While it was a good thing to be parked up and stretching our legs it wasn’t in a place we really wanted to be parked. If we’d have gotten to the point we were at and there was a huge stream of traffic behind us and ahead of us we’d have probably pulled over and parked anyway, but traffic wasn’t that bad and we were stopped purely because of an idiot in his Dunnydoor.
While technically the accident that happened with the driver of the Holden Commodore was all his fault and he caused no damage to our vehicle or load, only his own car, we were required to stop. Despite the laws of the country stating that leaving the scene of an accident is a crime if such an identifiable load and company didn’t stop in a situation like we were in we left ourselves open to unnecessary attention.
In other countries people sue for traffic violations whether they are right or wrong, in Australia it’s trial by media because there is only one thing those crappy current affairs shows love more than a hoon driver doing burnouts and that’s a rogue truckie going postal. Now obviously our incident was not our fault, even if there was something we could have done to change the situation everything we did was legal. However with stupid current affairs shows they only need to hear the work truck and they can spin the story to make it sound horrendous. They rarely change the course of justice with their bullshit stories but it’s the easiest case of bad advertising any company can get and with so many drivers these days scared of trucks it does nothing for our industry as a whole.
So as you can see there was really no other option than for us to stop and make sure that the idiot who was speeding, driving dangerously and not paying due attention was okay.
We had to wait about twenty minutes for Jimmy to catch up to us and when he did the story he had to tell was pretty much exactly as we all expected. The idiot driver was blaming us, we shouldn’t be allowed to transport such large loads on the road, trucks are evil, car drivers are all innocent victims. Having heard it all before Jimmy was having none of the driver’s bullshit, and suggested the police were called immediately to sort the situation out, strangely enough the driver stopped his bitching and decided he’d just get on with his life. Jimmy and the boys then took a few photos of the damage to the car and tree, the tyre marks on the road and gravel and a few shots of the car’s other damage not caused by the accident.
Although we weren’t strapped for time the thirty five minutes we’d spent on the side of the road was adding to our day and the more time we spent sitting there because of a stupid incident the less time we had up our sleeve in case something serious did happen.
Thankfully nothing else did happen on the remainder of the trip to Kenwood, well nothing else dramatic like the idiot in the Dunnydoor. We did meet up with a speeding ambulance running code 1, code 1 being lights and siren, coming towards us at one point but like all professional drivers we were able to work together and make the situation safe for all involved.
The ambulance did have to slow down a little bit, as did we, but because there was communication between us and common sense he was able to get around the truck without screeching brakes, without smoking tyres and without a hitting anything. The ambulance driver did have to put two wheels on the gravel, which is not something they like doing with critical patients on board but again communication and common sense got us both through without incident.
See, we can play well with others despite what hooning Dunnydoor drivers might think!
We pulled up at Kenwood with thirty minutes still on our curfew. Ironically enough from the wide open area on the side of the highway where we able to stop for the night we could nearly spit on a motel, but none of us would be staying there. As usual we’d all be hunkering down in the trucks with several guys running sentry in rotating shifts during the night.
By the time we’d done our end of day checks on the load and the trailers it was pushing 6pm which was obviously dinner time and just like at home where those bastard telemarketers choose dinner time to ring and interrupt we were just getting our cooking ready when my phone went off like a frog in a sock.
Caller ID on the phone screen told me immediately that it was the office calling. Although there was occasionally a reason that someone would be in the office at 6pm it wasn’t a regular thing, and with the majority of the working staff standing around me it limited the number of people who would be calling.
While I was hoping that when I picked up the phone the voice I would hear on the other end would be Danni, one of the girls from the office, I had a very strong suspicion that I would be let down. Sure enough I was let down because the only voice I heard was that of Henry, our boss and company owner.
Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t a case of me hating our boss but there was no escaping the fact that he didn’t often ring just to say hello or shoot the breeze, he rang for a reason and at 6pm at night it wasn’t often a good reason.
“We’ve got a problem.” I heard Henry say after greeting me.
“What sort of problem?” I asked.
Henry only said two words and I knew exactly what he was talking about.
Previous Heavy Haulage story here.