Pat Com­mans

Big Rigs - - PROFILES -

“I WORKED the Snowy twice. The sec­ond time I was driv­ing a Eu­clid, haul­ing rock. I headed up there with six quid to my name. The aero­plane fare was £5.10 shillings to Cooma. The bus fare out to the job was nine bob. I ar­rived with a shilling to my name.

“I put my stuff in a room and they sent me down to the site to meet with the fore­man. He said, ‘You’re here for a truck driv­ing job, yeah? Take that one over there’, point­ing to the Eu­clid. I said ‘I can’t drive one of those mate’. He said, ‘You’re a truck driver aren’t you?’ I said ‘well I think I am, sort of’.

“There was a bloke walk­ing past and he yelled out ‘hey Vince, take this use­less bas­tard out and see if he can drive’. So Vince takes me for a cou­ple of laps around the site and to be per­fectly hon­est with you, it had me bluffed.

“I put about four hours into it and then we went back to the boss who asked Vince how I was go­ing.

“Vince replied that he thought I would be all right if they left me to it. I breathed a bloody great sigh of re­lief!

“Af­ter about three days I was well used to it and had a lot of fun. I had a cou­ple of trucks but I never did any good out of them.

“I had a 190, then a Ken­worth. In the early days you would never see an over­weight truck driver. Ev­ery­thing was hand loaded. If you did hap­pen across a fork­lift you’d think all your Christ­mases had come at once.

“That loading and un­load­ing was con­sid­ered our down­time. From that point of view when I rem­i­nisce I don’t call them the good old days.”

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