The son of a truck driver, Wayne Rogerson, 50, grew up around trucks but didn’t initially think it would be the path he’d follow.
“I got my rigid licence when I was 19. I didn’t want a truck licence and tried not to do it, but when it’s in the blood, it’s in the blood. My dad was a truck driver and my brother is a truck driver too,” he said.
“For the first five years of my life, we moved around a lot, because we followed dad’s work. He had to have his leg amputated from the knee due about two years ago, due to health complications so he can’t drive any more. He was already retired but still loves his trucks.”
One particular truck that stands out in Rogerson’s memories is an R model Mack his father drove in the Snowy Mountains. “When we were kids a lot of his work was in the Snowy. On the weekends, we’d stay in the Snowy instead of coming home and would ride tubes in the snowfields. If we ever got lost and couldn’t find him, we’d just look for his big, bright orange truck.”
For Rogerson, his foray into truck driving started when he was working as a vehicle detailer, which had a contract for the Institute of Sport’s coaches and buses. On the weekends, he’d transport athletes via bus. Then by 21, he switched from a bus to a truck.
“I already had a rigid licence and needed to upgrade, then I got a job carting offal from the abattoirs to Young each night,” Rogerson said.
He’s based in a small logging and fishing town on NSW’s south coast, about three hours south of Sydney.
Over the past 30 years, Rogerson has tried his hand at numerous different jobs, but was lured back into trucking.
He began his current role at Schumann Transport in July, servicing the FedEx contract, which sees him travel to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and even Perth.
“My brother had been working here for seven or eight years and he’s a really nice bloke and really fair, so I came on board. I’m in a brand new 2022 Kenworth K200, which I really like. It’s quiet, comfy and set up to live out of, so there’s a TV, microwave, fridge, freezer, big bed. All the creature comforts are in there,” explained Rogerson.
“It starts getting really busy at this time of the year. I’ve been heading into Perth a bit too, which we do when the rail line goes under water.”
It’s mainly B-double work, with singles thrown into the mix as well.
Now that he’s back in the driver’s seat, Rogerson says he’ll probably keep it that way for quite a while.
“I like moving, I’m not one for ever sitting still, so I like being mobile. I have had a break here and there from truck driving, but got back into it when I decided I needed a change, that was a couple of years ago now. I’ve had a fair crack at a few other jobs, but there’s something I love about driving and being on the road,” said Rogerson.
Though he admits that the state of some of the roads he travels through are in a very sorry state at present. “The state the roads are in is atrocious. You’re constantly on the lookout for damage to roads so you don’t damage your own truck. NSW’s roads are really bad at the moment. The Hume Highway running down to Melbourne has some huge potholes that were there before the rain too.
“And the Hay Plains is really bad too. There are potholes that are 6-8 inches deep. They’re only just starting to get them fixed now. It’s a major arterial road so it shouldn’t get into that state.”