Rod Hannifey makes trucking a hot topic at caravan show

By: Brad Gardner

Trucking advocate proves a hit at Victorian caravan show and is now taking his road safety message elsewhere.

Rod Hannifey makes trucking a hot topic at caravan show
Rod Hannifey says he received positive feedback from attendees of this year's Victorian Caravan, Camping and Touring Supershow.


Rod Hannifey’s decision to invest six days of his own time educating caravan owners about sharing the road safely with trucks has paid off.

Hannifey has wrapped up a successful appearance at this year’s Victorian Caravan, Camping and Touring Supershow, where he delivered educational seminars on the trucking industry and conducted tours of his Truckright B-double combination.

He says showgoers attended the seminars in strong numbers and reacted positively to his message about sharing the road safely with trucks. Hannifey anticipates he will return to the event in 2017.

"I had a hell of a lot of people turn up. I had some really good feedback from the seminars," Hannifey says.

During his seminars Hannifey discussed with caravaners the importance of leaving space for truck drivers at rest areas.

"I did explain at length that we are quite happy to share the bays with you with two provisos: One is that you do the right thing and understand we are going to come in later at night and the other thing is you also understand you have the capacity to go to a caravan park or a motel," he says.

"We can’t even park in a town for more than an hour, they’ll come and chase us and fine us for that. If we pull into that bay and it’s full and we have to go to the next one and we don’t have enough [driving] hours we could get a $600 fine for that."

Hannifey says the addition of his B-double at the event helped reinforce his message and allow show attendees to gain insight into the life of a truck driver.

Fellow truck drivers also made the trip to the Supershow, including one who praised Hannifey for his advocacy work.

"One came up, asked me questions and walked away and he came back and said, ‘I want to shake your hand for what you do’. That was really nice," Hannifey says.

He believes trucking associations should follow his lead and get involved with events like the Victorian Caravan, Camping and Touring Supershow to run educational presentations.

"But you have got to have someone that is on the road there. It’s no use having the CEO that doesn’t drive a truck telling them that we’re good blokes and the accident figures are going down. They [caravaners] don’t give a bugger about that, they read that in the paper occasionally," Hannifey says.

"They want to see the truck and they want to see what it is like and they want to talk to someone that’s on the road with them. And I think if you don’t do that I don’t think you get the best out of it, honestly."

In the meantime, he has committed to continuing his one-man efforts to improve the general public’s understanding of and respect for the trucking industry.

This includes trying to encourage dealerships to issue educational brochures or leaflets to caravan buyers.

Hannifey is currently preparing for his next speaking event, which will be at the Stone the Crows Festival at Wagga Wagga. The show is targeted specifically at grey nomads and runs from March 22 to 28.

The Caravan and Camping Industry Association of New South Wales has also approached him to speak at its annual event.

"Never give up, that’s all you can do," Hannifey says.


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