Telling it straight from heart

Spy tells of a woman with a heart-felt in­dus­try view

Big Rigs - - COL­UMN -

IN my trav­els Spy has asked truck­ies he speaks to about what they per­ceive as prob­lems in the road trans­port in­dus­try.

Some are owner-driv­ers or small fleet op­er­a­tors who have a wife as a part­ner.

The wife of a NSW owner-driver sent Spy her emo­tional view of the road trans­port in­dus­try and how it is all go­ing ac­cord­ing to her.

It cer­tainly made Spy think. Here it is:

“The Gov­ern­ment needs to re­alise that Aus­tralia re­volves and re­lies on the truck­ing in­dus­try and the RMS re­quire them to have reg­u­lar breaks so why is there not more be­ing done to as­sist the driv­ers with their fa­tigue man­age­ment? Au­thor­i­ties are happy to de­mand driv­ers have breaks but they are not equally happy to pro­vide ad­e­quate fa­cil­i­ties for our long dis­tance truck­ies, and un­for­tu­nately some of the road­houses which are avail­able to them along the high­ways are pro­vid­ing not al­ways good food and are charg­ing a for­tune and the ma­jor­ity of them close their kitchen around 8.30-9.30pm at night and don’t re-open them un­til 6am. So what hap­pens to the ma­jor­ity of truck­ies who can’t pull up and eat be­fore that time. It’s not fair that we treat truck­ies like sec­ond class ci­ti­zens and it needs to change. They keep this coun­try go­ing. What a shame. Maybe if ev­ery truckie stopped rolling for a week peo­ple might re­alise where their milk and bread etc comes from as it doesn’t just mag­i­cally ap­pear on their su­per­mar­ket shelf. Be­lieve me it hard be­ing a truckie’s mis­sus even though some peo­ple think they are scum but they are the most love­able peo­ple in the world. I sup­pose it comes from do­ing a rub­bish job and be­ing treated like you are an id­iot. All of our mates would give you their last $5 from their wal­let if they had to help you out and wouldn’t it be nice if the whole world was like that.”

Steps to fit­ness

GROUPS of truck­ies around the coun­try are hop­ing to get fit and shed some weight dur­ing Septem­ber.

That is an ini­tia­tive to get en­tire work­places in­volved with the aim of sin­gle par­tic­i­pants to take 10,000 steps a day for 28 days straight.

Those tak­ing part re­ceive spon­sors with ev­ery dol­lar raised help­ing peo­ple with cere­bral palsy - a con­di­tion that af­fects move­ment.

Spy has heard of nu­mer­ous driv­ers at rest ar­eas or road­house park­ing ar­eas who are go­ing to be part of this.

The fol­low­ing months many are also go­ing to be part of OcSober.

Dur­ing Oc­to­ber they will re­frain from drink­ing al­co­hol with any money raised go­ing to char­ity.

Cat­tle dan­ger

CAT­TLE on a high­way pose a big dan­ger for all driv­ers in­clud­ing our truckie mates who keep Aus­tralia supplied.

On the Flin­ders Hwy near Pent­land in mid Au­gust a con­tact of mine head­ing to­wards Char­ters Tow­ers came across some stock on the road.

There were quite a few cat­tle over sev­eral kilome­tres so he pulled over and got onto the two way ra­dio to ad­vise on­com­ing traf­fic.

In­clud­ing a num­ber of Bdou­ble driv­ers who were head­ing in both di­rec­tions.

They were all very thank­ful which is not sur­pris­ing as we have all heard of fa­tal­i­ties af­ter a car or smaller ve­hi­cle has col­lided with such an an­i­mal.

Such col­li­sions can also cause a lot of dam­age to trucks not to men­tion the mess they leave.

Spy did a bit of check­ing and found the name of the Good Sa­mar­i­tan. It was An­ton Schulz whom I man­aged to con­tact.

“One of the truck­ies I spoke to on the ra­dio said there were sev­eral dead cat­tle on the side of the road and they must be es­cap­ing through a hole in a fence. They had been near the road for sev­eral weeks,” he said.

A few days later An­ton was in the same area and man­aged to snap a photo of a dead bull be­side the road as a truck cruised past.

Mates to the res­cue

MANY will tell you that ca­ma­raderie amongst fel­low work­ers in the road trans­port in­dus­try is not like it used to be in past times.

Ex­am­ples of that in­clude trucks whizzing past driv­ers who have bro­ken down on the high­way.

How­ever one long time truckie who was re­trenched from a job due to a down­turn in work had some mates come to his res­cue.

He was telling some off-duty truck­ies of his plight and asked did any know of a job.

Within min­utes un­be­known to him some friends were on their mo­biles ring­ing around to try and as­sist.

The next morn­ing the lad re­ceived a call with a job of­fer which he gladly ac­cepted.

It wasn’t as a truck driver but in an as­so­ci­ated in­dus­try and pays well.

Spy asked him about do­ing a story but be­ing a shy type the mid­dle aged gent de­clined just want­ing to main­tain his pri­vacy.

An apol­ogy

RAN into old mate Big Rigs con­trib­u­tor Alf Wil­son the other day. Alf was rub­bing his head and all come-over sad.

“I stuffed up,” he told Spy. “I named a driver Ty Wil­liams and his real name is Ty Melville. My notes got mixed up, wrong name, wrong photo. I feel so bad.”

So a big apol­ogy to Ty Melville.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

DEAD BULL: What can you do? Ac­ci­dents can be un­avoid­able on un­fenced high­ways such as the Flin­ders.

I SPY ON THE ROAD ispy@bi­grigs.com.au

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