Australian Roadtrain Driver
(Click on photos to enlarge)
The brand of truck we drive to Perth is European now, as International was taken over by Iveco here in Australia. Our usual run is just a B-double combination (Photos below), the prime mover ( tractor ) is a 2007 Iveco Powerstar 550 HP 16 SPD Automatic ( auto go magic as we like to call them NICKNAME FOR AUTOMATIC ).
We do a permanent run to Perth but at the moment they are getting us to do the occasional trip to Darwin. They are short of Roadtrain drivers.
The trip takes us around 45 hours driving time plus our rest breaks which add up to about 5 hours. Our run is depot to depot. We carry an assortment of general freight in curtain side trailers. We are a 2 up team and take it in shifts of 5 hrs. The driver that takes the first shift usually has the last run into our destination.
Our run starts in Toowoomba & we proceed to New South Wales town of Bogga Billa.
(Above Photos) Just showing that there is not a lot of road width for overtaking.
The road is Bitumen (asphalt) all the way but it leaves a lot to be desired. These photos (above) are between Moree & Bourke, New South Wales. It is quite rough and narrow in a lot of places. This you will see in the photographs above. The temperature here gets to about 42 C. (107 F.) and can get as cold as 12 C. (53 F.) which is near freezing for us here.
We do a check and top up the fuel. Then we proceed to the town of Moree where we make a turn toward the town of Collarenabri, Walgett, Brewarrina, Bourke & Cobar. We do a driver change at Collarenabri & then again at Cobar. The next change takes place at Broken Hill. We carry most of our meals with us as it can become quite expensive eating at Roadhouses ( truck stops ). This is an express run so time is a major concern for us as we have only a certain amount of time to reach our destination.
From Broken Hill we travel to Ood la Wirri where we have to stop for an inspection for fruit and vegetables. It is against the law to carry produce across some borders in Australia.
14 Kilometres past the check point we make a right turn and travel to Petersborough , Ooraroo , Wilmington then onto Port Augusta. Time on arrival in most times, around midnight. At Port Augusta we fuel up using the fuel we carry on board in belly tanks. We use this stop for a shower and a sit down meal.
At approximately 1.15 am we leave Port Augusta and head for the town of Kimba 2 hrs away and then onto Kyancutta. Our next driver change takes place at Ceduna. We take the time to wash the bugs off the windscreen and grab a Cuppa (cup of coffee) and sometimes a toasted sandwich.
We leave Ceduna head out towards the West Australian border which is a 5 hr run. We do a driver change, check tyres, make a cuppa and proceed onto the border checkpoint. Our next stop is the Truckstop at Balladonia which is at the end of the 90 mile straight .We arrive at around 6pm , have a quick Coffee break and hit the road again with a fresh driver.
(Left 2 Photos) Nundroo Road House, South Australia. (Far Right Photo) Taken near Nundoo. I used to pass this truck nearly every week when I was running up to the Gulf in Queensland. He was doing a lot of wide loads into a new mine there. This trip he was on his way back from Perth.
Just 25 km west of Yalata another accident involving a tourist and his runaway boat.
These photos are taken of what is called "the treeless plain", which stretches across the Nullabor plain to the border The coastal highway in South Australia.
These are taken west of Yalata, and shows one of the long straights we travel across.