Truckie Profiles

‘Rising fuel costs hurt us’

Long-time owner-operator Greg Hemley gave an apt description about the effects of rising fuel costs on the road transport industry. When I asked, “nasty and it hurts us” was his reply.

The 46-year-old, whose company is Hemley Haulage, was sitting in the driver’s seat of his Freightliner Coronado in the parking area of the BP Cluden Roadhouse, when I saw him just before sunset in June.

Based at the Sunshine Coast for the past six years, Hemley runs three other trucks, an Argosy and two Ford Louisvilles.

“I carried steel from Brisbane to Mackay and then picked up line marking material at Clare in the Burdekin region to take out to Camooweal near the NT border,” he said.

Hemley used to be based at Stawell in Victoria. I told him he was the second diver in a week I had yarned to from that town, which is famous for its annual foot race.

On the subject of the worst roads he has travelled along, Hemley said the Goondiwindi to Brisbane stretch wins hand down.

“That includes parts of two highways including the Cunningham which can be terrible,” he said.

Hemley added that the section of the Barkly Highway which runs between Mount Isa and Camooweal had improved in recent years.

Regarding the availability of rests areas suitable for truckies Hemley said there aren’t enough of decent size away from highways.

“Parking can be a major problem for us and caravans can make life difficult,” he said.

Hemley visits many roadhouses on his travels and is a big fan overall of BP establishments.

“I like the BP Archerfield because that is the one I stop at the most often. But the BP at Paget in Mackay and this one here at Cluden near Townsville are also very good,” he said.

Outside work, he loves motor car racing and particularly watching the Bathurst V8 Series.

Also a big fan of AFL, Hemley barracks for the Essendon Bombers and hopes they’ll make the final eight this season after promising signs.

We got onto the subject of legendary former Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy and I told Hemley I had met up with the great man a month before and done stories on him for several papers. “I am a big admirer of Kevin Sheedy,” he said.

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