Truck drivers are amongst the best customers for barber Rebecca Doyle who operates from a caravan beside the highway at the hamlet of Westbury in Tasmania.
And there are several reasons why, apart from the fact that this experienced barber does a good job with their hair.
“They can park their trucks near my van and walk a few metres and come inside and get their style or cut. If I am busy they wander up the road to a cafe and come back,” said Doyle, whose business name is Bex Barber.
Some truckies had told me about Doyle and mentioned that most barbers are either in shopping centres or at locations where parking a truck can be difficult – or often impossible.
Several told me it is so convenient when they are passing through Westbury which is off the Bass Highway and about 34km from Tasmania’s second biggest city Launceston.
The Bass Highway is one of the busiest in Tasmania and it is a short detour for truckies negotiating it to pull up at Westbury.
The main highway used to pass through Westbury, which has many historical buildings, is known as the Village Green.
In my travels around Australia I have seen some mobile barbers who will come to an address but never one who works from a caravan beside a highway.
I was at Westbury at about 9am on Saturday October 21 and took the opportunity to have a yarn to Doyle.
She greeted me warmly and said she loves cutting truckies’ hair as many are her regular customers.
Some are from bases as far away as Hobart and a few are even Victorians who take a load to Tasmania after travelling across Bass Strait by ship.
“They love having a talk whilst I do their hair and I was so surprised to find out how much some of the bigger trucks cost. A driver was in here the other day and told me his new rig which he parked behind the van cost $700,000,” she said.
Inside her van it is very comfortable, with a heater ensuring customer comfort in the often cold Tasmanian weather.
She has a nice barber’s chair and all of the tools needed to provide a good cut and also a couch with space for two waiting customers.
“I have been doing this at Westbury for two and a half years and have been a barber for decades. My father was also one. I set up in a caravan to do something different and it saves people having to find parks at shopping centres and walking a long way. Locals come here as well and other passers by,” she said.
Doyle is open from Tuesday to Friday between 10am and 5pm every week and also on the third Saturday of each month.
Truckies who have to wait a few minutes for their turn will now have some excellent reading material too. Before leaving I gave Doyle a copy of the latest edition of Big Rigs which will hold pride of place in her van.