Trucking in the blood for outback trucker
When asked how he got into trucks, WA-based trucker Brad Cheney said his story was the same as many in the industry – “I was born and raised there “, did he declare.
“My father was a truck driver when I was born. I was always in the passenger seat at a young age. Dad started teaching me to drive the truck when I was 13, but that’s not possible anymore.
Now 34, Cheney works for Hawkins Haulage, based in the Perth suburb of Bullsbrook. He’s been there a little over four years and drives a 2006 Kenworth T904. “It’s a good truck. Being a small family business, it’s one truck, one driver all the time, so you get your own truck, set it up and go,” he said.
Cheney adds that the work he does is varied and diverse, taking him to every corner of WA and the Northern Territory as well.
“Most of the work is general cargo to the mines, but we also do work on fridges/freezers,” he said.
For Cheney, being able to enjoy some of the most awe-inspiring scenery Australia has to offer is one of the many perks of the job. “I love the Australian outback, it’s beautiful. We have one of the best hinterlands in the world – the scenery, the sunsets.
“My favorite places to travel are Broome and anything beyond Hedland. It’s just a different kind of landscape that way. Kununurra is beautiful too – although I’m never there long enough to see it all, but I slowly cruise by and take a look around the town.
“We try to stay on the tarmac and not go off road too much because the roads here are so rough that they are slowly deteriorating the truck.
As for truck stops, Cheney says BP Wubin is his favorite place to stop. “The ladies there make you feel at home. They cook a great meal and love to chat. They cheer you up when you’re having a bit of a bad time.
Although he loves being on the road, being away from his family is difficult. “I have a wife and six children at home. She is definitely the backbone of the family. Kids all love trucks. I think at least two of them will get into trucking, but it will be a completely different landscape by the time they can come in,” he said. “On some trips my boys can also come in the truck with me which is a bonus.”