Former long-time chef Andrew Macpherson said becoming a truck driver five years ago was the best career move he could have made.
Aged 42, Macpherson drives a Scania 500 for Multiquip based at Tamworth and was parked up at the Branxton Rest Area at about 11am when we spoke.
“I have 130,000 one-day-old live chickens to take from Tamworth to Sydney. The trailers are heated to the correct temperature to keep them healthy,” he said.
Macpherson says he loves the Scania, which has a 500hp motor and an automatic transmission.
“This a great truck and I really love this job,” he said.
I quizzed Macpherson about his former life as a chef and the reason he switched to truck driving.
“I was a chef for many years at many places like Tamworth and Port Macquarie and for numerous years was an executive chef. But I worked 18 Christmas days in a row, also at nights and public holidays and wanted to spend more time with my family. I have three children,” he said.
Macpherson said the move turned out to be a wonderful decision.
“The pay is much better driving trucks than it was as a chef. I earn much more now,” he said.
When I yarned to Macpherson he was sitting in a shaded part of the Branxton Rest Area.
“This is a really good rest area and even has a space for refrigerated trucks, clean toilets and lots of space. I am waiting here to do a changeover of trailers,” he said
His favourite stop-off when in the area is the Branxton Hotel, which is popular with many drivers.
Being fair skinned I asked Macpherson if he’s had any skin cancers or solar sun keratosis.
“Not yet but I have my skin checked and have none but I still use sunscreen and wear a hat,” he said.
The first truck Macpherson drove was a MAN 506 and outside work he enjoys mountain bike riding.
“Around Tamworth is the best place to go riding,” he said.
His New Year’s Resolution was to spend more time with family.
On the subject of roads Macpherson did not have a bad one to nominate but was glowing in his praise for one stretch near Sydney.
“The NorthConnex tunnel into Sydney is beautiful for truckies,” he said.
Macpherson is one of the friendliest truckies I have interviewed over many years and was responsible for a kind act involving myself.
It was a steaming hot day and during the past eight days I had smothered my face and arms with sunscreen.
However, that morning I could not find my tube of 30+ and had failed to find a place at several small centres we passed to purchase some more.
I asked Macpherson if he knew of a place down the track that would be open where I could purchase some.
He walked over to his Scania cabin and I thought he was going to give me a company business card.
Instead he handed me a container of 50+ sunscreen and wouldn’t take any money.
It was a great kind act which I totally had not expected.