Food for the long haul


Finding a decent feed on the road is a hard task nowadays, and it’s often easier, more cost-effective and nutritious for those doing long-haul trips to cook on the run. Rod Hannifey writes

Food for the long haul
Good tucker at the Fisher Park Truck Stop, Cunninghams Gap.

 

I am not a real steak fan for meals on the road and last night, my eldest son who is into body building and a big fan of ‘Arnie’ spoke of seeing a video claiming all animal food products to be against our normal body needs.

Since everything we eat is now no good for us and we can’t even drink water from the tap for the chemicals, it seems we are all doomed to die from poisoning or starving.

Most things I read about food spruik of all things in moderation, or choosing food from certain groups. Now that is fine when you can go to a supermarket and get what you want, or if you are lucky enough to have complete control of your meals, with your wife or partner making some for you, you doing it yourself before you hit the road, or simply being able to cook on the road.

How many of you do that? One of the things I hope to have on the TruckRight Industy Vehicle at some stage is a small kitchen.

I will offer up a choice of a Truckies Atlas or Audio book prize for the best set out truck or trailer kitchen. Send us in a photo with a short description, and even if you don’t want to enter, I would like to know how many of you cook on the road.

Those doing Perth or Darwin may well have either the time or simply the need, with the gaps in facilities, to feed themselves. With the number of truckie friendly road houses diminishing each year, it is an issue for the future, how we will get good meals on the road.

There is a Facebook page, ‘Where is the good food at’ and I have made a few contributions. One of my favourite meals on the road is rissoles with tomato and onion gravy, salad and chips, bread and butter with a coffee for $13 from Fisher Park Truck Stop at the top of Cunninghams Gap.

I do believe that those sites that look after us deserve recognition, but also that those who treat us badly need to pull their socks up and as long as you don’t go too far. Telling others can and will ensure that other drivers don’t waste their time and money on bad food and service.

Critical backlash

I had a mate who years ago went so far as to accuse a truck stop of giving him food poisoning and it nearly got him taken to court and lost him a job as a magazine correspondent. Of course, the truck stop did not take it kindly and pursued him.

Like all things now, you can take a stand, but you must be careful that you do not go so far as to win the battle but lose the war. I wish that someone, whether the Australian Trucking Association, the Transport Workers Union, NatRoad or simply some driver with time and money to burn would solve all our problems. He or she could simply tell the government, the National Transport Commission (NTC) and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator what the problems are, give them the solutions and then simply badger the hell out of them in person and in the press and get it all fixed.

If you had a year where you did not need to earn income, you could devote that time to the job.

How many of us have the time, the dedication and the capability to achieve that? How many of us really care that much we would even consider such a role, let alone make the effort. And who could afford no income for a year, few I doubt.

I do recognise and often say in discussions, like recently with the NTC re the new draft for the Load Restraint Guide (and please look and comment, or we will get what those who do not have to do the job, will give us) drivers are very cynical of those who make the rules. Many have tried to contribute over the years, many more have sat back and waited for someone else to fix the problems.

Television awareness

I was invited to do filming for the ABC show Catalyst on sleep. They are doing a number of shows on the human body and what and how it is affected. We filmed at the Rod Pilon depot in Melbourne and then did a lap around the block. I have invited the presenter for a longer trip and he seems keen for the future. I am told it will air on August 28.

Last weekend, with Stephen McCarthy from Whiteline Television, we filmed at two rest areas south of Dubbo. The aim is to put something out there that will explain our issues to caravanners. We simply still do not have enough rest areas and with the growing number of vanners, I fear this will get worse before it gets better. Lance, a retired truckie drove all the way from Victoria to take part, two local Dubbo ladies brought their retro van along and I invited a vanner who did the right thing helping me get past on the way to the filming. They also took part.

It will eventually form part of an episode of a proposed web-based trucking TV show Stephen is working on, though we will also aim to put it up on social media.

In that theme of getting the message out, I have started a blog – truckright.blog – which was intended to allow people to follow me during my Churchill Fellowship trip. I have deferred this untill next year, having not got the replies from overseas that I need to make the best effort during the trip. Hence, I will have some more time to get it right.

 

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