Truckie Profiles

Call for more rest areas

A truck driver for the past 20 years, owner operator Stephen Swinton echoes the calls of many truckies who say there’s a genuine need for more rest areas.

Swinton based at Abermain in NSW and does a weekly run to north Queensland. His company is Swinton Transport and I caught up with him and his Western Star 4900 in Townsville.

“I have come up with toilet paper and have a backload of bananas to pick up at Cardwell. Next week I’ll have paint as a load,” he said.

Swinton, 52, loves spending time at home with partner Mandy when he gets time off.

“We play pool and eight ball and sometimes I get to go fishing and chase bream and whiting in local waters,” he said.

Friendly Swinton tries to avoid travelling on the Miles to Goondiwindi road when he can.

“It is bad in places,” he said.

Swinton said whilst there were sufficient rest areas on his travels, on some routes there could be more.

“Some drivers will travel four or five hours without finding a rest area and on the Willow Tree to Sydney stretch there is a need for more,” he said.

He rates the Western Star highly and put a new motor under the bonnet a few years ago.

One dislike he has are caravan drivers who overtake trucks.

“Some do it whilst going up a hill as they have high powered vehicles,” he said.

When on the road, Swinton likes the BP Cluden Roadhouse at Townsville and the Emerald Caltex.

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