Rod Hannifey




Rod Hannifey NSW Delegate



Posted 7/12/2015

Goodaye all. Last month I had the President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) travel with me from Melbourne to Ballarat for the welcome to the Local Government Roads Congress. I had approached the ALGA quite some time ago and the Roads Congress seemed the ideal opportunity for a trip.

 Troy Pickard is the Mayor of Joondalup in Western Australia and had never before been in a large truck. It took a number of months to set up the trip, with part of the fun, being that the event was at Sovereign Hill in Ballarat. I initially asked the ALGA people about b-double access, but it was only getting very close to the event that the trip was confirmed, to follow an ALGA Board meeting at Melbourne Airport and so I started chasing whether it was b-double friendly. In the end, I would need a permit for only 100m of road.

 I contacted NHVR and had to submit an application for me as Truckright for the TIV and would certainly like to thank them for their help in guiding me and in getting it through. The permit had quite a rider from the Ballarat Council, saying I would be held responsible for any damage at all and in any way whatsoever. The roundabout near the event, being on a gazetted b-double route was pretty tight, but we managed to get there and get in and out, without even scuffing a gutter.

 During the trip, Troy made comment on the impact into the truck of some road irregularities and did so again in his address to the gathering. I was asked to speak and did so for 5 minutes or so, highlighting the issue of having larger and safer trucks on the road, but not being able to load or unload them if there was no last mile access and being the roads congress, Troy also touched on Higher Productivity Vehicles. I have since read of the announcement at the congress, of $107 million being made available under the next Heavy Vehicle package for Local Government road projects as well.

 I have attached Troy’s reply to the trip and hope to do more with the ALGA in the future. A number of people commented on my talk and quite a few came out to look at the truck before I headed off back to the depot, before loading the next day for Dubbo. Both the CEO and President of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia approached me following the event, as I am a sometime contributor to their online forum. They were very impressed with the TIV and have invited me to attend their convention at Parliament House in Sydney next year and I hope it can be arranged. I am in discussion with ACRS about having the full TIV on display at the Road Safety Convention in Canberra next year and plan to enter into the poster competition for a Green Reflector Poster which I hope to start putting up in truck stops in the new year, with only a few sites to complete, to have all of Route 39, the Newell, done with Green reflectors from Brisbane to Melbourne.

 I mentioned doing a radio interview as part of my attendance at the Wagga Wagga Convoy for Kids and that has become a monthly spot on ABC Radio on Saturday mornings and following the ACRS Convention on the Gold Coast, I was contacted by a community radio station at Yass and am doing a similar thing there each month on Fridays focusing on the Truckies Top Ten Tips, but open to other trucking topics.

 I have just uploaded TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle Video number 4 and have had some good comments on the previous ones. One said it was a pity it will not get to those who should see it, but I can only try. I plan to start doing some for sponsors in the New Year. Due to cracked rings in the engine again, now at 850,000 k, I hope to have a week off in December, my first for some time.

 I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Trucking Good 2016. Thank you all for your support of the TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle and myself. In the last month, not a week has gone by without someone calling up, or commenting on my efforts with the TIV and with many commenting on my column in Owner Driver as well. I am working on the next TIV and hope to have that sorted in the New Year and will commit for another four years. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

Click here for Troy's reply 



Posted 29/09/2015

Goodaye all.

I have been unsuccessful getting the TIV on display at the Gold Coast Road Safety Conference, not even the prime mover, but I have the first spot on the second day, which has a full Heavy Vehicle stream amongst others. I am planning to attend and can park the prime mover in the loading bay, but will not be able to take visitors to it and will have to move each night and sleep elsewhere. I will still do my best to put our views forward and will be offering rides to many of the attendees.

I have released the second TIV video and will tomorrow, restart the Truckies Top Ten Tips on the rear of the TIV and plan to link this with Facebook and Twitter as well. I have spent ages trying to catch up and list the events and riders in this TIV 001 and have attached a copy.

 Last weekend I was able to attend the National Road Freighters AGM at Yatala and then the Mudgerabah Truckshow, winning the first trophy for the TIV for “Best Graphics”. Whilst there was only a relatively small number of trucks there, Easters had their latest and greatest Volvo and what a show truck.

 I turned 58 this month and had some nice comments on Facebook, including one that said my caravan info had been much appreciated by his parents and a number who commended me on the TIV and its efforts thus far. I am still working on the next one and will release another video soon. Thanks and Safe Travelling.

Rod Hannifey.


  Posted 20/09/2015

Road Transport and Road Safety Advocate

 Telephone Mobile,   0428 120 560          3 Windsor Parade, DUBBO, NSW, 2830




 Australian Trucking Association National Professional Driver of the Year 2001.

 Columnist, Owner Driver and Caravan World Magazines.

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  This design aims to provide facilities for all types of road users at the least cost of both space and entry exit roadworks, which by far are often the biggest cost. In providing facilities that suit all in one place the costs are minimised and more facilities can be provided instead of different facilities for cars and trucks. I must say VicRoads does this better than anywhere else in Australia that I have travelled. The two criticisms I do have is that there is little effort made to provide shade and with the herringbone style of parking generally provided, this will always be difficult.

  The herringbone or side by side design also can make it impossible to get decent sleep with trucks pulling up, dropping maxi brakes and then slamming doors to go to the toilet etc, only to start up the truck again, all less than one metre from both sides of the cabin in which you are trying to sleep. The other criticism of many current rest areas is that the trucks are closest to the road and noise, and cars are most often to the rear, but it is more likely the truckdrivers that are requiring sleep, rather than just a stop. This is compounded by stock and frig trucks not being compatible with other vehicles and whilst the drivers of these trucks become used to stock or frig van noise, others are not and so the need for separation, where this is possible.

  With this design, shade (albeit taking years for trees to grow and of course tree planting is also good for the environment) can eventually be available whatever the time of day and trucks are not only further from each other, you have separation from those wanting to sleep and those wanting only to have their regulation break or toilet stop. Also with less trucks stopping during the day and very few cars at night, the best utilization for the cost of providing the facilities is achieved for both groups.

  Again I must say Victoria leads with toilet facilities available for truck drivers as these are sadly lacking in other states. I slept at Ironbark rest area one night and had to have a six hour break there to comply with my driving hours. I did get to sleep but was woken a number of times and ended up just laying there until I could legally leave. This has happened on a number of other occasions and in other states.

  It is true that much of the truck traffic on major highways and using rest areas is on shuttle or overnight trips and not all need to have a long break, but from my discussions with a number of road authorities over the last five years regarding rest areas, it is clear there is not sufficient understanding of truck drivers needs, nor consultation when and where rest areas are built.

 I still believe there is a need for the style of rest area I am proposing to provide better shade for those who need to stop and or sleep during the day, better possible sleep also due to less noise from other types of vehicles e.g. frig vans and stock crates and from those stopping only for a short break and in also being further from the road.

  The Green Reflector Marking of Informal Truck Rest Areas is intended as an interim or fill in, in areas where there are not enough truck rest areas now and or where some additional sites have come to be used by trucks, often for the reasons of shade or separation, particularly during the day. Marking of these sites with Green Reflectors increases their utilization at night and helps those drivers who do not run the same road every night with locating these informal sites. I would then suggest that this proffered style of rest area is the best and most cost efficient for all road users. I do understand the large costs involved in rest areas and believe the design I offer is also practical and will only lead to better sleep for truck drivers and this must lead to better road safety for all.

  The only other point would be that the extra area for frig vans or stock crates as per the plan, could just see an extension of the rearmost roadway where no caravan corner is needed. The growing and ageing population, of whom more and more are taking to the roads of Australia will not only require additional capacity in rest areas, but if not addressed will only see more pressure put on the too few truck rest areas available now.

  I would welcome your thoughts and am happy to help in anyway I can to the benefit of truckies improved sleep and rest and road safety generally.




Posted 20/09/2015

Road Transport and Road Safety Advocate

                                Telephone Mobile,   0428 120 560

Email:                    Website;                                               





It is generally recognised that there are insufficient truck rest areas and insufficient money available to fix the problem immediately. There are many informal spots used by truck drivers where there is either not enough capacity in current truck bays, or where the spacing, location and or lack of facilities, particularly shade in the daytime, sees trucks pulling up on wide road shoulders etc for legal breaks, load checking and of course sleep.

A driver who travels a road each night or regularly, most often knows where these informal spots are and can locate and use them if needed at night to allow them to manage their fatigue. A driver who travels many roads or who is all ready fatigued may not know where these informal sites are and can end up being forced to drive on to a properly signed and recognised bay, which may be 10 minutes or an hour away, especially when many formal sites are not signed more than 2 kilometres in advance. This changing with signs showing the next 3 rest areas, but is no good to you if you need a site now.

 Because such informal sites are not normally marked in any way and are too easily passed before they can be recognised as a safe place to stop, regular black skid marks often attest to this problem, where a truck has had to brake savagely to attempt to access such a site, seen at the last second and where to go on is not the best or safest thing to do.

 In 2012 following continuing representations to VicRoads and having the marking of informal truck bays included in their rest area strategy document, I was told that following the major bushfires, blue would not be a suitable colour and they suggested green. Since that time a trial has been conducted in Queensland by the Main Roads office at Warwick and green was deemed to be as effective and so towards having this as a national program, we have moved to green reflectors.

 Marking of these informal sites with Blue Reflectors (which was the usual colour used for Truck Rest Area signage) on guide posts, was initially trialled on the Newell Highway starting in December 1999 from Parkes to Peak Hill and then expanded on to Gilgandra in April 2000. Sites which were all ready seen to be used, were checked and those suitable were chosen and marked by RTA staff with due regard to line of site for both safe entry and exit into traffic, of large trucks.

 Subject to the spacing of current guideposts, the set up consists of fitting three now, green reflectors (with a reflector spacing between the normal red reflector and each of the green ones) to a guide post approximately 300 to 400 metres from the chosen site, two green reflectors on the next or subsequent guidepost (minimum spacing is to be 100 metres) and a single green reflector to the last guidepost immediately prior or adjacent to, the informal truck rest area. The three green reflectors together are easily seen from 300 to 400 metres away on low beam and well in excess of 500 metres on high beam, giving a minimum of 600 metres warning of the site. In using guideposts which are all ready in place, the only cost is the green reflectors and fitting of same.

I am still in contact with all other states and am ever hopeful of further expansion of this road safety initiative. Cars can, if needed often just pull up on a bit of dirt, but loaded b-doubles and road trains, need more room than this to park safely and there is no denying that fatigue can happen at any time and must be managed safely, both for the driver and for other road users. Awareness of the marking of these informal bays will not be aimed at the general public so as not to see these places used by cars. Using Green Reflectors for marking of informal bays is intended to be an interim measure until suitable and sufficient formal truck rest areas are funded and built throughout Australia.

 If only one fatigue truck crash is prevented, the cost of installing and maintaining Green Reflector Marking of Informal Truck Rest Areas across Australia will be worthwhile and every subsequent fatigue crash prevention, will be a major road safety benefit with the possible saving of lives.

 Blue Reflector Marking of Informal Truck Rest Areas was entered into the Queensland Road Safety Awards 2005 and won the Industry Category. The Blue Reflector Marking of Informal truck Rest Areas was also included in my written and oral submissions to the House of Representatives National Inquiry into Road Safety, Eyes on the Road Ahead, June 2004.

 As per the recommendation below it was adopted and the inquiry suggested an immediate roll out of this road safety initiative.

 The following are emails of support for the Blue Reflectors.

1. NTI sent this email in support and it was printed in Owner Driver Magazine.

Refer 'Look Out for Blue Reflectors' O/D February 8th 2002. In liaison with Rod Hannifey, NTI's risk management unit - NTI Resources has reviewed the potential safety outcomes relating to this initiative. NTI strongly supports the push to extend the trial to major highways and commends Hannifey for his commitment to driver safety. This initiative will undoubtedly save lives. Owen Driscoll NTI National Development Manager – Transport

 2. Hi Rod,

Good to see that you are still promoting the blue reflector marking of truck pull up areas.

Both my drivers and I have found this method very easy to identify and use on the road and I personally think that all states should implement this idea.

Keep up the good work and give you my full support with this program.

 Regards,Steve Fieldus,DirectorTransForce Bulk Haulage P/L.


3. Hi Rod,

Alan is unavailable to respond personally to your request, but as Alan's wife I would like to respond on his behalf.

Your Blue Reflector Marking is an excellent program and has fulfilled a definite need in the transport industry. Alan has often commented to me about the service it provides and he himself has often relied on the 'blue markers' to find a rest area when the next town is just too far away. As our trucks work mainly between the Melbourne to Brisbane area's it is something our employee's have become familiar with and rely on, to see the program expanded to all major roads would be a large plus for the transport industry. I believe the further you can spread the program the more accidents that could be avoided. To come up with the idea and follow it through has shown your support for the transport industry and your concern for safety.

It is appreciated.

  Yours Sincerely, Rachael Magill, A&R Magill Pty Ltd, Parkes NSW 2870


Both RMS NSW and TMR Queensland, now have formal guidelines for the marking of green reflector, informal truck bays.

 The Newell Highway from Melbourne to Brisbane, both via the Olympic Way through Wagga Wagga and Route 39 through Jerilderie and both the Cunningham and Gore Highways into Brisbane, is very nearly completed with green reflectors. My aim is to have this as the first highway completely covered by green reflectors by the end of this year.

 I will continue to seek this initiative be rolled out until such times as there are suitable and sufficient truck rest areas across Australia. Fifteen years on I am still pushing to see this across Australia. As of this year, the Newell Highway is finally nearly done from end to end and some funding has been won to do six highways in the North West of NSW.                                        Thank you, Rod Hannifey.