Truckie Profiles

‘214 kilometres of mostly narrow hell’

Friendly driver Gurpreet Dhalwal was quite far away from his pick-up point when Big Rigs saw him travelling through Townsville.

Indian-born 29-year-old Dhalwal drives a Kenworth K200 for Armesto’s Transport.

He had hauled general goods from Melbourne up into the far north.

“I also have general to pick up here in Townsville as a backload to deliver to Melbourne. It is a long trip but a very enjoyable one,” he said.

When we chatted, Dhalwal was parked at the big BP Cluden Roadhouse on the outskirts of Townsville, which he found ticked all of the boxes.

The facilities are clean with toilets and showers often praised by other truckies too. There is also a wide variety of sit down and take away food on offer too, coupled with friendly staff who will happily have a yarn to you.

“I came out here from India when I was aged 17 and this is a good job with a great company,” Dhalwal said.

The Winton Roadhouse in the Queensland outback, in the state’s Central West, is Dhalwal’s favourite spot to stop at when in the area.

“They have wonderful food and I just love the fish they serve and the staff make me feel welcome,” he explained.

Whilst Dhalwal reckons that truckies do indeed need more rest areas, there is one which he was glowing in his praise for.

“It is beside the street in Hughenden,” he said.

Hughenden is an outback country town about 390 kilometres inland from Townsville, along the Flinders Highway.

Dhalwal does have a gripe though regarding the terrible state of many of the roads that truckies have to travel on.

One of the ones which stands out like dogs’ you know what is located between the towns of Hughenden and Winton.

“It is 214 kilometres of mostly narrow hell and you need to take so much care,” he said.

As does anyone traveling along the highly dangerous road between Queensland’s Cunamulla and the town of Bourke in NSW, especially at night.

“You have to watch for cows on the road – I hit one last week and damaged a cooling pipe,” he said.

I told him that the Winton to Hughenden Road was renowned for giant big red kangaroos which were often hit by trucks.

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