Stan’s le­gacy

Big Rigs - - DRIVER PROFILE -

com­pete,” he said.

He praised the NHVR for its ef­forts, say­ing most peo­ple thought the reg­u­la­tor was “try­ing to im­pede us and make our lives harder, but in fact they weren’t – they went all out to help me to make our busi­ness bet­ter”.

But in or­der to con­tinue to com­pete with the big­wigs, Kent said they had to look to the fu­ture and that meant tech­nol­ogy.

He said trucks in the fleet were be­ing up­dated as more tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances came along, but it wasn’t just in the trucks.

He said they were look­ing at the way con­sign­ments were man­aged and daily checks would also be­come elec­tronic.

Soon, he said, Mt Isa Car­ri­ers would start tri­alling elec­tronic work diaries.

“We’re not go­ing to hold back, we want to be front and cen­tre,” he said.

“All the big com­pa­nies are tri­alling them and it’s scar­ing the lit­tle fella.

“As the lit­tle fella, we want to get in­volved and cer­tainly if it doesn’t work, we’ll have our say and go ‘this is a bit too much for us’, but there hasn’t been one thing so far.”

As for the driv­ers’ re­ac­tions to em­brac­ing tech­nol­ogy, he said it was a mixed bag.

“We’re tak­ing the time. I’ve got some driv­ers here that have been with us for 20 years and are older fel­las, we’re try­ing to ad­dress it with them per­son­ally.

“I don’t want to lose them. The prob­lem is they are per­fect in ev­ery way, but they don’t know the tech­nol­ogy so we’re work­ing with them to as­sist in that (tran­si­tion).”

But Kent said he also had a few driv­ers un­der the age of 25.

While he said he was tak­ing a risk hav­ing younger driv­ers, he wanted to give them a go.

But he didn’t just want them to study in­side a class­room and then head straight out onto the road.

“In my day you learnt all the ropes be­fore be­com­ing a driver,” he said.

“I’m not sug­gest­ing you go down that line again, but per­haps an ap­pren­tice­ship where we help these young guys, be­cause it’s so hard to get them into the in­dus­try.

“We have to look for­ward and the way to do that is to en­cour­age the younger gen­er­a­tion to come for­ward and train them prop­erly.

“A lot of places want two to five years’ driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, and that’s fair enough, but how are they go­ing to get it if we don’t give them a go?

“I’m pre­pared to give them that go, but I want to train them first.”

He said in the old days, be­ing in the truck­ing in­dus­try was a life­style.

“We were all so well re­spected, we were proud to call our dads truck driv­ers and peo­ple looked up to them,” he said.

“If a car broke down, the first one to pull up was a truckie. Any­one in need, a truckie was al­ways there.

“It’s changed now, peo­ple think we are all drug tak­ers.

“The whole scope of the in­dus­try has changed. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, I think it’s changed for the bet­ter, but along the way we’ve lost that mate­ship and be­cause of the few bad blokes, ev­ery­one la­bels the truck­ing in­dus­try as rogue.

“I think we as our­selves need to por­tray our­selves bet­ter, I re­ally do.

“We’re a pro­fes­sional out­fit and we try to come across as that, but I think we have to change peo­ple’s mind­set about us, that trucks aren’t scary.

“If you look at the statis­tics as far as crashes and deaths go, it’s proven the in­dus­try isn’t as bad as we’re made out to be.

“We’re pro­fes­sion­als – each one of my driv­ers is and I want them to come home to their fam­i­lies ev­ery night.”

❝ The whole scope of the in­dus­try has changed. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, I think it’s changed for the bet­ter, but along the way we’ve lost that mate­ship and be­cause of the few bad blokes, ev­ery­one la­bels the truck­ing in­dus­try as rogue.

— Kent Bail­lie

Stan Bail­lie with his wife Shirley.

Todd, Stan and Kent Bail­lie cel­e­brate Kent's ac­qui­si­tion of the Mt Isa Car­ri­ers busi­ness.

The new­est truck in Kent’s fleet.

PROUDLY MAN­U­FAC­TURED AND BUILT IN SOUTH AUS­TRALIA SINCE 1986

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