Shane Blackshaw is 24 and obtained his heavy vehicle licence when he was just 19. He started working only three months later.
Based in Toowoomba, Blackshaw originally worked for Neil Mansell Transport, where he finished his apprenticeship.
He currently works for his uncle Jason Freyling, of Jason Freyling Transport, who owns a triple road train unit carting cattle feed and station freight into the remote Northern Territory and north-western cattle stations.
“Once I finished my apprenticeship, I got my road train licence and got to work doing rig shifting. I had a little experience, but just in paddocks. I was doing that for around about 12 months before I started working with Jason – my mum’s brother.”
“Jason bought his first Road Boss around mid 2000, until trading it in on a 1975 W model kenworth in 2003. In a long roundabout way sometime not long after he got work carting general freight to cattle stations. I had always dreamt of following in his footsteps, I did finally get the opportunity to when he rang me in late 2019 due to a recent separation, He had two young boys that he wanted to be home for, so that’s when I took over the driving.”
Blackshaw runs his Kenworth T908 from Charters Towers, Townsville and Brisbane through to the Victoria river district and Gulf country regions but basically runs everywhere and anywhere. While he can’t pinpoint exactly when the trucking fever hit, Blackshaw does know that it goes back a long way.
“I’ve always been around trucks and farming. Pop had a farm at Pittsworth, near Millmerran for a bit, so I always had an interest in trucks as far back as I can remember,” he said.
The sense of autonomy, the landscape and meeting new people are high on Blackshaw’s list of things he loves about the job.
“I love the freedom. You don’t get harassed by anyone,” he said.
“You have a lot of time to yourself and get a chance to enjoy the scenery. People work a lifetime in an office and just don’t get to see the things that I get paid to see. Meeting people, getting to see the station managers and the ringers is all pretty good.”
It might be a regular gripe, but poor infrastructure is the one thing that definitely cheeses him off.
“The worst part is definitely the roads,” said Blackshaw.
“They’re doing touch-up’s here and there but 100 per cent the worst is definitely the roads. Hughenden to Cloncurry and Roma to Cloncurry are probably the worst.
“It’s not all bad, but there are a lot of rough and old sections.”
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