The ATA's Ben Maguire is asking Australians to consider another industry whose home office has always been the same, yet their access to services is being severely diminished while their pressure to perform is increasing.
The ATA's Ben Maguire is asking Australians to consider another industry whose home office has always been the same, yet their access to services is being severely diminished while their pressure to perform is increasing.

What if your home office had wheels?

IN THIS strange time, those of us fortunate to have employment are mostly working from home.

In the good old days this was considered a privilege, yet has now become a necessity.

Whilst productivity can be high, it is not all it cracked up to be.

Gone are the quick chats in the tea room, or the traditional morning  coffee for the teams who arrive early.

I wonder if the kitchen chair is getting you down, are interruptions from the kids home from school becoming a distraction?

During this challenging time I ask of you to consider another industry whose home office has always been the same, yet their access to services is being severely diminished while their pressure to perform is increasing. 

Yesterday I drove the Volvo FH540 and Safet360 to its home for the duration of this pandemic.

On the trip I saw first-hand the impacts our incredible industry is facing thanks to Covid-19 and the implication for drivers.

As I wheeled onto the Hume Highway at 5am, the string of tail-lights and flashing blue and red lights told me someone was having a bad day.

The home offices of two drivers had collided and although they were okay, it has changed their pandemic experience for certain.

UHF Channel 40 was alive and well with collaborative messages between drivers and emergency services.

"Be patient everyone, let them do their job" was the main message, coming from a driver whose own pressure at present is immeasurable.

As I drove past Wyong, reports came in later that Chief Inspector Phillip Brooks from NSW Police had been visiting the home offices of drivers simply to say hello and check in on their well-being.

These actions mean a lot and are welcomed by an industry under strain.

As you are reading this, perhaps you have taken a toilet break located within your home office, made a cup of tea, or eaten some lunch straight from the micro-wave.

These men and women whose home office do not contain such luxuries are right now, delivering essential goods to your nearest store so we can maintain our sense of life and dignity. 

All I ask is you have empathy and awareness for what is going on around Australia right in this difficult time.

Men and women of the trucking industry share the same fears we all hold about Corona, and how best to keep it at bay.

They are worried for their jobs, their mortgage payments, their parents and childrens health and at this time their home office quite often does not provide the basic essential we access each day.

Our good friends at BP Australia and many others are working around the clock to ensure restroom facilities remain open and the NHVR are working on uniformity of protocols.

There are reports coming through where this not always the case with other service stations.

Drivers are working 12 hour shifts without access to toilets or take away food in some cases, yet the determination on the road to get on with the job is palpable.

On the return trip one drivers home office, a B-double in this case, had tipped on its side and ended up in the trees near the Marulan overpass.

By some miracle, this driver was okay thanks to the amazing technology in his home office called air-bags and a seat belt.

As I drove through the crash site, the dust from the incident still hanging in the air, I wondered what the reactions in the supermarket aisles might be when that product has not been delivered tonight?

Yesterday I took on a renewed sense of appreciation for the comfort, security and safety of my home office.

As you head to the kitchen to make a coffee, spare a thought for those who can't right now, yet are keeping the country moving.

Big Rigs

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