What is the major downside to this great truck rest stop?
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Blitz in four states
POLICE and scalies have been out in force in four states - South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
According to a veteran Victorian truckie who regularly travels the highways and byways in each, the blitz is on a scale he has never seen before.
"These are for revenue raising and less to do with road safety. They have well and truly been flexing their muscles and truckies have been pulled up and booked for even minor things,” he told Spy in late June.
The driver of a Kenworth 604 said in SA there was the 24-hour inspection station at Yamba which was a fact of life.
He was carrying timber from Mt Gambier to the Atherton Tablelands when I spoke to him.
"As I drove through Victoria, NSW and Queensland there were lots of them. Police Task Force officers were out in force at Longreach, Winton, Barcaldine and Clermont,” he said.
Mind you, once the officers set up at any location it doesn't take long for truckies to be advised over the radio or bush telegraph.
Sometimes drivers can take an alternative route but more often that is not the case.
Safety courses for vans
MANY of the truckies Spy speaks to have an issue with caravans on our highways whether it be habits of their drivers or where they park.
Long time truckie Dale Lyons reckons that people who wish to tow vans should have to do a special course to improve their safety.
"Van drivers should be made to sit for a course to tow something larger and heavier than the car. Stupid people doing stupid things, caravans especially,” he said.
I am sure that many truckies would agree with Dale who also said there are highway patrols everywhere.
Of course another major issue for truckies is that often vans will take up all of the space at rests areas or at roadhouse parking.
OFTEN as truckies drive the highways and byways they will see misleading signs which become the subject of banter at roadhouses or rest areas.
A NSW veteran said there was one he spotted whilst driving south along the Pacific Motorway just north of the Byron Bay exit.
"There's a sign advising motorists heading to Bangalow, Lismore or Woodburn to take the next exit (Byron Bay exit).
"How stupid is that! Motorists who continue heading south along the motorway will reach Woodburn anyway... and in much shorter time than taking the Bangalow-Lismore- Woodburn route,” he told Spy.
Spy knows of a sign on the Flinders Highway in Queensland heading towards the coast which advises it is 40km from Townsville. About 1km further along another signs tells you it is 41km away.
Slept on the couch
YOU can never underestimate the passion that people have for their favourite football team as one Western Australian truckie discovered.
The middle-aged driver has been married for more than two decades and they both barrack for the West Coast Eagles in the AFL.
However it is a different story in the NRL and that was the case when the rugby league State of Origin between Queensland and NSW was held in Perth on June 23.
His wife is a fanatical Queensland supporter and expected hubby to barrack for the banana benders.
But being born in NSW he barracked for the Blues which won the one sided match 38-6.
He copped an almighty serve and had to sleep on the couch that night.
The series is one-all after Queensland won the first game in Brisbane.
Spy would love to be a fly on the wall at that household when the teams meet in Sydney for the deciding third game on July 10.
Rather that watch the game on television with his beloved, I suspect he will be working away that night.
Top class rest area problem
SOME truckies have mentioned a NSW rest area which usually is a first class place to stop but does have a major down side.
It is about 4km from Taree and some drivers have told Spy that it ticks all the boxes for them.
"The toilets are clean and good, there is a kids playing area and best of all lots of space for trucks,'' one told Spy.
So considering that many criticise the general lack of such rest areas and especially ones for trucks, what could be the problem?
"Often the cops have a blitz there because they can pull over so many trucks,” he said.
Intrigues for driver
A PICTURE of several car wrecks suspended on tree stumps near Mawbanna in Tasmania has mystified a driver who sent it to Spy.
Mawbanna is a small hamlet about 40km from Smithton in North West Tasmania in the scenic Circular Head region.
After enquiries made to truckies who frequent the area none was certain why they were there.
One suggested they may be to advise people that a wreckers business is in the area.
Another felt it may be a road safety initiative to warn all motorists about accidents.
If any reader knows could they pass on the info.
SEVERAL truckies got into a conversation at a roadhouse about the general condition of roads around Oz.
A middle aged South Australian owner-operator had no doubt that roads in his State are the best.
"They are limestone based and are superior overall,” he said.
He said that roads in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and WA were often clay based.
None of the others disagreed but they all did say that highways were bad in many parts of their home state.
Batman or fibber?
THERE is a Northern Territory driver who claims his truck has earned the right to be dubbed the "Batmobile”.
Having said that he expressed his desire for other truckies to refer to him as "Batman”.
Skeptical mates have no doubt this fellow is certainly no super hero.
To get to the bottom of this mystery Spy investigated further and discovered a rather menial explanation.
Our mate has been delivering interstate and parked his truck under a high tree frequented by bats or flying foxes.
Droppings from this colony of bats landed on his truck creating a smelly dilemma and one which was difficult to clean.
Hence the Batmobile name.
One other truckie told Spy that when he was told this he recalled a saying from a long gone era when Superman was mentioned.
"It's a bird, no it's a plane, no it's Superman.”
He reckons that this fellow is well and truly full of ... Let we say number twos.
Smelly job for female
ONE of the worst jobs around is when council or transport department officers have to collect and dispose of carcasses of dead animals from beside highways.
They are mostly smelly and care is required when picking them up to ensure the officers don't contract a disease.
Mostly the officers are male so Spy was surprised to see a woman in her uniform grabbing a dead kangaroo from the Bruce Highway for disposal.
Truckies at a nearby roadhouse parking area were speaking about her later that day.
Retiree works on
JEFF Robinson is a NSW truckie who retired officially retired on June 9 after 22 years as a driver.
But when I spoke to Jeff the following week he was still working driving a DAF carrying diesel.
"I am filling up with fuel myself at Wauchope and the boss asked me to stay on after the retirement date so I agreed,” he told Spy.
However Jeff said that he would have to finally hand in his keys in July.
"I will be off on an overseas holiday,” he said.
For the past three years Jeff had arrived at work on one of his three motorbikes.
"I didn't want my car to be out in the weather,” he said.