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 22 2018 Latest Blog Post. Etiquette.
Goodaye all. The http://www.truckingnation.com.au website is the place for all our efforts now. To those who had tried to join the drivers club, our apologies for not being computer geeks and having it perfect from the start. And Stephen and his wife deserved the holiday that happened to nearly coincide. It should now be fixed and simple, yet as with all things, there is always room for improvement and we welcome any constructive feedback.
The reason we ask for where you run etc, is to set up a database for each road so we can message or ring you if needed, to comment and then respond to a problem or issue. We will not send or ring just for fun, we will aim to keep such things to a minimum and to those who know what we are talking about and can respond with knowledge and awareness. We also ask for what weight and freight you cart and how far, so in the future we can say our members carry a thousand tonnes a week and travel a million kís a month and this will only help with our credibility and in being recognised as a group that does do the job.
Now we want you to get your mates involved, to spread the word about and the videos themselves to get more involved. Like any group, union or organisation, it will only ever achieve what it can with the support and participation of its members. So in some ways it is up to you.
I have responded on the website to the forum on etiquette started by Stephen. Simply put, doing the right thing. I had a driver ask me about flashing others in (and had a different discussion with Yogi about the same issue during the week). What do you do? Why do you do it? Do you have a problem with what others do and why? Yes the driver who called me on the UHF and then rang (my number is in Owner Driver) complained about those with terrific spotties not just flashing you back in, but holding them on till you pull over and if you complain, the usual happens. Surely in the dark a simple touch will do unless you have lousy lights and it is surely up to the driver when he or she will pull back in.
If you are the overtaking party, do you have to show me how good you are by nearly taking the shine off the corner of the bulbar as you pull in. With the new technology, if you pull back in too early, you will affect the Active Cruise or Automatic Emergency Braking and if there is no one behind you for kilometres, why do you have to pull in so close?
Yes, if there is a que of traffic behind you, then the overtaker should move over as soon and safe and reasonable and or the overtakee, should consider helping his mate to do the right thing. I will not slow going uphill fully loaded, but will make the effort to help another driver most of the time. However, if you sit a foot off the back of the truck and cannot call etc, you may be there awhile.
RPT trucks are now limited to mostly 97 and we did do a stint at 95 and on the top end of the Newell, that was an issue with caravans and roadtrains. One night I got six trucks round me in one hit because it was safe to do so, I made it all happen on the radio and I generally do not want either someone sitting up my backside when there is nowhere to pass safely for kilometres, or then passing when it is not safe. Do you call if you catch up and wait, or do you sit there too close till you can pass? Donít take offence, we are all human, and surely we can talk together. If not, we are lost.
We are all out here together and there is no one else who cares a damn about us, so if we cannot work together, it will be a more lonely and less enjoyable job. We have all been taught differently and act and behave differently, but we can improve things if we try. Letís make up something we can all agree to (yes my rose coloured glasses getting a run here) and then we can start with one thing sorted and then educate the rest, then move onto the next thing. Little steps? What do you say?
Now for those of you car drivers out there, you are not meant to be excluded. Do you understand what I am talking about and do you have a view? Trucks run at different speeds and must be allowed to overtake, but two trucks running side by side for kilometres does not help anyone. Your views are welcome as well.
Have any of you seen the new campaign by the NHVR about talking it (safety etc) over with a mate featuring Shane AKA Kenny from TV? Any comments or thoughts please. Safe Traveling, 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.

 
 
 
 
 

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