By Rod Hannifey
 

 

Introduction
I first became involved in road safety nearly ten years ago now, following one of those days on the road, when you really wonder where people get their licenses, out of Weet Bix packets or do they simply not care about their lives or those of anyone else? After sleeping for the night at Narrabri and only being on the road 15 minutes and not even up to highway speed, I and the car behind me, were overtaken by another car with two unrestrained children in the back with an approaching b-double heading towards us less than 200 metres away. Both b-doubles went off the road onto the shoulder to allow the stupid motorist to safely get through.

Later that same day being fully loaded and coming down off a hill onto a narrow bridge, I flashed the oncoming F250 Ford as if to say, “Back off just a bit and I will be off the bridge before you come on”. No way. This bloke kept coming and we met before I came off the bridge and to this day, I believe I missed that vehicle and the bridge posts by millimetres. Had he just lifted his foot off the accelerator for less than 30 seconds, I would have been clear and the possibility of a crash would have been completely avoided.

All drivers and truckies particularly, can regale you with horror stories of crashes and near misses, most of which need not have happened, nor the risk have even occurred, had the motorist simply respected the size and weight of the larger truck. This is not about might is right, it is simple physics. As a pedestrian, you would not step out in front of a bus and simply expect it to stop because you are there. And yet everyday, car drivers who have perhaps not been taught to share the road with trucks, will pull directly out in front of a fully loaded semi or b-double and expect them to stop dead.

If through the information on these pages, one of these crashes or lives lost can be prevented, then my efforts will have been worthwhile. I make no claims to be perfect, we are all (at least supposedly) human, but not all drivers are equal and some have simply been taught to pass a test, not to spend the rest of their lives on the road, let alone to share those roads with large trucks. Fatal crashes between cars and trucks are over 70% the fault of the car driver according to crash statistics. This only confirms to me that we do need better education of car drivers about sharing the road with trucks. There is no doubt that truckies have to earn the respect their vehicles deserve and do their part to improve road safety as well.


 

 


Efforts So Far

In the last ten years I have contributed to road safety inquiries, written submissions to government, industry and other inquiries and responded to requests for information or comments, along with writing for Owner Driver magazine since 2001, for Caravan World for 8 years until 2008, Caravan and Motorhome Magazine for 4 months and done weekly, monthly and informal interviews on ABC and commercial radio stations, including most of the truckies radio programs that we had in the past.

TRUCKRIGHT Industry VehicleI’ve completed a Graduate Certificate in Road Safety, won a Queensland Road Safety Award for the Blue Reflector Marking of Informal Truck Bays (and now 9 years on since the first were put up as a trial, still trying to get other states after Queensland and now finally NSW, to adopt this simple, cheap and effective road safety initiative). I won the NATROAD Driver of the Year in 2000, the Australian Trucking Association National Professional Driver of the Year in 2001 and the John (William) Bond, Safe Driver of the Year in 2004.

In 2008 I launched the TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle which has its own section on this website and I am very happy with the efforts and achievements of this project so far, but as with all things, it can do more with the right amount of support. My CV is attached here elsewhere as a more complete listing and I would welcome emails both in support or otherwise of any of the information on the site, and towards further improvements in road safety. Thanks and Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

March 2014 Update
Goodaye all. The TIV K200 is now well up over 500,000 kilometres and is nearly complete from my point of view. It has taken over two years to get all the little bits and pieces done whilst trying to work fulltime and do all the extra things I try to participate in and contribute to. We had to replace a turbo recently, though this is the first since about 150,000 k and whilst it had only shown one fault code then, it was replaced during a DPF repair and I was told there nothing wrong with the one they removed.
The starter motor was also replaced at 510,000k whilst stuck in Tramanco’s yard in Brisbane (sorry to Tony for making him late for his holiday week-end) when we were doing suspension testing and memory download from the INS-COM road reading software. The data is very promising and one of the things I have asked NHVR to consider for the future, is a national road standard that will allow anyone to know what the standard is and to be able to lodge a complaint where a road does not meet that standard. It is hard to get some authorities to act when they simply do not understand how savage and severe some of these impacts from road irregularities can be, in a truck. Click Here to read more.

 
May 2017 Updated Caravan Survey
To all caravan and motorhome drivers, please take the time to email me your thoughts from the 2017 caravan survey.
 
June 2017 Audiobooks For The Road
I have started a facebook page to provide reviews of books I read, sometimes up to 3 a week and to seek your comments and reviews as well. I was recently invited to be a judge for audiobook of the year and want to let people know of the entertainment you can get on long trips from audiobooks. Click Here to read more.
Links to the ABC interview and Sydney Morning Herald article.
 
April 14 2018 Latest Blog Post.
Goodaye all. A big week with two lots of tyre troubles and family issues to boot. The hardest part of this job is not being there for your family. Yes they can ring much of the time, but when you are loading etc and need to meet a timeslot, you can’t simply stop for 15 minutes to talk and give them the time they need, as no one else cares about your problems and the world must go on. On the road is different, but you can’t always be there or available when you should, or wish you could be.
How will we ever attract young people into a job that does not recognise this problem? If you look at the money we earn, you might well say it is good money. But when you look at the conditions under which we work, living in a truck, trying to eat and live on the road, let alone in some way healthily and you work out the hourly rate for the life you lead, then it does not look so good. Add to that the roads on which we travel, the people who we share the roads with and the lack of respect for the job we do, would you do it?
In this last 6 days since I left home, I have had at least three close calls. A car who could not wait for me to pull out of a tyre repair shop and sped up to get around me as I exited, they were not there as I pulled out and I missed the back of the ute by inches, a car overtaking another coming at me around a corner and just getting back in without hitting me and others who could not wait to see clear road, but had to pass without sufficient safe roadspace, putting both their and their passengers lives in danger as well as my own, only to get round the next corner and have two kilometres of clear and empty road.
How do you balance that and maintain a family life? It is hard and I am not alone. Many drivers now tell their kids if they go anywhere near a truck, they will kick them that hard they will not land for a week and they already know how much impact the life of an interstate truckie will have on family. Many have lost their family, some more than once, only trying to earn a living and feed that family.
There are times when I think is it worth it? Yet I have made my job my hobby and my passion as well. You can either spend your time in the truck complaining and whingeing or you can try and get some value from the time you have alone on the road and there is lots of that. I wish I had the answers and whilst none of this is your problem, I just would ask for you to give it some thought and maybe you have the answer.
I did get to watch What’s Up Downunder on television this afternoon. It covered the show when they attended the Retreat Caravan Rally in Mudgee last year, where I also attended and launched our “Sharing rest areas” video. I was interviewed by Macca and they showed a bit of my seminar and I would like to thank the show and the Retreat Caravan Club for the invite and the opportunity to talk to their members. We as an industry need to do more of this, but how do you do it when you drive fulltime? I was not able to attend with the truck then and drove over in the family car (which has been off the road now for months and they cannot fix the problem, yet another issue I can’t resolve) and hope that the message was as well received as I can deliver it.
I did fail to mention the website for the TRUCK That, TRUCK That RV videos and the TRUCK That Australia Drivers Club. Go to http://www.truckingnation.com.au and have a look and I would welcome your comments. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.
Click Here to read more.
 
Whiteline Television TRUCK That Videos
 
Click Here for more episodes
 
August 21st 2017 Latest Podcast
 
 
   

The Site has been split into two parts, the TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle and Road Safety.

The TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle (TIV) section covers the aims and efforts of this initiative towards improving how the road transport industry is seen by the public and how to improve the lot of truckies on the road.

Road Safety has all the flyers and road safety tips for all drivers, car, truck etc and will aim to improve road safety for all road users through better education and understanding.

 
 
 
 
 

Trucks Deliver Australia Bumper StickerTo Support the TRUCKRIGHT initiative please purchase a Trucks Deliver Australia bumper sticker by clicking the PayPal button below to have a sticker posted to you. Stickers $20.00 each.

TRUCKS DELIVER AUSTRALIA MudflapsMudflaps also available. Contact me for more infomation, sizes and prices.
TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle Subscriptions

Alternatively donations of any amount are always greatly appreciated.

  Bookmark and Share Facebook Follow TRUCKRIGHT on Twitter Linked In
#