Perth-based Wayne Agius (who runs through Kununurra) was drawn into heavy machinery at an early age, travelling with his father and giving him an excellent grounding on heavy vehicle preparation, handling and maintenance.
“My dad was a road train driver,” said Agius. “I’d always travel with him, so picked up the bug pretty early.”
The bug bit hard, with Agius eventually graduating to a Kenworth T904 – his usual ride, which is currently undergoing repairs. At the moment, he’s behind the wheel of a tried and true Mack.
Aged 34, Agius has been driving trucks since the age of 21 and as an owner-driver, he’s had his own truck for two years and has been contracting for the last six months. He generally carts stock feed, fertiliser and grain and is now heading mid-west for what has been touted as WA’s biggest grain harvest in recent years, which has surpassed expectations – with some farmers in the south coast expected to continue harvesting into the new year.
Agius, like most transport veterans, is always ready to go where needed at a moment’s notice, but according to him, he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“There’s something about leaving town and turning the radio up. There’s nothing better in the world,” added Agius.
Like most drivers, Agius admits the roads can be challenging at times, with the Great Central being no exception; with frequently changing weather conditions and a steady stream of traffic combining to affect road surfaces on a day-to-day basis.
However, it’s the niceties – or lack thereof – that can really hit hard during those extended hauls. Having to undergo long periods away from loved ones might be one thing, but even trying to find the basic things like amenities and standard fare can prove hard to source on some routes.
“If you’re a family man it can be hard being away,” Agius said. “But dealing with sub-par roadhouses can be an issue too. Just finding good food and a place to shower can be tough.”
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