Busy veteran truckie Hugh ‘Maca’ Macdonald has been delivering armour rock to the Port of Townsville for the past four months, destined for a new seawall. In between trips, he stopped to chat with Big Rigs about life and trucking.
“I cart rock from Ravenswood to Townsville Port and love the job,” he said.
“The big rock is hard on the gear but fitters and mechanics maintain the trucks to keep them moving,” Maca said.
I met up with the 68-year-old outside the Calcium Puma Roadhouse beside the Flinders Highway, located 50km west of Townsville.
The temperature was a burning 38 degrees and Maca, who works for MGN, was driving a 2007 Kenworth Aerodyne.
Maca has been a truckie for decades having travelled extensively around Australia.
It was great talking to Maca who lives on a property at Cleveland Bay which is south of Townsville with access through the Australian Institute of Marine (AIMS) road.
Catching giant mud crabs, hunting feral pigs, tending to his horses and riding his trusty Harley Davidson flat top bike are off duty interests for Maca.
“There is a creek just near my place and I am lucky to be able to catch fish and crabs but there are also many wild pigs on the property and as soon as you get rid of some more turn up,” he said.
Maca also has two pet horses and said they enjoy eating mangoes. “They can get drunk if they eat too many mangoes,” he said.
When Maca does get time off he loves riding his Harley and often gets to Ravenswood. “It is a great place to go to and catch up with mates and others who ride bikes,” he said.
Maca is a passionate Cowboys supporter in the NRL and has many impressive tattoos on his arms.
This genuine Aussie character is a massive fan of Big Rigs and said we recently profiled one of his truckie mates named Simmo.
“I get Big Rigs often from roadhouses and love it as you never know which drivers whom we know may be in it,” he said.
I mentioned his impressive looking white beard which looked like it could mature into one worthy of him being a Santa.
“I have been asked many times in the past to be a Santa and we’ll see what happens this year. I am the right age as they usually like old blokes as Santa,” he said.
The experienced truckie doesn’t stop at many rest areas, but he does have a favourite roadhouse, the Calcium Puma. “You can park up the side or out front, the tucker is really good and the staff are great,” he said.