Chass Bayliss, a truckie for almost 50 years, was furious to find his truck had been targeted by vandals for a second time while briefly parked.
I saw the 66-year-old Bayliss working hard to repair damage to one of the spotlights on the front of his 2012 Kenworth which was parked at Townsville on October 7.
Bayliss is one of the most courteous and friendly truckies I have come across but he wasn’t in a good mood when speaking about the culprits. “This happened last night and I was only away from the truck for about 30 minutes and this occurred. These bull lights cost about $500 to replace and I am not too happy.
At the moment I am trying to put it back in place,” Bayliss said as his tools were on the ground in front of his Kenworth.
Bayliss said recently he had a spare tyre, jumper leads and other items stolen from his toolbox while parked at a pull off area in southern Queensland.
“It was dark and they pinched those things and it happened in a short time,” he said.
These negative incidences aside, Bayliss loves the road transport industry and works for Beenleigh based FFTM Transport.
“Every week I do the run up from Brisbane with a triple on the back roads through Charleville, Longreach, Julia Creek, Richmond and Hughenden and this time have brought up produce and groceries. I have a backload of produce from Clare in the Burdekin for southern markets,” he said.
A driver for almost 50 years including a stint in the Northern Territory out of Katherine, Bayliss said he mainly eats food which he brings with him.
“I have a microwave in the truck but every Sunday I enjoy a meal at a small place in Julia Creek called Godiers Café where I also deliver to,” he said.
During his career Bayliss has driven in every Australian state and territory including across the high seas to Tasmania.
“I went over on a ship and delivered a load of bananas from Innisfail in north Queensland,” he said.
The worst road Bayliss travels on is between Charters Towers and Emerald but in racing parlance it won in a photo finish from several other candidates.
“The one between Hughenden and Richmond is very bad and also the Augathella to Tambo road,” he said.
Outside work, Bayliss enjoys breeding Droughtmaster cattle on his farm at Laidley and he barracks for the Melbourne Storm in the NRL.
Bayliss said whilst there was enough rest areas for drivers out west he feels more were needed along the coast.
I noticed Bayliss has a small white beard which with normal growth in three months time would make him an ideal Santa Claus.
“I have been there and done that – been a Santa a few times before,” he said.
With a long innings in the road transport industry on his score sheet, it was surprising to hear that Bayliss had never made the pages of Big Rigs before. “I have been waiting to meet one of you Big Rigs blokes in my travels and now I have,” he said.
If you see anybody acting suspiciously around a truck or stealing from one, call Policelink on 131 444.