Ben McTighe worked in the yard and office of Rocky’s Own Transport before becoming a driver a few years ago and enjoys life on the highways.
The 31-year-old now drives a Kenworth K200 for the company which is based at Rockhampton in central Queensland, a town known as the beef capital of Australia.
When Big Rigs caught up with McTighe he was parked in north Queensland.
“I brought up general from Yarwun, near Gladstone, to Roseneath, near Townsville, but look like going back empty as I don’t have a backload at this stage,” he said.
McTighe said he has always wanted to be a driver after working around the yard and in the office at Rocky’s Own Transport depot.
“I started about six years ago and worked around the yard there and also in the office. But I wanted to be a driver and about two years ago I got my heavy vehicle licence and I am glad I did as I love the job. The company gave me support and are really good and my boss is tops,” he said.
That experience gained before he got behind the wheel has stood McTighe in good stead.
When we saw him in the parking area of the BP Cluden roadhouse on the outskirts of Townsville he was doing some maintenance as we yarned.
“I am fixing up a trailer plug,” he said.
The quietly spoken McTighe said he doesn’t really stop at many highway rest areas along the way.
“But I do like the BP Cluden Roadhouse when up Townsville way because there is lots of parking and the facilities such as showers are great and the food is fine,” he said.
McTighe rates the Kenworth highly, pointing out it has only 170,000km on the clock.
The first truck McTighe drove was a Kenworth and he has impressive tattoos on his arms and legs.
McTighe was born in Australia and said his surname was of Irish heritage.
A committed family man, McTighe will get to spend some time at home over the Christmas break with his wife and son, aged four, and daughter who is eight.
We asked McTighe for his New Year’s Resolution, which was short but to the point.
“Just to keep safe,” he said.
Rocky’s Own Transport is a large company with more than 100 prime movers and in excess of 230 employees.
The company sponsors many charities including the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Queensland Cancer Fund, Leukaemia Foundation and Lights on the Hill.
It is also supporting a bid by Central Queensland to enter a team in the national NRL competition.