As I spoke to several truckies at the parking area of the BP Cluden Roadhouse on Townsville’s outskirts, another driver Rod Whelan came along.
Whelan, 48, was delighted to have a yarn to Big Rigs in a comfortable temperature of 24 degrees at about 5.30pm in the afternoon.
“I have come up from Sydney to Townsville with a load of paper,” Whelan said.
Based at Maffra in Victoria, Whelan drives a Kenworth T904 and is a proud owner-operator of his company, Whelan’s Express.
Whelan was going to pick up a backload of cotton at Emerald bound for Brisbane.
“I have been driving trucks since I was aged 18 and can’t see that changing,” he said.
The Gregory Development Road between Charters Towers and Clermont is the one which Whelan finds difficult to negotiate. “The road shoulders are very bad in many places,” he said.
I snapped a few pics and then Whelan started walking over from the roadhouse parking area to the shopping centre a few hundred metres away.
Maffra is about 220km east of Melbourne and relies mainly on dairy farming and other agriculture, and is the site of one of Murray-Goulburn Cooperative’s eight processing plants in Victoria.