Owner Driver - - News -

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

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