Modern technology and the internet deliver the opportunity for listener-focussed broadcaster Australian Truck Radio to be ideally positioned for the captive niche market of Australian trucking.
Founder and manager Simon Smith recognises the need for a connection to trucking community, and also the responsibilities which come with it.
“They’re a huge mobile community and they are looking for their own station, and now we have to technology and resources to provide that nationally 24/7. The mobile phone is today’s radio transmitter and receiver,” said Smith, a veteran of radio broadcasting who initiated the successful ‘truckers’ radio’ format at several stations in southern NSW during the late 1980s, mostly on the midnight to dawn shift.
An unexpected bonus after the original show had been on air for a time was an anecdotal reduction in fatigue-related accidents involving heavy vehicles in the areas where the broadcasts were being received.
The consolidation of commercial radio networks in Australia during the past few decades has led to focus shifting from categories such as trucking as more stations chose to concentrate on specific consumer groups such as young homeowners or even attempt to be all things to all listeners while ultimately only satisfying the overall listening needs of a few.
Australian trucking is a huge mobile community looking for industry specific news and information and the drivers are at the same time looking for a radio station they can lock on and leave on while they are occupying their cabs and listening to the information and entertainment which apply to their own work activities as well as their often unique lifestyles.
“If you’ve got a radio station and you’re trying to be everything to everybody it’s not going to work,” said Smith. “We provide something that people want with a music-driven format, and in between the songs we can have a bit of a laugh and a bit of variety including regular on-air conversations with industry people.”
“The trucking industry has changed,” Smith points out. “It’s mostly dual carriageway between capital cities such as Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
“In the past, drivers would pull up at a roadhouse and sit around and have a meal together, but now with the dual carriageways, that opportunity for camaraderie is no longer there.
“We want to provide a radio station that’s like a truckies’ campfire where they can sit around and talk and listen.”
Smith says Australian Truck Radio, dubbed the ‘voice of Australian trucking’ can be heard simply by downloading the designated Radio Station app (scan the bar code on this page) or on a computer at the website truckradio.au.
“The mobile phone is today’s radio transmitter. You can download the app straight onto your mobile plus you can of course listen online from our Australian Truck Radio website,” he adds.
“The Australian Truck Radio program format is designed to be a radio station truckies around Australia can lock onto 24/7.
“There’s loads of trucking classics every hour with heaps of handy industry news and information plus lots more all day, every day.”
Music can range from anywhere between Slim Dusty and Lee Kernaghan, to Jimmy Barnes, Midnight Oil, INXS, and Bruce Springsteen.
“It’s a jukebox for truckies that goes everywhere you do,” said Smith.
“The trucking industry is the biggest niche market in Australian radio and this huge mobile community deserves to have their own 24/7 radio station – now they do.”