Connecting over 11,000 truckies

Neil Haywood. A life of trucking, just like dad. Photo Graham Harsant / Big Rigs
Neil Haywood. A life of trucking, just like dad. Photo Graham Harsant / Big Rigs Graham Harsant

CHANCES are a lot of you will recognise the name Neil Haywood if you're up with the social media scene.

Neil is the admin for over 20 trucking groups on Facebook, the most popular being Truckin' in QLD with an astounding 11,000 members.

Truckin' in QLD started back in 2012.

Neil and the other two group admins Jeff Hartley and Daph Moscrop wanted to create an environment for drivers to celebrate the trucking industry and to catch up with old friends.

"We didn't know what we were doing… we just ran it by the seat of our pants to begin with," said Neil. "We got a few friends to join up and it was just a case of the group getting busier and busier.

"I was doing a lot of night time running at the time so I was monitoring the spammers at 2am," he joked. Neil said after six months they had over 2000 members.

"But with more members came complications," he said. "We discovered a new group of people… we like to call them 'dedicated stirrers'," he joked.

When Big Rigs caught up with Neil he was in the Territory for the National Transport Hall of Fame reunion at Alice Springs.

"I really wanted to come back for the anniversary year," Neil said.

"Last year, my father Wilfred was inducted."

Neil's father ran Melbourne to Darwin during the late 50s. He worked for Carlton and United Breweries. In the mid-60s, the Darwin Brewery was very small.

CUB would send beer by ship and then supplement with the trucks. Back then it was all hand stacking on the trailers. Wilf started off with a Leyland with 34 foot-long strap trailers which carried about a 26 ton payload. In the mid-60s, the company progressed to Kenworths. Carlton and United were the biggest fleet owner of Kenworth outside of Cameron's.

At the reunion in Alice Springs, Neil had the opportunity to catch up with old mates, just as he does on Facebook. "I'd lost track of a lot of people over the years," he said.

"Gossiping truck drivers are worse than gossiping women.

"So needless to say there's a lot of information shared in our groups."

When he's not being referred to as "Hitler" for monitoring inappropriate social posts, Neil spends his days carting asphalt around in a 1983 Atkinson.

Topics:  transport truck drivers truckiepride trucks

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