Big Rigs - - FRONT PAGE - Kate Dodd [email protected]­

❝22-inch Some­where bet­ter than a foam mat­tress isn’t too much to ask.

— Tony Elkins

HOW are you sup­posed to man­age your fa­tigue when you’re sleep­ing in what feels like a shoe­box?

Truckie David Noel started a Face­book page ear­lier this month call­ing for a change in length reg­u­la­tions – mea­sur­ing ev­ery­thing from the “for­ward-most king pin back”.

“Just ev­ery­thing in front of that ar­tic­u­la­tion point should not be in­cluded in the mea­sure­ments,” he told Big Rigs.

The Face­book page kicked off on Novem­ber 2 and be­fore the week­end was out had more than 400 likes from truck­ies and other in­di­vid­u­als show­ing their sup­port for his call to change the mea­sure­ment rules.

“The idea be­hind this is not to ex­tend the over­all length of the trail­ers but just have bet­ter ride qual­ity and sleep­ing quar­ters,” he said.

Mr Noel, who stands at six feet tall, said he couldn’t lay flat in a lot of bunks. He said he’d been play­ing around with the idea for the last 10 years but re­cently was in­spired by the power of so­cial me­dia so put his sug­ges­tions out there.

“What’s the worst that can hap­pen, I’m just go­ing to watch it grow and grow and try and get (the sug­ges­tion) out there,” he said.

“The idea is the power of the peo­ple, (I want) to get more num­bers be­hind it to show that it’s more than just me (who thinks this), see what they think and take it from there.”

Mr Noel re­ceived a pos­i­tive re­sponse from truck­ies on so­cial me­dia.

Tony Elkins said he had ar­gued this for decades.

“The stan­dard space for an of­fice worker is 10sq m not in­clud­ing walk­ways, tea room, meet­ing room, toi­lets and other ameni­ties,” he said.

“Of course it is ex­pected that this area is quiet and has air-con­di­tion­ing. This is for 7.6 hours a day (38-hour week).

“But it’s per­fectly ac­cept­able to send a truckie to work, eat, rest and sleep for a week in a frac­tion of that space.

“Imag­ine hav­ing your of­fice work­ers ar­rive Sun­day af­ter­noon and sit and work, eat and sleep in a cu­bi­cle – no, half a cu­bi­cle – un­til Fri­day. Only leav­ing to un­load in a ware­house or shower in a ser­vice sta­tion. Unreasonable you say?

“Yet thou­sands of truck driv­ers ev­ery week are ex­pected to do just that. Some­where bet­ter than a 22-inch foam mat­tress isn’t too much to ask.”

Bradley White said sleep­ing bunks kept get­ting smaller to ac­com­mo­date more load.

“Bloody dis­grace­ful re­ally,” he said.

“Where is the fa­tigue man­age­ment so we can get a good rest?

“Shouldn’t mat­ter what length prime mover we use as long as the trail­ers’ lengths are le­gal.”

But Dom Wil­liams said he’d rather see it be com­pul­sory to al­low driv­ers to fit a mi­crowave so they could eat home-cooked food while away for days on end.

“At least then we wouldn’t have to eat road­house crap,” he said.

“Most of the big out­fits in the west won’t al­low any mod­i­fi­ca­tions at all, even if it would be a health ben­e­fit.”

You can find the pe­ti­tion by search­ing on Face­book for “Change the 19 and 26 me­tre rule”.


SIZE MAT­TERS: All man­ner of large sleeper cabs were on dis­play at the Dal­las truck show ear­lier this year.


David Noel started the pe­ti­tion on Face­book.

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