VicRoads view from a trucks cab

By: Jason Whittaker


Gary Liddle, Chief Executive Officer of VicRoads, witnessed life from truck driver’s viewpoint on the morning of November 21 when

Gary Liddle, Chief Executive Officer of VicRoads, witnessed life from truck driver’s viewpoint on the morning of November 21 when he accompanied transport safety advocate Rod Hannifey for a trip up the Hume Highway from Melbourne to Wodonga.

Liddle admits it was only the second time in his life that he had ridden in a truck,
but came away from the five-hour trip in a Kenworth K104 with a new appreciation of what truck drivers face on the highway.

"I think generally the road is smooth but the problem is where there is a depression in the road it has a bigger impact on the truck than it would in the car, and that’s certainly something that showed up today. When I’m driving along in my car I probably wouldn’t have noticed," Liddle says.

Another item noted by Liddle was the lack of signage for informal truck rest areas. While acknowledging the merit on the possible installation of blue reflective markets, he also confirmed that some rest stops needed a redesign.

"Looking from a truck’s perspective they need shade and they need some space away from other vehicles so that when they need to have a sleep they’re not getting interrupted sleep," he says.

"I think certainly from the design of a number of rest stops that probably could be improved by having space that’s away from other trucks and some shady areas."
Liddle says the important thing he learnt from the trip was being prepared to look at the road from a different viewpoint.

"Probably our maintenance guys drive along in their little utes and even they don’t see the full impact some of these dips have on trucks. One of the messages I’ll be taking back to our maintenance crews is try and put yourself in the truck drivers’ perspective as well."

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