Adam Woods has been around trucks all his life. His father, Ray Woods, was a truckie and a huge inspiration for him. The open roads, the freedom of enjoying sunrises and sunsets in the outback, and knowing that what he is doing on a daily basis is contributing towards what keeps Australia moving – trucking is Woods’ haven and his joy.
The other two joys of his life, his sons Mason Woods and Connor Woods, inspire him to keep driving and perhaps one day be an inspiration to his boys like his father is to him.
The 41-year-old is based in Sandstone, Western Australia. For the past six months he has been driving a Kenworth T909 tri drive ultra-quad for Campbell Transport, carting iron ore between Sandstone to Wiluna and Geraldton to Sandstone.
“I love driving. I enjoy the freedom it gives me, being out here,” Woods says. “There is nothing but a truck driver and the outback. The sunsets and sunrises out here are simply amazing and it is moments like those that make you realise that some of the most beautiful things in life are not owned or controlled by anyone, they are for everyone to enjoy. As a truck driver I get to enjoy these every day.”
However, driving heavy vehicles, particularly during return trips in some remote parts of the country, has its challenges.
Sharing a rig with another driver can at times be challenging for drivers like Woods who like to “keep it up to scratch”. He says until you can find a driver that you gel with, sharing a truck can be quite trying.
Another challenge for him is maintenance of the vehicle. Driving through the outback and isolated places across the country, if a repair need arises, it can be quite problematic for truckies, he says.
But for this family man, one of the toughest demands of being an outback truckie is the time away from his family. “The hardest thing, by far, is being away from my kids and loved ones. It is very hard on them and on me. In fact, it goes for all truck drivers,” Woods said.
“Many people just see these trucks driving down the road, what they don’t see is the men and women behind the wheel. We all have families and loved ones and we miss them as much as they miss us. We all need to earn a living and sometimes it is a very tough balance, but we do it.”
Speaking of tough, some of the toughest routes Woods has travelled on are regional and remote areas in Western Australia including Bandya Road in Laverton, Telfer Road, and Rippons Hills Road in Marble Bar during the floods – all of which can create hazardous driving conditions in wet weather.
However, despite all the challenges that this job entails, Woods is completely at peace when he is in his driver’s seat. “Trucks become a part of us drivers. They keep us safe and almost become a safe zone in life,” he said. “They can even somehow shield us from life’s pressures. There is nothing I like doing more for a living than driving a truck.”