Terrific videos aren't they? I know it's stupid, but gee, I wish I lived then... ( I know, I know, yeah yeah, too hard, no forklifts, lots of road deaths..) but how simple were things?
Imagine poor old mate in the Foden or any other of those old bangers, with bugger all brakes, up and down the gears like a bloody yo yo, hot, cold, geez. Hard work.
There was a video on the net which seems to have gone missing, it was something like "hoofs horns and highways" or similar- just old footage of old trucks, similar to these, with music overplaying the top.
Let me know if anyone finds it please!
When we had our business (Insuring Prestige and Performance cars) we had clients die in car accidents. Never easy to deal with but it had to be done.
The only make of Prestige vehicle we never had a client die in was a Mercedes. Yep even VOLVO drivers died on us.
When Helen was pregnant with our first child we purchased a Mercedes, from our Insurance portfolio, that had been stolen and recovered as a family vehicle as we lived on a killer road (Old Northern Road in Sydney's North west) and have driven them ever since.
Nowadays any car can be a safe as a Benz but there was a time when they were the measure of the best safety.
Swishy and Zuffen I mostly drive my Mercedes. It is a 1996 model, does that count? Whatever I drive I always use the seat belt, even in my old Morrisses! If they were not fitted as original, I add 'em, along with modern style turn indicators.
I have my shoulder to the wheel,
my nose to the grindstone,
I've put my best foot forward,
I've put my back into it,
I'm gritting my teeth,
I think a lot of the past is like women having babies. There is some part of human nature that selects the good bits for keeping and the bad bits are forgotten unless they are life changing disaster events.
Having been a truckie for a very short time in my life compared to most blokes on the forum I can only go by limited experiences in the mid-60's. At first glance I think how free I was at 18 years old to take jobs nobody else wanted the week before Xmas to go anywhere and everywhere, away from home sometimes for a month or more with no family responsibilities.
Then I run through a typical trip and see how unsustainable it would have been with a maturing life and increasing sensible safety regulations.
A common trip for me as a Hartridge subbie would have been to appear at GMH Dandenong for a load of car parts for Brisbane. You would arrive and spend half an hour lifting your tarps off the trailer and dragging the 6 foot gates out of their racks ready for the fork lift. Gradually during the morning (either hot as hell or raining in Melbourne) the truck would be loaded with you jumping up and down, stacking, roping and lifting gates into position. Because there was always another truck beside you the fork would not be in your continuous service or some bits had not arrived etc so there was always waiting. Normally finished by mid-afternoon.
Then if you were lucky the fork driver would lift you and the tarps up on the load. If you were in some places with no fork you would have to get the heavy tarps up and over by yourself. By about 3.00 or 4.00pm you would be finished. Climbing into the cab after a day's heavy work for most people, either sweaty and dirty or wet and sticky I would point the Commer into the Melbourne traffic to fight my way across town to head north.
In the days before foolproof (no such thing) checking and tracking of times you would run your log book with typing carbon paper ("What is carbon paper, Grandad?) between the pages because you had to press really hard compared to pencil carbon to make a mark on the second page. Of course you used a pencil not a Biro. It has been 50 years since I had a Victorian licence but I wrote it down so many times 3747323 is imprinted on my memory.
It took 30 hours driving to get from Melbourne to Brisbane via the company banned Pilliga Scrub (not too bad because it was sandy soil) and the horrendous rough dirt Newell Highway section between Moree and Boggabilla. The Commer carried enough fuel to do the whole trip and once I got started I only stopped for a pee, erasing the pencil entries in the log book and rewriting each section, this time pressing hard enough to be shown on the copy page, the "correct" times and stops. I used to average about 35mph in real life but 45mph in logbook details.
I might stop for a milk shake and a pie but generally I would pull into the Hartridge depot at Annerley in Brisbane in the early hours of the second morning. Sometimes I would have to pull over for a 20 minute "power nap" somewhere between Goondiwindi and Warwick when I started hallucinating from two days without sleep. Anyhow, regardless of what time I pulled in, after 3 hours sleep, I would have to be at the GMH factory to unload at 7.30 to leave enough time to get to my next load for Melbourne/Perth/Adelaide or wherever.
I tried the Methedrine helpers a couple of times and although they worked fantastically I could not come to grips with sleeping for 15 hours, and alarming my Mum, when I got home after 48 hours without sleep.
Very few sleeper cabs back then. The Commer was great because the seat went right across and with a foam mattress you had a full size bed. I have no idea how the blokes in the skinny cab Inters, Macks etc got on trying to sleep sitting up, it must have been horrendous.
I got sick of working 90 hours a week and joined the Army.
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Quite realistic Lang, that's how it was.
That number looks more like a Regimental number to me.
Mine is 3797934, National Service 1970 from Victoria.
Licence in 1964 was 1659092. They have since added a 0
at the start and an 8 on the end. Good article, Paul.
Interesting comments there Lang.
If you were to believe half the blokes stories, especially which corps or branch of service they were in, you'd wonder why anyone else other than SAS would be even needed!
Probably one of the most blatant cases of misrepresentation was the bloke who rose to be president of an in inner Melbourne sububan branch who went years before being detected. Needless to say he was turfed out in disgrace eventually.
Makes you wonder why they would even bother when with the FOI we have nowadays, just about anyones records can be accessed.
Still, probably not all that different to some of the BS artists in the transport game, the multi million milers whom we have all met, the ones who have worked for that many transport companies they must be 187 years old!
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