Driving through Epping Forest recently, we stopped over at the Caltex for a break when our old mate Damien Viney from Ulverstone rolled in for the same reasons, driving a Chas Kelly’s recent 450 Volvo Euro 5 and towing a fridge pan.
He was on his way from Margate with a load to catch the evening’s Spirit to Melbourne. He told us, “I’ve been with Chas for six months or so to date and it is all good now, great bunch of blokes and the Volvo is a pretty good truck, comfortable and ideal for the job.
“I have been on the rod now for 30 years or so and it’s been a good job.”
We asked him how he felt about the oncoming crop of young people trying to get into the industry, and he said, “Well in the good old days you started out doing two-up with an experienced driver, and learning the job from the bottom up.
“That was undoubtedly the best way but now it’s all about going through fancy and expensive driving schools, then getting a brand-new licence and getting out on the road without any real experience in big shiny high-powered trucks. What more can I say?”
We asked Viney how he spent his time off, and he told us he has quarter horses on a few acres on the Leven River which keeps him busy.
“During the floods the other day we lost a fair bit of fencing, lots of work there.”
He also keeps busy with Rodeo events and is a judge both here in Tasmania and also on the Big Island.