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Truckie's day-to-day fear
WHEN experienced truck
driver Darryl Fisher gets
out on the road, he often
wonders if he will return
safely to his family at the
end of his shift.
The Gawler West resident
said his biggest worry on the
road was the actions of other
motorists, who go to elabo-
rate lengths to ensure they
are not held up by his heavy
"I'm a family man, married
with five children, some of
the stuff I see on the road...
it's unbearable, sometimes,"
"It's a constant struggle to
maintain that I'm going to be
"At the end of the day, I'm
going to work to provide for
my family and I want to go
home safe just as much as ev-
"Everyone needs to relax,
you might save a minute of
your life (getting around a
truck) but you are risking
your life at the same time."
Mr Fisher has even installed
a dash camera on his rig so he
can capture and report the
disturbing actions of some
"I've fitted a dash cam pure-
ly for that reason, the danger
can scare you at times," he
"I've seen plenty of near
misses, I have several on re-
cord on my dash cam, al-
"People are toying with
Mr Fisher works for MSP
Transport at Dry Creek and
has been in the industry for
eight years, with his main
transport routes consisting
of metro Adelaide and the
Barossa Valley areas.
He said other motorists of-
ten did not appear educated
enough on how to handle
situations involving heavy
"When drivers get their
licences at a young age, they
have got to do a heavy-vehicle
awareness course," he said.
"The lengths people go to
get around a heavy vehicle,
instead of just waiting 30 sec-
onds or a minute to be safe
about it, are crazy.
"They just have no patience
these days, at all.
"People don't seem to un-
Regional Transport Train-
ing Services manager Brian
Barnett, who educates truck
drivers and helps them get
their heavy-vehicle licences,
said there needed to be a
greater understanding be-
tween car and truck drivers.
"Car drivers need to un-
derstand that at some stage
trucks are going to cause them
to slow down and maybe wait
a little," he said.
"Just be patient...if they
want to travel safely on the
road, they need to understand
what we are trying to do."
Mr Fisher added that his
work requirements had be-
come better regulated over
"The policing of our work
hours, filling out all the run-
ning sheets, it has become a
lot more compliable, basi-
cally," he said.
"You can't get away with
too much, it's all governed re-
"If we can't deliver a load
on time because we have to
have a break, we have a break,
there's no getting around it at
-- Carl Pfeiffer
THE future prosperity of the
road transport industry in the
Barossa and Gawler regions
depends on maximising the
efficiency of freight vehicles,
according to several experts.
This would mean less trucks on the
roads carrying larger loads, reducing
the amount of movements the heavy
vehicles make and, therefore, mini-
mising the risk of accidents.
SA Road Transport Association
executive director Steve Shearer said
residents in the region needed to un-
derstand that increasing the use of
B-doubles on local roads was actu-
ally a good thing, safety-wise.
"Some people say, understandably,
but naively, 'wouldn't the Barossa
be great if there no trucks in it',"
"It would be great, but it would
also be dead as an economy and as a
"The challenge is, how do we pro-
vide the most efficient and safe road
"The best thing...is to do it with
the least number of trucks necessary
and the least number of movements
necessary, which means you maxi-
mise the use of the high-productiv-
"You basically encourage things
like B-doubles to reduce the number
of truck movements."
Mr Shearer said the challenge was
to change the perception of people
when it came to trucks on the road.
"People will say 'but that (encour-
aging the use of B-doubles) is not
safe'," he said.
"An interesting government fig-
ure, released in April last year, shows
75 per cent of the fatal and serious
truck-car accidents in the previ-
ous five years were
caused by the mo-
torist, not the
need to mi-
least trucks and least truck move-
ments on the road for the freight
that has to be moved.
"By optimising the amount of
high-productivity vehicles, you mi-
nimise the amount of interaction
between cars and trucks."
Mr Shearer said there could be
substantial road safety gains and less
congestion on the road.
"You just have to overcome the
false impression people have that
big trucks are dangerous," Mr
Regional Transport Training Ser-
vices manager Brian Barnett said
stricter legislation and better edu-
cation meant truck drivers were
able to drive more safely on the
"There are resources everywhere,
online and available for educating
drivers," he said.
"There is legislation for the chain
of responsibility and fatigue man-
"There is more pressure on every-
one to do the right thing.
Truck issues will, undoubtedly, be
a talking point at the Barossa Re-
gion Freight Forum, being held later
The forum targets transport users,
providers and government and will
cover freight transport issues and
opportunities covering the Barossa,
Light, Gawler and Mallala local gov-
It will be held on Wednesday, June
18, at the Vine Inn Hotel, Mur-
ray Street, Nuriootpa, from 9am to
To register, email craig@barossa
Bigger loads on our roads,
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