Vans and camper trailers in truck rest areas

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 12:07
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This is a suggestion that has come from a Bundaberg truck driver that makes a lot of sense. Hopefully if it is adopted many owners of vans will be educated. The biggest problem will be all the state bureaucrats agreeing to implement it.

Owner driver rest areas
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Reply By: Bigfish - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 12:16

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 12:16
I see merit in the suggestion. However recently in QLD lane filtering is allowed for motorcycles(legally allowed to move between stopped traffic at lights) to help keep traffic flow up. Still many people unaware and has been road rage because of it. I believe TV adverts brief and to the point highlighting any new road laws should be common place.
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Follow Up By: SDG - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 18:49

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 18:49
NSW legal as well.


Another little known rule, is that you must give way to pedestrians on the road that you are turning into into. They don't need to wait for you.
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Follow Up By: Louwai - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 11:32

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 11:32
Bigfish,
It's actually not just stopped traffic. The new motorcycle law is that a motorcycle can "filter" between traffic that is travelling at less that 30klm/hr. Which of course includes stopped traffic.

The law also states that, when filtering, the motorcycle cannot travel faster than 30klm/hr.

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Follow Up By: Louwai - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 11:37

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 11:37
Bigfish,
I forgot to say in the previous post.
The new motorcycle law also says that, while filtering at less than 30klm/hr, a motorcycle can legally travel up the left side of the road on the outside of the white line.

The new law also says that if traffic is stopped at lights, a motorcycle can enter the bicycle lane on the left & move to the front.
The motorcycle can also stay in the bicycle lane and wait for the green light.

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Reply By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 13:51

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 13:51
They are not reading the signs or choosing to ignore them, so they will treat the flyers the same way.

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 13:53

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 13:53
Correcting typo

They are not reading the signs or are choosing to ignore them - -
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 22:26

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 22:26
Here here, well said.
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Reply By: The Landy - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 13:52

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 13:52
I suspect this is a more complex issue than appears at face value.

Drivers of large vehicles are required by law to have specific rest stops and these are mandated in law, and clearly there needs to be provision for them to do this by way of having suitable roadside truck stops where it can be done safely.

An issue arises due to recreational vehicles and caravans using the truck stops, thus reducing the amount of space available for large vehicles to stop.

A question that comes to mind is whether recreational vehicle drivers should be allowed to use these truck stops to rest? Clearly, it is incumbent on all drivers to ensure they drive in a safe way, and that means not driving when fatigued. Almost all major highways have signage to this effect, highlighting that driver fatigue is a killer on our roads.

I acknowledge there will be those who will push the limits by “setting up camp” contrary to the intended use of a truck stop and no amount of form ticking at registration time will stop these people from doing it. But is it unreasonable to allow genuinely fatigued drivers, whatever they are driving, to stop and rest? After all some of these recreational vehicles towing vans are large and have limited ability to pull up just anywhere also.

Perhaps one way to manage the issue where it arises regularly is to place a "boom-gate” at the truck stop with a time-stamped ticket issued on arrival. In this way authorities can police those abusing the intended use of the facility and overstaying what would be a reasonable time to rest and move on. It would send an appropriate message on the intended use of the facility.

Without doubt though, a problem in need of a solution…

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 14:13

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 14:13
Hi Baz

The boom gate suggestion, although costly to install, is the best lateral thinking I have read on this much discussed issue.

Many states have dual heavy and light vehicle rest areas, although spending the night with the noise of trucks is not what I would want to do.

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Follow Up By: Slow one - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 16:49

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 16:49
Landy,
while agreeing with you about fatigue, recreational vehicle drivers have all day to plan where they stop and when. There are many places to pull off that are not designated truck parking rest stops. I have always been able to pull off with my van in tow and don't have to use truck bays.

At least this guys suggestion may have some impact but others seem pretty negative about it.

There is a suggestion that because of over crowding, trucks will have to book ahead for at spot at a certain rest areas. This I don't believe will work as there are so many variables.

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Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 06:02

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 06:02
All valid points Slow one...

Ultimately it is an education process.

I am mindful though that we need to ensure the Drive, Revive, Survive, message is not confused by disallowing people, whoever they are, to pull up and rest if that is what they need. Camping is another thing altogether and needs to be dealt with...

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 14:53

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 14:53
Education has failed with those who litter rest areas Baz. Education is generally only preaching to the converted. Those who prefer their selfish ways will not change.

How often do we see those "Don't drive tried" and "Take five" signs, with nowhere to pull off in cooee. We have increasing traffic numbers on our roads, be they cars, caravanners or heavy haulage. Adequate rest areas to suit is an essential part of road safety, construction and traffic management.

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Follow Up By: cookie1 - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 20:05

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 20:05
Thinking about your Boom Gate idea, I am guessing that a truck will weigh considerably more than a heavy 4wd so why not base the Boom by weight applied - potentially a mechanical unit not requiring power.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Mar 20, 2015 at 00:07

Friday, Mar 20, 2015 at 00:07
I love it Cookie. This thread it bringing out thoughtful answers which could become real solutions.

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Reply By: TomH - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 13:58

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 13:58
It would be the ignorant and arrogant ones along with the "doesnt apply to me brigade" who would offend the most so trying to educate idiots is doomed to fail.
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Follow Up By: Kazza055 - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 15:39

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 15:39
Spot on TomH.

Why you would want to stop the night and have trucks coming and going right beside you is beyond me.

There needs to be both truck and non truck parking areas so you can park up in the correct area.
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Follow Up By: Kevin S - Life Member (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 15:50

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 15:50
Free camping is a mania with some people. Some would park in the middle of a garbage tip if that was the only free spot available.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 16:51

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 16:51
Some of the Free Camps ARE like garbage tips!
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 17:18

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 17:18
Yeah, spot on Kevin and Allan. That's why I don't use them. Other than for a brief break.

Mainly the ones on the highways and major arterial roads.

I usually just stop, have a cuppa, stretch the legs a bit and then move on.

As for stopping in a truck only rest area, just bloody ignorant, and anyway, as has been said, who wants to listen to trucks pulling in and out at all hours. Lovely trying to get a nights rest with a freezer truck pulled up beside you with his freezer engine clattering away.

Leave these stops for the truckies, there are plenty of alternatives for caravans or motor homes.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 19:35

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 19:35
Tend to agree Pop - can't understand why the hell you'd want to camp in a truck stop anyhow .... noise of trucks, they generally are exposed and have no shade, aren't in general terribly appealing, and usually in my travels around Oz there's usually a 2/3:1 ratio of car stops to truck stops.

Leave them to the truckers....
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Reply By: Road Warrior - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 16:00

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 16:00
The article complained about people using heavy vehicle rest areas as camping grounds.

I don't know about other states, but in Wait Awhile that is not allowed. Unless the stopping area is way way out of town, the Council ranger will come out and book you for camping illegally.

Is rest area usage/signs different in other states to WA? In WA the signs I've seen arent specific to one type of vehicle over another, it just says here is a 24hr rest area. Plus most of the rest areas I have seen are huge and others are clearly suited to caravan access only. Like the Murchison River crossing and at De Grey river. Although I guess you could park a road train in there in the area away from the river. Would be a bit dicey getting out tho.

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Follow Up By: disco driver - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 16:49

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 16:49
Back in the dimdarks in WA we had both "Truck Bays" and "Rest Areas", trucks in one and everyone else in the other.

Over time it morphed into both trucks and car and car/caravan units using both sites.

The govt of the day decided in it's infinite wisdom to do away with the distinction and changed them all into "Rest Areas".

A bit of consideration on both sides seems to make it work, but why anyone would park-up anywhere near a stock truck parked while the driver rests beats any sort of logic. Its much easier to keep travelling til a clear site turns up.

How long one requires to rest in such a bay before moving on is a contentious issue but resting with washing hung out is probably pushing the limits a bit.


Disco.
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Follow Up By: Road Warrior - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 17:28

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 17:28
That's interesting disco thanks. The other thing I've noticed is that with the huge expanse of land surrounding some of these rest areas, couldn't they simply make them bigger. Plus some of the rest areas clearly arent designed to accommodate b doubles or road trains. Judging by the access and exit points and trees everywhere inside.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 14:55

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 14:55
Some of the Main Roads WA 24 hour rest areas are large, or set well back from the highway Road Warrior. Most have a pit toilet, and an increasing number have a dump point as well. I have not taken note of heavy haulage rest areas.

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Reply By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 17:10

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 17:10
It appears than in New South Wales Highway rest areas are either "Heavy and Light Vehicle Rest Areas", "Light Vehicle Rest Areas" or "Load Checking Areas". There are no exclusively Heavy Vehicle rest areas. See RMS Rest Areas.

We would never get agreement between state departments to streamline any plan or methods :O.

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Follow Up By: SDG - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 18:56

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 18:56
Found this for what a rest area is, requirements, etc, as well

Heavy vehicle rest areas
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 17:16

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 17:16
Who reads brochures included with the rego renewal?
Who would be likely to tick a box anyway?
In any case, those parking unreasonably don't give a 'rats'.
Who would fund policing?

Boom gates?...... Cost $millions. Policing? more $millions.
Besides, without electric power available, add cost of solar power.

If a rest area is allocated to 'trucks only' then an entry sign should state "Trucks Only -- Penalties Apply". Casual policing covered by the fines.

I have spoken with a truckie about this. He says the big problem is car/caravans parking widely spread-out along the parking bay leaving no space between for a B-double. He says if they were to park close together from the end there would be less problem for all.
He said he has been tempted to park in the exit lane and let the caravans try to do u-turns to go out the entrance lane "but the bar****s would only sit on their horns!"
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 20:03

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 20:03
Hi Alan

Without a doubt, boom gates would be an expensive option, but if used selectively in the high tourist areas it might be a way to alleviate the problem of “camping” in truck parking areas. Mind you, that was just an idea, there might be other more workable solutions...


But here is the problem authorities are faced with, we have a program of “Drive, Revive,,Survive” and signs all along our major highways highlighting that fatigue kills. Now for sure, recreational drivers perhaps do have time to plan stopping points without the need to park in truck only bays, but if the driver is fatigued it makes for a hard argument that you can’t pull up, possibly in a truck bay, if that is what is available to rest.

The message being conveyed starts to look confusing, and what if the person drives on, has a micro-sleep and wipes themselves and a half-dozen others along the way because of being denied access to a rest area.

And don’t get my wrong, I’m not making a case for “camping” in truck bays, I’m dead against it. But a stop for a rest if fatigued is another thing altogether…

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 15:13

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 15:13
Most towns have caravan parks, usually suited to park caravans in either over night or for longer stays. I can't see why caravaners have to drive through a town to park in a rest area out side of the town.
As it's illegal to park a truck on the streets in a built up area they have no choice but to go out of town to a rest area.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Mar 20, 2015 at 00:14

Friday, Mar 20, 2015 at 00:14
Simple Dave. If I wanted to holiday by stopping in towns, it would be cheaper to stay in the privacy of motels and cabins than buy a rig set up for independent bush camping and touring the outback. Caravan Parks every night would be torture not a holiday. Neither do we stop overnight in rest areas often; only some of the larger ones on the Eyre Highway or Great Northern Highway which Main Roads WA do a good job in providing.

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Reply By: Tony H15 - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 18:08

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 18:08
I never use truck parking areas, just too noisy. Trouble is, normal rest also get noisy sometimes, usually from truck drivers who don't seem to be able to read.
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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 18:56

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 18:56
Or who have had to resort to using this area because the ignorant free loaders have taken up the space in the truck parking areas.
I am sick of seeing the free camp areas looking like rubbish dumps. The clowns in their big caravan rigs parking in truck bays are asking for trouble. The suggestion of the truck parking near the exit and forcing the caravans to do u-turns may teach the wankers a lesson too!!
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Follow Up By: Tony H15 - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 23:29

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 23:29
Yes, I must admit I hate all the rubbish left lying around: McDonald's wrappers, Hungry Jack's Shakes, Kentucky Fried Chicken boxes, shredded truck tyres. Now I wonder who lives on that sort of food and who discards their truck tyres like that??? Has to be caravaners right? caravaners live on that sort of food, caravan kitchens are just there for show after all, and lets not forget those truck tyres all caravans are shod with.
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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 04:10

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 04:10
I couldn't care less if you drive a truck, van or caravan...if you litter your a pig!!!Fullstop. Nice to hear that caravanners never have take aways..I didn't realise that. I don't think too many truckers discard their tyres . Most would be results of blowouts. Some probably do the wrong thing. The same as some arrogant caravanners parking in truck areas.....
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Follow Up By: Tony H15 - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 09:17

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 09:17
I don't think I've ever stopped at a rest are that doesn't have an overflowing garbage bin. Similarly I can't remember too many rest stops without discarded truck tyres, they're always dumped in the bush just behind the rest area. And lets not forget all the toilet paper littering the rest stops. As for caravaners eating take away, I'd say probably an extreme minority, obviously due to the fact caravaners have rolling kitchens, not to mention ensuites. I wonder how many trucks have kitchens and ensuites in the cab. I'd say the people who do litter are the people who don't have the facilities to do the right thing. Most caravans and caravaners have the facilities to avoid that.
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Follow Up By: Member - Twocrowsdown - Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 13:14

Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 13:14
I don't think it's a truck or caravan thing - more like the individual. Personally, I carry used plastic shopping bags in my truck for rubbish. Doesn't cost me a cent. Quite often I will pick up rubbish from the ground if my bag isn't full on my way to drop it in the (usually overflowing) rubbish bin in the rest area.
What really gets me is faeces or dirty nappies littering the ground - makes it an interesting walk around the trailers checking the load at night.
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Reply By: burnsy - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 19:15

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 19:15
I was in New Zealand a couple of months ago and found that in most towns the trucks tended to congregate either in shopping center car parks on along the side of the road as you enter town. They were gone in the morning. Another point I noticed is that campers can use certain parking areas such as boat ramp parks marinas Woolies car parks for over night stays
While there were numerous rest areas I can't recall seeing many truck parking areas.
I think that if the authorities would allow parking in car parks in town this would alleviate some of the parking problems.
Mike
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Follow Up By: TomH - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 11:27

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 11:27
The probably reason for lack of truck stops is that most main centres are closer together than here. Eg a good truck can do CHCH - DN in time not to need a rest stop.

There is intense debate in NZ about people freecamping all over the place and littering etc. More and more councils are putting up NO CAMPING signs and fining those who do. Should start here as well.
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Follow Up By: disco driver - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 15:13

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 15:13
There's always heated debate about freecamping in or near tourist areas, places of interest and close to cities. Some are in agreement and some vehemently oppose it.

My experiences with free camping started way back before the word was invented. Margaret River in the late 50's, early 60's and even later was all about the surf. Guys and girls travelled from Perth and elsewhere in the original panelvans ( FJ,FE, FC and FB holdens and XK,XL and XM falcons) and just camped anywhere where there was good surf. Most of them took all their rubbish home with them and made sure that their bodily wastes were well buried, usually well behind the first dune.

Since then I have continued to free camp whenever I needed to.

My observations over the years lead me to believe that most shyte left lying around on the ground does not come from the "Wicked" type campers but more from those with larger vehicles and similarly large caravans on behind carrying young children.

Most of the backpacker group are from western Europe/UK where littering is very much frowned upon, they are much more likely to use bins where they are provided (and that's not all that often either) or take their junk away with them when they leave a site.

Of course this is only a broad generalisation based on 1 persons observations, so criticism will be totally ignored.

Disco.
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Reply By: Member - Odog - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 19:56

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 19:56
We stopped on the way over, at moondini? Bluff in WA on the way to Perth.. Heaps of rubbish scattered around.. But not really room for trucks, but plenty of space for a little privacy.. We thought, how could people be so ignorant with their rubbish, as bins are provided... On the way home we stopped the night there again, the truckies must have been getting some back, seeing all the campers, early in the morning, they were on the air horns, as they went past... All good in fun n games.. But what was a big surprise, was we watched crows, pulling rubbish through the mesh lids on the bins, and spreading it every where, this was later in the morning, as we were the last to leave the area.. We thought it was just people being lazy, but no, it was the crows making all the mess. I have never seen more rubbish spread around a "rest" area, than there.. Just goes to show, it's not always humans who are responsible for a messy rest stop.. Sorry if I've gone a bit of topic... As said above, why would you want to stop in a truck stop, usually a big open dirt patch, rather be away from the road, behind the shrubs, and basically out of site of the road.. They need the space, just let them have it... Most are great blokes, and gals. It's their lively hood, appreciate what they do... And try and make their lives a little nicer.. Give them the room they NEED... A bit of courtesy goes a long way, common sense really.. Cheers Odog
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Follow Up By: SDG - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 23:03

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 23:03
Seen birds doing the same thing here in NSW.
Once saw a possum in the bin as well, but he only pulled out one item of rubbish
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Reply By: Angryz - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 20:54

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 20:54
My brother drives a B-double interstate & says its not only the room taken up by the tourists its also when Mum,Dad & the three kids pull along side while the driver is sleeping during the day.They run around the trucks playing & he is quite regularily woken by balls being bounced off the sleeper cab. Unfortunately there is less Truck parking areas than their once was. Not sure what the solution is but there is a lot of inconsiderate people out there that just don't consider others.
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 21:03

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 21:03
Slow,

From my experience, these happy campers have acquired some parking bay etiquette by the time they reach the Longreach-Winton area.

There are no dedicated truck only bays, so everyone shares. Of course this is not always a happy outcome when 30 decks rock up just before midnight, and the drivers all start their Icepaks, and the ones in "cattle class" insist on doing a "steel deck tango", ALL BLOODY NIGHT!!!

When I was driving full time, I had a favourite bay, about 90 clicks west of Winton, to grab my mandatory 1/2 hour rest, where I'd usually try for 20 minutes sleep. On many nights, as I turned into the bay there would be a gauntlet of 'vans, campers, cars and even the odd tent. It was often difficult to keep left enough, to provide access for another possible heavy camper, as some campers would park at right angles, with their A frame jutting out into the bay. Often needed some precision driving, not to spoil someone's, and my evening.

Would have my break, engine off(do have some compassion for my fellow travellers :-)) then crank up, do the The Book, and head off, Longreach being about 3 'n bit hours away. Didn't really worry about waking everyone up as I left, because If I'd been there at daylight, and trying to sleep, they'd be banging doors, talking and packing up. And they can always sleep in, if I've kept them awake all night.

Barkly Highway in NT is good, as truck have their own bays, and rarely see any indiscretions from either side, in someone else's space.

As for the rubbish, it's just not the crows. There are really some horrible people out there that don't give a stuff about it, 'cause they're moving on in the morning. Paper, wrappers, soft drink cans, and even turds, right in the middle of bitumen bays. Ugh, takes some washing off your boots, I can tell you!!!

Bob



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Follow Up By: Slow one - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 06:42

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 06:42
They behave at The Barkly but seem to park anywhere at the bay in Camooweal.

Yes there are some grubs out there and I have purchased some turd avoidance double pluggers at great expense to myself. The beauty with them is, if they fail to detect said turds you just step out of them and keep walking.

As you said three trailers of foot stompers, fridgies and icepacks seem to deter a bit at night.

Maybe it has come time for online license renewal tests on road rules and etiquette for all.

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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 19:52

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 19:52
Good luck with "etiquette" with licence - even with constant surveillance on most fora, there are still people whose civility leaves a little (or a lot!) to be desired, what hope with a licence that is renewed every 5 years or so, and no policing between times.
Let's be frank (or earnest if you prefer) there are not enough coppers around to police all the existing laws, pollies keep adding more laws, and no addition to the policing numbers.

TBH, I think that every new law enacted should have a "sunset clause" by which the law automatically ceases to be effective after a certain date unless there is a full assessment of effectiveness - ie did it have the intended/stated effect (such as a decrease in the speed limit through a town to reduce accidents - was there a reduction in accidents?) and the assessment concludes that the law actually DID what it was intended to. That does NOT include an intention to increase state income increase.
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Follow Up By: Slow one - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 20:55

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 20:55
Not talking about a law, I am talking about licence renewal and by what I see on the roads many need this. Guess many should then have a sunset clause on their licence, I think that is a great idea.

Guess if nothing happens and everything is negative, those affected will solve the problem which might not be very politically correct.

I believe electricians have to do a online test every 5 years and vehicles kill far more than their trade has ever done.


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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 16:35

Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 16:35
Haven't you read the signs lately at the truck parking bays west of Longreach ,just before the Saleyards / Muttaburra turnoff , bloody terrorists to dam lasy to drive to the free Apex camping ground 1km away.
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