I SPY: Respect for fallen truckies
IT WAS in the early hours of one morning but still dark during in mid-February when several tourists pulled up in a van near the Australian Truck Drivers Memorial Wall at Tarcutta in NSW.
They got out of their van with weird writing on the sides and several decided on a call of nature not far from the memorial.
Two truckies, who have each spent numerous hours in their sleeper boxes, had woken and were yarning as they preparing to head off.
They saw the overseas visitors relieving themselves and immediately told them it was not appropriate and explained the importance of the area where memorials for many deceased truckies are.
"Have some respect," one of the truckies told them as was reported to Spy by another.
A member of the tourists explained they knew nothing about the memorial and apologised for their ignorance.
Tarcutta is in south-west NSW and a change over point for truckies driving between Sydney and Melbourne.
THERE is a South Australian truckie who drives interstate a lot who many reckon is a dead ringer of actor Daniel Craig, who plays super spy James Bond.
Craig is a 49-year-old Englishman who has played 007 in four movies over the past 10 years.
He pulled up at a roadhouse parking area
and Spy overheard some drivers nearby discussing that he was a genuine clone of 007.
Spy asked the gent if others had suggested he may be 007 filming a new movie Down Under.
"I do get told a lot that I look a lot like Daniel Craig and I just wish I received his pay packet," he said.
I asked him if Spy could snap the photo of him but he declined the offer in a courteous manner because he didn't want lots more mistaking him for the famous man.
Truckie. Humble truckie.
OVER the past year half a dozen truckies have told Spy they had suffered from a medical condition known as "pilonidal sinus".
They were all reluctant to go into the intimate details about the condition, except to say it is an infection under the skin between the human buttocks and which usually requires surgery.
Whilst Spy was waiting in a doctor's surgery for a dressing on a minor leg wound, he saw a fit young fellow aged in his 20s go into a room where he received some attention from a nurse.
"What do you do for a living? Having this usually occurs when you are a truck driver or ride horses," the nurse said as she mentioned he had pilonidal sinus.
As somebody who knows little about such things Spy checked it on Google and discovered this:
A pilonidal sinus is an infected tract under the skin between the buttocks. Treatment commonly involves an operation. After the operation you should keep the area free of growing hair by regular shaving or other means of hair removal.
Drones ease boredom
TRUCKIES around the country have to sit around for many hours due to fatigue management laws and some you talk to complain of being bored.
Spy hears that numerous truckies are now easing that boredom by using miniature drones for entertainment.
A couple Spy spoke to said they received the drones as Christmas gifts and added they cost between $1000 and $2000 from various big stores.
Spy was given a demonstration and the remote controlled drone with small wings and a camera.
It could fly several hundred metres above the ground and send back great images to the operator's smartphone.
There are laws governing where the drones can be used, but they certainly provide recreation for a reasonable price.
Co-operation between drivers
A GENUINE case of co-operation between two truckies who didn't know each other occurred at historical Ross in Tasmania.
Spy was among a large number of customers sitting outside the popular wood fired bakery in the main street on January 12 as the driver of an Isuzu was delivering food for PFD.
As he filled a trolley from the back of the Isuzu an Iveco pulled up behind him which was there to empty a row of wheelie bins.
The PFD lad saw him and immediately walked a few metres to the Veolia driver and told him he would move his light rig.
He did that and the bins were emptied. A large group of tourists who saw the incident remarked it was a gesture of goodwill.
"I don't like to see people held up - especially fellow truckies," the PFD driver told Spy.
Wherever you travel you see truckies looking after each other but when you one driver demonstrates bad habits, it's Spy's observation that he is soon pulled into line.
SEVERAL truckies were sitting in an eatery at Sydney Airport waiting for a boarding call for a flight to Tasmania for work when they spotted a lady from a nearby table.
A couple of minutes later they noticed she had left her bag hanging over the back of a seat.
One of them reported the incident to an eatery staff member and was told "we are not allowed to touch bags that are left".
People at a nearby table were heard expressing concern that some nasty may have been left in the bag and somebody contacted airport security.
It wasn't long before a security officer arrived and opened the bag to find the identity of the owner.
He reassured customers that the bag would have been screened before entering the airport and that it was simply somebody who had accidentally left the bag behind.
Holiday to remember
SPY was envious of a well-known tipper truck operator who had just returned from a trip to Fiji.
The gent was outside a Dan Murphy's outlet on February 22 and parked next to Spy when he answered his mobile phone and the conversation was easily overheard.
He told his mate that he had bought a tipper truck in Sydney and was looking for a tractor to add to his fleet.
But it when he mentioned the Fiji visit that really had Spy interested.
"My bar tab in for a week in Fiji was $1900 and the GST and other taxes over there are high but the exchange rate on the Aussie dollar was good," he said.
Old Spy enjoys more than a liberal sprinkling of amber fluid and is keen to see cheap flights to Fiji so he can visit the Pacific paradise.
And speaking of holidays, more and more truckies are selecting exotic destinations to take the cheese and kisses during those rare breaks from the road.
One old mate selects Hawaii regularly, and Bali is another popular destination.