After seeing Troy Valentine climb down from the driver’s seat of his Kenworth T909 I noticed he was walking with a limp.
So I asked the friendly and courteous truckie what his ailment was and he was happy to yarn about it.
“I need a hip replacement but the doctors can’t do it until April next year. It is painful and I am counting the days,” he said.
The 49-year-old truckie said he was told the long-time wait was because he was too young for such surgery which normally occurs with much older patients.
Valentine works for Rowan Hall Transport, based at Gracemere, and was carrying military equipment on his triple road train.
On one of the trailers was an Army truck – and the triple looked great when Valentine pulled up at the Townsville Port Access Road.
“I have been a truckie for 27 years and with this company for the past two. They are good to work for,” he said.
Valentine was heading off to Yalbaroo in the NT and had a backload of cotton to pick up on the way back for delivery to Dalby.
He said he likes stopping at the Charlton BP Roadhouse near Toowoomba on his travels.
“It is good there for us drivers,” he said.
Valentine added there should be more suitable rest areas for truckies.
Regarding Covid-19, which has affected so many drivers, Valentine said he hadn’t suffered from it yet. “I have had the vaccinations including the boosters.”
Like many truckies, Valentine loves nothing better than to go fishing along the waterways around Hervey Bay when he gets time off.
Valentine said it was a good life being a truckie and that he’s met “many characters” whilst travelling the highways and byways.
As for the NRL, Valentine is a parochial West Tigers supporter and has to reflect back to 2005 when they won their last premiership.
I had to feel sympathy for Valentine because of his hip problem.
But he should be a new man following his surgery.