VETERAN owner-operator Geoff Hutchinson is pondering retirement at the end of the year, but then he looked at his trusty 1985 Western Star and says he may reconsider. “It would be bloody hard to part with the old girl,” Geoff told
Big Rigs when we met up unexpectedly. Aged 60, Brisbane based Geoff’s company is G&J Transport and his other half is loving wife Jenny whose name is written on the side of the truck. “I couldn’t do without her,” Geoff said. Geoff had been transporting equipment from Townsville wharf to Jardine Valley out west between Torrens Creek and Hughenden.
“I have been a truckie for about 40 years and I am still learning about the road transport industry,” he said.
His major issues in the industry he loves are unjust fatigue management laws and rests areas.
“Most of the fatigue laws are just revenue raisers for the government but like every other industry we do have a few bag eggs. As for rest areas, I think we do have enough overall but not in some areas,” he said.
I asked Geoff to nominate a rest area which met his approval which would be generally acceptable to most drivers.
“The one just past Mingela beside the Flinders Highway between Townsville and Charters Towers has what we need. Lots of parking space and facilities such as good toilets and somewhere to sit in shade,” he said.
The subject turned to what was Geoff’s favourite roadhouse and his response was surprising. “None of them,” he said. After a few seconds, Geoff qualified that statement when he opened the tucker box door on one side of his trailer.
“I have everything I need in here including a gas cooker. It is called my roadside kitchen,” he said.