Younger truckie Jeff Anders opted to speak about the positive side of what the road transport industry has provided for him when we met in the tropics recently.
It was just before dusk and Anders, 34, was having a fatigue break whilst parked at the BP Cluden Roadhouse on the outskirts of Townsville.
“The variety in the job is great and I just love it. Every day I get to see parts of Australia and many I haven’t been to before. Weekly it is a different route and I get paid for it,” he said.
Anders was driving a Kenworth K200 for Brisbane based Chess Moving and gets around to many areas.
“I have been a truckie most of my working life and carried furniture for most of that. Couldn’t think of doing anything else,” he said.
Enthusiastic Anders said he also liked stopping at BP Cluden when in the area, for various reasons.
“The food is good, the showers and toilets are clean, staff are friendly and there’s lots of parking,” he said.
Location is another reason Anders stops at the huge roadhouse which is across from Cluden racecourse and another attraction.
“There is a shopping centre a short walk across a paddock from here with supermarkets, cafes, and lots of specialty shops,” he said.
What Anders didn’t mention, because he probably didn’t know about it, was the saltwater creek about 150m from where he was parked.
Truckies on similar breaks have been known to catch a barramundi or two and the odd mud crab from its waters using a fishing line or fold up pot carried in their truck.
Anders said there were “more and more rest areas popping up” around Aus, which was good for people like him.
He is a Brisbane Broncos NRL supporter and the first truck he drove was an old Kenworth.
As for his favourite stop off other than a roadhouse, Anders quickly nominated the Blue Heeler Hotel in the Queensland outback.
“Another place where the people are very friendly and makes you want to go back there,” he said.
I used to travel there annually back in the nineties to cover the famous “outback surf carnival on a dry creek bed.”
Lots of traveling truckies were amongst the guests who would stop there as well as hundreds of genuine characters, and funds raised went to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Anders said Chess Moving has seven other prime movers and will travel anywhere, delivering and picking up furniture for businesses, private people or government.
Anders works alongside Craig Deas, who was also travelling in the cab, helping to move furniture from Brisbane to Mount Isa, Townsville and Roma.
Deas, 45, is currently training to be a truck driver and has been impressed by the comfort of the 2021 Kenworth K200 the pair get to travel in.
“It’s a very comfortable tuck, and I like the freedom on the road and all the places I get to see and the different people I meet,” he said.
In his trips so far Deas has found the Flinders Highway between Townsville and Cloncurry as a road that’s difficult to get along.
But he does reckon there are more than enough rest areas for truckies spread across Queensland.
“When we are tired we just pull up at one and go to sleep, so yes,” he said.
Deas intends learning about the trucking industry and is training for his truck licence so he can fulfill his lifetime dream to get behind the wheel.