Posts Tagged ‘western australia’

Crap, winter is here?

June 12, 2012

20120612-082624.jpgWhoa! Wish I wore some socks to bed last night, woke up with cold feet sometime around 4am and by then it was too cold to contemplate getting out of bed to find some. I don’t think it actually got that cold really, just me reacting to temperatures I’m not used to – in fact, it only got down to 10’C this morning at around 3am but compare that to the temperatures I experience in the north of the state while I’m away in the truck and you’ll start to understand what I mean.

So, gas heater on for the first time this winter and a cup of coffee and I think I’m starting to get some life back into my body this morning. I missed out on the storms of the last few days and after looking around my place last night when I got home from the Great Sandy Desert I am wondering what all the fuss was about! My fences are still standing, the roof is where the builders put it, the neighbours tree looks the same as it always has and my chest freezer in the garage isn’t full of rotting food. The rotary power point timer for my fish tank hasn’t lost any time at all so it looks like the power didn’t go out at all or if it did it was only briefly. What was all the fuss about?

I definitely came off better this year than I did in past storms – like the time a tree fell on my ute at work while I was away in the truck (not the sort of phone call you really want). Not much damage but, hey, she’s my ute.

Cheers, Mike.

Advertisements

A Letter To Main Roads Western Australia

October 31, 2011

Main Roads Western Australia

The following is a submission I made to Main Roads Western Australia (MRWA) via their website. As you can see, it started out as they probably expected but I couldn’t help myself the further I got in. I see a real problem developing on the roads I travel every day. Ok, I dont think MRWA have their head in the sand, but I think if they get some feedback from drivers like you and me they might be able to focus their efforts in areas that really count. If you read this and believe (legitmately) that MRWA might benefit from your observations then go to their website and let your views be known.

Submission as follows :

Potholes appearing on Gt Northern Hwy around SLK142, also at Bindi Bindi T intersection Gt Northern Hwy (unsure of SLK). My main concern is the lack of room at the Wubin roadtrain assembly area. I use the assembly area 2 to 4 times a week and am frequently frustrated by the lack of room despite the last upgrade.This is also a major problem at the Newman roadtrain assembly area-I have been unable to access this area on my last three trips to Newman and have utilised the Turf Club parking area as well as the first parking bay north of the Newman townsite (on the Gt Northern Hwy) for the purpose of splitting triple roadtrain trailers for the delivery of freight to the Newman townsite. I am aware that plans are in motion for upgrading the Newman roadtrain assembly area but are there plans to further extend the Wubin roadtrain assembly area? As I see it roadtrain traffic on the Gt Northern Hwy stands to increase by a significant amount before anyone could reasonably expect it to plateau and eventually decrease sometime in the far distant future when the iron ore mining boom finally loses it’s momentum. Until that time the road infrastructure must keep pace. That also includes the many inadequate parking areas dotted up and down the Gt Northern Hwy-inadequate because quite often only two or three trucks can fit in each of them. In fact, some of the parking areas are so restricted that if three trucks fit into them then they must leave in the precise order they arrived in – there is simply no room to get around the truck in front. Hopefully the first truck “in” doesn’t expect a sleep-in. This is an age when more and more responsibility is being forced upon the driver and as a driver I am being forced further and further into a corner. To get out of this corner I need the freedom to stop in a parking bay that has room for my truck when I need it, I need to have spacious roadtrain assembly areas (with night lighting-pretty please) to assemble and disassemble triple roadtrains, and I need to know that “those-who-must-be-obeyed” have some concept of the hurdles we face. Until then, catch phrases like “fatigue management” and “safe work practices” are just…well, they’re just bullshit.

Well, I hope that gives some context to my more recent tweets. If you want to follow me on Twitter there is a “Follow” link on the sidebar.

Cheers, Mike.

Nicholas Downs

June 9, 2010

Here’s a few pics I took this week on a supply run out to a place called Nicholas Downs. It’s a mine operated by PMI on the Balfour Downs cattle station north east of Newman.

Balfour Downs Map


Leaving Balfour Downs


Talawana Track

Talawana Track, goes east to....well, it goes east.


I shot some video on the way out there and will put up another post with more detail and possibly some of that video – when I’ve had time to put it all together.

Surrounded By Shit Paper

May 26, 2010

Totally amazed lately by the amount of toilet paper blowing around in the bush alongside many of the more popular parking bays on the Great Northern Highway, Western Australia.
The parking bays over here don’t come with toilets. You need to do a bit of business – you grab the roll of toilet paper ( usually nicked from home or a roadhouse down the road ) and bugger off into the bush where you have a bit of privacy and drop your pants.
Now the nice, polite, boy scout thing to do is to drop a shovel full of dirt on top of your great achievement and the toilet paper you used to make sure your reintegration into society goes smoothly.
Sadly, not many out here are anything close to boy scouts.
It isn’t that hard though. I bought a collapsible shovel for $15 that does the job. Burying the best part of yourself not only keeps the place looking clean and tidy – it also keeps the bloody flies away!
So try it next time. And Keep Australia Beautiful.

Pilbara Sunrise

April 19, 2010

Just had to share this snapshot with you. I took it yesterday at dawn, as I was turning off the Great Northern Highway onto the Yandicoogina access road – about one and a half hours north of Newman, Western Australia.

While this photo was taken with my iPhone, I managed to swap lenses on my Nikon and grab a few images before the moment passed. I will pick out the best shots and post them to my Flickr page ( link is in the right Gand column ).

Diversions Pt 2

April 4, 2010

Here it is : the embedded video of the footage I shot driving through Meekatharra. I have cut out a few minutes in the middle (where I was refuelling the truck) and trimmed the start and finish, otherwise, that’s it.

When time allows I will try to post a more professional looking clip with titles and using some other footage I have. At the moment though, time is a scarce commodity.

Roadworks

March 5, 2010

Was on the last leg of the trip home when I got held up by some bitumen resurfacing work near Dalwallinu.
Can’t sat I really knew there was anything wrong with that particular stretch of road. Two kilometers down the road you have to slow down to avoid suffering internal injuries as you get thrown violently around the cab.

Dusting Off The Cobwebs

February 25, 2010

Thought I’d better show some TLC towards my blog. It’s not that I’d forgotten about it – it’s just that I haven’t been able to find the time! So, to break the dry spell, I thought I would chuck a quick picture or two up here.
Swapping Trailers

First pic is me in the process of dropping one empty trailer before hooking onto my remaining two loaded trailers prior to unloading them at the Packsaddle Camp, Area C minesite.
Pub!

Second pic was taken in the main street of Meekatharra, Western Australia. I was heading north on a hot afternoon and saw the Pub in the distance and almost chucked it in for the day 😉

Changing Jobs – Again

April 8, 2009

Made the hard decision to move on to another job yesterday. I started to put feelers out for other work a few weeks ago and got three offers in that time. It wasn’t “serious” job hunting when I started but as time progressed it became more obvious that “these hard economic times” where having an effect on my employer and I began to worry about their ability to continue to carry the staff numbers they currently have. I finally made the decision to go before I was shoved (and while I still had money in the bank!) after I was asked to extend my rostered week long break by using my accrued holidays or taking unpaid leave.

After agreeing to use up my holidays, I weighed up the situation overnight and spoke to one or two people in the company, then rang them back the next day telling them I had I job I could go to immediately if they where prepared to let me go on the spot. I wasn’t all that surprised when they agreed as I had heard several people where already told their jobs no longer existed. Whilst I had done my job satisfactorily and had not received any black marks against my name ,apart from that YouTube video that met with frowns of disapproval, I still felt happier knowing events where under my control and that I wasn’t faced with an unexpected and ill-timed mass retrenchment when the rest of my workmates could be competing with me for whatever jobs where available at an unknown point in the future.

I hope the company does manage to come out the other side intact and that my (former) workmates do not lose their jobs, but I don’t envy the uncertainty they will be feeling for a while yet. I’m also VERY glad I didn’t decide to buy that new car I wanted several months ago – I think my old car will do me for a while yet. (It might need a bit of work though…at least I won’t have a loan hanging over my head).

Cheers, Mike.

Hurry Up And Wait

September 9, 2008

I am currently sitting in a yard in the Karratha Light Industrial Area (LIA) waiting to unload. I left Perth yesterday with a 39t concrete block on the float that is destined to be used in the construction of the new LNG wharf at Dampier.
After an uneventful trip up here I am stuck while the mechanic works on the crane that will be used to unload me. Last trip up here (about 5 days ago) they had the same trouble with the crane and I fully expected it to be fixed for this trip. The crane runs for a short time before shutting down – unfortunately it doesn’t run long enough to complete the lift and let me get out of the way.
Luckily I’m not in a rush this afternoon. I have to be in Port Hedland (200km north) tomorrow morning to reload used conveyer belt to take back to Perth, so as long as they get me unloaded today I will be happy.
Might have a sleep though ; )

Cheers, Mike.