Anger at caravans
ONE of the things that irritate truckies around Australia the most is the actions of some caravans drivers.
That has been obvious when Spy has spoken to scores of truckies during the first eight months of 2014.
More than 90% have stories of what they describe as often dangerous and mostly rude antics.
Many of these incidences have occurred on the highways or at rest areas around Oz.
By far the most disturbing incident involved a Western Australian truckie who has a good knowledge of faults in vehicles from his former occupation.
He saw a couple near a van at a South Australian rest area and with genuine good intentions, mentioned to the owners there may be a problem with their gas supply which may have been a potential fire hazard.
For his concern, the truckie was abused and even threatened which may result in him never trying to help a van person again.
Another long-time truckie said he left his engine idling when he pulled up at a remote area to check a load.
He received a tirade of abuse from a man near a van and was asked to turn his motor off.
There have been numerous cases of vans trying to overtake trucks in a dangerous manner.
Not to mention a tirade of verbal sprays from van drivers over the radio. It must be mentioned that many truckies have returned serve.
In the past few weeks several truckies have reported to Spy with glee after witnessing police booking van drivers.
A veteran driver with 41 years' service and who now works for Sawtell's told Spy he saw the boys in blue nab an irresponsible van grey nomad in late August.
"That is the first time in more than four decades I have seen that," he said with a glint in his eye.
ON that very subject numerous truckies who travel across the Nullarbor Plain Hwy have been particularly dirty on van people who use radio channel 40.
It can be a boring drive at the best of times but not much of the ranting on the radio by van drivers is entertaining.
"I have never heard so much crap spoken," one told Spy.
Another truckie said that after listening to discussions between the vans there was not anything that he could describe as humorous.
"Lots of them bag us truckies," he quipped.
Blitz brings fines
A three week blitz by a task force at Holbrook in NSW has angered many truckies.
One in particular contacted Spy and wasn't happy at all about getting breached as he was travelling the Hume Hwy.
"I got done with a $307 fine for boxes not strapped to the pallet but heavily shrink wrapped. If it isn't strapped to the pallet don't take it even if shrink wrapped as they were going to fine me for every box on the pallet. But they hit me with the fine and also defects that were just pathetic like an oil leak and loose side light and so on. What a bunch of dogs," he said in an email to Spy.
Included was a liberal sprinkling of expletives which can't be printed in a family paper.
Holbrook is known as the "Submarine City" being the home to the decommissioned Australian submarine HMAS Otway and a 1/5 scale model of the British submarine HMS B11 from 1914.
Some truckies wish the enforcement officers would take a ride in the submarine.
ROSEBERY is on Tasmania's west along the Murchison Hwy and is normally a sleepy hamlet where nothing much of note is reported.
However for an Apple Isle truckie doing a night run to deliver at Zeehan and Strahan something entirely unexpected happened.
It was about 4am when a naked man ran out onto the road in the opposite lane.
The driver was about 500m away and the nude bloke waved and bolted back into the bush as he passed.
On the way back to his home base of Devonport the next day the driver stopped at Rosebery and asked locals if they knew anything of such a naked runner.
Nobody had. Rosebery has a population of just over 1000.
IN the last column we touched on romance fraud.
Since then some truckies have reported being targeted by overseas scammers who phone up offering to fix your computer.
Indeed police around Oz get regular complaints from members of the public after receiving complaints about people attempting them to defraud them.
One very common complaint is a person representing themselves as being from a respected company such as Telstra or Microsoft.
The caller tells their intended victim that there is a problem with their computer that requires the caller to remotely log into the victims' computer to fix the alleged problem.
The caller informs the victim that there is indeed a problem with their computer and because they are outside the warranty they will be able to service the issue for a fee.
Once the caller is given access to the computer by the victim, they may install malicious software on the computer that gives access to the computer at any time, and allows them to capture sensitive usernames and passwords that can be used to access the victims' accounts such as banking, finance, web based email or their place of work. These callers will generally have a foreign accent - typically Indian.
Anyway a female who works in the road transport industry got her own back when receiving call and recorded the conversation on her mobile phone.
She let the Indian sounding caller get through his scam information and was asked to touch several keys on her computer keyboard so he could access her computer.
"I am BLIND so I can't see the keyboard," she replied.
The scammer then asked was anybody else in the house who could do it and she replied, "Yes my father is but he is deaf."
The scammer soon hung up after telling her "I am done."
A truckie told Spy he also received such a call and doesn't even own a computer.
IT may not be as bad as being attacked by angry dogs but for one NSW truckie it was sheer "honking horror".
He was making a delivery to a rural property and had opened a gate to an area where he had been many times before.
After spotting a flock of geese from the corner of the eye he proceeded with the box of goods.
However not long after he was attacked by these aggressive geese and beat a hasty retreat.
A quick call on his mobile to the property owner resulted in somebody coming to the gate to collect the freight. He reckons it was a scary experience.
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