It was late in the afternoon and dad and I were on our way home. We had finished refurbishing the bathrooms of a house that was going to be used for community purposes. All our work had been offered for free and it had been a big day.
We were travelling at 100km/h on the Centenary Highway heading towards Forest Lake when dad looked through his rear view mirror and saw a toilet seat fly off the back of our truck like a frisby in front of a policeman on a motorbike.
Lights flashed behind us indicating dad to pull over to the side of the road. We thought of all the people to witness losing part of a load! And now we were going to be fined for a flying toilet seat.
The policeman was unimpressed about the toilet seat incident, saying it nearly hit him off his bike (it didn’t touch him and landed on the sideway). He then investigated the rest of the contents in the ute and told us that our load was unsecure and the tool boxes and tools could also fly off. The tool boxes weigh a tonne but we weren’t going to argue with the officer. He gave my dad the fine. There was no loss of points from his license because the offence wasn’t due to bad driving.
Later that week dad caught up with another Police officer (at McDonalds for a coffee, not for another offence!!) who assured dad that the way our ute was packed was fine and that the Police Officer who gave us the fine was doing his job and was probably more concerned if the toilet seat damaged his bike.
Whenever dad and I load the ute with old boxes and fixtures, we always make sure light items are weighed down with heavier items. So this was the first time we had a toilet seat fly off the back of the ute and thankfully it flew into the grass side way because we were travelling in the far left lane.
I bring this story up because the Police are cracking down on drivers – especially tradies who haven’t tied down their loads.
No tradie can afford to lose valuable tools or new product off the back of their truck. Unfortunately it does happen but it can be avoidable.
The thing is, not only is it a hassle to lose a load of goods on a highway, it’s incredibly dangerous to other drivers on the road. Dad and I were lucky that our toilet seat didn’t cause an accident or hurt anyone.
In order to avoid a fine, tradies are now using nets to place over the ute tray to avoid anything flying off. It’s also important for all members of the public to do the same. Over the weekend I saw heaps of overloaded trailers going to the dump. The piles were unsecure and dangerous.
We all have a responsibility to ensure that our cargo is packed securely and won’t be a nuisance to other drivers. Nets are available at all leading home hardware and plumbing supply stores. The cost of the net which can be used time and time again is better than an on the spot fine of a couple of hundred dollars.