Variety is the spice of life as the old saying goes and truckie/mechanic Ben Berry, 31, is testimony to that, having been a jack of all trades in the Northern Territory and in Queensland.
Berry grew up in Alice Springs and worked there as a mechanic and fill-in truck driver for the Gilbert Mining Group.
“I drove a Kenworth 650 and worked there for about four years and loved it,” he said, citing the worst road he has travelled in the NT. “The Tanami Track sure was a nightmare to get along.”
Whilst in the NT, Berry enjoyed stopping at Three Ways Roadhouse.
But he left in 2014 and is now based in Townsville. He works for Queensland company RGM Maintenance, which has depots around Queensland and transports up and down the east coast.
He was pulled up outside the popular Gin Gin Roadhouse beside his 2021 Mercedes Actros when he stopped to chat.
“I am a company mechanic and leading hand and fill-in as a driver when some go on holidays. I love the variety as whilst I like doing the mechanical side and supervising, it is also great to get out of the workshop and on the road at times. I get to meet a lot of people,” Berry said.
On rest areas, Berry thinks there is enough which is contrary to what many others think.
I asked Berry for a comparison between driving in the NT and Queensland. “Overall the roads are much better in the NT. The Bruce Highway here in Queensland is not so good,” he said.
Outside work Berry loves 4WD recreation and fishing the creeks and rivers in his region.
“The creeks around Rollingstone and the Bohle River are the best,” he said.
The Bohle River abounds with different species of fish, mud crabs and more than an odd saltwater crocodile.
A parochial North Queenslander, Berry barracks for North Queensland in the NRL.