Photography passion helps Hayden share life on the road
FOR people who don't know a whole lot about trucking, it seems like a somewhat scary and daunting industry and many truckies get a bad rap.
But as soon as you get young truckie Hayden Chevalier on the phone, it's immediately clear just how much he loves his job.
He doesn't just keep that to himself though, he shares it with his mates through photographs of his day-to-day life.
"I'm excited to be a truck driver and I'm happy to show the world,” the 24-year-old Adelaide based driver said.
"I take a photo and send it to my wife and she says 'oh, that's cool'. They don't see what I see every day, the same as I don't see what they see every day.
"I take photos of things that I find interesting. I could go to a mine site and find out something interesting and pass it on to my wife and friends and they go, 'I didn't know that, that's so cool' or I can deliver something cool - there is always a cool story behind something you've delivered.
"Or you can tell them about the places you go and how you get there.”
Hayden, who'd grown up around trucks and told his mother instead of wanting to be a superhero or a doctor that he wanted to be a truckie, started his driving career when he was 21 years old and faced the same problem most younger truck drivers do - trying to get experience to get a job.
"A lot of trouble that I had (in trying to get a job) was I wanted to drive the bigger road trains,” he said.
"I got the whole, 'you're under 25 so you're too hard to insure' and the whole 'you haven't got enough experience, come back when you have some more and then we'll give you a job'.
"But if you haven't got it and no one is willing to put you on, so you can get it.”
Hayden, who drives a Kenworth 904, was lucky though, that after seeing a job ad posted on Gumtree, the business decided to take a chance on him and let him learn.
"I took a stab in the dark and sent in my resume to Beattie's Transport that I saw on Gumtree and after some phone calls they said 'you've gotta learn somehow' and that was it.
"I started with a T359 day cab with a side loader. I'm pretty grateful they gave me a shot at doing HC work because it got me my foot in the door.”
Hayden said thanks to them he learnt the tricks of the trade "the right way”.
He also worked for JJ Freightlines, where he gained experience in interstate and is now at Energy LogistiX in Largs North in South Australia, where he continues to learn new skills from great teachers.
While he hadn't been in the industry for a terribly long time, Hayden said one thing that would make it a little easier to navigate would be making all of the rules and regulations national.
"None of this state by state stuff, all of the oversize stuff shouldn't be different state to state,” he said.
"And we need to teach young people, driving schools need to reinforce that if you're going to overtake a truck, you need to leave three or four seconds in front before you merge over so they can see you and safely avoid an accident if something happens. The government needs to reinforce that and they're not doing enough of it.” He said he loved that he was "never looking at the same four walls” and that there was something different every day.
"The sun is different, the weather is different, you always wake up to something different and if you've got the bug give it a go, you never know where you'll end up.”