I'm an owner driver, Australian Truckie.
Unlike most, I live 365 days a year in my truck, with my dog Kelsie.
Although, I had no generational family background of trucking, it was something I showed an interest in. Thanks to my cousin (Brenton Wailes-10yrs my senior) I found a pathway to my first driving position at age 19.
Honestly, I look back now & recognise I was a terrible operator in my early years & made many mistakes. To put it simply, I was uneducated, inexperienced & TOO EAGER TO IMPRESS! That being said I learnt a great deal in many aspects of the industry & heavy vehicles.
-Thanks to Adams Garden Supply
I't wasn't until I went to DHH, that I begun to learn how to be a professional driver within a large company & learn exp with carting machinery, thanks to a fellow named Rick. I feel, due to good work ethic, I was given the only Kenworth T350 tilt tray within the company. At this point I become confident as a driver. (2 years of driving) I very much enjoyed the work!
-Thanks to a Scottish fellow named Allan for your faith.
Out of chance at the age of 22, my father rang me & spoke of a fellow he had a beer with (Steve Brunskill) back in Corowa, who was open to put me on as an interstate driver (back home.) At this point insurance was an issue with my age to drive 'semi's,' so it was a massive call to move to a part of trucking I had no idea about.
My Cousin (Brenton) & I packed up & moved to Wahgunyah to work for SBA. At this point, I'd never driven a 'semi' apart from my obtaining my HC license 12 months previous. After a level of training with "Griffo & Eddy" around Corowa-Wodonga, I was called up!
Concert Freight with ATS I was what I was sent off to do, and I didn't return for a month! (This is where I met Mick)
I look back now & I'm glad I openly said to other drivers on the tours that I was inexperienced, 'cause I learnt a lot of little things that you can't find in books.
After time, I obtained my B-Double ticket, and I was Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane 6000km per week. I loved it! But, very much kept to myself, due to the politics vs coming regulations of the industry at the time. As a long term driver, I know I became favorable for loads within the company due to loyalty & time efficiency.
Although I was passionate for trucks & had one of SBA's most recognisables, my passion for playing football came into play.
-I'd like to thank Steve Brunskill & 'Red' for everything.
I then moved to Milthorpe Transport in my mid 20s.
In true Milthorpe fashion, I was promised local work, but I tell ya what, Darwin & Cairns popped up a bit... That being said, come football season they kept the deal.
In that time I learnt how to chain, tarp... basically everything! It was tough, but gees I wouldn't even know what a 'spider rim' or a 'bull ring turntable' was withought them!
I'd like to thank Greg, Albert & Rod, who were fantastic in my time there.
'Boots' Cracknell, has now become a life long friend from my time at Milthorpe.
At the age of 25, I moved to Darwin to play footy. I landed aa job at 'Sage' driving loaders & roadtrains through the Southern Districts Crocs. Once the football season ended, I moved back to Melbourne to take a contract with the Frankston FC.
-Special thanks to Shannon Rusca & Sam Page
Straight away I landed a job with Burdetts, doing local-vic.
Yep I became a 'mud carter!' Again I didn't get into politics & just did my job professionally. And they were fantastic for my football commitments!
-Special thanks to Grant, Andrew & Derrick
I was then offered a position to manage AGT Pallets at the age of 28. I took the job & subsequently through injury my football career was coming to an end not long after.
-Massive thanks to Colin Wood
As soon as I moved to the Frankston Bombers FC, I wanted to be involved! (whilst driving for Burdetts)
It wasn't long until I was on the committee, then Vice President.
During this time, the life experience was phenomenal!
-Chris Sharman, the greatest man I've ever met & proud to call a mate!
I'd like to point out, I had no intention of moving back to Trucking at this point
In 2017, Mick (long time friend from SBA) eventually won me over to come for MK Truckin. I agreed for a 1 year driving term, then I was out!
He gave me a beautiful truck, that he would allow my dog to travel with me.
After 6 months I made the financial call of live full time in a truck with my dog
I started to notice some major differences in the 5 years since that I'd run interstate...
It actually isn't what you see in the media...
Drugs, Fast Trucks & pushing through for the deadline had thanged! (I wrote a letter to Owner Driver,) & they published it as 'letter of the month'
This was the true beginning of Tones Truckin Stories.
*NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS AFTER MIDNIGHT
I then bought the truck of Mick at MK Trucking, who supports 'Tones Truckin Stories'
I'm fully invested in the industry!
-Change the public & media perception of the industry.
-Educate EVERYONE about road safety with trucks
-kill that 'us against them' attitude with Truck V Car
-Create video's with the RMS/VicRoads/QLD of full inception with me
-A road system where a diver doesn't have to push themselves
-Adjust day 1 of the Work diary