Mark is a jack of all trades
TOOWOOMBA based driver Mark Giles was sitting in the cabin of his 1983 Mack Series 1 dubbed “Mighty Dog” when Big Rigs yarned to him a quiet Sunday morning.
Mark works for L.E Hartvigsen Transport and his father in law Les is also his boss.
“The company has eight trucks and each one is named after a dog. I have come up from Toowoomba to Townsville with machinery, a compressor and mulch and am waiting for a backload,” he told Big Rigs.
The golden oldie Mack is powered by a six cylinder 400hp motor and has a 14 speed spicer gearbox.
“I like stopping at the BP Cluden where the staff are nice people, the food and showers are good and there is lots of parking,” he said.
Hartvigsen Transport is a family owned company specialising in the transportation of heavy haulage, general machinery and mining equipment and delivers Australia wide.
Mark said there is a genuine shortage of rest areas for truckies along the Bruce Highway between Townsville and Cairns.
A genuine Jack of all trades, Mark also changes tyres at the company depot when he gets home.
Mark is 165cm tall which can be an advantage in his job in many aspects.
For recreation, Mark likes fishing especially in creeks and rivers on the Sunshine Coast.
“I catch some flathead and bream and also enjoy spending time with my daughter when I get time off,” he said.
Aged 51, Mark has been a truckie for 17 months and before that was a meat worker around Queensland.
“I was a boner at Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton,” he said.
I asked Mark for a comparison between life slicing meat and driving the highways and byways of Australia.
“This is so much better and I like the freedom on the road and meeting people,” he said.
Like many drivers Mark will be happy when the NRL season commences and he used to be a Brisbane Broncos supporter.
But these days Mark has switched allegiances and now follows the New Zealand Warriors.
“I am not a Kiwi but started barracking for them because I liked the way Stacey Jones played,” he said.
Mark was asked what was the worst road he got to travel along and answered quickly.
“It would be the stretch between Wallaroo and Springsure in Central Queensland,” he said.
Although Mark has been a truckie for a relatively short time, he will be happy to continue doing it for many years.
Mark said the company had eight trucks which were well maintained.