As the unflagging administrator of On the Pads Australia, the Facebook group that keeps the wheels turning for thousands of truckies every day, Leanne Dyer is used to the unexpected.
But even Dyer admits the news from the Trucking Australia conference on the Gold Coast this month that she’d won the coveted National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year accolade caught her on the hop.
“Shocked, surprised, and grateful,” said a still slightly dazed Dyer when Big Rigs caught up her days later for a reaction.
She’d been unable to attend the gala dinner ceremony due to contracting Covid-19, then had the added stress of organising her son Dakota’s wedding around potential road closures from the storms ravaging her home in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley.
Luckily, it all worked out in the end, Dyer’s only concern now, how she’ll find time to step away from the keyboard to take up the prize that went with her award, an all-expenses paid trip to the Cummins factory in the US.
“Who would have thought that I would get a prize like this for what I do?”
Dyer is being way too humble, of course.
“Without you, we’d all be farrked,” wrote one fan summarising the sentiments of thousands of truckies when we first posted the award night news on Facebook.
Working up to 17 unpaid hours a day, Dyer tirelessly combs the emergency channels, social media and works her ‘on-the-ground’ contacts to keep truckies abreast of all they need to know.
Dyer never started six, or so, years back with the intention of the Facebook platform becoming such in indispensable industry force.
Initially she was focused on helping her long-time truckie partner Russell Boon and his driving mates, but it quickly became apparent there was a much wider need for her skills.
“I had a background in accounting, so I’m into detail and correctness, and all that, and I’ve also got an autoimmune disease, which hinders me from taking a normal job, so I can just sit at home with my computer, trackies, atlas, phone, and it’s something I can do to keep me occupied and it helps people out,” Dyer explained.
“I know the guys appreciate it, and I know how hard it is for them.
“If they get held up, that stuffs their logbook up, time slots, all sorts of things, so if I can make their life a little easier, I’d rather do that because I know how hard it is for them out there.”