For 20 years Marty Coates had worked as a water rafting tourist guide before snaring his ideal job as a truck driver.
That was three years ago and the 56-year-old is now employed as a driver by Rocktrans, based at Tolga, a small and vibrant village on the Atherton Tablelands.
“Covid stuffed up the tourist industry back then and so the water rafting job stopped and I am so glad to now be a truck driver,” he said.
Big Rigs saw Coates on August 4 when he stopped in his Isuzu 900 Sitec 255 at a rest area in Craiglie which is off the Captain Cook Highway near the turnoff to Port Douglas.
“I have freight for Kmart at Port Douglas and travel around the Atherton Tablelands as well as Mossman. This is really a good job,” he said.
Not surprising when you consider the drive along the winding Captain Cook Highway between Cairns and Mossman offers some of the most scenic views in the country.
Although he does find the drive along the Gillies Highway between the Atherton Tablelands and Gordonvale very challenging.
Coates is a passionate NRL follower and I asked him if he has any other special hobbies.
“I like to relax when off work and enjoy a few cold Toohey’s New beers,” he said.
Other than the variety of people he meets and the beautiful region he drives around, what are the other lures of this job?
“I have two children aged 14 and 17 and get to spend a lot of family hours together,” he said in conclusion, as he drove off in spitting rain.
Ironically the water rafting industry around the Tully River has been rejuvenated and I saw a group stop off at Malanda after that.