Truckie finds a snoozy seal
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
GOOD WORK: Emergency workers won praise for their professionalism when a house caught fire.
The inspection station that truckies hate.
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.