Trucking in Western Australia
A day in the life of Dags the Drover
The last few hubs I have posted have been about our move to W.A. to build a new life and financial recovery following the failure of our boating buisness through the global financial crisis.
And, I've been pretty quiet as far as posting hubs are concerned. However, we're back on track and turning a wheel as they say. Infact, since being allocated "my own" truck two and half weeks ago, I've done a few k's. I think the speedo was on 683,000 odd k's when I got in it, when I returned home today, it had just clicked over 696,111 k's. So, thats about 13,500 k's in about 15 working days with about 4 nights at home. Mrs Dags loves it!! Actually, I'm not sure if she loves the fact that I'm home occasionaly, or, that I'm away a lot!!
Anyway, I have a couple of short videos of life on the road and some of the things I do and trucks I meet.
News Flash....... At this point I have not been able to work out how to up load video from my own camera to this site....... so, just a couple of stills will have to do for now.... and if any one has any ideas I'd be greatfull.
Now, just a bit about this particular job. I loaded at Kalgoorlie at 7:00am and was out of the depot by about 8:30 am after all the appropriate paperwork etc and on my way north. Four hundred k's on the bitumen through Menzies to Leonora and then turning East to Laverton on the edge of the Western Desert.
I had to ring the mine site before leaving Laverton to confirm my arrival time while I was still in phone range and heading out the 100 k's of dirt. My Boss rang me first to say there was a complication at the other end and to call him back.
For some reason they could not unload me immediately so the day trip had just turned into an over-night job. No problem for me..... I get payed more for nights spent in the truck!!
It took two and half hours to travel the 100 k's poking along between 20 and 60 k's an hour because of the road conditions.
I duely arrived on site after following the mud map I was given to find this remote site, and was shown the Exploration Camp where I could get a shower and they'd pick me up at 5:30 pm to take me down to the mess for a feed.
So, after a shower and a good feed, I bedded down in my sleeper cab for a good nights sleep and they would call past at 6:00 am next morning to take me down to unload.
I rose early (4:45am) the next morning, which was infact yesterday, to breakfast myself and do my pre-start checks on the truck, fire her up, pump up air and was just getting a cup of coffee at the camp kitchen at 5:30 am when the boys turned up.... but I was ready and off we went.
I was unloaded and on my way home by 6:30 am. Another 2.5 hours return on the dirt back to Laverton and onto the bitumen and four hours driving time back to Kalgoorlie. We have to take a manditory minimum log book break of 15 minutes within every 5 hours. Of course we can stop for longer and I often climb into the bunk and have an afternoon nap for an hour or so if I'm tired. I arrived back at Kal at about 1:30 pm and put about $1500 worth of fuel in the truck before returning to the depot.
When I got back to the depot in Kalgoorlie, the Boss was just writing up the next day's loads and suggested I take a 24 hour break because I was heading straight back to the same site tomorrow. This time, to load at mid-day and a planned over-night at the site which would mean I should arrive back in Kal just in time for the work Christmas party on Saturday afternoon.
I was glad of the 24 hours because I was feeling a bit weary by this stage. Also, I had not been able to contact Mrs Dags to tell her I would not be home for tea or bed, but the Boss was able to catch her after she finished work at 5:00pm and let her know.
It's good clean work that is not hard and I'm getting paid to see some of the most amazing country in Australia. I love the fact I don't know what each week will bring and where I'll end up going. I love not being the one who is responsible and just have to do as I'm told. It's easy to do a good job and look after the gear. Taking it steady on rough roads means less wear and tear on the truck and helps add to the company Christmas bonus!! I don't get absolutely worn out like I used to when I owned my own truck 20 years ago. Now, I get paid regardless and some else pays the fuel, tires and maintenance bills.
I just love it!
Cheers... Dags the Drover