Truckie reaches out to give caravan drivers advice on rest areas

Truck driver urges grey nomads to stop using heavy vehicle rest areas.


A linehaul truck driver has written directly to Australia’s caravanners in a bid to educate them about the importance of leaving heavy vehicle rest areas free for trucks.

Ken Beggs has penned a piece for the Grey Nomads website where he highlights the lack of understanding or regard many travellers have when it comes to truckstops.

Beggs says many travellers are oblivious to signs specifying parking areas for trucks and then proceed to take up space in the bays.

"Most nights around 11-12pm I’m getting to the end of my allowed 14 hour work day and am looking for one of the few truck rest stops available; especially in western NSW and throughout QLD, only to find it full of wobbly boxes," Beggs writes.

"Or worse still one or two parked randomly in the middle of the rest stop. This means I can’t fit my truck in there and have to try and stay awake until the next park, mostly 50-100km further on."

Beggs urges travellers to show some "parking etiquette" by not taking spots set aside for trucks, but adds that if they do then they should drive off to the edge or move to a clear spot so trucks can still find room to park.

"If you park half way along we can’t manoeuvre in front of you. We can park behind you but if another truck is there then often we can’t fit," he says.

"A van parked part way along can effectively waste 2-3 truck parking spots."

Beggs's piece on the Grey Nomads website says he can’t stop on the side of the road for fear of getting bogged or having his truck roll.

It means he, like other truck drivers, need to risk exceeding their legal hours by driving further to find a spare parking spot.

"Law enforcement officers won’t accept a parking bay full of caravans as a valid excuse for exceeding hours. They say we should have parked up earlier," he writes.

"Please appreciate the roads and highways are our work place and ‘Truck Parking’ bays form part of our work place. We need them for our rest."

The NSW branch of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA NSW) late last year took aim at grey nomads for pinching spots at truck resting bays and urged the State Government to signpost the sites as truck-only areas.

Meanwhile, Queensland-based truck driver Eddie Croft wants governments to send educational pamphlets to caravan owners when their registration is due.

"Australia wide, when registration time comes for the caravan, get the departments of transport to do up a flyer that goes in with our rego papers [so] that they understand a truck parking bay is for trucks," Croft says.

"And they have actually got to tick it [the pamphlet] off and send the payment back to get their vans registered, which means they have acknowledged that the truck parking areas are for trucks unless they have had an emergency breakdown.

"If they don’t fill it out and send it back with their registration payment, the vans don’t get registered."

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