Truckie finds a snoozy seal

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Need for truck­ies sup­port group

SEV­ERAL driv­ers have called for the es­tab­lish­ment of a “Truck­ies Sup­port Group” for those suf­fer­ing any men­tal health is­sues.

These is­sues can be de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety, a re­la­tion­ship break-up, be­ing lonely or any­thing that af­fects our men and women driv­ers.

A young Tas­ma­nian driver said that groups such as be­yond­blue or Life­line are good.

“But I feel that we need a group es­pe­cially for truck­ies which we can ring if have a prob­lem and talk to some­body who knows about the road trans­port in­dus­try,” he said.

A vet­eran North­ern Ter­ri­tory driver from Dar­win said that such a group would be wel­comed by truck­ies.

“With truck­ies all hav­ing mo­bile phones they could ring up and seek sup­port,” he said.

Spy re­calls a re­cent in­ci­dent when a truckie who had pulled up at a rest area be­side the Bruce High­way was in an ag­gra­vated mood.

He picked up a piece of wood and was hit­ting the ground with it, leav­ing some other rest area users fear­ful.

Af­ter a few min­utes he calmed down and told Spy of his re­la­tion­ship break-up which had left him dev­as­tated.

This lad phoned be­yond­blue as I was leav­ing.

I reckon that such a sup­port group for truck­ies would be a top idea.

Woman wouldn’t rec­om­mend truck­ing

IT WAS driz­zling rain in mid-De­cem­ber when Spy scouted a park­ing area at a large road­house and saw a fe­male driver hard at work chang­ing a trailer.

I asked the woman, who looked to be aged in her thir­ties, if I could snap her pic­ture and have a yarn to her when she had fin­ished.

This su­per friendly lady who works for a large com­pany de­clined but did make a few in­ter­est­ing com­ments.

“I have been a truck driver for 15 years and I wouldn’t rec­om­mend it to any other woman,” she said.

Maybe other fe­male driv­ers would like to of­fer their opin­ion.

Snoozy seal

A QUEENS­LAND driver hol­i­day­ing on scenic Bruny Is­land in south­ern Tas­ma­nia over the break got the sur­prise of his life when he saw a fat seal asleep on a beach.

He promptly snapped a pic­ture of the seal which me­an­dered its way to Spy.

This bloke had al­ways wanted to see a seal but never thought he would.

He is a renowned pig hunter on a prop­erty near Char­ters Tow­ers back in his home state.

Sight­ings of seals by mo­torists are not all that un­com­mon in the Ap­ple Isle.

A few years ago coun­cil work­ers at Sprey­ton near La­trobe found a seal in a pub­lic toi­let and it was re­leased back into the Mersey River.

Be­fore that a cheeky seal wan­dered onto the high­way near Launce­s­ton and au­thor­i­ties had to close the road and help it on its way back into the Ta­mar River.

High­way to heaven

GEN­ER­OUS was an apt de­scrip­tion of one truckie by a Sal­va­tion Army of­fi­cer and the gent of the road has now been dubbed ‘Green­back Gary’.

This lovely Salvo lady gets around to pubs and clubs in her home town each Fri­day night with a small box col­lect­ing do­na­tions for com­mu­nity work.

Ev­ery few weeks at one bar there is a mid­dle aged truckie who gladly pulls $100 from his wal­let to do­nate.

“This is the first time any­body has ever given us a green­back,” the lady said.

In­quiries re­vealed he is a truck driver who gets down to that bar if he is off duty.

One of his col­leagues made an in­ter­est­ing com­ment about the sub­ject.

“Maybe he is seek­ing a high­way to heaven.”

Fuel price vari­a­tion

OVER the fes­tive sea­son Spy kept an eye on fuel prices in a bid to find the cheapest out­let.

At one big servo in my home town the price of un­leaded and diesel was very rea­son­able.

But travel less than 5km across suburbs to an­other out­let and it was 14 cents a litre more ex­pen­sive.

This was the time of year when most spend big on food, al­co­hol and gifts.

Most of the out­lays are put on the credit card, leav­ing many strug­gling to pay in the months ahead.

As one driver told Spy about the fuel price vari­a­tion: “Cus­tomers will go where the price is cheaper mostly”.

Win­ner but no col­lec­tion

THREE driv­ers from New South Wales got a hot tip for a horse named Re­spun which was num­ber 10 in race three at Tun­curry dur­ing De­cem­ber.

They each had a lobster ($20) each way on the light­weight at the juicy fixed

price odds of 12-1.

Re­spun duly won the event but the lads couldn’t col­lect.

Read­ers may think it failed to pass cor­rect weight af­ter the event but that wasn’t the rea­son.

The horse lost its rider and was de­clared a non-run­ner.

“What a way to back a loser,” one lamented.

Emer­gency ser­vices praised

DUR­ING De­cem­ber, old Spy was gear­ing up for some fes­tive sea­son over-in­dul­gence when sirens sounded a few houses from where I live.

Soon fire trucks, am­bu­lances and po­lice cars were on the scene at what was a house fire.

There was smoke ev­ery­where and the emer­gency work­ers han­dled the sit­u­a­tion with true pro­fes­sion­al­ism and earned praise from neigh­bours.

Red light truckie in­no­cent

WHILE on the sub­ject of emer­gency ser­vice ve­hi­cles, a truckie ac­quain­tance of Spy was wor­ried he would be breached for go­ing through a red traf­fic light.

How­ever that was be­cause of cir­cum­stances be­yond his con­trol.

The driver of a light rig had pulled up at the front of a lane and waited for a green light.

Then he heard a loud siren and saw through the rear vi­sion mir­ror an am­bu­lance ob­vi­ously trans­port­ing some­body to hos­pi­tal.

So he drove through the in­ter­sec­tion which had a red light cam­era to let the am­bu­lance pass.

He was con­cerned that he may get a ticket in the mail the next month.

But Spy checked it out with some lo­cal boys in blue and he won’t be breached.

In­deed he was praised for his ac­tions.

A dif­fer­ent red light

WHILE old mate above won’t be fork­ing out for a fine there are three other truck­ies who will be get­ting a nasty sur­prise in the mail come late Jan­uary.

Spy was sit­ting in his ve­hi­cle near a busy in­ter­sec­tion which had cam­eras and saw three trucks go through a red light.

Spy saw the flash of the cam­era as each truck trav­elled through the red light.

Each driver must have thought he could get through on the am­ber light which doesn’t re­sult in a ticket.

To make mat­ters worse, two of the three in­creased their speed.

There is also a speed de­tec­tion cam­era at the in­ter­sec­tion.

Some nasty sur­prises will be in the mail soon.

Bizarre van­dal­ism

IT WAS a gen­uine case of bizarre van­dal­ism and a well-known fe­male road trans­port iden­tity was the vic­tim.

The woman lives in a quiet sub­urb and takes pride in wa­ter­ing her grass.

Of course she abides by the times al­lowed by lo­cal coun­cil un­der wa­ter re­stric­tions.

For two hours a week res­i­dents are al­lowed to have a sprin­kler.

The hose it is con­nected to stays in the yard.

The woman woke one morn­ing to find some­one had cut three pieces from the hose.

“I would have no idea why they would want to do that,” she told Spy.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions by Spy re­vealed it may have been youths who use the small lengths of hose to smoke il­le­gal sub­stances.

Heat melt­down

A HEAT­WAVE around Aus­tralia in De­cem­ber re­sulted in some un­usual oc­cur­rences as one truckie can at­test to.

He got out of the driver’s seat of his semi-trailer on to a park­ing area which had re­cently been sealed.

Alas, part of the tar had melted and his boots were stuck.

A quick think­ing type, he man­aged to re­move his feet from the boots and hop back into the seat be­fore driv­ing away.

Luck­ily he had a pair of thongs in the cabin which he wore for the rest of his shift.

Spy saw the driver of a Mit­subishi truck who was pick­ing up sheets from a ho­tel for wash­ing and clean­ing and it was 44 de­grees.

“It is a bloody scorcher out there to­day,” he quipped.

Un­pop­u­lar sta­tion

DUR­ING 2018, Spy asked more than 100 driv­ers what was the one place they dreaded stop­ping at.

A high per­cent­age of the driv­ers who travel in NSW nom­i­nated the Maru­lan Heavy Ve­hi­cle Check­ing Sta­tion.

Sit­u­ated on the Hume High­way 161km south­west of Syd­ney and 28km north of Goul­burn, it has sep­a­rate safety sta­tions for north and south­bound traf­fic.

Ve­hi­cles over eight tonne GVM are in­ter­cepted there.

The driv­ers Spy spoke to said in­spec­tors en­deav­our to is­sue breaches for even the most me­nial thing.

PHO­TOS: SPY

GOOD WORK: Emer­gency work­ers won praise for their pro­fes­sion­al­ism when a house caught fire.

The in­spec­tion sta­tion that truck­ies hate.

PHO­TOS: SPY

HAPPY AS LARRY: Look at the smile on this fella!

A truckie was wor­ried he would be fined for go­ing through a red traf­fic light.

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