Give us a break, pleads truckie

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianMidwest Times

An owner driver who runs two semi-trailers out of Geraldton said the city was in desperate need of a proper road train assembly area.

“Because I work for DIAB Engineering they let me leave my trucks out in their yard,” Mark O’Brien said.

“But for the general run-of-the-mill truckie where do they stop, where do they park, where do they go to the toilet or have a shower, where are their fatigue breaks?”

Mr O’Brien said Hedland, Mt Newman, Exmouth, Carnarvon, Wubin and Kewdale had proper dedicated truckies rest areas and assembly areas but not Geraldton.

Transport Worker’s Union WA Secretary Tim Dawson, whose union represents both owner-drivers and employees, said lack of proper facilities compromised driver safety.

“Truck drivers pull up to have a rest for 20 or 30 minutes or to have a decent night’s sleep,” he said.

“The majority would be under WA team management guidelines and they have to do 20 minutes rest every five hours — if they are under the national team management guidelines its 30.

“They need to have decent parking bays so they can abide by the law.”

Mr Dawson said Road Train Assembly areas needed to be large enough to park and manoeuvre a number of trucks and their multiple trailers safely.

“One of the main issues is toilets for hygiene, showers to freshen up,” he said.

“Just going into the bush is not enough in this day and age.”

“Federal and State Governments need to do something about it, mining and retail need to do something about it because they are all making profits from road transport.”

Main Roads spokesman Dean Roberts said there were no plans or funding to develop Road Train Assembly Areas or rest stops in the Geraldton area.

He said Main Roads was considering suitable sites as part of future freight-related projects such as the Heavy Vehicle Outer Bypass and Northampton Bypass.

“Given that these projects are planned for the future, the current needs and possible locations are also being considered in relation to the best use for industry and investment by Main Roads,” he said.

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