Big Girl 3: the Husband’s new ‘office’

It’s always a red letter day when the boys get a new truck.

Meet Big Girl 3, the third of her lineage, all 26 metres/85 feet of her. Brand spanking new, still reeking of fresh plastic and leather, and all her chrome sparkly as anything.

The Husband of Chiconia and his two other team drivers work a 4 day, 4 night, 4 off shift. During the day shifts, they drive 1,000km/620 miles a day and 500km/310 miles at night, clocking up a total of 6,000km/ 3,728 miles a week. The truck is in motion for nearly the full 24 hours, only being off the road for fuelling and checks and handover for about 1 hour each day. That means the truck clocks up 547,500kms/340,200 miles a year. Their team has one of the longest working days and highest odometer readings in the company, which is why they get a new truck pretty regularly.

Back in the early days of Big Girl 2, I made the boys a quilt for the truck, assembled from their recycled work shirts. Yesterday, we transferred that, his two matching pillows and a box of tools and cleaning equipment into Big Girl 3.  She’s all clean and lovely and pristine, but with the days they put in and the hazards they face on the road, that probably won’t last too long.

The company names each truck as well as having personalised registration plates.  Big Girl 1 was ‘Safely Home’. Big Girl 2 was ‘Always Safe II’, and Big Girl 3 is ‘Walala Wasala’, which apparently means ‘you snooze, you lose’ in Zulu. Don’t ask me why, the only clue I have is that the GM of the company is South African. If they had to have Zulu, I’d have thought something like ‘Phambili Ngesibonelo’ would work better, seeing that they pride themselves on their good drivers. Whatever the name, I hope safety is still high on the priority list.

It’s a potentially dangerous and occasionally demanding job, and I rather like getting the Husband home at the end of the day…

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50 thoughts on “Big Girl 3: the Husband’s new ‘office’

  1. kathyreeves says:

    That’s a pretty awesome color job, and a very nice looking office!

  2. magpiesue says:

    Wow, that’s a lovely office. The annex is astounding!

    • katechiconi says:

      Shame about the lack of windows! That’s 51,000 litres of diesel in those two tanks… about 13,500 gallons. About 64.5 tonne laden, or 71 tons. She’s a very Big Girl…. And all that chrome and aluminium has to be kept sparkling. He does very nearly as much housework as I do!

  3. That is a beautiful rig and I do understand about the danger those guys face. I always give truckers a wide birth and let them over when they need to get there. They have helped me countless times when I was traveling alone and I have a great respect for the work they do. Hauling fuel is really dangerous and I never understand why so many car drivers are careless and thoughtless around them. I’ll keep good thoughts for him. My former SIL’s husband drives truck here but not a fuel truck. The weather is often a factor when he is out as there are all kinds of storms and snow and ice. I wouldn’t want the job for all the money in the world. It’s good you have pictures while she’s still pretty. 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I think if he had just one message for car drivers it would be “Don’t jump into my safety gap, I can’t stop as fast as you do”. I have a much greater appreciation of *good* truck driving now than I ever did before, and conversely, I’m horrified when the big rigs take huge chances.

  4. anne54 says:

    With all the driving Mr C does for work, it is surprising that you can entice him to travel with Mizz Lizzie. I thought he would have wanted to stay away from roads, traffic and crazy drivers!

    • katechiconi says:

      With Miz Lizzie, he’s pleasing himself about the route, and can take time to look around. In Big Girl, he watches the same road ‘movie’ in the windscreen every day and has to be very alert, no looking around. Miz Lizzie hauling is a bit of a holiday, she’s a whole lot lighter and more manoeuvrable!

  5. pattisj says:

    New truck smell! It’s a beautiful ride. That is a LOT of miles.

    • katechiconi says:

      It is…. He talks to me hands free on the phone, listens to audio books on his phone, says hello to other drivers on the two-way, eats the soup and fruit I’ve packed for him, drinks his coffee. It won’t take long before that lovely new truck smell is overcome by the aroma of three blokes and their habits! That said, she’s never stinky, they clean her after every trip.

  6. Now that’s a rig, keep on trucking Mr C and keep on coming home safe to the missus.

  7. At least it’s in Zulu. If the boss had opted for Xhosa, it would have been harder to pronounce: wena Snuza ulahlekelwa!!!

  8. tialys says:

    She’s a beauty but I wouldn’t want to parallel park her.

  9. ‘Walala Wasala’ is rather musical, so I guess it was the sound that was appealing. I hope he continues to drive safely and get home to you in one piece every day.

    • katechiconi says:

      I think he finds the meaning a bit off-value for the company, but it’s a fait accompli now, so he’ll continue to drive as if she was called Safely Something or Other…

  10. nanacathy2 says:

    wow that is some truck!

  11. rutigt says:

    That´s some big, big, great truck! Wow! but I can understand why you rather want your husband to be home with you!

  12. Kathy D says:

    That is one beautiful piece of machinery! I remember learning to drive one of those beasts and was stunned at how a lot of drivers have no respect for something that big. He puts a lot of hours in and I can understand how driving Miz Lizzie is like a vacation.

    • katechiconi says:

      He learned to drive the big stuff in the Army, and decided that he liked a truck cab as his workplace. One thing led to another, and a Dangerous Goods licence. If people only knew what was involved, they’d give the big rigs a lot more space and treat the load with much more respect…

      • Kathy D says:

        I worked for an auto testing facility and we drove everything. I had my doubts when they said you have to drive this – I’m vertically challenged, 5 foot – and it looked like a mountain to climb into. I really enjoyed my job, outside no desk for me!

  13. claire93 says:

    oh my, I wouldn’t fancy driving that!

  14. craftycreeky says:

    Gosh, that’s one big truck! I have a huge amount of respect for these drivers, the way they manoevre them round, I struggled with a two berth caravan 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I can’t imagine having to drive that thing through the centre of town on a busy 4 lane highway with everyone else zipping by and pushing and shoving for road space. You can’t even *see* a small car past the nose of the truck if it pulls in front too quickly…

  15. dayphoto says:

    WOW! We are always proud of those men (and women) who run the big rigs. What a cool truck!

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s not the biggest in the yard, but it’s definitely currently the newest and shiniest. The really big prime movers pull the road trains, the huge three-trailer setups that do the big cross-country runs, and aren’t allowed in urban areas. I’m lucky he doesn’t drive one of those, I’d hardly see him…

  16. Lynda says:

    Very beautiful rig! Your husband’s employers really do treat them right! I don’t speak a bit of Zulu, and tried to use Google Translate on “Phambili Nge Sibonelo” I got: “With Pattern” LOL, I don’t think that’s right! So what does it mean?

  17. Phwoar! Himself was here and I clicked on the pic, said ‘beautiful!’ He agreed and immediately said, “it’s Australian.” He is good!

  18. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    that is HUGE !!!

  19. Sometimes no coworkers in the “office” seems great, until you realize that all the other drivers on the road are very very short term temps. I’m glad he’s a safe driver.

    • katechiconi says:

      I think if he could, he’d totally ban phones in cars. The number of times he’s had lucky escapes from texting drivers crossing the centre line, and one of his colleagues wasn’t so lucky. The truck was damaged, but the other driver didn’t make it… His phone goes hands-free the minute he climbs aboard, he doesn’t have to touch a thing, and he uses it for listening to talking books, mostly!

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