He drove local and intrastate for Frigmobile in rigids for two years and then worked in a container park in Brisbane for the next 12 years. He started in b-double fuel tankers on linehaul in 1992 and eventually became involved in Road Safety in 1997, starting with ‘Caravan Survey’.
1998 Rod did the driver surveys in Finemores and Owner Driver Magazine for ‘Truckies Top Ten Tips’.
1999 Rod started Highway Truck Audit Trips. Six shire engineers on Golden Highway, Singleton to Dubbo and a follow up trip with RTA from Dubbo to Newcastle and back to Dubbo. The year started off with Rod having weekly spot on ABC Early Mornings Radio, which continued for the next two years. Rod also instigated and ran a School survey of all grade 11 and 12 students in all five Dubbo High Schools. He was then invited and took part in a Sharing the Road with Trucks section of the Safe Driving Video, now in 60% of Australian High Schools as a Resource Tool. Rod then started ‘Caravan CB’, a UHF and CB Channel 18 to promote education for caravanners about sharing the road with trucks. He also managed to fit in the 1999 National Sharing the Road with Trucks Program, monthly radio interviews on ABC Morning Show, ABC Rural Drive Program, 2DU Dubbo, 2WG Wagga Wagga, 2MN Mussellbrook plus monthly columns in a number of regional papers in NSW with columns in other states and sections in the Brisbane Courier Mail in the Queensland Transports on the page 3 column.
2000 Saw Rod’s Truckies Top Ten Tips run as community service adds on FM 88 Tourist Radio Network, ABC Regional Radio in NSW and on Australian Radio Network stations plus he drove the year 2000 Highway Truck Audit Trip from Melbourne to Brisbane and return with VicRoads, the RTA and MainRoads Queensland all participating. Proudly, Rod was a year 2000 Finalist ATA Driver of Year also winning the year 2000 Natroad Professional Driver of Year. He also began writing columns for Owner Driver and Caravan World Magazines in 2000 plus sent written and oral submissions to the Quinlan Enquiry in 2000 and was later acknowledged and quoted in the report.
2001 Rod became a Member or National Road Transport Commission Rest Area Advisory anel.
Rod Hannifey wins the Australian Trucking Association National Professional Driver of the Year.
Rod also started yet another weekly spot on Rig Radio (Truckies Radio), 02:30am Monday mornings and during that year drove the 2001 Highway Truck Audit Trip along the Hume Highway and the Federal and Pacific Highways with a journalist from ‘The Australian’ newspaper which eventuated in an article in The Australian Newspaper.
2002 The ‘Blue Reflector Trial’ began for informal parking bays on the Newell Highway between Parkes and Gilgandra. The “Truckies on Road Code” was produced to show that truckies have a responsibility to share the road as well, along with Top Ten Tips for Safe Caravanning printed in Caravan World. Rod also attended for two days on the RTA stand at the Sydney Caravan Supershow. This stand came about following Rod's efforts to improve caravanners education and understanding of heavy vehicles. The ATA Safety Education trailer was also on display at the show.
A Highway Truck Audit Trip was made from Melbourne to Sydney then across to Adelaide and back to Melbourne. Vicroads and Transport SA had passengers ride in the truck. Channel 9 Today Show and Peter McKay a Sydney motoring journalist also taking part and following up with stories.
2003 Rod appeared on the ABC TV show Andrew Denton’s “Enough Rope” with two other truckies. The truckies interviews were later printed in a book of “Enough Rope”. He also assisted on the NTC stand and took part in the Drivers Forum at the Brisbane Truckshow. The Truckies Top Ten Tips ATA flyer was first handed out in the Safety Education Trailer. Rod’s other achievements included launching a National 1800 Number for road repairs proposal. Launching BRRAG, Better Roadside Rest Areas Group with support from Planet Ark. Being accepted as an Associate Fellow of the Australian College of Road Safety. Rod drove yet another Highway Truck Audit Trip on the Pacific Highway from Brisbane to Sydney and return as the Trucking Industry Ambassador meeting with press, police and local government. RTA passengers also travelled onboard. Rod was also appointed the President of the TMIC – the ‘Truckie Mate’s International Club’ for Convoy For Kids Incorporated which is in Australia.
Rod also participated in a National Driving Rules Quiz show on Channel 9. In conjunction with “Trucks Out West” run by Australian Road Train Association, had the ATA Safety Education Trailer at Orana Mall 2 days, Dubbo schools for 5 days and Trucks Out West at Dubbo Showground. Starting a weekly radio spot with “Overnight Express” on CBAA radio network and this continued until March 2007 when the show was folded. A written submission and follow up attendance in Canberra made to a one day forum for the House of Representatives National Inquiry into Road Safety. The first website goes online: www.truckright.myco.com.au.
2004 Rod was awarded the Prestigious Convoy For Kids Inc & Bond Family - "William'John' Bond - National Safe Driver of The Year Memorial Award". He arranged, set up and manned stand at Adelaide Motorshow with Mack prime mover to promote road transport industry and improved safety, with support of Mack Trucks and the ATA. The Truckies Top Ten Tips were reprinted by ATA for handouts. The Truckright colour-in sheet for children with truck road safety message's were produced and was handed out sponsored by Boral, ATA and PSA.
Rod was also invited to attend and speak as driver at National Speeding Summit and did a Today Show interview from the Channel 9 Canberra studio along with other radio interviews. Winning a scholarship he commenced a Graduate Certificate in Road Safety through distance education with Queensland University of Technology. During the year Rod was approached by Channel Nine “Today” breakfast show to do a positive story on trucking following two major negative stories. A Journalist travelled in the truck in Sydney and out on to the Hume Highway giving good positive story and road safety message. Also in 2004 the Blue Reflectors were rolled out in Queensland on the Leichhardt Highway. Opened was the Four Mile Rest Area on the Pacific Highway northbound near Taree, based on Rod's input and rest area design.
2005 Rod successfully completed his Graduate Certificate of Road Safety, QUT. The Blue Reflectors were rolled out on the Queensland section of New England Highway and other highways from Warwick. Next it was off to Darwin with a trip in Simon’s triple roadtrain, two up with another Simon’s driver, Brisbane to Darwin and return, the story covered in Owner Driver Magazine over two issues. An iPAQ and Blue Reflector Audit Trip is made from Goondiwindi to Gladstone and then to Brisbane accompanied by Mick Castley of Main Roads Warwick. The Blue Reflector Marking of Informal Truck Rest Areas won “Industry Category” Queensland Road Safety Awards.
2006 In April Rod was awarded Knight of the Road Most Excellent USA. Australian Honorary Knight of the Road Number 393 for his continuing road safety efforts. Rod was invited to attend NTC Rest Area meeting in Melbourne and arranged for Tim Eaton from NTC to travel by car from Dubbo to Melbourne looking at rest areas and issues. Photos taken during trip formed part of the presentation meeting the following day. In October Rod started a weekly spot on the new Truck Radio program which continued until the final show in March 2007. The Northern Territory commenced a Trial of the Blue Reflector Marking of Informal Truck Rest Areas on a section of the Stuart Highway. Vicroads committed to trial Blue Reflector Marking of Informal Truck Rest Areas in 2007. NSW RTA confirmed acceptance and rollout of Blue Reflector Marking of Informal Truck Rest Areas across NSW.
2007 In March Rod was invited by the Caravan Industry Association of Victoria to attend and do “Sharing the Road with Trucks” seminars at the Melbourne Caravan and Camping Show. The information was well received and attended. Still in March Rod quits a multi-national carrier after 28 years service when they would not support his road safety efforts. July saw Rod start work with Rod Pilon Transport Dubbo, Brisbane to Melbourne linehaul with b-double tautliners. Rod was invited to and attended the NSW state Weights and Measures Conference at Wellington to speak to attendees. Opening in August was the Yelgun rest area, the first anywhere in Australia designed (including Rod's input) with signed separate sections for cars, trucks and also refrigerated and livestock trucks, to provide separation from other trucks to provide more suitable sleeping conditions.
2008 A submission was made by Rod to the 2020 summit called by Federal Government regarding improving road safety and truck rest areas. Rod was invited to write a Roadtrains in Australia piece for Road King magazine USA and invited to speak at NSW Caravan Club Rally at Forbes. He was also invited to speak at Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA) rally at Forbes. The room was filled with people standing outside and many favourable comments were received.
A Kenworth prime mover was supplied by Ken and Dot Wilkie to see the TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle achieve its aims. This truck was taken into Rod Pilons fleet and operated as Rod Hannifey's truck pulling Rod Pilon trailers. May 2008 the TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle, (TIV) is launched at the Dubbo Show with the complete unit on display and Rod attending with it for the three days. First rider in the TIV, Kathryn Hodges, Manager Legislation and Compliance, National Transport Commission travelled from Melbourne to Dubbo. Commented the trip was very worthwhile. In June Rod was invited to host The Truckies Half Hour with Rod Hannifey each Friday night on radio 4BC Brisbane continued through till November. Jonelle McKenzie, co-host of the Charles Woolly “Across Australia” radio program travelled in the TIV from Brisbane to Melbourne doing daily and evening radio broadcasts and continued with positive and realistic daily stories from drivers interviewed during the trip the following week. Sean Cummins from Caravan and Motorhome Magazine travelled in the TIV from Brisbane to Dubbo aiming at two stories with photos about the trip and “Sharing the road with trucks”.
In August a TIV Trip was made with The Honourable Dr Brendon Nelson, Leader of the Federal Opposition from Melbourne to Dubbo with television, newspaper and radio interviews in Melbourne, Albury, Forbes and Dubbo and five radio interviews the Monday after the trip. In October new trailers were picked up at Vawdrey in Melbourne for the TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle. Still in November Rod attended the Newcastle Transport Group Awareness Day with TIV, the first public outing with the new trailers. In December a TIV trip was made with Greg Martin, the new Chairman of the National Transport Commission who travelled from Melbourne to Dubbo. A second trip is made with Gary Liddle, the CEO of Vicroads, who travelled from Melbourne to Albury. Gary did a phone interview with Owner Driver and this was later followed up with a piece in Owner Driver magazine. Two weeks after his trip, the major bump at start of Craigieburn bypass was fixed.
2009 In February Rod attended and displayed the TIV at the National Road Freighters Assoc meeting in Dubbo. He was also made an honorary member of NRFA. A TIV trip was made with Philip Halton, Assistant Director, National Transport Policy, NSW RTA travelled from Brisbane to Dubbo. Still in February Rod attended and travelled in the Melbourne Convoy for Kids. In a press release the NSW RTA stated they would do 6 highways with Blue Reflectors and will flow onto other NSW highways. Over 7 years since trial on Newell commenced. Three ABC radio interviews and Daily Liberal story followed. A Submission was made to Victorian Safety Committee regarding Australian Design Rules.
In March Rod entered for and won election as the Owner Driver Representative on the Australian Trucking Association Council. Rod also sent a submission to NSW Parliamentary Staysafe Committee on NSW Fatigue regulations and had others also send submissions. In April he attended his first ATA Council meeting and also attended the Newell Highway Round Table meeting at Parkes at the invite of local member, Dawn Fardell with the TIV on display. He met the NSW Transport Minister and asked him to do a trip in the TIV to which he agreed to. Rod then attended the ATA Convention with the TIV on display at the front of the Gold Coast Convention Centre for the duration of the Convention. The TIV was very well received with many positive comments and many photos taken. In May Rod attended the Brisbane Truck Show with the TIV prime mover on the Tramanco stand. Articles on the TIV were printed in Kenworth Downunder, Prime Mover and Diesel magazines.
In July Rod was interviewed by Road Dog on the American Sirius satellite trucking radio network. Displayed operating on the T.I.V. was the INS-COM road profiling software which won the night on the popular ABC television program "The New Inventors".
Be sure to check back soon as we will keep you up to date with more of Rod's road safety activities.
Rod is also a great Family man and very aware of the need for Road Safety to be further addressed. Rod and his wife, Judy, have seven children and three grandchildren. Rod's job and dedication to Road Safety takes him away from home for long periods of time as only too many of those in the Industry reading this are more than aware.
Rod's amazing will, determination, persistence plus enormous drive and genuine caring for all of our road users, will help save lives. Rod's goals to help Truckies, the Transport Industry and the general public, by promoting Road Safety on a National and International basis is a credit to him.
This has been only a VERY limited overview, by many who know Rod, of all he has done.
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