Rod's cover image
Rod

Rod Hannifey

Year of Award: 2016 Award State: New South Wales Transport And Infrastructure > Road
The NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust Churchill Fellowship to improve heavy vehicle road safety in Australia by researching best practice in other countries - UK, USA, Canada

I am a fulltime interstate b-double truck driver employed by Rod Pilon Transport, Dubbo, NSW.

My fellowship study tour started at the Convoy in the Park Truckshow at Donnington north of London where I was offered a small stand, had the opportunity to meet with the organisers, staff from Trucking Magazine, drivers and suppliers. I also met Alan Taylor of Taylors Transport International, followed on by a visit to their depot and some time spent on the road in one of their trucks. I visited the offices of the Road Haulage Association and plan to keep in touch with them.

I travelled to the USA starting in Seattle, travelled 6,000 miles visiting truck plants, the 3M Global Technology Centre in St Paul Minnesota, various truckstops and rest areas along the way. Travelled into Canada meeting with the staff of Road Today, Trucknews and Todays Trucking and was introduced to Bruce Outridge. Bruce is a respected driver, orator, educator and author in the trucking world there, spending time in his home and then visited a truckshow with him there.

Then back into the USA for further time on the road, truckstops and rest areas along with doing a tour of the Kenworth plant in Chillicothe. I was invited to attend the Breakfast of Champions for the American Trucking Association National Truck Driver and Step Van Championships and watched some of the competition. At this event I met with the CEO and other staff of the American Trucking Association, the head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association and other drivers and industry people.

I then travelled to and had a stand at a truckshow in Eau Claire Wisconsin, interviewing drivers and showing the banners I use in shows, depicting the “Truckies Top Ten Tips for Sharing the Road with Trucks” and “Australian Heavy Vehicle Combinations”.

Then a tour of Cummins Global Technology in Columbus, visited the largest truckstop in the world at Walcott Iowa and completed my trip with 3 days at the Great American Truckshow in Dallas Texas. I had a small stand, did interviews with Tony Justice a fulltime driver and music artist, The St Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, Trucker Buddy and drivers, among many others.

In conclusion, many of the problems in Australia are similar overseas, but the problems exist there and still have not been solved there either. I plan to go through all my written material collected, cement those relationships begun, pursue avenues to get further input from those I met. My aim is to disseminate the learnings now I have returned, but have started already with my blog, column in Owner Driver and a number of radio interviews in both the USA and Australia, podcasts in Canada and will aim to extend this where and when I can.

I will contribute to an enquiry by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, pursue the aim of setting up a program similar to Trucker Buddy in Australia, but as Truckie Mate and continue my efforts to improve road safety for truck drivers and those we share the road with.

Keywords: Trucks, road safety, road transport, drivers, transport industry, on road safety issues

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