Outback, Truck driver, Truckie Profiles

From east to west and everything in between

Since starting his career in trucking, Peter Naggar, 49, has seen much of the country from the windscreen and worked in roles as varied and diverse as the roads he’s travelled. “I’ve always loved driving. I wasn’t good enough to be a race car driver, so I got into trucks,” he said.

When Big Rigs first got in touch with Naggar a few weeks ago, he was doing FIFO work in the west, driving triple side tippers for Campbell Transport, where he carted lithium in Esperance, WA – with loads of over 100 tonne behind him.

It was four weeks on and two weeks off. Though he enjoyed the work and the location, he decided to take a job much closer to home in Sydney, and spoke with Big Rigs just days into his new role.

Carting sandstone, he was driving truck and quad axle dogs, which operate under Performance Based Standards (PBS), for the Western Harbour Tunnel and Hexham Bypass projects.

He was behind the wheel of a Western Star 4800 with a DD15 engine and Roadranger. “When I go for a job and people

Naggar says he’s tried pretty much everything, apart from livestock and car carrying. Image: Peter Naggar

ask if I can drive a Roadranger, I tell them yeah I can, but I can’t drive an auto,” he laughed.

Though admitting, “It’s absolutely stunning over there in Esperance – the sunsets and sunrises are just spectacular. I’m still tempted to go back over to the west,” Naggar said.

And now he’s done exactly that. When he spoke to Big Rigs again just weeks later, he revealed an exciting opportunity had come up that he couldn’t refuse – so he’s packed his bags and returned to WA.

Naggar has secured a role with O’Dell Resources in Geraldton. It’s FIFO work – four weeks on and two weeks off.

Peter sent this shot of the truck he’s now driving over in WA. Image: Peter Naggar

“The Sydney traffic was doing my head in,” he said. “I’ve been doing a lot of country work over the years, so to get back into the heart of it will be great. Driving in Sydney I drove five different trucks in four days, so I’m looking forward to heading back.

“This opportunity came up so I thought I’d just go for it.”

The work will involve carting iron ore from the mines to the port, doing around 700km each day. 

For Naggar, his trucking journey started in the late 1990s. Though he had no prior links to trucking, he got his MR licence and eventually progressed to MC in 2007.

“I was working for Telstra at the time, putting optic fibres into the ground – I got to do that for the 2000 Sydney Olympics too. They needed someone to get an MR licence to drive one of their trucks, so that’s where it started.”

From there, it was local bread runs for Buttercup before getting his HC licence in 2002 and moving up to the Gold Coast. It was there that Naggar got his first taste for interstate work, which he says  was interesting to say the least.

“I got that interstate job after seeing a two-line ad in the paper. I went anywhere from the Gold Coast to Cairns, to Melbourne. I did that many kilometres in that job,” Naggar revealed.

From there it was interstate refrigerated work for Scott’s Refrigerated at Yatala, truck and dog work in Sydney, and then back to interstate work for Direct Freight Express, where he travelled from Sydney to Melbourne and Brisbane and did his first two-up run to Perth.

While at Scott’s Refrigerated at Yatala, he did interstate refrigerated work. Image: Peter Naggar

“We set up as a B-triple once we got to South Australia but the two-up work wasn’t for me. I couldn’t sleep while someone else was driving,” he said, adding he only ever did two-up two more times after that, when he started working for Ruttley Freightlines.

A few years after securing his MC, Naggar made the move out west in 2010, working for Mitchell West, around 400 kilometres west of Geraldton. “I did triples there carting iron ore and it was quite an experience,” he said.

“I’ve also done fuel tankers and had my own trucks, so I’ve tried pretty much everything but I haven’t done livestock or car carrying.

The 1998 Hino FG 8t flat top he owned, which was used for flat top and oversize work. Image: Peter Naggar

“I had my own trucks for five years. I had a flat top and did a lot of oversize work. I didn’t want to sell it but it became such a headache to chase work and I guess I just got fed up in the end. I’m just always trying to find a perfect job.

“I’ve had a lot of jobs but it means I’ve had a lot of experience, which puts me in good stead for new challenges.

“I always strive to do the best I can. I got told a long time ago, the day you stop learning is the day you die. I love being in the trucks, I really do.”

Naggar says he’s looking forward to getting out of the traffic. “Country life is my favourite – I love the freedom of getting out there. The truck is my own little office on wheels. My previous job in WA was awesome because it was in the middle of nowhere, so there was no traffic and no lights in town. I missed the longer distance stuff.”

Naggar added that the comradery in the outback is different too. “I got taught the old way. If I see someone loading or doing curtains I’ll go and give them a hand, a lot of people don’t do that anymore.

“These days it’s a lot different but I think it depends where you are. In WA, when you’re in the middle of nowhere, everyone still helps each other out.”

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