IT IS not often that truckies criticise other members of their profession, however in the past months some have over a practice they call "peeping".
It has nothing to do with Peeping Toms either.
One veteran truckie Spy spoke to at length while he was resting at a roadhouse said it involved truckies who travel behind others.
"A lot of truckies want to overtake you and will pull out a bit from behind your truck and have a 'peep' at any oncoming traffic," he said.
Our informant went on to say he was travelling safely at 97kmh along the highway when such a peeper almost caused an accident.
"It is a very dangerous practice," he said.
Other truckies Spy has spoken to about the habit don't explain it so pleasantly, using expletives to describe the action.
ANOTHER practice that infuriates drivers is when vehicles hit high beam when they are following too close to trucks.
It results in problems for the truckies, many of whom have mentioned this to Spy this year.
"I have had vehicles as far back as 1km with high beam on," one said.
On occasions this has resulted in arguments when the truck driver and the culprit driver pull up at roadhouses.
IN A previous column Spy mentioned the often prohibitive cost of going to a dentist, resulting in many truckies neglecting to have their teeth attended to unless they are in severe pain.
One road transport identity needed numerous fillings but was reluctant to see a dentist because a previous trip had cost him $800 above what his health fund paid.
Having been with Medibank Private for more than a decade he visited one of their branches and was offered another plan which cost him $182 a month or just $8 more than what he had previously paid.
The new plan ensured 70% would be refunded on all general work if he went to one of the provider dentists who had an agreement with the health fund.
Under that agreement a set fee could be charged for an extraction or filling and he would get $70 back.
The truckie went to a provider dentist and had seven fillings done for a total cost to him of $250 of the $900 total.
THERE was a respectable looking middle-aged gent walking around the parking area at a huge roadhouse popular with truckies looking for a lift.
He approached numerous drivers asking if he could possibly hitch a ride to a destination 900km away, or part of it at least.
With not much luck as well.
He asked several drivers why they wouldn't be willing to give him a lift.
"I am no criminal and may not be perfect but would really like a lift," he said.
Several explained that they are not allowed to give lifts because of insurance.
Another was more blunt and told him that giving lifts could put the driver at risk and mentioned a siege some years back after a driver picked up a hitchhiker.
One owner/driver did say he would gladly give the fellow a lift but then qualified his offer.
"I am not going that way today," he said.
SPY almost choked on his dim sim when a truckie told him about a discussion he had with his wife about snoring.
For years the truckie had snored loudly at night which often resulted in his better half beating a hasty retreat to a spare room.
That changed when he was diagnosed with sleep apnoea and took possession of a breathing machine ensuring silent nights.
Some years later his wife has started snoring and our man admits his sleep has been interrupted.
So much so that he told the love of his life maybe she should also get such a machine.
Army jobs shortage
IN THESE hard economic times you can never take a job for granted.
So it was with some surprise that Spy was told the army has a shortage of truck drivers.
Such a career is probably not everybody's kettle of fish but certainly would suit younger men and women looking for a secure future.
The pay is good and you get to travel and get free medical and dental.
Anybody interested should contact one of the closest Australian Defence Force Recruiting offices.
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