They are long, heavy and rarely spotted in town. No - we’re not referring to your mother-in-law, or the grade 10 teacher that ran away with your buddy’s sister. We’re talking those vehicles that carry livestock, mineral ore, fuel and general freight and are only allowed on certain roads in Australia. We’re referring to road trains. Extra long, super heavy trucks.
Road trains are trucks with several trailers (2/3 or more) used to lug heavy loads around remote and rural areas of Australia. They are only allowed on certain roads away from large towns and centres or on certain approaches to seaside ports. They are a cost effective way to get cargo to remote areas. Some places are so remote; they’re completely reliant on the weekly or monthly road train to shoot through their town for survival.
In the Outback, they are the kings of the road.
What makes them unique is the doubles (two trailers), triples (3 trailers) and AB-quads (B doubles with 2 additional trailers behind) have their trailers connected by converter dollies. This makes them super extra long (up to 53.5m metres) and super heavy (up to 200 tonnes) vehicles, seen only on lonely roads in certain states. Each state has their own rules to regulate road trains; many don’t allow them at all.
Who drives them?
Now, these trucks require special drivers to do the job. These are guys (and gals) who enjoy driving- are able to do so for long periods at a time and don’t mind a ‘different’ lifestyle. They often have to spend lots of time away from family and need to be able to accept that loneliness is a part of the job.
Becoming a road train driver is challenging, though on paper it seems simple enough; if you’re older than 20 years and you’ve been driving for a year, you only need to pass the TAFE course, obtain the MC license and wing the fatigue management certificate, right? Wrong!
“Unfortunately, companies only employ road train drivers with experience.
Driving these monsters requires experience, lots of experience”
How do you do it?
A road train driver in Australia is generally a truckie who has been a truckie for a while. They started driving smaller trucks and progressed to larger trucks as their experience grew. It takes a couple of years and a little perseverance before a company will pay you good money and trust you with 200 tonnes of their precious cargo. It makes sense, I guess.
If your aim is to become a road train driver in Australia:
Have some knowledge of fixing trucks
Be a very responsible person
•Gain lots of experience
If you rarely want to see your mother-in-law, become a road train driver.
To get an MC Licence contact IAN WATSON’S TRUCK SCHOOL