driving, humor, sleepless, Stories, thoughts, truck, writing

Learning to Fly Drive.

How did you learn to drive?

For me I was like a lot of country kids I got to drive motorbikes, tractors and whatever else was around from a young age. Before I was legally allowed to drive on the road I knew how to control a wide variety of vehicles. When I finally became legal to drive at 17 (learners permit with licensed drive in passenger seat) I was taught how to drive by an extremely conservative driver. Of course when I was finally old enough to legally drive on the road by myself I did what most teenagers do, I drove like a racing driver, but things change.

I learnt that on my nightly drive home if I cut every corner I saved more than 300 kilometres a year. Given that after dark, which half my trips were done in, I drove in the middle of the road to avoid animals, cutting corners wasn’t a huge issue and despite it sounding unsafe oncoming headlights could easily be seen, so unless some idiot was driving around without headlights then the idiot cutting corners was not an issue.

Added to my distance saving ways I also took on Dad’s conservative methods of driving, saving fuel, coasting when able, not racing to a red light, not riding the brakes etc etc. I know it pisses some people off and quiet frankly I don’t care, the roads are not theirs to dictate how I must drive and anyone wishing to argue will find a brick wall to bounce their words off. It’s like religion, don’t push your beliefs on me, and don’t push your driving thoughts on me. I get told I drove slow enough to drive Miss Daisy and I really don’t care.

Interestingly enough when I drove trucks I used to get told for driving too fast and too erratic. Now I wont deny I didn’t drive the trucks like a maniac at times, I got paid for a minimum twelve hours even if I did the job in eight driving like a maniac was money for nothing. However the one thing in common between driving a truck like a Formula 1 driver and driving a car like Miss Daisy was in the back, I’ve never had an at fault accident in either form of transport. I’ve hit plenty of animals but I’ve only been in one accident and I was the front car of five rear ended at a set of traffic lights on Christmas day when a drugged up fuckwit decided he didn’t need to stop at a red light like the rest of us.

So where was I headed? Oh yeah how did you learn to drive? As I stated I learnt in the paddocks but driving a truck was a bit different. Our neighbour had a twelve tonne flatbed with an extended tray capable of carting seventeen tonnes (not legally), it was an old ‘73 Ford and essentially it was just a glorified car. It had a larger engine than a car and we used to use it to cart cow tucker but it was a standard six speed and required no special license to drive (as it was registered before it was extended). When driving one had to be aware of the rear overhang especially when turning but it really wasn’t much different to driving a car but it was the first truck I drove.

So how did I learn to drive a semi? The easy way?

We were in the bush, we’d loaded thirty five tonne of logs on the back and our neighbour (owner of said truck) and my dad got in the ute while I was watering the trees and drove off. Of course I heard the ute leave but figured there was only one occupant, however when I got back to the truck and realised I was alone I did what anyone in my position would have done. I got on the radio and abused the shit out of the two of them, to which they replied.

“You want to get home learn how to drive it!”

I guess there really is no substitute for experience and when one gets their articulated license through the appropriate channels they are taught to drive with a partial load, but they also have a licensed trainer sitting beside them. I was left in a ‘74 model International Harvester with a transplanted engine and after market 16 speed road ranger gear box and about three tonne overweight, about the only rule I wasn’t going to break was to be pissed behind the wheel, but that’s only because I didn’t have anything to drink.

Obviously I survived the situation and got that truck out of there with it’s load and everything else in tact. However looking back I really shouldn’t have been too surprised that it happened given that about three months before my teaching lesson the neighbour and I left Dad standing beside the same truck with a similar load on it laughing at his rude comments over the radio.

So why did I write this? I have no idea really. What I thought about writing didn’t happen and I wasn’t creative enough to come up with a new story…or did I? Guess the real facts are up to you to decide.


  1. Killer Ninja

    After some irresponsible rear ended my car one night , we found out the other driver was texting on the phone. I was out of work for a month , so when we got a rental hertz while my car was being fixed, the driver who pick us up to bring us to their office got an earful from me. He was using his cellphone texting while driving!. I always drive conservatively, it could be some one else’s mother, father or child on the road. Someone’s waiting for them to come home safely.

    • I have to admit my slower driving really does come from laziness. Obviously I want to get home every day/night and I don’t want to go through the BS of a wrecked car but at the end of the day I really am just too lazy to drive fast and drive with the added effort of trying to race around others. I also don’t drive around getting stressed about how others drive. I might swear at some people but I don’t get upset and dwell on a person making mistake. Dash cams might be good for insurance but they’ve also made some drivers the biggest nit pickers who only seem to drive to point out fault in others.

  2. Well of course I loved this and am saying so even though you were a bit harsh on my post. But that’s what we’re here for, right? To read others’ opinions even if we don’t agree? How boring would THAT be?

    • I wasn’t harsh I was honest. People whinging about Trump need to get over it. Their constant whinging makes them no better than the other side whinging because there is whinging. On a world stage which American’s want to remind the rest of the world they control they look like a bunch of brats whose team lost and they can’t handle it.

      • Really? Have you listened to the things he says? No compassion at all and no tact. Oh, that’s right, you don’t.

        • No one is denying the guy is a moron, so is every leader we’ve had for 10 years. But constantly whinging because he got voted in only makes people look like they chose the loosing team and can’t handle it without crying. No one is saying embrace the guy but he’s your president, like him or not there is no point fighting against him.

          • Yes there is. It’s already been six months, soon it will be three years.

            • Oh diddums. Three years of people whinging on social media because a guy makes a typo on twitter. Three years of whinging because their president, the guy who was voted in on the system they’ve supported (or refused to support) for years does things that don’t directly benefit them. Three years of crying from people whose least hated choice didn’t win the race.

              That’s unity!
              The louder we whinge the stronger we are!!

              • You’re missing the point. He’s inciting the worst in people.

                • No I’m not missing the point. America is divided, half are whinging because Trump got in, the other half are whinging because there is people whinging that Trump got it.

                  There is nothing to say that Hilary wouldn’t have done a thousand things wrong by now, or worse sat on her arse and done nothing like the last guy did.

                  • I wouldn’t have voted for her either. Obama did not sit on his ass. I’m not trying to change your mind so I’m done talking about it.

                    • Obama sat on his arse for so long, the majority of his first term promises did not get fulfilled and he rebirthed them to get in a second time. Too many people were blind to the policies and not the person.

                      American politics is no different to any other country, people think their crying makes a difference, it doesn’t it just makes the people look weak.

              • It’s not sour grapes whining it’s a call to people to stand up for civil liberties and basic human quality of life.

                • It’s all based around whinging. Everything the guy does should be scrutinised (typos and other such shit aside) but that is not what the vocal section of America is doing it. Look at it from the outside and the majority of the world see it as whinging, loosing the game and crying because of it.

                    • If only more people felt the same way and stopped with the whinging. One doesn’t have to like their political leader but a mature person doesn’t take their bat and ball and run off crying just because they lost either.

                      Think about how many time you’ve heard stories about all the animals in Australia that want to kill you, think about how many times people overseas have claimed us Aussies should speak like Crocodile Dundee. Well over here we are beginning to think American’s have nothing better to do than whinge about Trump and if we run into an Yank all we are going to get is tears about how bad the guy is because that’s what the publicity wagon is showing us. Obviously it hard to see that from within the wall where the storm is created but it’s happening and the more American’s are seen to be whinging the more it’s going to happen. You might have giving up replying but don’t give up thinking and don’t let one way of thinking cloud your judgement.

  3. I learnt to drive in dad’s three on the tree Cortina in the Sale cattle yards and the knob reserve in Strady. I did some stupid things in my youth but these days I’m a pretty conservative driver.

    • I’m a lazy driver 🙂
      I got my last speeding ticket just down the road from the Sale cattle yards about 12 years ago. Sale is a terrible town at night now seems like the night clubbers just want to go out and ruin the town. The number of idiots I had to deal with at the Mobil servo was more than in any other town in Victoria.

      • Not a good endorsement. I’ve heard there’s a huge ice problem down there now. Shame cos it was a nice place growing up. Seems to have really gone to the dogs now. I was down there just last weekend, maintenance on mum’s place before we sell it. Lost her last year and probably my last tie to Sale.

        • TBH ice is everywhere and it causes problems but alcohol has been a bigger issue in places like Morwell and Sale for years. Most ice addicts are already drinkers.

          Sale is still as good as any other town in the daylight it’s just the night life that is the problem. 🙂

          Although I have to say I haven’t been to Sale since I stopped delivering there, we bypass the place these days.

          Sorry to hear about your mum.

          • Thanks LP.
            Well, I guess my days of night clubbing in Sale are well and truly over (thank God) so I wouldn’t know about the night life. I’m off to bed. It’s been nice to chat.

            • My days of night clubbing ended when I left the band in the 90’s and started driving trucks 6 nights a week 🙂

              Yeah it’s been fun catching up with another Aussie 🙂

              • Oh, you’re an ex muso?

                • Yeah, I sung for a little while but spent more time organising gigs and managing bands.

                  • A different life to now hey? Funny cos I’ve just rediscovered my guitar and voice again, just recently.

                    • Yeah these days my kids tell me off for singing, but that just makes me do it worse 🙂

                    • Oh I get that too! G’night

                    • Good morning

                    • It’s not a bad morning I don’t think (although I haven’t looked outside). How is it up your way?

                    • Cold but sunny. I’ve just come back from walking the dog. Invigorating to say the least.

                    • I used to get up at 5:30 every morning and do an hour on the bike but I’m too lazy now. We’ve got sun out there which will no doubt hurt the eyes on first contact when it’s time for the school run but I’m not hopeful for a continued sunny day.

                    • My morning starts at 6 but no way would I get on a bike. Too many hills around here (and I’m too lazy now anyway).

                    • My bike was in the garage…actually still is but I can’t be bothered riding it. I used to ride a bike on the road occasionally but I chose my track carefully to avoid traffic. I’m awake by 6 most days but too lazy to exercise 🙂

                    • Mm, I know what you mean. My morning exercise consists of walking Harry and that’s about it. Off to play guitar now and compose some music. Have a good day

                    • Have a good day, I’m trying to figure out something silly to write to appease the masses and masses of fans I have…all three of them 🙂

                    • Have fun with that. Maybe I’ll read it too and then I can become your fourth fan

                    • I always have fun with writing. Even when it’s a hard slog writing novels which publishers don’t want I still treat all writing as a bit of fun. I’m my biggest fan, if other people read it that’s just a bonus. 🙂 Have a good day.

                    • Good for you. I feel much the same. Enjoy. Hopefully talk again.

                    • I’m always here if you want to chat 🙂

                    • I have a Tim Tam in front of me, if only our poor American friends knew what such things were.

                    • Oh yum, I do but I s’pose its gone now.

                    • There is probably three or four packets in the pantry. Coles has been off loading those ‘special’ flavours lately because they aren’t selling. Some of them aren’t great but a packet of Tim Tams for $1 is hard to ignore.

                    • Absolutely. I’ve just gorged on three of those round Lindt balls. Feeling like a big fat piggy now.

                    • My wife is the one that buys all the chocolate here. I wont deny that I eat it but I’m more likely to buy things like chips and salami than chocolate.

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