Many people working in the trucking industry today will tell you stories about getting started driving trucks at a young age. If you are used to handling large machines and getting them from A to B as a child, the whole taking a truck out on the highway scenario becomes a natural progression.
Many of us in the trucking industry come from a farming background where having a crack with some large equipment could be relatively safe. Personally, I was reversing trailers by the age of ten and have never looked back sonce, although there are some would say I still can’t back a trailer well now!
This is another video of a young person handling a couple of loaded trailers and a Roadranger gearbox with aplomb. John Hamilton shared this video of his 13-year-old son Myles steering John’s T659 and pulling a double carting hay out of the paddock at Minlaton in South Australia.
Of course, it is just not practical to replicate these conditions everywhere. A double in the middle of a paddock is a pretty safe bet for the truck’s owner. The biggest risk in teaching the young person is in adding an extra bit or wear and tear on the transmission getting up to speed on making gear changes.
Every time Diesel publishes a story like this the reaction is always positive and plenty of people share the story with their friends. It is a shame, but understandable, that stories like this are relatively rare. This kind of experience cannot be replicated very often.
Perhaps someone could come up with some kind of solution to engage young people like this. It is a great feeling to be in control of something so huge and heavy at that age. Simply feeling the actions of your hands and feet controlling a moving mass of forty or fifty tonnes can be thrilling. It is also something you will never forget, and for many of us this is how we caught the bug in the first place.