TAKE CARE: Road users should be wary of cattle wandering on the highway near trucks like this near Cloncurry.
TAKE CARE: Road users should be wary of cattle wandering on the highway near trucks like this near Cloncurry. Alf Wilson

This isn't the kind of truck wash that you actually want

MOST drivers around Australia would be delighted to get a "free truck wash”, but not some of our Tasmanian mates.

A splash of tidal salt water ensured that an Apple Isle truckie couldn't get to Hobart quick enough to wash his pride and joy.

The veteran driver was travelling across the Sorell Causeway and sea water from a swell gave his Western Star a free wash.

"The last thing I want is to get rust in the truck and from time to time that occurs as you cross one of the two causeways near Sorell. So I washed it as soon as I could,” he said.

The causeway was built by convicts in colonial times and stretches from the western side of Midway Point across Orielton Lagoon to the scenic town of Sorell.

The other causeway is known as McGee's Bridge and connects the eastern side of Midway Point for the busy access between Sorell and Hobart.

You will often see people fishing where the salt water flows at certain section under the causeway.

Hundreds of truck daily travel the causeway route and at certain times, depending on tides and winds, the tidal water does splash across the road.

There is a sign at one end warning of sea spray.

Selfie photos popular

WHILST on the subject of trucks being washed.

In recent months Spy has noticed a lot of truckies standing in front of their rigs at roadhouses and snapping "selfie pics”.

This had never occurred much before, so Spy asked a few what was the reason.

The answer by all was something along these lines.

"Because I have just washed my truck and never take photos when it is dirty.”

Just about every truckie Spy has yarned to over the years has remarked that their vehicle was dirty.

Being a self confessed intelligent boffin, Spy reckons some of the selfies may find their way to bosses who would be impressed that their workers had washed their trucks.

Truck generic, Queensland, Warrego Highway exit
Truck generic, Queensland, Warrego Highway exit Big Rigs

Area closed

FOR decades many truck drivers have parked at an area bordering bush land behind a popular north Queensland hotel.

Many would wander over to the hotel for a meal and camp in their sleeper box overnight.

However recently the area has been closed to trucks, with the exception of drivers from two companies.

Spy made inquiries with a gent from management and was told that some drivers had left the place in a mess.

He claimed that oil was often found on the ground and even human faeces and also the culprits never even patronised the business.

But some have told Spy the poor truckles are getting a bum rap.

Apparently the area had also been used by tourists, including many younger ones in those vans with weird writing on the side.

Rest area information

SEVERAL Victorian truckies are waiting for information boards to appear at strategic places beside highways in the state which provide information about rest areas.

They have told Spy that authorities had promised to supply these to advise all motorists how many rest areas there are their distance apart, facilities available and how many vehicles can park there.

"These would be good for us truck drivers so we can plan where to stop,” one said.

Of course most Victoria drivers know the locations of rest areas.

But information boards would be an enormous assistance to interstate drivers.

This driver was in New South Wales where he did a change over that day at Tarcutta.

Licence requirement?

A LONG haul driver who transports many wide loads around Australia is adamant that 50 per cent of motorists have no idea about pilot vehicles which escort them.

"I do a lot of 4.5m wide loads which require a pilot car, I really don't think half of people know what a pilot car means, maybe it should be in a licence requirement,” Neil Messina told Spy.

Other drivers have told Spy that some cars will pull over as a police vehicle approaches, but then drive off again before the pilot escort arrives causing danger.

Certainly what Neil has suggested is food for thought.

Stock warning

SEVERAL drivers who travel near Cloncurry in the Queensland outback have reported cattle wandering onto the highway.

One truckie even snapped a picture of one near the road about 10km west of Cloncurry.

"There are plenty near the road currently and all road users should be wary,” he said.

These do pose a danger and nobody wants to hit such animals.

Rude awakening

IT was 4.18am when Spy was woken up during the early hours in September when his mobile phone rang.

I had been in a deep sleep but leaned over beside my bed to answer fearing a family emergency may have occurred.

Instead it turned out to be a West Australian truckie who was parked up at a rest area and couldn't sleep.

He wanted to yarn about road industry problems such as low rates, fuel prices and the condition of some roads.

In a courtesy manner I told the lad it was just after 4am and perhaps he could ring back at a more suitable time.

"I am so sorry and lost track of time and didn't realise it was so early,” he said.

A truck travels through Sorell town after driving across the causeways.
A truck travels through Sorell town after driving across the causeways. SPY

Master chef truckie

SPY was talking to an owner-operator who at times of the year finds business a bit slow.

This enterprising middle aged man had been a chef in his younger days before buying a light truck.

He had been buying a coffee at a busy cafe which is part of a popular hotel and overheard the boss telling customers "there was a general shortage of cooks and chefs”.

So he yarned to the boss and was offered part-time employment as a relief cook.

It is a good arrangement for both.

Overtaking angst

SOME road train truckies have told Spy of their anger over other drivers trying to overtake them on Queensland highways.

That angst is aimed at caravanners and cars but also at some light trucks drivers.

"Our speed limit in heavy vehicles in 90km per hour but theirs is 100km/h and it can result in some dangerous situations,” one said.

Ashes clashes

IT may not be like the Ashes, but numerous truckies and others involved with the road transport industry will take part in a carnival with a difference on September 21 and 22.

The annual Reedybrook Ashes Cricket Carnival will be held at remote Reedybrook Station with proceeds to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and AngelFlight.

Twelve teams will compete at 36th carnival at the property which is 40km off the Kennedy Development Road in north Queensland.

Games are played on concrete pitches at the cow fattening section of the property and visiting players and supporters camp out near the fresh water reaches of the mighty Burdekin River.

Cow pats and deadly snakes are some of the obstacles competitors will face.

Every player in each side got to bat and bowl and batters had to retire when they scored 30.

Teams consist of both male and females and often some teenagers.

Cows often could be seen grazing not far from the cricket.

On day one, it is common for players to have to dodge pats as they field in the outer.

Money is raised from an auction, cane toads races, a greasy pig catch event and many other novelty events.

Participants sleep in swags and money is raised from a calcutta, auctions, Catch the Pig, toad races, kids fishing comp, raffles, cake stalls and live music in the night.

Workers praised

ON HIS regular patrols to rest areas and roadhouses Spy witnesses a lot of incidents which may look menial.

But often I see somebody doing something that should be praised.

That occurred at a roadhouse in mid-July when two female workers were on cleaning duties.

One had a shovel and was picking up dirt around gutters whilst the other had a container which it went into.

The ladies did a really good job.

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