Ready for a new rig

The Truck­Right In­dus­try Ve­hi­cle has reached a mas­sive mile­stone. Now it’s time for an up­grade

Owner Driver - - Eyes On The Road - Rod Han­nifey

THIS YEAR THE TRUCK­RIGHT IN­DUS­TRY VE­HI­CLE (TIV) ini­tia­tive reached a decade in ex­is­tence. My first event with the Truck­Right was at the Dubbo Show with Ken Wilkie’s K104 and Rod Pilon Trans­port trail­ers 132 and 142. I had ap­proached the then Roads and Traf­fic Au­thor­ity to par­tic­i­pate and they did with a road­side in­spec­tion van and of­fi­cers on site.

That was early in 2008 and Ken Wilkie had stepped up and of­fered me his K104. I had asked Rod Pilon if could I buy the trail­ers, but he of­fered to buy a set for me and did so at the Aus­tralian Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (ATA) Con­ven­tion later that year. I picked them up from Mel­bourne in Oc­to­ber 2008, which then saw the com­plete TIV and trail­ers on the road. Last month the trail­ers reached 10 years old.

In that 10 years the TIV has had many pas­sen­gers and at­tended many events. The trail­ers, at least, are now ap­proach­ing two mil­lion kilo­me­tres with just one brake lin­ing re­placed since new, which was only due to the pin wear­ing and the shoe step­ping out a bit.

Many have con­trib­uted to the ef­fort, from Ken and Dot Wilkie and all at Rod Pilon Trans­port in help­ing me get to events and, with loads to suit, for pas­sen­gers trips. There are those who have sup­plied pho­tos for the cur­tains and oth­ers who have sup­plied sup­port and/or equip­ment on the com­bi­na­tion and/or for events.

Many of those orig­i­nal sup­port­ers are still in­volved and I have tried to keep them all up to date with my ef­forts through an email news­let­ter. Since I have started my blog www.truck­right.blog it has ful­filled some of that role and also al­lowed me to get to a dif­fer­ent group of peo­ple. Our ‘Truck That Aus­tralia’ videos are yet an­other string in that ef­fort to get a pos­i­tive in­dus­try mes­sage to those we so of­ten sim­ply can’t reach. It is not for a want of try­ing though.

PUB­LIC IM­AGE

I read not only in­dus­try pa­pers but also elec­tronic me­dia from here and over­seas and there are the union and in­dus­try bod­ies, who, each in their way, try to put for­ward to the pub­lic a dif­fer­ent view to that which we get from most press, which is gen­er­ally bad. How do you change this? I don’t know, other than to say if we don’t try, no one else is go­ing to do it for us.

Truck­Right, in­clud­ing the TIV, was given the Highly Com­mended award at the Aus­tralasian Col­lege of Road Safety Con­fer­ence, 3M Di­a­mond Road Safety Awards in 2016. I have had many peo­ple over the years com­ment on the truck, the cur­tains and the mes­sages, along with the Truck­ies Top Ten Tips (for shar­ing the road), which are ro­tated on the back trailer.

Un­less you have a mil­lion dol­lars and have noth­ing bet­ter to do with it, it is hard to have a truck pro­mot­ing the in­dus­try un­less it is a work­ing truck. It must be paid for and earn its keep. If it is not a work­ing truck, how can you be in­volved and push for things to change, un­less you live them?

I am still cur­rently work­ing on the next and pos­si­bly the last TIV and will com­mit to the next five years and may be able to re­tire know­ing I have tried to make a dif­fer­ence.

One driver was read­ing the cur­tains with his part­ner one day and I asked, “Is there any­thing on there you dis­agree with?” His com­ment was that he had been driv­ing for over 20 years and he had learned some­thing from the cur­tains. Many mem­bers of the pub­lic have taken pho­tos, the Aus­tralian Heavy Ve­hi­cle Com­bi­na­tions panel prob­a­bly be­ing even more pop­u­lar than the TIV it­self.

I would like to thank all who have sup­ported my dream, be­cause at the start, that was all it was, me hop­ing to find a way to show a dif­fer­ent side to what peo­ple nor­mally are told about us. I could fill this page with names and com­pa­nies who have helped and con­trib­uted. Some have done more than oth­ers and it makes it even harder to list them. But they all know who they are and, as far as I know, all are happy with the ef­fort I have put in, both to recog­nise their sup­port and to put a pos­i­tive mes­sage in front of the pub­lic in a way not done by any other ve­hi­cle. With­out all of them the TIV would sim­ply not ex­ist.

UNIQUE RIG

I wish we had more trail­ers with a pos­i­tive mes­sage and yes, there are a few who have a com­pany or busi­ness mes­sage. There are also a few with a safety tip on the back, but to my knowl­edge the TIV is the only work­ing truck of its type any­where in the world. Nowhere on my trav­els over­seas did I see any­thing like it. There were some mag­nif­i­cent look­ing trucks and trail­ers, but none with such a fo­cus nor a bet­ter de­liv­ery of our mes­sages.

The TIV has fea­tured in most of our in­dus­try press, along with some over­seas trans­port me­dia, and I thank Owner//Driver for both its sup­port and its in­dus­try bal­ance in not be­ing overly re­stric­tive on other press pro­mot­ing the TIV and its aims. Owner//Driver recog­nises it as an in­dus­try ef­fort and has treated me well over the years. This is my 19th year writ­ing the ‘Eyes On the Road’ col­umn.

Thank you to those who have taken the time to email or call me on the UHF to thank me for my ef­forts and while I do bear a sense of frus­tra­tion, I am still keen to keep try­ing for a while yet.

“To my knowl­edge, the TIV is the only work­ing truck of its type any­where in the world.”

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