IT HAS been mentioned in a previous column that many truckies are opting to cook meals on gas burners to save money in tight economic times.
Many of them are very good cooks who prepare themselves a variety of delicious dishes which would be well received by genuine food connoisseurs.
It seems that some of them have been the target of those top rating television shows.
I Spy hears that a Brisbane-based truckie who was interviewed by and had his picture snapped by a Big Rigs correspondent was on the radar of the popular program MasterChef Australia.
Representatives of the show reportedly contacted the transport company he works for offering him an audition.
SLEEP apnoea is a hot subject among truckies, with many being diagnosed with it.
However many others who show obvious symptoms of the disorder haven't sought medical assistance.
Those who have been diagnosed need a machine which pushes air into their lungs through a mask.
These machines generally cost about $2200 to purchase new which can be a prohibitive outlay in this era of tough times.
Some truckies I Spy spoke to have hired such a machine with the price being around $80 a month, although it does vary from state to state.
A Tasmanian driver said he found it uncomfortable at first to use the machine as he woke up often with a dry mouth.
The answer was to get a machine with a humidifier and all has been well since then.
Most health funds provide a benefit of $500 to help offset the cost of a new machine every five years.
A LONG time truckie reckons he witnessed a "boot scoot' of an unusual type while waiting for a red light to turn green at Bruce Highway roadworks.
It was July 1 and the truckie was behind a sedan which was at the front of a long line of vehicles.
Traffic was coming along one lane from the other direction and the truckie saw a lass from the car in front get out of the passenger seat and open the boot.
Much to his surprise she then grabbed two Miller's Chill beers from an esky.
But the light changed to green and she had to scoot back into the car as the truckie had a chuckle at her expense.
AN INTERSTATE truckie doing a run through remote parts of the Northern Territory needed an urgent call of nature.
No toilet was in sight so the driver stopped at the first safe area and headed into the bush for a Jimmy Riddle.
Several tourists pulled up nearby and one yelled out to him there was a crocodile warning sign not far from him.
It was in fact near a crocodile-infested creek.
"I took off so fast that one suggested I was doing the crocodile rock," he said.
Hitchhiker a bore
IT AMAZES I Spy just how many truckies admit to picking up hitchhikers as they travel around Australia.
One South Australian driver had a laugh about a personal experience after he gave a female hitchhiker aged in her 20s a lift near Perth.
"As soon as she got into the cabin she never shut up and told me her entire life story and I couldn't get a word in," he said.
This went on for about an hour until the truckie pulled up at a roadhouse telling the lass he required a "toilet break".
The lass took her bag and also went into the establishment to buy a drink and the truckie saw his chance to leave.
"I just drove off leaving her there and I'm sure she would get another lift," he said.
More dog meals
PET-loving drivers have continued to tell I Spy tales of the lengths they will go to ensure their dogs are well fed.
A truckie confided in I Spy that he often orders two mixed grills at various roadhouses - one to eat there and the other as a takeaway.
That request does result in more than the odd inquiry from roadhouse workers as to why.
Often the answer stuns them.
"The takeaway is for my Staffy dog which travels with me."
Doctor surgery debate
YOU just never know when you will come across truckies deep in conversation about subjects they are interested in.
I Spy was waiting in a queue outside a popular medical centre in a big country town when he heard two truckies yarning about underground driving.
One spoke about the temperature while driving a truck at an underground mine.
"About 1km down it is about 43 degrees and many people have told me they thought it would be colder than that," was the general drift of the yarn.