Rest Area 300m: For Bill

Sunday, August 21, 2005

For Bill

S Series Bedford Truck

Haymaking used to be a job for all hands. As a spotty youth living in the country it was difficult not to get press ganged into hot exhausting haybale lifting. A truckie lived next door, he ran a small fleet of stock trucks and I used to wag school and travel the lower North Island with him. Often at 5 a.m. my bedroom window would slide open and I would be shaken awake to end up in a paddock in the Wairarapa or somewhere, with haybales as far as the eye could see. There where no elevators or machinery involved in stacking the truck, only muscle. It was here I learnt to drive a truck. It was a S Bedford, 7 ton, with a 2 speed vacuum operated Eaton diff. I graduated from a slow trundle around a paddock to a stately trundle down the road, from haybales to sheep.
In those distant days you got your driving licence at the local garage, where the Traffic Cop met you and took you for your test. I had passed my car licence on my 15th birthday.
I arrived, slightly late, for my Heavy Traffic licence on my 18th birthday with a fully loaded truck and trailer, 200 odd sheep for the freezing works. I told him I was running a bit late and could we please get on with it.The cop just threw his hands in the air and muttered something about " ... the youth of today ", and then handed me a licence.
We were having lunch the other day and an 8 wheeler stock truck pulled into the metal pit to pick up its trailer. This was done with a modicum of fuss, and the driver hopped out to connect up the airlines. He was spotty and not much older than 18. It turned out he was the owners son. All power to him. This is the other side of the driving age debate.... In the rural areas the kids have driven farm bikes, tractors, and help with machinery. The nearest shop could be miles away. So how do we deal with the urban boyracer and not penalise the farmers kids?

Male. Lives in New Zealand/North Island/The Road, speaks English. Eye color is blue.
This is my blogchalk:
New Zealand, North Island, The Road, English, Male.

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