Truck driver’s route a white knuckle ride

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News -

Western Sub­urbs Weekly re­porter Jon Bas­sett rode with Jayde Trans­port truck driver Ali Karakoc to de­liver 40ft and 20ft con­tain­ers to Malaga last week. A MARINE Pa­rade-Curtin Av­enue round­about hid­ing cars, merg­ing into a Curtin Av­enue bi­cy­cle lane and an Eric Street in­ter­sec­tion that tilts 20 tonne con­tain­ers are dan­gers for trucks go­ing through Cottes­loe be­tween Fre­man­tle Port and the north­ern sub­urbs.

“Go­ing back to the port, that round­about is a night­mare be­cause you can’t see the cars com­ing from the right from Marine Pa­rade, and you pretty much have to come to a dead stop ev­ery time,” Mr Karakoc (28) said.

He has driven trucks up to 60 tonne for three years and the route through Cottes­loe is where “there’s so much con­ges­tion” so de­liv­er­ies are done out­side of rush hours, us­ing two trail­ers, to re­duce the prob­lem.

Min­utes from the port, traf­fic banks up be­hind Mr Karakoc’s two-trailer truck as it slows to 15km/h at the Wal­ter Place, North Fre­man­tle hair­pin bend where another truck rolled in Au­gust.

Ve­hi­cles pull out in front of the gi­ant ve­hi­cle from beach car parks and at Cottes­loe’s Curtin Av­enue his 27.5m-long truck has to merge into a cy­cle lane south of the Eric Street bridge.

“That’s when it gets re­ally scary, es­pe­cially when you’ve got two cy­clists side-by-side in their lane,” Mr Karakoc said.

The truck’s load leans to­wards the foot­path as it goes over the steep Eric Street bridge in­ter­sec­tion, the ve­hi­cle slow­ing dras­ti­cally just as the av­enue narrows near Grant Street, block­ing more traf­fic. The route opens up at the Serve­tus Street, Swan­bourne cut­ting and along West Coast High­way through City Beach and Scar­bor­ough but traf­fic banks up be­hind the in­creas­ing num­bers of trucks us­ing the route.

North Beach Road and Reid High­way are con­gested but have dual car­riage­way road works that may solve why traf­fic is caught up to 500m be­hind Mr Karakoc’s truck.

“We’re not al­lowed to use the free­way, and it is just as quick, if not quicker, to come this way,” Mr Karakoc said.

There is no truck trailer park at Malaga so he leaves his sec­ond trailer in a cor­ner of a light in­dus­trial area so he can de­liver his first con­tainer safely.

Traf­fic faces a street haz­ard when the sec­ond con­tainer is lifted on to the empty trailer af­ter the first de­liv­ery.

The 45 min­utes back to Fre­man­tle Port through Cottes­loe takes Mr Karakoc to his third, two-con­tainer de­liv­ery of the day.

Truck driver Ali Karakoc has his work cut out as he nav­i­gates his way from Fre­man­tle Port to Malaga and back.

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