Love on a lonely, dark highway
LOVE is in the air for a truckie under circumstances that could only be described as highly unusual.
We never know when Cupid will fire his bow for those single truckies who want to meet Mrs Right.
On the flip side of the coin, doing that can be almost as elusive as finding Lasseter's Reef.
Late at night this Brisbane-based truckie was driving along the Nullarbor Plain highway when in the darkness he saw the light of a small torch.
Much to his surprise, the truckie, aged in his late thirties, saw a lady with a girl and white fluffy dog standing beside the bitumen.
This Knight in Shining Armour stopped and wondered why they were there.
"The lady told me they had been in a car with a female driver who was intoxicated and it was suggested to stop until she sobered up. They were asked to leave the car," he said.
So the truckie gave the three a lift to the Border Village on the WA and SA boundary, and told them he would be back within five days.
"They wanted to get to her home at Port Macquarie in NSW and I would be going there on my next trip on the way back from Perth," he said.
Even though they were offered lifts by numerous truckies, the 44-year-old lady, her daughter and pooch waited.
"I picked them up and gave them a lift to Port Macquarie and romance is blossoming between us," he said.
Early days yet but the truckie has promised to let Spy know how things progress.
SOMETIMES fact is stranger than fiction. A Western Australian truckie on an interstate run had a rather unusual trusty pillow in his sleeper box.
He explained to Spy that the padding inside the pillow was wool that he had sheared from his pet poodle.
"It took me three years of shearing the coat of my mutt to get enough for the pillow. But it sure is comfortable and is better than any I have had," he said.
Sweet dreams and a good night's rest are the result for this versatile driver.
A WELL-known middle-aged road transport identity was walking towards an eatery with an attractive lass about 25 years his junior when several truckies asked him a question.
"Is that your new wife," one asked, and the other remarked that he had done well as she was indeed a good looker.
After a few seconds, the gent gave them an answer, which had their faces red with embarrassment.
"In fact she is my daughter," he replied.
Collection bins go
FOR years many people have annoyingly placed disused goods that could be sold near charity collection bins found around the country. Spy has seen this on many occasions, with such items as old beds, fridges, and mattresses among things left near bins.
Truck drivers who pick the material up have told Spy that much of it is rubbish that has to be dumped and cannot be sold by the particular charity that relies on money from such sales for its excellent work.
It has come to the attention of Spy that some of these collection bins are being removed to prevent such practices.
Truckies from several states have told Spy they have also seen such bins taken away. That's pretty sad, considering these charities are struggling for much-needed funds to help the needy.
Skin cancer warning
IN RECENT months Spy has spoken to numerous truckies who have all had basal-cell carcinoma skin cancers removed from their faces by surgeons.
Most of them had grown on the right cheek, which some have been told is probably because that part of the face is often exposed to the sun while they are driving.
These BCCs are the most common skin cancer, and rarely metastasise or kill. However, because they can cause significant destruction and disfigurement by invading surrounding tissues, they are still considered malignant.
Some of the truckies said they noticed hard skin or a sore develop on their cheek and went to a GP.
A biopsy is taken and sent to pathology, and if it is a BCC, the GP will refer the person to a specialist surgeon.
Most of these cancers can be cut out in the surgery, and being in such a close proximity to the eye, need removal.
A couple of the truckies Spy spoke to want to warn other drivers to consult a doctor if they have any suspicious marks.
THERE is one well-known driver up North Queensland way who deserves considerable praise for warning others after an accident at Deadman's Gully on the Flinders Highway.
It was night and a vehicle had an accident and blocked the road and he was one of the first on the scene.
The fellow got on his radio and warned traffic coming in both directions, which included many trucks, of the danger ahead.
Spy heard some drivers speaking of his action at a roadhouse.
SAFETY is a major issue for truckies around the country, and one thing that annoys them is pushbike riders who put themselves in danger.
Numerous drivers in Tasmania whinged to Spy about competition bike riders who got along busy highways two or even sometimes three abreast.
"They really put themselves in danger of being hit by a truck or car but that doesn't seem to bother them," one truckie said.
Some Queensland and NSW truckies have complained about the same thing.
SCORES of people involved in the road transport industry took a few days off over the Australia Day long weekend to compete at the Goldfield Ashes cricket carnival in Charters Towers.
A huge 224 teams competed in four men's grades and one women's on more than 70 fields around the former gold mining town.
Most of the truckies had a game in the B-2 or Social Men's divisions, where a social atmosphere was enjoyed by all.
Spy saw at least five truckies playing at the Drinkastubbie Downs property field, which is 13km from the town, known as "Charlie's Trousers".
At another field about 20km from the CBD off the Bluff Road, truckie Troy O'Neill was playing for the Mingela XI.
It is the biggest cricket carnival in the southern hemisphere and maybe even the world, having started with six teams in 1948.
Thousands of truckies have enjoyed the Ashes over the decades.