IN my travels Spy has asked truckies he speaks to about what they perceive as problems in the road transport industry.
Some are owner-drivers or small fleet operators who have a wife as a partner.
The wife of a NSW owner-driver sent Spy her emotional view of the road transport industry and how it is all going according to her.
It certainly made Spy think. Here it is:
"The Government needs to realise that Australia revolves and relies on the trucking industry and the RMS require them to have regular breaks so why is there not more being done to assist the drivers with their fatigue management? Authorities are happy to demand drivers have breaks but they are not equally happy to provide adequate facilities for our long distance truckies, and unfortunately some of the roadhouses which are available to them along the highways are providing not always good food and are charging a fortune and the majority of them close their kitchen around 8.30-9.30pm at night and don't re-open them until 6am. So what happens to the majority of truckies who can't pull up and eat before that time. It's not fair that we treat truckies like second class citizens and it needs to change. They keep this country going. What a shame. Maybe if every truckie stopped rolling for a week people might realise where their milk and bread etc comes from as it doesn't just magically appear on their supermarket shelf. Believe me it hard being a truckie's missus even though some people think they are scum but they are the most loveable people in the world. I suppose it comes from doing a rubbish job and being treated like you are an idiot. All of our mates would give you their last $5 from their wallet if they had to help you out and wouldn't it be nice if the whole world was like that.”
Steps to fitness
GROUPS of truckies around the country are hoping to get fit and shed some weight during September.
That is an initiative to get entire workplaces involved with the aim of single participants to take 10,000 steps a day for 28 days straight.
Those taking part receive sponsors with every dollar raised helping people with cerebral palsy - a condition that affects movement.
Spy has heard of numerous drivers at rest areas or roadhouse parking areas who are going to be part of this.
The following months many are also going to be part of OcSober.
During October they will refrain from drinking alcohol with any money raised going to charity.
CATTLE on a highway pose a big danger for all drivers including our truckie mates who keep Australia supplied.
On the Flinders Hwy near Pentland in mid August a contact of mine heading towards Charters Towers came across some stock on the road.
There were quite a few cattle over several kilometres so he pulled over and got onto the two way radio to advise oncoming traffic.
Including a number of Bdouble drivers who were heading in both directions.
They were all very thankful which is not surprising as we have all heard of fatalities after a car or smaller vehicle has collided with such an animal.
Such collisions can also cause a lot of damage to trucks not to mention the mess they leave.
Spy did a bit of checking and found the name of the Good Samaritan. It was Anton Schulz whom I managed to contact.
"One of the truckies I spoke to on the radio said there were several dead cattle on the side of the road and they must be escaping through a hole in a fence. They had been near the road for several weeks,” he said.
A few days later Anton was in the same area and managed to snap a photo of a dead bull beside the road as a truck cruised past.
Mates to the rescue
MANY will tell you that camaraderie amongst fellow workers in the road transport industry is not like it used to be in past times.
Examples of that include trucks whizzing past drivers who have broken down on the highway.
However one long time truckie who was retrenched from a job due to a downturn in work had some mates come to his rescue.
He was telling some off-duty truckies of his plight and asked did any know of a job.
Within minutes unbeknown to him some friends were on their mobiles ringing around to try and assist.
The next morning the lad received a call with a job offer which he gladly accepted.
It wasn't as a truck driver but in an associated industry and pays well.
Spy asked him about doing a story but being a shy type the middle aged gent declined just wanting to maintain his privacy.
RAN into old mate Big Rigs contributor Alf Wilson the other day. Alf was rubbing his head and all come-over sad.
"I stuffed up,” he told Spy. "I named a driver Ty Williams and his real name is Ty Melville. My notes got mixed up, wrong name, wrong photo. I feel so bad.”
So a big apology to Ty Melville.
A bizarre robbery during which a light refrigerated truck full of meat was stolen has left a North Queensland butcher with a "beef”.
Just after 8am on August 11 staff at Procut Meats at Annandale were loading the rig with meat.
To keep the meat at a safe temperature the lads had to leave the truck running and that is when the opportunistic robber struck.
The thief drove off in the truck which was dumped nearby with all meat still intact.
However cash from the cab was missing and some beef had to be disposed of.
Another butcher offered the victim the loan of a truck which was a nice gesture.
Truckies Spy spoke to have never heard of such a theft.
The right grass
SEVERAL truckies enjoying a meal at a popular roadhouse eatery sparked the curiosity of others.
One of the drivers asked the waitress what the price of "Grass” was as he wanted to buy some.
Ears pricked and Spy was sitting near a table of people who were not involved in the road transport industry.
"He must want to buy a deal of marijuana,” one said.
Another suggested if that was the case perhaps the driver would have enquiries about "weed” instead.
Anyway it turns out the waitresses husband owns a turf or green grass (lawn) company.
Our driver purchased some lawn sections to replenish some dead patches in his yard.