By Rod Hannifey


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.
November 18th 2017 Latest Blog Post. TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle History/Sponsors 2.
Goodaye all. I first got involved with road safety when on the road one Christmas and some truckies were bagging vanners out. I thought at the time, who will teach them unless we do? So I did the Caravan Survey and that lead to lots of other efforts. Working for Finemores Liquids driving tankers at the time, I spoke with Ron Finemore with a list of ideas and they then took me to my first Australian Trucking Association convention in Adelaide. I was told by a senior boss there “We would open a dialogue with you for a drivers view” and never heard from him again.
Toll bought Finemores and over the years I tried writing emails and went over and around my boss at times (and he happily told me he knew and it would not help me) and got frustrated I could not get them to support my aims. After meeting Paul Little and giving him another proposal (at another ATA conference, this time in Newcastle) I was called into another meeting and told, “We cannot afford to do what you want”.
As you might imagine, I was not impressed and along with some other issues, after 29 years continuous service, decided to leave and find someone who at the least, could see value in my ideas. After again trying all levels in Toll except for Mr Little, who it seems I could not get to through working there, I gave notice and wrote letters to 30 transport companies. I detailed my plan/dream of a truck to promote the industry and one company did reply weeks later after I had started with Rod Pilon, saying they would love to have me as a driver, but could not afford to support my road safety.
In my letters, I detailed the idea of the TIV as I did not think it fair to get a job and then ask for the support needed to do such a thing. I sent a copy to Rod Pilon, had a meeting with him and he said, “I’ll give you a go and if it all works out, I’ll buy you a new truck and trailers in 12 months”. I started out in truck 7, an ex Bunkers K104 with series 60 Detroit (just like old times from Finemores) with trailers 142 and 132, then Ken Wilkie offered me his truck and I started the TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle at the Dubbo show with Ken’s truck and Rod Pilon Transport Trailers.

Original TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle

Rod Pilon agreed to support my aims and efforts and said as long as it did not cost him an arm and a leg, and he still has them all, we would see how it went. True to his word, he and I separately attended yet another ATA conference, this time in Canberra and Vawdrey supplied the semi-trailer for the conference auction. We were sitting apart and the trailer got sold, then they asked would the under bidder like one at the same price? The under bidder was heard to say, I want a b-double set and Paul Vawdrey said, “We can do that” and it was announced that Rod Pilon had bought a b-double set of trailers. I got up and walked over to Rod (and on the way got stopped by yet another bloke who had gone to school with him, they are everywhere!) and as I approached, Rod got up, shook my hand and said, “There are your trailers”. We worked out a list and I said to Rod, I wanted to design a set of curtains and did I ever bite off more than I had thought, but in the end, I came to Rod with a graphic of the curtains and he said, “MMMMM”. To be fair, it did look busy on a small laptop screen, but he waited for me in the yard when I got home with the first load after picking the trailers up in Melbourne and this time he said, “You have done well, they look terrific”. That support has continued, my ten years at Rod Pilon Transport came up this year and with the current curtains, when the new K200 was ordered, I said to Rod, “I want to do new curtains for the new truck” and he said OK and never saw them till I turned up in the yard with them fitted. There are few company owners who would allow a driver to ever do that and there are things on the truck and trailers Rod Pilon has never seen, but he has given me the freedom to do all this to his equipment and I will be forever grateful for such support. If not for that support, the TIV would not exist. Thank you to Rod Pilon and all at Rod Pilon Transport for their help and in allowing me to at the very least, start the TIV and then to continue those efforts for now into the tenth year. How do you really say thank you to that? Cheers and Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey. Click Here to read more.
Whiteline TV TRUCK That Videos
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.

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