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Adelaide Road Trip

Adelaide Road Trip

My 13 year old son, Brad, is really into football and Essendon in the AFL.  As a treat to him, we made the trek over to Adelaide during the Easter long weekend to see Essendon play the Crows.  I’ve said many times that I don’t mind a good road trip, so a quick interstate trip behind the wheel was a treat for me too.

As I’ve revealed in the last couple of blog posts, I’ve discovered a new interest in making videos for YouTube, so this was a great opportunity to make a short movie with Brad.  Check out our Road Trip video below.  At 15 minutes the film is a bit longer than I would have liked, but it tells the story of two days on the road, budget accomodation and a loosing football match.

I’ve been driving a new Mack Superliner

I’ve been driving a new Mack Superliner

Mack Superliner with a load of roller-doors

With a few of our trucks in the workshop, there’s been a brand new Mack Superliner “loaner” truck at work.

The Superliner is very nice to drive and it rides very well, but most trucks do when they’re brand new.  I think the woodgrain dash panel is overkill in a truck, I guess it’s supposed to portray luxury, but trucks are made to work.

I was surprised to see both a traditional AM CB radio along with the more common UHF.  These days the UHF CB is the communication tool everyone uses on the road.  I thought the AM radios had faded away over a decade ago.

The 600 plus horsepower was nice, but the reality for me is that the Mack Superliner is like most modern trucks.  It’s comfortable and gets the job done.  Because this rig is brand new, it still looks really nice with it’s clean paintwork and shiny chrome.

The reason for this post?  To upload some of the photos I took while working with the new Mack, which I’ve also added to my “Trucks I’ve Driven” gallery.

Mack Superliner being unloaded at a construction site

Don’t swerve for rabbits

Don’t swerve for rabbits

I’ve been working the afternoon shift on the road lately, most days that involves driving a semi trailer to Albury and back to Melbourne.

Around midnight on Tuesday I was approaching Craigieburn, southbound, and see the head and tail lights of a car spinning in the distance. Then nothing.  I slow down, wondering if I had imagined it because I couldn’t see where the car had gone.  It wasn’t until I was almost on top of it that I saw the black Nissan sideways across the Hume Highway.  If I hadn’t noticed the spin in the distance, I would not have slowed down and probably t-boned the Nissan at 100mh, killing the driver.

I stopped the truck in the lane, with all my lights flashing so no one else would run into it, and check on the driver.  He said he had swerved to miss a rabbit!  I told him he should have just run over it, which is exactly what the police said when they turned up.

Thankfully the guy was ok, but his car was a mess.

This was the fourth time in my truck driving career that I’ve seen a car spin on a perfectly good piece of road.  My advise to anyone (especially my son Josh, who is learning to drive) is to not swerve at highway speeds for animals on the road.  For small animals, like a rabbit or echidna, you could usually just run over them with little damage.  For larger animals, like kangaroos, brake heavily and brace for impact – you will still do less damage than yanking hard on the steering wheel at 100kmh.

Car spin and crash on Hume Hwy after swerving to miss a rabbit.

Spin and crash on the Hume Hwy

Back to work

Back to work

Isn’t it ironic that in my previous blog post I wrote about publishing regular blog posts, “at least weekly”, but then didn’t publish anything for two weeks.

Over on Vic Pics, I went on a big photo taking road trip in Western Victoria on the last day of my Christmas holidays, but have only managed to write and publish two posts that weekend. Followed by nothing for over a week.

So what went wrong?  I went back to work.  Working afternoon shift driving trucks, I haven’t been able to find a good time either before or after work to concentrate on my photography or blogging.  When I work a regular day shift, I can come home at a decent time and work on my hobbies after dinner.  When I’m starting work at lunch time, I’m a little reluctant to get stuck into a project while keeping an eye on the clock to make sure I’m not late.  I then get home after midnight, when I’m too tired to concentrate for too long in-front of the computer.

I will be on afternoon shift for the next few weeks, driving a semi up and down the Hume Highway to Albury.  Over 300 kilometres of freeway each way is good for catching up on audio podcasts, but add in loading and unloading times and before you know it I’ve clocked up a 12 plus hour day.  I will really need to be disciplined to squeeze in some blogging and photo processing hours around work while being mindful of fatigue management on the road.

Stay tuned, more blog posts coming soon!

Stramit Mack truck loaded with Iplex PVC coils