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7 April 2012 / leggypeggy

A monster on the road

A monster on the road

Not long after we saw the Big Galah in Kimba, South Australia, we encountered the biggest semi-trailer rig I’ve ever seen. In fact, there were two of them, but we didn’t realise that until the next day.

Each semi was hauling a huge piece of pipe, probably bound for one of the mines in Western Australia. The load was so wide that the semi ran down the middle of the road, meaning on-coming traffic had to pull off to the shoulder when it went by.

Poor John thought the rig shouldn’t be allowed on the road but, good grief, how else were they going to move that equipment?

Passing was a challenge, but not impossible.

The driver of the ‘pilot’ vehicle (there was also a lead vehicle driving about a kilometre in front of the big rig) had a great system for letting me know when it was safe to pass.

Obviously, he was in radio contact with the lead vehicle, so could ‘see’ what might lie ahead.

The first time I edged out to see around the pipe, the ‘pilot’ vehicle edged out in front of me. The second time I tried it, he did the same, so I realised he was making it clear that I was not to pass.

After a couple of kilometres, he suddenly put on his right turn indicator and I knew immediately that it was his way of signalling an all-clear ahead. I edged out and he waved me on, so I went like the clappers past him and the big fella.

It’s good that I figured out his signal so quickly because I reckon I passed these rigs about six times over two days. Poor John passed them a couple of times too.

We saw the last of them just after the Western Australian border when we decided to head down a dirt/gravel road to Hyden and the Wave Rock.

A couple of days later, we read in the newspaper that drivers for accompanying vehicles earn A$91 an hour. I wonder what the rig drivers get?

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