Truckie says latest NHVR blitz has him ‘at the end of his rope’

A truck driver who has been on the road for over 40 years says the news of the NHVR’s month-long fatigue blitz leading into Christmas has pushed him to consider quitting the industry.

James Camrolakis, 63, said his stress levels are “through the roof” and the ever-present threat of being fined is taking a serious toll on his mental health.  

“I’m at the end of the rope,” he told Big Rigs.  

“The end-to-end trip is a non-stop worry.

“I’m constantly asking myself, am I going to get through the cameras without getting pulled up for something?” 

Camrolakis, who is based in Berri, SA, argued that more leniency is needed when it comes to things like BFM and logbooks.  

“Has a spelling area got anything to do with safety? Or being three minutes over in your logbook? 

“I understand that random checks are a part of being a truck driver, but it’s the way that people get treated and these unbelievable fines that are causing us so much anxiety. 

“I told someone from the NHVR about the stress they are putting me through and they said ‘Well if you feel like that, you should just quit.’ That’s how much they care.”

He said the harsh approach of the NHVR is deterring young people from entering the trucking industry.

“They are trying to get more people into the industry and nobody wants to do it, and it’s no wonder why,” he continued.

“When we’re on the road we’re thinking about our families, we’re thinking about bills we have to pay.

“We don’t need the added draconic attitude of the NHVR breathing down our necks every kilometre along the way.” 

Camrolakis said he came across a fellow truckie on social media who was facing fines of $108,000.

“Can you imagine the stress of something like that? That could ruin a person’s life.  

“I really don’t want to quit – I’m only 63, I’d like to make it to proper retirement age – but I don’t think I’m going to last that long.”

The NHVR and police are out in force on the roads this month in what has been billed as Operation Forager.

The regulator’s chief operations officer, Paul Salvati, told Big Rigs that the operation should not be seen as a “blitz” and truckies should not feel like they are being unfairly targeted.

He said the operation’s aim is to raise greater awareness of the importance of managing fatigue when driving, and making sure employers aren’t forcing drivers to do more hours than they should during what is the busiest time of the year for many truckies.

He was also quick to allay fears amongst some drivers that the operation that is running up to Christmas across across NSW, Queensland, Victoria, SA, ACT and Tasmania, is all about “revenue raising”.

“That is not how we operate. Almost none of the revenue from infringements comes to us,” Salvati stressed.


  1. I’m a 60 year old roadtrain driver out of Darwin for over 19 years now removalists since I was 14 before that I was at my kurringi when others were at razzor back I decided right there an then this is an industry I wanted to be appart of proud of were men worked hard an were respected for doing so an some women few but more now days that’s cool but the law an the powers that be keep going on about safety but not spending any money on roads outside of the two hundred km coastal strip I’ve worked many big hours being nt driver but I’m over it worked to the limit under paid under appreciated an then the powers that be just wanna steel from ya what are they going to do when there’s none of us left no young people wanna do the job why would they just imports with no experience coz apparently you don’t need experience yer right good luck I’ve been to court for log book nearly got locked up for my anger

  2. I am with James on this very important issue. How does a mistake two or more months ago have anything to do with fatigue or safety. The constant bullying and harrassing tactics used by The NHVR and the States Task and Police force is really becoming a major problem. NHVR CEO will always use the excuse that companies are pushing driver’s to do the wrong thing to make up time. This is a whole load of BULL. It is the current fatigue management and cameras that are making driver’s push themselves. There is no room for error as it can cost you your livelihood. The attitude from enforcement officers and their constant harrassing ways has to stop. Not every driver drives the same way or even managed their fatigue the same way but in their (NHVR and Police) eyes we are all tarred with the same brush. A little thing I find hard to swallow is every time they blitz the accidents involving heavy vehicles increase. Why is that? They are adding more and more stress to every driver on the road considering that only 3.87 percent of all accidents on the roads are the fault of a heavy vehicle driver. We are a cashcow for the State and Federal Government’s because the will get revenue from a spelling mistake six weeks ago that will cost you $710. But hey if an enforcement officer makes a mistake on a fine they rectify the issue and reissue you the fine.

    1. This is way people get treated living in Australia which used to be a democratic country but is now a dictatorship

  3. After 40+ years in an industry I love, you’ve got to wonder when people will finally say enough is enough. I watched my parents go through the exact same treatment. We don’t go into a doctors surgery and tell them how to do their job just because we know what a sore looks like do we? Stop treating everyone the same, as in we’re not all criminals. You want to know what it’s like Mr enforcer? Can you imagine the outcry if car drivers, politicians, school teachers etc were put under this kind of stress and ridicule? There would be a mainstream media outcry. Sorry minister, but you’ve been sitting in parliament making decisions about our lives for over 12 hrs and it’s dangerous for you to continue due to safety concerns, so here’s a $1000 fine and you have to stay sitting in that seat for the next 7 hrs and don’t move or we’ll fine you again. What? No toilet or food close by and you’ve got no one to back you up? Tough. Deal with it.
    Not likely.
    It’s a bloody joke.

  4. I hear you mate. Everyday I say I’m calling it quits. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… In the eyes of the bullying bureaucrat heavy vehicle inspectors we are merely defenceless peasant filth who are fair game. We will always be beneath them in their opinion. The police not so much as they deal with normal people hourly,.. that’s why you’ll usually be waived through the rbt and when they do stop you just a friendly chat and off you go. But the inspectors… It’s like the first and last bit of their training is ‘get those dirty truck drivers off the road’ spelling mistake or not.

  5. I don’t see why only HG V drivers should be targeted when the average Joe going on a road trip may drive 12 hours or more and fall asleep at the wheel and kill a family or two. It is a privilege to drive so perhaps dash cams should be part of all vehicles and monitor the driver.

  6. last year I was involved in an accident with a car who came through a give way sign in front of me the high way patrol showed up first was I speeding no next was I over weight no was I fatigued no was the truck roadworthy yes was I drinking no did I have drugs in my system no after all this the highway patrol cop put me in a cop car and took me 20 ks to a hospital for a blood test after all this shit he left me there to find my own way back after more than 30yrs of driving with 1 accident not my fault the lengths some of them will go to for the truckie to be in the wrong is unbelievable

  7. I left the industry, when your mechanic, is making more than you make an hour, It becomes a losing battle. you put most of your earnings back into maintenance to keep these unsympathetic power tripping clueless pri**s off your back, between them and the thought of your only one bad breakdown away from losing everything it’s just not worth it.

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