A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A TRUCKIE
It goes without saying that conducting business during the pandemic has been challenging, to say the least. Despite this, businesses, trades, service providers and the trucks that support them have forged on with vigour across the country.
With truckies in our local transport and logistics industries working non-stop across the nation, we check in to see what a “Day in the Life” looks like for them.
Day in the Life of a… Food Transport Driver
South Australian business Deliver It Group offers a glimpse of how a food transport driver’s day typically pans out—without pause during COVID-19.
Deliver It run a variety of dry goods vans and refrigerated vehicles, including a fleet of light-duty trucks. They deliver fruit and veg, seafood, coffee, and even flowers for the major supermarkets and retailers.
“Half of our business is hospitality based—cafes, restaurants and the like—whilst the other half is supermarket based,” said owner Matt Draper.
“The hospitality side of the business witnessed a huge drop when COVID hit, while our supermarket deliveries were at a record high.
“We dedicate each of our trucks to a supplier every day. That truck will only see that customer’s products, which means we can deliver the best planning, best service and best tracking for them.
“Ninety per cent of our drivers will be taking care of the same customers, with the same truck, really taking ownership for of what they do.”
Day in the Life of a… Crane Truck Driver
“Your biggest task is our easiest challenge,” quips Bruno Simone from City Crane Trucks. Bruno runs a 50-strong fleet of crane and transport trucks-for-hire business in South Australia which caters to everything from government projects to mining, local transport, and construction.
They transport anywhere—metropolitan, country and even interstate—following COVID-19 health regulations 24/7 in accordance with government guidelines.
“Before starting City Crane Trucks it seemed like I was working 20 hours a day working as a truck driver, but I have a much better work-life balance now with the business,” said Bruno.
“We’ve put up around 85 per cent of the light poles around Adelaide, which is great in that sense that we’re helping to build up the city.
“A day as a driver for us might start off in the morning helping with a house renovation, then delivering an air conditioner, and then off to a scaffolding job by the afternoon.
“We put our drivers through three months of training and qualifications before we let them out on jobs… but even now, there’s a massive shortage of skilled drivers and crane operators, so we’re very involved with providing the best training and trucks with all the bells and whistles to attract staff.”
Day in the Life of a… Dangerous Goods Driver
Alpha Haulage founder, Daniel Johnson, keeps on rolling—rain, hail, shine or COVID-19. Having been a dangerous goods and hazardous chemicals delivery driver for over 23 years, Daniel knows a thing or two about adherence to strict health and safety regulations, which has no doubt been useful with the added pressures and demands of the pandemic.
Sodium hydroxide, sulphuric acid, hydrochloride and sodium hydrochloride are among the hazardous substances Daniel transports, and he clocks approximately 6,000 kilometres per week.
“I drive a 70-tonne GCM prime mover, which is graded for a B-double,” said Daniel.
“You have to be very mindful of where you’re going and what you’re carting, as there are places you’re not allowed to take dangerous goods for obvious reasons, such as the Burnley Tunnel in Melbourne.
“On the driving side, you have to be more cautious. But whether you’ve got water or chemicals on board, when you’re driving a big load, you have to be mindful of everything.
“As an owner-driver as well, you want to have a reliable truck with good brakes that you can get your money’s worth out of, I’ll tell you that much!”
Day in the Life of a… Driver Trainer
For more than 30 years, Paul Cotterill has been in the business of teaching people how to drive trucks, taking on the heavy responsibility of ensuring drivers know exactly what they’re doing before they’re out on the roads. He started Coachbiz, a heavy vehicle training and assessing business based in Wollongong, NSW.
With an entire day blocked out for one client, a typical day for Paul begins at 6:30 am and by day’s end—nine hours later—his client hopefully walks away with an upgraded truck licence and some of Paul’s expertise in safe driving practices.
“I don’t do this just for the money… I do it because I want to make a difference in the industry; I want to help put better drivers on the road,” Paul said.
“It’s quite a rewarding thing to be driving down the road and in the other direction, someone is waving at me because I licenced them a couple of years ago.”
And Paul always goes above and beyond to make sure his clients come away from his training with as much as driving experience as possible—Paul offers extra training hours for free, lining up jobs for those entering the sector and offering his advice over the phone if they ever need help.
Day in the Life of a… Waste Collector
For more than 30 years, Metro Waste co-owner, Anthony Callipari and two of his best mates, Carmelo Rositano and Justin Castelluzzo, have run Metro Waste. Engaged in an ever-evolving waste management process, they recently added a mini bin service to their waste and recycling arena.
“Our trucks work in dusty and dirty environments, and sometimes go off road… each truck will cover at least 600 kilometres each week, clocking anywhere between eight and 15 bin shifts,” said Anthony.
“They pick up waste from the bigger commercial jobs in and around the city, as well as bins around the neighbourhood. Although they are doing a tough job, our drivers operate in good trucks and good conditions.”
Safety is a priority for any driver. Check out our blog on active and passive truck safety systems here.