Trans-Help motors along with cash injection

Trans-Help thrown a lifeline after NatRoad, Beyond Blue and Cummins donate money to keep its van service going

Trans-Help motors along with cash injection
Trans-Help motors along with cash injection
By Brad Gardner | July 26, 2010

Driver support group Trans-Help has been thrown a lifeline after NatRoad, Beyond Blue and Cummins donated cash to keep its mobile health and support van going.

NatRoad has donated $17,800 to allow Trans-Help to buy the van off Iveco after it faced losing the vehicle when a loan expired last month. Trans-Help had raised $7000 through fundraisers but still faced a $17,800 shortfall.

Fitted with equipment to test a driver’s blood pressure, weight, height and glucose and cholesterol levels, the van is designed to help truck drivers who do not have the time to visit doctors for check ups.

NatRoad CEO Bernie Belacic says NatRoad’s board approved the donation after receiving a request from Trans-Help.

"We’ve agreed to support them," Belacic says.

"We do think it is a fantastic program. They do a great job in what is a very tough circumstance."

Engine manufacturer Cummins has given Trans-Help $20,000, which Trans-Help CEO Dianne Carroll says will cover the van’s operational costs.

Depression awareness group Beyond Blue, which partners Trans-Help to assist drivers suffering from mental illness, has given $10,000 for equipment upgrades and to improve its information database.

Carroll says an improved database will help Trans-Help access a driver’s information remotely, meaning it can be kept updated more often and retrieved when needed.

Under its current system, Trans-Help needs to return to its centre at Tarcutta in NSW to input and retrieve data.

"It will make it a lot easier," Carroll says of the new system, which she expects to be running by the end of the year.

She says it is vital Trans-Help’s van remains on the road to help drivers and their families.

Attention will now turn to lobbying government for long-term funding for an ambitious plan to establish a medical centre in Tarcutta dedicated to helping drivers.

Carroll is seeking government funding for a 24-hour counselling service, training for road trauma specialists to help truck drivers and a rehabilitation program.

She says the timeframe for the initiatives will depend on when funding is secured.

"We’ve still got a lot of hard yards in fundraising to do," Carroll says.

Under its loan agreement with Trans-Help, Iveco had provided the van free of charge for two years. It paid registration costs and also contributed $14,000.

Iveco had offered a replacement, but Carroll last month said the cost to install the necessary equipment would outweigh the cost of keeping the current model.

Shel says the van has done more than 4000 preventative health checks over the last two years.

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