Veteran truckie Micheal Hogg, 53, was still westbound to Perth when the news came through that Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics was on its last legs.
A contented Brisbane-based driver for the one-time cold storage giant for the last four years, Hogg said he was totally blindsided by the announcement.
“I got back to Adelaide and it looked pretty scary in the yard there with half the equipment gone, but I had to grab a trailer and head home” he said.
“I had time to do a lot of thinking. That was the toughest run I’ve ever done, no question. I was talking to my wife, talking to my mum and dad.
“I had a fair bit of support. Even the linehaul manager was ringing in to check up on me to make sure I was okay.
“I had a whole heap of different emotions. It went from being upset – I shed a few tears too – to like, what do I do now? It’s a pretty big thing when you’re comfortable in your job.”
It was his son-in-law Jayden Jensen who suggested that the former owner of the now defunct Oztruckintv website shoot a video of his final run as a momento for himself and others – at the time Hogg believed he was the last Scott’s driver still on the road.
With his camera mounted to the Kenworth’s windscreen, and Jensen manning the camera roadside outside the Brisbane depot, Hogg later edited together an emotional three-minutes he hopes other Scott’s staff will appreciate.
“I later found out there was a guy still arriving into Sydney after me, but I would have been the last truck back into Brisbane,” said Hogg, who parked up at Scott’s for the last time just after midnight on March 11.
Hogg said he’ll miss his colleagues and is grateful for the opportunities working for Scott’s gave him, like the chance to regularly travel across the Nullarbor, a bucket list goal for as long as he can remember.
“I can’t fault the people that I worked with. It was basically like we lost a family member,” he said.
As for a theory on where it all went so awry at Scott’s, Hogg said that’s “way above my paygrade”.
“Whose fault it was, I don’t know, but unfortunately, again, the guys and gals who turn up every damn day and do the job, they’re the ones who are paying for it.
“And that’s the part that upsets me because without us these places don’t run.
“All I know is it’s very emotional when someone says ‘hey, the company is going to be no longer’, and in two weeks time no one’s even going to be talking about Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics and that’s very sad.”
Hogg said he now plans to take a bit of time off to be with his family.
“I have options, that’s the main thing. I even applied for a couple of mining jobs.
“There’s a lot of choice out there. I don’t think many people are going to be out of work. Obviously the workload from Scott’s has got to go to some people as well.”