“You see 10 drivers sitting there waiting with towels over their shoulders – and one more shower would make a hell of a difference,” said a veteran B-double driver who stops here regularly on his twice weekly run between Sydney and Brisbane.
He says the Ampol service centre at Chinderah, NSW, has three toilet/shower units. “One of these has been broken for many months. Apparently it was broken by a customer, which might be the reason why they are delaying the repair.”
Located on the corner of Pacific Hwy and Tweed Valley Way, the $25 million service centre was opened in 2016 – and it’s become a busy and popular stop for truck drivers travelling between Sydney and Brisbane.
But as it turns out, the repair issue lies with the service centre’s landlord, rather than with Ampol itself. Big Rigs contacted Ampol for comment: “Ampol is the tenant of the Chinderah site in question. The shower-toilet unit is currently unavailable due to damages to the facility. We are currently working with the landlord on repairs,” the company said.
And according to the truckie we spoke with, staff at the site are just as frustrated as the truck drivers who stop there. “I found out after chatting with the Ampol counter staff that they are just as frustrated as I.
“I enjoy using the space, it’s a great facility. If you are not familiar with Chinderah, it has a pretty flash driver’s area that has three self-contained shower/toilet units. One of these has been out of order for approximately four months. Two weeks ago I was served by one of the managers and I asked him for an update. He said that the repair was going through the approvals process, but it was clear that he was frustrated by the delay too.”
He continued, “It’s been such a long time and Ampol service station staff, who have always been lovely to me, are as frustrated as everyone else.”
According to the truckie, the truck parking area at the back of the site usually fills to capacity each night. “Then by about 6.30am everyone leaves to meet their delivery windows. It’s useful as a long break staging area,” he said.
“Ampol’s service staff are the ones copping all the flack – they want it repaired and they can’t do anything about it, because it’s up to the centre to have it fixed.”