Melbourne truckie Donny Biddle prides himself on how well he maintains his Sterling tipper which has given him years of trouble-free miles without ever attracting attention from authorities.
So when a highway patrol officer pulled him over on the Eastern Freeway earlier this month and wrote him a major defect notice for failing to have a load cover and a supposed engine oil leak on both sides, he saw red.
Upon returning home, he immediately took 40 date-stamped pictures of the motor, from every conceivable angle to prove his point.
“None of the photos show any oil anywhere,” Biddle, 57, maintains.
It was only when Biddle pushed back with that evidence, demanding that police also furnish him with a copy of the video bodycam of the incident that he said the tickets were eventually expunged.
But by that stage he’d been off the road for more than a week and lost between $12,000-$15,000 in earnings installing swimming pools.
Biddle has come forward with his story in the hope his experience will help others in a similar bind.
“Question their ability because they’re not mechanics, and don’t agree with everything when they pull you over because they’re just going to continue to add to the list.
“They’re not qualified for that job.”
Bouyed by the result, Biddle said he’s also now going to challenge the infringement notices he received on the same day for supposedly driving while using a phone and the dust that was allegedly coming from the back of his truck.
He said it would help if there was some kind of independent authority that truckies could turn to in cases like this.
“The NHVR was no help and when I asked them who the body would be I should complain to, they didn’t know. We need some governing body that actually has some authority.”
Senator Glenn Sterle’s 2021 inquiry into the importance of a viable, safe, sustainable and efficient road transport industry recommended that an independent body be established with one of its duties to act as a dispute resolution body.