It can be a nerve-wracking experience being pulled over and scrutinised by a road transport officer, especially for young drivers. This occurs regularly around the country, so what’s the big deal this time? Readers may well ponder.
Well on this occasion Big Rigs was there to document the inspection and snap some pics.
But the experience didn’t daunt 35-year-old Charters Towers based Brendan Francis who was among numerous truckies stopped by scalies at the breakdown pad along Townsville’s Port Access Road recently.
It was about noon earlier this month and Francis was travelling outbound from the port in his Kenworth C509 for Hawkins Transport.
There was a male and a female officer on duty and Francis was spoken to by the man.
“I have delivered cattle for live export to the port after bringing them from Julago,” he told Big Rigs.
The scalies were very courteous and one checked over his truck and inspected his logbook.
They obviously would have breached Francis if they had found any infringement.
At the end of the inspection I asked Francis how he went, “I have been given the all clear and can continue on my way,” he said.
Almost every day we hear stories of truckies being infringed for minor things, some of which are no more than unintended clerical errors.
And the fines are often heavy and don’t really fit the infringement.
However Francis said he was very happy with the way he was treated as they were “doing their jobs” without intent to revenue raise.
“I haven’t been pulled over much by scalies but mainly traffic police. This scalie was very respectful towards me and even asked did I understand the logbook,” Francis said.
A truckie since he was 19, Francis said his company had been named Footy’s until being taken over by Hawkins.
“My first job was in the Cloncurry workshop for Curley’s Transport,” he said.
Francis was asked about rest areas and roads. “I feel there is enough rest areas and the worst road I travel on is the Gregory Development between Charters Towers and Clermont,” he said.
The first truck Francis drove was a Kenworth T650 and he likes watching the Cowboys play in the NRL.
Francis was more than a tad happy about the Cowboys’ great and improved form this season after a dismal 2021.
A steady number of road trains hauling cattle and heading to the port that day were pulled over by the officer. As were scores of other road trains.
Overall from what I saw close up that day, I reckon the scalies were fair and respectful, which is what truckies would like to see more often.