Posts Tagged ‘Tom Price’

Bleh

August 6, 2013

Home. Tired. Raining. Might have a headache, my head really can’t decide. So I poured a glass of red wine to help it along. Even the wine doesn’t seem to be as good as I remember – a Oyster (something pretentious) Pinot Noir. Too late to get my money back now I suppose.

Left last Monday with a triple roadtrain for Tom Price and got there on time even though it leaves me pretty tired and technically with enough sleep but in reality wishing for more.

The new truck seems to be going well with a few small problems but nothing major. Well, the gauges and dash lights do come on eventually after I hit the right bump in the road. But mechanically there hasn’t been any problems. Even the coffee maker is working flawlessly, thank Christ!

After the Tom Price run I had 2hrs in Perth and didn’t even bother going home – just refuelled, showered and hooked up the Telfer/Nifty trailers and headed back north again. I had prepared for this on Monday by buying food and packing clothes for eight days living in the truck. Nothing worse than running out of clean shirts or having to buy the junk they pass off as food in the piss poor excuses for roadhouses in the Pilbara.

The Telfer/Nifty food run was straight forward and uneventful. Telfer mine was having a scheduled maintenance shutdown and had extra staff in camp so their food order was bigger than the previous few weeks, which meant Perth couldn’t jam any Port Hedland freight in the trailers for me to unload on the way up. Always a pain in the arse that, under enough pressure to get to Telfer in time without having to spend more time unloading (with only myself driving the forklift and operating the pallet jack – jumping in and out of the trailer with each pallet) half to two thirds of a trailer of snot before I get there.

Between Telfer and Nifty camps some poor barstard had had a trailer burn to the ground, probably a wheel bearing collapsed and caused the fire. They were recovering the burnt out wreck as I went past. On the way back out of Nifty one of Jamiesons quad side tipper roadtrains was stopped on the top of a hill with the bonnet up so I did the right thing and stopped to see if I could help. Same model truck as my new girl but done a few more kilometres – looked like electrical problem but he seemed to have it in hand and the next truck coming along had a satellite phone so I left him to it.

Passed a mob of camel on the way back towards Marble Bar. Never really trust them, they always seem a bit skittish and never seem to know which way to run.

Back into the “well appointed” BP fuel bowsers at Wedgefield, Port Hedland. Only a short wait to get on the pumps then around the corner to the slightly dilapidated  shower facilities at the Toll Express yard were I bumped into Allan Scari – a top bloke with a heart of gold I’ve known for years. Would have been nice to sit down and have a beer with Allan and the rest of the fellas but I really had to keep moving.

The next day was a bit of a loss. I should have made it back to Perth that night and home by 7-8pm but I reckon I must have caught a small dose of some bug – didn’t feel full on crook but I was definitely off my tucker and struggling to make a good mile. I ended up calling it a night about 2hrs from Perth.

The next morning at 4:30am I was up and feeling better and running down the last stretch into town. From the Kewdale yard it was back to Forrestdale to drop off the truck and home with 8 days worth of dirty clothes to run through the washing machine.

Waiting for me at home was a little device called a Leap Motion (go have a look at the link) and that has been keeping me amused for the last few hours. Starting to get the hang of using it to drive Google Earth on my MacBook Pro. Can’t wait to see the new apps the developers manage to make for it. Early days yet but think of the movie “Minority Report” and using your hands to control and manipulate computer displays without touching anything and you’ll have the idea. Very cool shit.

Okay, I’m thinking the washing machine needs another load so I’m outa here.

Cheers, Mike. 

Advertisements

Driver Training!!??

June 25, 2013

Well, here I sit in the passenger seat heading north out of Perth to Tom Price in the Pilbara. In the drivers’ seat is “the new boy”, otherwise known as Stewart. Tagging along behind us is two fridge trailers and a dry pan – loaded with a weeks work of supplies for Windawarrie, Brownfields (Jundunmunnah) and a dozen or so pallets for Pilbara Food Supplies.

It’s been a few years since I’ve sat in the passenger seat and this time it’s in a borrowed truck as well. My truck is in the workshop getting a bit of attention so I grabbed the boss’s truck (cleaned his crap out 😉 and set off last night.

Stewart is along for the trip to give him some experience with triples and so he can learn where the various runs go and generally get a feel of how we do things. As soon as he is up to speed on things and we have the new truck on the road he will be chucked into the thick of it on his own.

The new truck is expected to be handed over to us on Friday 28th – only four days from now. I’m going to be the lucky driver getting this one so I’m pretty keen for Friday to hurry up and arrive. We had a look at it yesterday and there’s still a lot that has to be done to it. Someone had better pull their finger out!

I have a 3500 watt 240 volt inverter on order for it – that will power a microwave oven/laptop charger and will even be big enough to power an ordinary kitchen kettle if I want. Expresso machine, maybe? 😉

The weather up ahead of us is pretty bad. Last reports I heard from Karratha are that over eight inches of rain has fallen in 24hrs. The highway between Roebourne and Port Hedland is closed, which won’t affect us but if that weather continues to the south-east we will be in for real trouble.
At present, just north of Paynes Find, it is completely overcast. Meekatharra has had some rainfall. I think Newman has had two inches and Tom Price has already had three inches of rain. This is more than enough to start water flowing over the highway at the floodways so things might get interesting later on today. Wish I’d brought my GoPro camera long.

Ok, I’ve got to get back to criticising someone’s driving skill, bloody hard work 🙂

Cheers, Mike.