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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

Wanna be truckies

So you drive a diesel powered SUV, 4WD or ute, good for you!  Despite the diesel go-go juice, you don’t drive a truck.  Modern servos have diesel pumps available at most of the car bowsers, so I don’t understand why some drivers of diesel cars (yep, your SUV, 4WD or ute is still only classified as a car) insist on fueling up at the truck pumps.

Diesel powered cars fueling at the truck bowsers.

These ute drivers think they’re in a truck.

Maybe it’s the high-flow pump, designed to allow real truckies to fill over 500 litres in only a few minutes?  For a car that means 50 litres takes seconds instead of minutes, are people really that time poor?

Yesterday I was waiting for two utes in the “Trucks Only” bay, when a third ute reversed in front of me (the white Ford in the picture above) to get to the high-flow pump instead of the car bowsers that were free a few bays over.  I could have got out and told him what I thought, instead I just moved forward more so he had to reverse out as well.  He did get a dirty look from me though, so he knew he was in the wrong.  He was only a young kid (in a brand new Ford Ranger!) so hopefully he wont be so rude and selfish again.

Old Newspaper

Delivering to a house reno today I noticed newspaper screwed up in the old part of the frame and thought I'd check the date.

The Herald newspaper, August 16, 1968 – found screwed up in an old house frame

I was delivering to a house being renovated this week (my real job is driving a truck delivering roof and gutter) and noticed newspaper screwed up in the old part of the frame and thought I’d check the date.

I could see a Valiant car add on the first piece I pulled out, but as I tried to straighten out the page it just crumbled into a thousand pieces and blew out of my hand.  Being extra careful with the next page, I could see the corner showing the date which read “Page 30 – The Herald, Fri., Aug. 16 1968” and a column heading “Sandown Park Guide Cont.” (horse or greyhound racing guide).  That page started to crumble and fall apart too, but I managed to snap a couple of photos with my iPhone before it was no more.

This is from a time before I was born, so I cant help but try to imagine what it was like building a house in 1968, before there was modern workplace safety laws and when suburban Melbourne was a very different place.  I also wonder why builders 47 years ago stuffed screwed up newspaper into wall cavities – was that the only form of insulation?!

Delivering to a house reno today I noticed newspaper screwed up in the old part of the frame and thought I'd check the date.

Picture of the old newspaper date was originally posted to my Instagram.