Enthusiastic driver Sid Mansfield would recommend a career as a truck driver to any young person, despite the additional challenges that have come about in the Covid-19 era.
The 25-year-old Mansfield is well qualified to offer an opinion having been a truckie for around five years.
Mansfield is living the dream working for the family company from his baseat Ipswich in southern Queensland.
The blonde-headed Mansfield was near his Kenworth K200 powered by a Cummins 600hp motor when Big Rigs saw him while he was parked at the entrance to the Port of Townsville.
“It is very hot today and is going to get worse but I love the job and all of the people you get to meet and the places have seen. I reckon it is a good job for a younger person,” he said.
At home Mansfield enjoys a happy life with his partner and three small children.
“They are all aged under five,” he said.
Mansfield was about to haul a dredge from Townsville way up to Weipa on western Cape York.
“I have heard the roads on the way up there are pretty rough,” he said.
However, Big Rigs was able to confirm that assessment with one positive qualification.
There hasn’t been much rain there lately and the roads were all open. Which is in stark comparison to the wet season when roads are closed.
When asked what he would consider his favourite roadhouse or stop off, Mansfield opted to nominate several.
“The Gums near Tara, the Eulo Pub and the Thargo Hotel are places I like to stop at when in those areas,” he said.
Mansfield is adamant there are not enough suitable rest areas for truckies.
“Especially up this way. We need more with good facilities,” he said.
Asking Mansfield what he considered bad roads to travel on didn’t prove a problem in gleaning a quick reply.
“I would have to say the old Charleville Road is up there with the worst.
Also, the Fitzroy Development Road and the one between Glenmorgan and Tara.
There are lots of roadworks along the way in Queensland,” he said.
Regarding Coronavirus, Mansfield said it had caused many problems for drivers especially at border crossings.
“As far as the vaccine goes I think we should be given a choice about whether to have the jabs. Don’t force it upon us,” he said.
In conclusion, I asked Mansfield what were the main reasons he would advise youngsters under the age of 30 to become a truck driver.
“It is a good career, allows you to clear your head and think when I am on the road,” he said.