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Credit where credit is due

YOU'VE got to hand it to Doug Kirby, the man behind the second annual Wave at a Truckie Day.

Armed with little more than a brilliant idea and a passion for the job, the Gold Coast truckie has managed to do what no other big budget association has done so far, and that's to unite an industry.

We've never seen such engagement on our Facebook page when we made the announcement that this day was back on.

With that one simple gesture, he's given drivers a platform to receive acknowledgement from those who rely on them for, well, pretty much everything in their lives, really. Genius.

Wouldn't it be great if an association such as the Australian Trucking Association, or one of the truck manufacturers, picked this up and put a bit of marketing muscle behind it for November 22, 2019?

Drivers are just like the rest of us, after all, and every now and then need to feel valued over and above the pay packet.

Especially when you factor in the inherent dangers in the job, and the many and varied rules and regulatory hoops they must jump through every single day on the road.

Take, for example, the incomprehensible situation we reveal in this issue on page 7 with the Department of Transport and Main Roads in Queensland.

After an audit of a company it had green-lit to dispense multi-combination licences to drivers almost 20 years ago, it suddenly did an about-turn and took their authority away, with no explanation.

A distraught company co-owner, John Bougure, told Big Rigs he had tried to do the right thing and asked for a meeting to sort the issue out, but had the door slammed in his face.

What's more, he's since learned he's now part of a police investigation, although the TMR isn't revealing what that's about.

He's now looking for a lawyer to help rescue his reputation and business.

The TMR investigation has also compromised the careers of dozens of drivers, both in Queensland and further afield.

Big Rigs spoke to several who had gone through MC assessments with the company concerned and all had received show cause notices in the mail, or their licence would be revoked.

One young family man has since had his confirmed, but for days he went through sheer hell wondering how he would keep his new job and put food on the table.

In many more cases, MC holders had been on our roads unaware there was letter waiting for them at home to inform them their licence was no longer valid.

No one at TMR appears to have picked up the phone and given anyone fair warning that there was an investigation going on and that they might want to take some immediate, and in theory simple, steps to ensure their job security.

No, suddenly, dozens of innocent parties were made to feel like the bad guy/girl.

As soon as the compliance enforcement comes under the one NHVR umbrella in this country, the better.

Of course, they too must still investigate anomalies and crack down on those who sidestep the law.

But from what I've seen so far, they do it with a lot more transparency and fairness than the TMR.

Big Rigs

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