Coast star's message for rookie truckies
AT THE tender age of 28, Sunshine Coast's Brenton Tasker already counts himself as something of an "older” hand at the driving game.
Inspired by his old man Doug Tasker - who can still be found behind the wheel of a B-double with the Corbet's Group - Brenton jumped into a heavy rigid eight-wheeler and hauled off 16 pallets to the Brisbane Markets the day he got his licence at 19.
He hasn't slowed down since. As driver and company manager at respected bulk haulage hire specialists Boardman Sand and Gravel, Brenton regularly works from dawn to dusk and takes it all in his stride, topping off long days behind the wheel with an array of office duties to boot.
"I think the hours are a promotion,” said Brenton, when asked whether he thought arduous schedules were a deterrent to newcomers entering the industry.
"I got into this game to make money, not to have that taken away from me. I honestly think everyone should be able to work a 14-hour day and our businesses shouldn't have to pay to allow us to do that.”
If youngsters are willing to roll up their sleeves, Brenton says, the pay-off is there.
"If you're willing to work a 12- to 14-hour day, you can make $2000 a week pretty easily and that's a big boost up compared to some of the other industries around. It's a good way to get ahead in life, I think.”
He would, however, like to see the insurance criteria relaxed for newbies.
"I have noticed that until you're 25, a lot of insurance companies won't even look at you,” he said.
"Insurance is a big, big factor.”
To assuage nervous insurers, Brenton favours restricting rookies to smaller trucks for longer before they graduate to a B-double.
"You need to have a bit more exposure in singles and maybe earn your way up. Sometimes racing them up the ladder can spoil them too.”
Brenton had first-hand experience last Christmas of how lacking the skillsets were in some sectors.
"I did a short stint over Christmas with another large company and some of their operators can't even reverse,” he said.
"I found myself reversing their truck for them.”
Brenton, who has since branched into truck photography as a hobby (he took our stunning cover shot and the other eye-catchers on this page) is a classic example of how quickly someone with the right attitude and work ethic can climb through the ranks.
When a big wet on the Coast slowed down the "truck and dog” hours Brenton was clocking for a Boardman's sub-contractor, he went straight to the horse's mouth instead - and has been there ever since.
"I've sat back and learned any way I could to make myself a necessary part of the Boardman team.”
Brenton's career highlight came when boss Jason Boardman handed over the keys to the company's signature rig, a Southern Cross Limited Edition 2012 Mack Superliner - revered up and down the Coast for its memorial mural of late company founder Lennie Boardman, Jason's dad.
"I can't think of a bigger boost than to be entrusted with something like that.”
To see more of Brenton's great trucking pics, visit his Facebook page at B.Tasker_Images. He's already been commissioned to shoot for Tefco Trailers.