AS bush fires swept across five states causing damage and hardship/ truckies showed what caring people they are.
Spy was in Tasmania in late December and early January and saw first-hand the work and effort many truck drivers put in to help others. Trucks were used to fight fires and deliver goods but it went much further than that.
I am speaking about the emotions many showed when concerned about their fellow drivers.
Spy had travelled through all of the worst affected areas in the Apple Isle, albeit days before the blazes swept through.
I was out of mobile phone range the day that more than 100 properties were destroyed by the burning forces of Mother Nature at Dunalley.
As I entered a town (hundreds of kilometres away), where phone range was restored, the text messages and calls came through.
Ten truckies who knew I was in Tasmania asked in different texted words or voice messages "Are you in Dunalley or the area where the fires have been?".
Most were from interstate drivers who had seen media reports on television on the fires.
But some were also from Tassie and other truckies down there told me similar stories of colleagues contacting them to check on their safety. I reckon that truckies overall would be amongst the most caring folk in Australia.
Tax this emission
WHILST sitting in the eating area of a Tasmanian roadhouse Spy witnessed this ripper.
A group of truckies were sitting together when one of their number silently passed wind.
The smell was less than nice and the conversation soon turned to which one was the culprit.
When one finally confessed another told him: "You should be charged carbon tax for that emission''.
There was laughter all round.
Smell was last straw
WHILST on the subject of bad odours, Spy was travelling several vehicles behind a truck on the Bass Hwy which was carrying a strange load of what looked like dark coloured hay.
To say the least it was an unpleasant experience so when Spy pulled up at the Detention River Roadhouse he had to ask the truck driver what in fact it was.
"It is pea straw which I am taking to Smithton where it will be used for gardens. It does stink and you are not the first one to ask me that question today," he said.
Following the leader
THE driver of a light rig was delivering milk to the hamlet of St Mary's in eastern Tassie which required a trip along a 6km hilly road.
With no passing lanes strategically placed, about 20 cars ended up behind him as the driver abided by the speed limit.
When he arrived at St Mary's and pulled up outside the bakery one of the passengers from a car which had been in the convoy remarked to him in a friendly manner.
"I thought you were a religious preacher because you had so many followers".
A VICTORIAN truckie who is renowned for being able to handle his fists became more-than-a-bit angry when he pulled up at Perth near Launceston in early January.
He saw six backpackers who were standing near their van laughing loudly at what he thought was his expense as they looked at his rig.
Our man asked one of the tourists just what was the joke and could they share it with him.
Turns out they were playing number plate scrabble and using his front number plate in the game.
Having saw the funny side of that the truckie didn't see the humour when he pulled into a nearby service station and saw another tourist light up a cigarette near a fuel bowser.
Chopper creates buzz
A veteran truckie driving along the road at Low Head at Georgetown in northern Tasmania had some concern when he thought he saw a helicopter crashing to terra firma.
He was travelling past the old pilot station precinct at Low Head and considered calling 000 to report the incident.
Spy was nearby and also saw a helicopter coming from the sky towards the ground at some speed.
It turned out to be a gent operating a rather large radio-controlled model helicopter.
"I looked out the corner of my eye as I drove past and really thought it was a small helicopter crashing,'' the truckie told Spy soon after.
Blitz stops Salvo
TASMANIAN cops were out in force over the holiday break conducting many random breath tests. The entrance to the historical hamlet of Campbell Town beside the Midlands or Heritage highway was a spot that received plenty of attention.
Hundreds of truckies travel through there daily and Spy can report that none, he knows of, were caught for drink driving.
A driver who was waiting to blow into the machine saw one test which attracted his attention.
"It was a lady who was a Salvation Army devotee and naturally she blew zero," he said.
Planning for miracles
THERE is a humorous sign hanging on the wall at the Derwent River Roadhouse which is between Hobart and Queenstown in southern Tasmania.
"Emergencies attended to immediately. Miracles take a little longer," it reads.
The roadhouse is patronised by many truckies and one told Spy about it. On the day Spy visited in early January it was raining cats and dogs as many other parts of the State were being ravaged by fires.
Wait for reply
BY the time truckies around Oz read this many would have broken their New Year's Resolutions.
Most who vowed to give up smoking, drinking and gambling would have fallen by the wayside.
A Queensland-based female driver Spy yarned who was holidaying in Hobart said her resolution was to "propose to her long time truckie boyfriend''.
Spy will keep readers posted if she does pop the big question.