Ge­off Hutchin­son

Big Rigs - - TRUCKIN’ IN THE TROPICS -

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.

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