Our side of the road

Pre­sen­ta­tions on shar­ing the road with trucks are prov­ing to be a pop­u­lar for re­cre­ational mo­torists

Owner Driver - - Eyes On The Road - Rod Han­nifey

LAST MONTH I at­tended the Stone the Crows Fes­ti­val in Wagga Wagga with Stephen McCarthy from White­line Tele­vi­sion and we launched Truck That RV and filmed for both Truck That and Truck That RV. I had been in­vited some years ago by one of the or­gan­is­ers, Grant Luhrs, who was one of the orig­i­nal fel­lows in­volved in Rig Ra­dio, which used to come from the 2WG stu­dios in Wagga Wagga and went out on the Com­mu­nity Broad­cast­ing Net­work from mid­night to 6am.

Stone the Crows is one of the only events where both car­a­van­ners and mo­torhomers come to­gether. I have been do­ing pre­sen­ta­tions on shar­ing the road with trucks now for three years with very good at­ten­dance and com­ments. The or­gan­is­ers were some­what taken aback by the num­bers who at­tended my ses­sions and we did well again this year and I have been in­vited to re­turn yet again.

There were 500 vans and mo­torhomes on site with about 1100 peo­ple at­tend­ing, many of whom have been com­ing since its in­cep­tion six years ago. I did an in­ter­view with ABC Wagga by phone and also the lo­cal pa­per on site and then fol­lowed up the next week with one on Night Shift with Luke Bona.

A meet­ing had been ar­ranged with peo­ple from the three of the big­gest RV groups on the Satur­day morn­ing and that went well. I have since fol­lowed up with send­ing them info and ask­ing them to dis­trib­ute the Truck That RV and Shar­ing Rest Ar­eas videos, along with con­sid­er­ing the cur­rent heavy ve­hi­cle rest area de­sign guide­lines.

REST AREA CON­SUL­TA­TION

When I first started push­ing to have those guide­lines re­viewed, I did ask for in­dus­try-wide con­sul­ta­tion to be a part of the process. Yes, I did get to have a say early on, ring­ing to ask where they were up to. I’ve been told the draft is out to the states (who will be the ones build­ing them, of course) and will come back to those who have con­trib­uted thus far. I asked about wider con­sul­ta­tion and was told this was not in the plan, but that hav­ing raised it, it will be looked at again. I stated that was the aim – to have those who slept in such sites given a chance to con­trib­ute more than those who just build them. Never give up.

I did get to watch What’s Up Dow­nun­der on tele­vi­sion on Satur­day and fi­nally the piece filmed with me launch­ing the

Shar­ing Rest Ar­eas video at the Re­treat Car­a­van Rally in Mudgee last year and the in­ter­view done, made it to air. It’s another small piece but to a very wide mar­ket and yet another pos­i­tive ac­tion in deal­ing with RV-ers gen­er­ally.

The first ABC Nightlife ra­dio pro­gram in­ter­view I did on the truck­ing in­dus­try two months ago drew many

com­ments from driv­ers. The pre­sen­ter was prompted to ask me, “So when do you sleep?”. The in­ter­view proved suc­cess­ful and I was in­vited back, along with Sharon Mid­dle­ton from White­line Trans­port, to do a sec­ond hour-long ses­sion. I emailed the pro­gram after the first show and then spent prob­a­bly more than two hours on the phone and more time via email, rais­ing and list­ing is­sues and prob­lems in the cou­ple of days be­fore the show went to air. From all ac­counts I have re­ceived only pos­i­tive com­ments. Thank you to all who made to ef­fort to com­ment and for your com­pli­ments. Too rarely do we get that chance to put our side to the me­dia and/ or the gen­eral pub­lic and we can­not af­ford to miss or botch such chances.

DRIV­ERS CLUB

The Truck That Aus­tralia Driv­ers Club took far too long to set up and, yes, those of you who got in early to join raised a num­ber of is­sues with the ap­pli­ca­tion process and the web­site. As per the out­line, Stephen, who has gen­er­ously pro­vided the web­site www. truck­ing­na­tion.com.au and I are both full-time driv­ers, not com­puter geeks or ex­perts. All ad­vice you of­fer in genuine ef­forts to help us achieve the aims of the club will be wel­comed and ap­pre­ci­ated. All those who want to abuse us for not hav­ing it per­fect at start-up can do what they like and I wish them well.

For those who rang and of­fered sup­port and the in­tent to join, now is the time to do so and to com­mit.

Stephen has been work­ing hard on re­turn from hol­i­day to sort and im­prove those is­sues and, yes, he de­serves a break as we all do, so give him a fair go. The data we ask for on join­ing is to al­low us to set up a data­base for each high­way or in­dus­try sec­tor.

We will not bom­bard you with re­quests for info or com­ment on every lit­tle thing, but we will tar­get those who run a par­tic­u­lar road or in a sec­tor, to ei­ther con­firm or com­ment on an is­sue if raised by other mem­bers.

As per the aims of the club, we will ask you at times to ei­ther com­ment or con­trib­ute or to make a call to a road au­thor­ity about a bad bit of road. As you must agree, only one com­ment is sim­ply not enough.

EN­ERGY DRINK CON­CERN

I will raise the is­sue of food and health on one of the fo­rums soon and would ask as a pre-empt: how many of you drink en­ergy drinks? They are ex­pen­sive and not nec­es­sar­ily good for you (and Tran­sHelp did flag an is­sue with those who drink too much of the stuff). Do you have a health­ier op­tion?

A fel­low has a drink called Truck On, which he sells in sa­chets as an al­ter­na­tive and, while I do not buy the en­ergy drinks, I am giv­ing it a go. I gave some sam­ples out at Altona and two blokes reckon it is good stuff. Any­one else have a sug­ges­tion or com­ment?

“Too rarely do we get that chance to put our side to the me­dia and/or the gen­eral pub­lic and we can­not af­ford to miss or botch such chances”

Be­low: Sharon Mid­dle­ton from White­line Trans­port joined Rod on ABC Ra­dio’s Nightlife pro­gram

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