When I met up with South Australian driver Dave Morgan, he was counting the days until he retires.
The 74-year-old was parked up at the BP Cluden Roadhouse on the outskirts of Townsville when I saw him in May.
He works for Outback Logistix Pty Ltd, based in Adelaide and was sitting in the driver’s seat of his 2020 Kenworth T659, which has a 650hp Cummins engine up front and an 18-speed Road Ranger gearbox.
The company has its headquarters in Adelaide with depots at Moomba, Laura (SA) and Eromanga (Qld).
“I have just 28 days to go before I retire on June 30 and I am counting the days. I will turn 75 in September,” he said.
Morgan had hauled hook lift bins and a Toyota Ute from Moomba in SA for delivery to Townsville.
“I have been driving since I was young and want to enjoy my retirement and will probably caravan around Australia with no destination in mind and no set return date,” he said.
Born at Stawell in Victoria I asked Morgan if he’d ever entered the famous sprint there when he was younger. “No but I have seen a few Stawell Gift races,” he said.
Before starting with Outback Logistix, Morgan owned two small road transport companies which he sold in 2018.
Morgan lived and worked in Darwin for almost five years and since moving to SA has returned back to the NT a few times on fishing expeditions.
“We used to go to a place called Dundee Beach, west of Darwin, chasing barramundi. Also caught some mud crabs which make good eating. I don’t know of anybody who doesn’t enjoy a feed of crab,” he said.
His favourite food is steak with chips and he said that the BP Cluden was his favourite roadhouse.
“I have never seen a roadhouse with such clean facilities for truckies. The food is good and the staff friendly. Over the years I have been to a lot of roadhouses around Australia and this is amongst the cleanest,” he said.
When Morgan can’t get to a roadhouse on his travels he eats tin food which he takes with him.
“I always take some tucker with me just in case and just near the BP Cluden is a shopping centre with a Woolies supermarket in it. I am about to head over now to stock up,” he said.
Another hobby he enjoys is clay pigeon shooting and he has done some of that at Adelaide and in Alice Springs.
He nominated the Tanami Track in the NT as the worst road he travelled on. I told him he wasn’t on his lonesome as many other drivers also rate it poorly.
His family is of Welsh descent, and I told Morgan that I had snapped pics of at least 10 other truckies over a period with his same name.
I wish him well in retirement and for his future life and will be ringing him from time to time to get his views from a caravanner’s perspective.