BART’S BACK IN ACTION
Bart Burford returned to work at Mills Freightlines with a prosthetic leg last November, and is determined to get back behind the wheel.
The 46-year-old’s right ankle was badly crushed last April when he fell from a trailer.
The situation grew worse in hospital when his leg became infected.
Surgeons explained it would take up to four years and many operations to treat the injury – and there was no guarantee they could save his leg.
They told Bart it would probably take less time to recover from an amputation.
Eager to get home and back to work, the father of four opted to have his right leg amputated below his knee.
The operation on May 25 went well, and he was home with his partner Sharon by June 10.
“I wouldn’t have made it without her. She’s been an absolute rock,” Burford says.
With support from Mills Freightlines, Burford returned to work in November. He says they have been extremely helpful since his accident.
“They’ve bent over backwards and seen to my every need.”
Bart has been training the company’s younger drivers while working through a list of medical appointments and licencing assessments in a bid to regain his truck licence.
He even had to show an occupational therapist that he could change a truck tyre.
“Anything that they throw at me, I can do. It just takes me a few minutes longer.”
When Owner//Driver spoke to Bart last month he was excited to have “ticked all the boxes” and optimistic his MC licence would be reinstated before Christmas: “I’m just waiting on the paperwork.”
The reward for his determination and hard work will be climbing back into the driver seat of Mills’ 2015 Freightliner Coronado 114 with a 58-inch XT sleeper cab.
“It’s a beautiful truck. I did 80,000km in it before I had the accident,” he says, adding it's easy to climb in and out of the truck, and there is plenty of room to move around inside the spacious cab.
He hopes to be carting grain with the Coronado before
Owner//Driver goes to print. “If you’ve got the passion and the fire in your belly you’ll find your way of doing it, and doing it safely.”
Bart Barford has returned to work after a leg amputation