Aidan Pope hopes that more young men and women become truck drivers to ensure the long term future of the industry. “We need lots of young drivers or we will run out of them,” he said.
Pope, 31, works for Nortrans based at Townsville and Big Rigs saw him and his Western Star 4800 one recent afternoon at the Port Access Road.
He was heading to Mount Isa, which is 900km away from the coast, with a load of gas cylinders.
“I have been with the company for six years and they are really good to work for,” he said.
Nortrans is owned by members of the Battle family, who are highly respected in the road transport industry.
From humble beginnings during the post WWII years the Battle family have been instrumental in the shipment of goods throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory.
The company hires lots of young drivers and whenever I see one of their trucks it is generally clean and flashy.
“All of the trucks are well maintained and I try and polish the truck when I get time,” he said.
Pope likes dropping into the nearby BP Cluden and he reckons it has plenty of parking, good food, friendly staff and facilities.
Regarding rest areas, Pope said that more are needed, especially for truckies.
“Everybody needs to leave rest areas clean so they can be used by the next person,” he said.
His hobbies outside work include camping and there are plenty of places to enjoy the recreation.
“My favourite places to camp are anywhere out of mobile phone range,” he said.
Pope said the job is well rewarded for those who put the effort in.
“The money is good and I enjoy the work. But I would like to see more young people starting,” he said.
Nortrans is a community minded company which enters numerous trucks in Townsville Convoy for Kids events.
“I have taken part with others at the past four or five,” he said.