Astute truckie Dave Morice has a different opinion to many other drivers when asked about the worst roads he travels on.
Most will nominate a single particular highway or several and spill out why they dislike getting along them. But not Morice.
“I am happy to drive on any road which has bitumen on it,” he told Big Rigs.
Over the decades he has travelled some rough dirt roads which would have had a bearing towards his response.
“I usually do five return trips a fortnight and take cement out to Mount Isa and bring copper or lead back,” he said.
That 900km trip is mostly along the Flinders Highway which is often criticised by truckies, especially the 100km section between Hughenden and Richmond.
We saw Morice, who drives a Kenworth T909, as he attended trailers at the hook-up pad beside the Townsville Port Access Road.
Morice has been a truckie for 27 years and can’t see that changing any time soon – so he has a great knowledge of roads in our vast country.
“We have depots at both Townsville and in Mount Isa,” he said.
Morice likes stopping at the aptly named Lights on the Hill Roadhouse on the inland side of Hughenden when on his frequent travels.
It is strategically placed beside the Flinders Highway, across from the Hughenden cemetery and about 400km from the coast.
“The food is good and the staff there are friendly,” he said.
The first truck Morice drove was an Albion Chieftain which he still has fond memories of.
Living in the tropics and near Townsville, which is by the sea, is great for Morice who enjoys fishing as one of his preferred recreations.
“I do catch some coral trout, cod and mackerel,” he said.
Coral trout and cod mostly are caught from the Great Barrier Reef waters whilst mackerel can be found on waters outside creeks and not far from shore.
His other recreational passion is barracking for the North Queensland Cowboys in the NRL.
The Cowboys finished 15th of 16 teams last year but were comfortably sitting in second position when I spoke to Morice.
“They have done very well this year and have improved a lot,” he said.
In conclusion I asked Morice what he really liked about the job. “It is the variety I get working,” he said.
It was about 10am when I spoke to Morice and the temperature was a comfortable 18 degrees and got down a bit later on that at night.