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ISPY: Micro sleep a major concern

CLOSER LOOK: A truckie recently pulled over to check out progress on the Woolgoolga to Ballina highway project.
CLOSER LOOK: A truckie recently pulled over to check out progress on the Woolgoolga to Ballina highway project. ISPY

SLEEP disorders are a major problem for drivers in the road transport industry and life in general.

It is well documented that a lot of drivers have sleep apnoea.

However it came to the attention of Spy the other day that micro naps or micro sleep is also now of some concern.

A professional who works treating and helping sleep disorder sufferers told Spy she knew of a truckie who had been suspended from driving because of this.

My info is that he was noticed in a smoko room having a micro nap which lasted just three seconds.

But that was enough for the company to move him from driving duties to light work in the office.

Because of privacy laws, the lady would not identify the company.

But Spy understands that there is a device available that can be placed in the cabin of a truck which detects if anybody has a micro nap.

If this is the case, sleep disorders has taken on a whole new meaning.

Off-duty road check

THE condition of our highways is so important to our truckie mates and work on sections certainly add time to trips.

A veteran NSW driver who was off-duty and feeling bored on a Sunday morning decided to take a drive to check out progress on work on the new highway around his old town of Broadwater.

"The Woolgoolga to Ballina project is Australia's largest regional infrastructure project and will duplicate about 155km to four-lane divided road,” he told Spy in an email.

The project starts about six kilometres north of Woolgoolga (north of Coffs Harbour) and ends about six kilometres south of Ballina.

It will include building of 155km of four-lane divided road bypasses of South Grafton, Ulmarra, Woodburn, Broadwater and Wardell and will be open to traffic by 2020.”

When complete, it will result in a 13km travel distance saving and a 25 minute travel time saving.

Hollywood truckie

SINCE a middle aged truckie had his picture snapped for Big Rigs by one of our correspondents, he has been telling all who will listen that he looks like Hollywood star Richard Gere.

This lad's wife passed the info on to Spy like a good Agent 99 in the former popular television series Get Smart.

"He has been showing heaps of people his story in Big Rigs and now claims he is a clone of Richard Gere. Hubby reckons he was told that first by his hairdresser,” she said.

Spy and the wife have studied the said picture carefully and can't see any resemblance to the Hollywood heartthrob.

It has even been suggested that he may be having a mid life crisis.

In all fairness the would be actor can remain partially anonymous. But Spy can disclose his Christian name is Andrew.

Play on words

ONE former well known Victorian truckie who has become an octogenarian had current drivers pondering about whether he was telling a porkie pie (a lie) or being factual with a recent remark at a gathering.

"I am now at OBE and want to be recognised as such if you send me an email or letter,” he said.

A few of the middle aged lads consulted Mr Google to get a correct definition of what he was talking about.

One discovered it was an "Order of the British Empire” rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations.

It was established way back in 1917 during World War I.

The veteran was cross examined about how he could possibly have won an OBE after driving the highways and byways all of his working life.

His answer had them stunned and laughing loudly. "It is not that. I am talking about now being 'Over Bloody Eighty' and you silly buggers helped me celebrate,” he said.

Chainsaw sculptor

THERE is a truckie from Tasmania who has a unique ability to craft useful items from old pieces of wood.

The lad carries a small chainsaw in his rig and if he sees any fallen tree branches or wood, he picks it up. Then when he has down time at a rest area uses the chainsaw.

"He cut an old tree part and made me a sturdy stool which I could sit on,” another truckie told Spy.

Apparently he had been employed in the Tassie logging industry and now drives a truck around the Apple Isle.

His mates have no doubt he could make a nice little additional earner if he did it commercially.

Ocsober report cards

WHEN this column is published October will well and truly be over and truckies who took part in a non-alcohol intake charity raising event will have handed in their report cards.

Spy spoke to at least 20 drivers who participated in Ocsober promising to refrain from drinking alcohol for the enitre month.

A couple were struggling mid-month to not have a drink off-duty.

One told Spy that he could not resist the temptation and had a couple of cold beers.

Whatever the outcome, Ocsober is a worthy initiative.

Topics:  ispy micro micro sleep

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