It was just before dark on a cool afternoon in mid July when I came across Jake Towns who could best be described as a genuine hard working Aussie truckie.
Towns drives a Kenworth T909 for Dearden Contractors based at Roma and was tending to a trailer far away off the Townsville Port Access Road.
The temperature was about 15 degrees and forecasters predicted it would drop later in the night.
“I have picked up a load of stocklick from the other side of town and am heading back to Mitchell with it tomorrow,” he said.
The 36-year-old has been with the company for the past five years and said they are great to work for.
So what does this loyal employee enjoy most about his job as a truck driver?
“It would have to be the freedom I experience when on the highway,” he said.
Mind you, Towns loves being back home and enjoying time with his family.
“My sons play rugby league football in the under 8 and under 10 years competitions for the Carnarvon Cubs in the Roma Junior Rugby League. I love watching them,” he said.
Towns has the build and fitness to still be playing football himself however he leaves that to others.
“But I do barrack for the Brisbane Broncos in the NRL and they are going well this year. A big improvement on last season” he said.
The first truck Towns drove was an R600 Mack.
Towns says he rates the road between Surat and Tara as his least favourite to travel on.
“It is very rough in places but I do get to use lots of other bad ones,” he said.
One was the road between Torrens Creek and Aramac in north Queensland along which he saw a grey nomad in a caravan.
The van man asked Towns if this was the shortest route to his destination of Winton.
“He was through most of his trip so I didn’t tell him it was the longest as his wife was with him,” Towns said.
He feels there are enough rest areas for truckies in Queensland.
When he does get extended time off Towns enjoys camping and fishing at various places.
“I catch some fish from time to time including yellow belly but they aren’t that good eating,” he said.
Unlike many truckies who travel the highways and byways, Towns said he isn’t into social media. “I don’t get into things like Facebook.”
When he finished his work on the trailers, Towns said he was heading to the Bohle Tavern just north of Townsville for a meal.
“They serve up good food and other truck drivers go there,” he said.
A genuine down to earth ocker Aussie is my best way to describe Towns and I really enjoyed my short yarn with him.