Bot-bot ding-ding. UHF is dead

By: Scotty Douglas

Just as the industry equipment changes, so does the industry itself. And while he doens't miss the UHF, Scotty Douglas doesn't like where we're going

Bot-bot ding-ding. UHF is dead
Scotty Douglas recalls the days of UHF.


There’s no denying that the CB radio is the original social network. Before the internet provided a platform for people to share pictures of their breakfast, truck drivers were networking with AM and then UHF radios.

For decades CB radios have made it easy find out what was going on up the road, to keep awake or to catch up with a mate.

But, the UHF radio is going the way of the Motorola bag phone, Kodak film and MySpace.

Except maybe in the back blocks these days, CB radios are pretty much useless. It’s a shame really, but then again I suppose that’s progress.

Turn on the radio anywhere within cooee of a city and you’ll hear a collective barnyard of animal sounds, loud statements on the size of the speaker’s male member and the sort of mindless garbage and filth that makes you wonder whether some people should’ve been allowed to reproduce.

Unfortunately it’s like a city-wide prank call. Some bored moron with a microphone says something provocative on the radio and gets a torrent of abuse back. Bored moron gets a laugh and does it again; repeat ad-nauseam. 

The solution is simple; don’t respond and the mike wielding troglodyte doesn’t get a kick out of it.

Yet everyday someone takes exception at the small-minded baiting and provides more fodder for the UHF trolls. We give these oxygen thieves the entertainment they’re after.

Outside of the city these days I only turn the set on every now and then for a road report, other than that the set stays off.

If I’m travelling with a mate I’ll use the AM set for some fatigue management, the reduced range makes it harder for the trolls to take part.

It’s even worse if you have an accent. And I’m not even talking about a south Asian one.

You can be yakking on another channel in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night and some small-minded git still feels the need to break into the conversation and take the piss out of the way someone speaks.

I know the job can be boring but seriously give me a break. And then we complain that nobody answers a call on channel 40 anymore.

Given the usual response why would you!?

And that’s another thing. All this abuse directed towards Indian truck drivers is just ignorant crap. We ramble on about Australia’s pioneer heritage and then rave on about immigrants taking "our" jobs.

A mate of mine who was dragging a triple to Darwin pulled up for a camp one night recently.

When he woke up he noticed the driver of the car park next to him was praying on his mat in the parking bay.

Many will snort with derision at this. But to me it was reminiscent of the Afghan cameleers that helped build this country.

Who was it that actually opened up the transport routes into the heart of Australia? Afghan Muslims.

Who was the economic lifeblood of the Australian goldfields? The Chinese.

We are so ready to attack and cajole other cultures.

Take for example a mythical story that’s been doing the rounds. It involves a two-up prime mover coming into a workshop with a hole cut in the floor. The story goes that the Indian drivers cut a toilet hole in the bottom of the cab so they didn’t have to stop.

I’ve heard this story numerous times from different sources and it’s always a from a mate’s mate etc. It’s crap.

You can’t tell me that in this day and age of smartphones and the internet that the sight of a poo covered engine and a hole in the floor of a truck cab wouldn’t be photographed within seconds and be doing the rounds of the net within minutes?

The biggest issue with new drivers on our highways has nothing to do with where they’re from. It has everything to do with our lax licencing system, which has been geared towards a user-pays and bums-on-seats-as-quick-as possible approach.

And the transport industry only has itself to blame. It stopped investing in its future and its people a couple of decades ago.

We are now sticking untrained drivers behind the wheel of heavy vehicles and then blaming them when they screw up. Somebody gave them a licence.

We complain that the days of stopping and helping a fellow driver on the side of the road are gone. Yet we are the first to point and laugh if someone has trouble backing two trailers.

For a country and an industry that prides itself on giving hard workers a fair go we’re doing a good job of proving exactly the opposite.

Anyway, my radio is off and I’m going back to my audiobook now. Rant over. 



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