Forestry driving habits

By: Patrick Cox

As of late, I have taken to watching driving habits. As logging is the third biggest industry in the country, we get to drive on our state highways every day.

Forestry Driving

Just a few of the users are logging trucks, company utes, company vans with crews inside, courier vans taking parts to contractors, tyre companies with repair trucks on the road, sales people and fuel tankers. Between them, they travel a staggering amount of kilometres per year.

The opportunity arose recently to re-read the road code, you think because you have been driving for 50 years, you know it all. Laws change, roundabouts are more prevalent now, single lane or double lane, different rules for both, so bringing yourself up-to-date with the current rules is an hour well spent.

All those who work in the logging industry have to share the road with those who are not so up-to-date, particularly those driving on restricted licences, in other words – not fully qualified to drive on the road. The government has been too soft on these drivers; they now have five years to get their full licence, prior to this there was no time limit. Five years is too long for the rest of us to share the road with restricted drivers, six months should be plenty of time to gain your full licence. Just recently, it made frontline news in a local paper about a driver who was complaining they had to wait three months to get an appointment to pass the full licence. This driver had been on a restricted for 13 years, that is plenty of time to enable you to get your full licence.

Venturing out onto the highway today is a battlefield, we do not have many new roads being built, the roads we had 30 years ago have hardly changed, they have just been realigned or a few more lanes added maybe. What has changed is the volume of traffic, so driving habits have to change to reflect this. A casual driver now is a menace, the road requires undivided attention, everything happens so much quicker now. Here is just a few of the problems that those in the logging industry have to face every day getting to and from work.

Forestry Driving2

The white line rider, the driver who sits on the centre line but cannot stay left, The 80 kilometre an hour Sunday driver with a speedo reading out by five kilometres actually doing 75 and does not pull over. The dreadful worse than a heroin user addicted to cell phone while driving and will not spend 25 bucks on a hands-free kit. The driver who has forgotten how to turn the wheel and cannot drive round a vehicle who is indicating a left turn and the following vehicle stops in the middle of the highway with nothing coming the other way.

Every day loggers face the dangers of the bush, but in reality, it is getting very dangerous just to get to work and back.

Drive safe this summer be patient there are loved ones waiting at home for you, it is better to be a little late than dead on time.

Reflect on this, learner drivers are taught how to pass not how to drive.

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