Bruce had other commitments and I did too, but Bruce later sent me the caricature above. I thanked him and Carmen his wife then, I have done two podcasts with Bruce since the trip and maybe this will get him onto doing another with me. I will thank them both again for looking after a little lost Aussie truckie. Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


30th May 2021

Goodaye all. I was made aware through email, having done my Graduate Certificate in Road Safety through them, of a CARRSQ webinar on Rural and Regional Road Safety (mainly Queensland) and so made contact and was offered a chance to speak as part of the webinar, either in Brisbane or via zoom. I was given 8 minutes and did a 5 page powerpoint presentation, finding out the day before, I was actually being touted as talking about mental health, so had to add another quick page. I took part and was the only fulltime road user involved. There were many including Police, researchers and academics and I thank them for their contributions as well and CARRSQ for the chance to raise our issues, but it simply shows how hard it is to not only be even aware such opportunities exist, let alone to be able to participate.

One comment thanked them for including me as a road user and another came direct to me, again thanking me for taking the time and effort and that the issues I raised were welcome and valid. How can we ever be heard and have our issues addressed as well as contribute to any road safety discussion, when we are generally left out. No one from the trucking industry was to my knowledge invited to either of these and from where I sit, had I not been at home with time to spare, no one as a truckie on the road, let alone any industry association, would have been involved. My bit may help, but we must have genuine inclusion and participation all the time, not just by accident. We are the biggest individual users of the network, we are affected most by failures and lack of facilities and yet we are mostly ignored. This must change and I will do all I can and annoy as many people as possible and as needs to be done, to see this change.

Then there was another webinar by Austroads about getting rid of older trucks. Now this one I had less than 3 hours notice when I found out about it. I was able to ask one question which was not discussed in the webinar and there were two findings that go against what we have been generally led to believe, one is that it is rigids in urban work that pose the biggest health costs and risks and two, that the oldest trucks are not the ones with the biggest crash stats, it is the next group. There may well be more to investigate and further details to be released and of course, the findings may get more clout than they deserve, if those with a specific axe to grind or cart to push, use them as they might.

I then attended the monthly meeting of the Dubbo Bypass and Newell Highway Alliance and we will be launching an epetition in August seeking a better outcome for Dubbo instead of being railroaded into accepting a half arse solution to both the traffic and flooding issues that affect the Newell and Dubbo and will only continue to worsen. Many other towns have been given bypasses and or ring roads, but Dubbo, as the crossroads of NSW, is being told, take what you are given. A bad solution that will not do anything to solve the problems, it may improve them slightly, but for the future, we need a solution that will see Dubbo grow and through traffic able to get through without traffic and flooding affecting them more and more. It may then even see Dubbo with decent truck facilities, something we lack and yet there are two in Gilgandra and one in Tomingley.

The money being planned to be spent on the River Street Bridge would be most of what would be needed to provide the first section of a ring road and then it could be done in stages as needed. If River St goes ahead, Dubbo will not get a ring road for the next 40 to 50 years, so what do you think the traffic in and through town will be like then? It will be a case of “We should have built a ring road” too bloody late.

So off to the surgeon tonight, keen to see him at 7PM on a Sunday, my first meeting with him since the surgery. He is a friendly bloke and must work as hard as most truckies, but I think he might earn a bit more. My pool efforts earlier in the week, being in nice warm water I didn’t go silly, but spent 40 minutes with what I thought was gentle exercise, but I might have just gone a bit hard. Later that night it hurt and the next day at physio, I had actually gone backward with movement, so whilst I have listened and tried to be patient, I do understand better that they may well know what is best. But we will see what the doctor says. Nearly caught up, a few more issues and emails re the new truck to sort, finish chasing up new members benefits for NRFA members from the truckshow and physio Tuesday. Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


23rd May 2021 Back to Convalescing

Goodaye all. Well the truckshow has been and gone and from where I sit, it was not only a success for the organisers and the industry, it was for the NRFA as well. Thanks to all our members who gave their time and effort, to members who stopped in and to those who joined up at the show or who will now!!!

It has been back to physio, visit work to say hello and arrange some things for the future, be given more exercises to do and with them, for the first time, I can actually touch the back of my left shoulder with my right arm. Movement in front is good and lifting my arm on its own is now improving. A week ago at physio, I could not even lift my right arm a foot from my side, let alone without pain. So getting better.

In discussions with one of our members about audio books, we spoke of different series and he suggested the “Assassins Apprentice” and I managed to find a second hand copy in Dubbo for $6 so that is my current reading, having finished book 9 in the Castle series. It remains one of my favourite TV shows and I have now read the first 9 of 10 books. Funny when art imitates life, the series about an author who writes the books, then they wrote the books and there were 10 books and only 8 series.

Working on some new member benefits for NRFA, other follow ups from the show and taking part in a Rural Road Safety Forum online Wednesday, being held in Brisbane through CARRSQ and putting a truckies view forward. Did get a reply from my 3 inquiries to TMR at the show, the Gatton Pads are having work done, a delay with light towers I believe and will be made available again when the work is done. They are fitting weighbridges and I asked will they be left on as with at the port etc and that was taken on notice. I have since sent my list of concerns re the Toowoomba bypass (again and again) but am hopeful of some movement, or I will have to gain some more support from you out there, to put more pressure on them to act instead of doing nothing and saying, “It is all about road safety”.

The issue of toilets at the roadtrain hook up bay was answered with yes, it should be considered. It should have been considered and built when the bypass was being done. It is not like they opened the bypass and then said “Gee, maybe we could let roadtrains come this far, but what will happen to them then?” Obviously someone missed that part and with one hand not knowing what the other hand is doing, we get to this point now. Not good enough.

Any of you who agree there should be toilets, ring 131940, ring TMR, ring the local member and anyone else you want to include. They have failed us till now, we want to have more say, more inclusion and should not have to fight after the event. Who was consulted about the roadtrain bay? Did they fail us or was the consultation, ask one bloke and whatever he says ignore it, but then we can say we consulted.

We are not asking to be given control, but we must be given both the chance to comment, suggest and solve problems before they are stuffed up. Had the toilets been included in the works, they would have been much cheaper. How much will they cost to do now and if so when? All these people have toilets on every floor of their buildings, we just want some and why were they not included here? If you have the answer, let me know. If you are not happy, let them know, but at least relatively nicely, no abuse, that won’t help. Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


16th May 2021 Truckshow Day 4

Goodaye all, well the 2021 Brisbane Truckshow is done and dusted. I believe it has gone well for the organisers, congratulations on a very well turned out and managed event. There may well be some things I missed but wanted to see and some people who escaped, but many business cards, some other inquiries and discussions requiring follow up, will keep me busy for the next week at least. Thank you to everyone from the HVIA who helped facilitate a site for us nearly at the last minute, it must have been hard doing the juggling.

Thank you to every member of the NRFA who helped and or attended or took part on the stand, to our partners on the stand, Mark Brown from TBI Insurance (and for your rousing success in setting up the venue and Saturday evening get together, plus your time on the stand) to Highway Advocates, we wish you not only success in setting up the new venture, but know many other drivers will benefit from industry knowledge and representation, should they find themselves with an unfair or unreasonable ticket or infringement penalty.

I do believe we gained good exposure, new members, even some respect from many outside our ranks, at least from discussions I have had with many during the show. It has cost us some money, the returns for which, I hope may well flow over some time to come, but we do have extra flyers, logbook dividers and notepads, plus a large banner, some tables and chairs for many future events.

I am looking forward to a good sleep, so will leave you with the graphics from the Kenworths on show and I would have to say, I believe, with only some obvious bias, they were the best looking trucks, both in and outside the show. The last photo speaks for itself as perhaps the most unique truck in some ways, but certainly drew much attention. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


16th May 2021 Truckshow Day 3

Goodaye all. As you might note from the time this is posted, I am technically late, but just think, if I get back at a reasonable hour tonight, you will have two posts in one day. It has been another good day, some more members signed up, a couple of steps forward for the next TIV, no one punched me in the arm or hurt my shoulder, a podcast interview, a video interview yesterday as well for Health in Gear and a well attended and successful NRFA and TB Insurance evening drinks and snacks, was held at Southbank Beer Garden with some welcome industry guests, finishing just after midnight, hence my late post.

Everyone behaved and enjoyed themselves, I had an interesting chat with a group of young blokes, (who I hope will all join) one of which was you may well be surprised, woken from his sleep to have his logbook checked! Not only is this not acceptable, it is not legal and flies in the face of authorities talk of us managing our fatigue and will be pursued. I have a list of a few other items to follow up on as well.

Some old friends dropped by to say hello and I managed to look at a few more stands. The line up of trucks outside the exhibition centre is impressive, photos tomorrow, so last day coming up and the following photos show what I believe to be two of the three trucks that built much of the road transport industry in Australia. The 1418 Mercedes Benz, the ACCO a 3070 and the missing truck, a B Model Mack. Do you agree?

The last photo is of an IOR tanker, with livery supporting industry and male health efforts, not a bad looking bit of gear. Till later tonight, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.


14th May Truckshow Day 2

Goodaye all, I was lucky enough to get an invite to the Transport Women Australia Limited (TWAL) breakfast, so in early and both a yoghurt /fruit then a hot breakfast set me up for the day. As with yesterday the speaker was intuitive, informative and entertaining. I did the rounds checking out stands, spoke with a couple more new members, enlisted a couple more during the day and got some photos.

The old and the older.

A beautifully restored Candy Apple Superliner and then the Mack H67 from a long time ago.

It is certainly a pity some of the big players pulled out of the show, many reasons may have been the factors, but the show must go on and has done well, with a crowd outside the main door this morning waiting for entry. The organisers have been happy with the turn out so far when I asked on the way out this evening. Thank you very much to ICEPACK Services for the invite to their evening get together just over the road. A terrific crew who have been TIV supporters for many years.

Old and new and new and newer.

The new SAR “Son of Nugget” on the Kenworth stand, then a beautifully restored W model with an original SAR in the background.

Expecting a big day tomorrow and enjoying speaking with friends and colleagues. My most interesting moment came when a driver asked was I Rod Hannifey and then went on to say I had saved his mates life recently. I asked how and his mate had been driving and without any suitable spots to park had got to the point of being very tired and needing to stop and came upon the green reflectors and was able to pull off the road safely and get some sleep. Those are the things that make my efforts worthwhile. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.