John, truck driver

Jan 10, 2014

John WaltisI’ve been an interstate driver for over 30 years and during that time I have worked for all types of transport operators and for myself. I know what the commercial pressures in the industry look like.

Impossible delivery deadlines, paying drivers by the pallet and unpaid waiting time of up to 20 hours a week means that drivers working in the supply chains of big clients like Coles are under unimaginable pressure to drive whilst fatigued, overload their trucks or speed. This pressure is very real, often it is the difference between keeping their contract or not and still being able to afford to buy some of the food they are delivering for their own kids.

I’m lucky enough to work for a major company where hourly rates and enough market power mean that we are not subject to these same pressures, but I share the road, with the drivers who are sleepy, overloaded and speeding. The results can be tragic.

“I’ve been to 52 funerals for friends who’ve worked as drivers. I don’t want to go to any more.”

Truck driver, Sydney

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