Hannifey pushes to keep TIV on the road

Trucking identity Rod Hannifey launches final bid to keep his advocacy campaign alive

By Brad Gardner | April 19, 2010

Industry identity Rod Hannifey has launched a final bid to keep his trucking advocacy campaign alive, which may end in less than a month.

Well-known for his work promoting the industry and the introduction of blue roadside reflectors, Hannifey takes business and political leaders on truck trips to give them an understanding of the industry.

The truck, labelled the Truckright Industry Vehicle (TIV), was loaned to him by owner-driver Ken Wilkie for a set time, and Hannifey will hand it back in three weeks unless he raises the money to buy it.

He is auctioning two trips starting at $100,000 each. The money is designed to fund Hannifey’s work for the next five years, such as attending events and lobbying for better roads and rest areas.

"I’m hopeful someone will step up," he says.

There have been no bids yet, but Hannifey is hopeful of reaching a deal with a heavy vehicle manufacturer if he cannot raise enough money to buy Wilkie’s truck.

He declined to name the company, but it may take three to four months until the truck is on the road if a deal is reached.

"Until I’m sitting in it I haven’t got it," he says.

The industry veteran has tried to raise his own funds by selling memorabilia but says there has been little support.

He took a shot at big-name trucking companies for not offering to help when an owner-driver would.

"You cannot fault his contribution. He backed me when no-one else would," Hannifey says of Wilkie.

"Toll and Linfox could put 500 of them things on the road and not even notice."

The vehicle’s trailer—donated by Hannifey’s employer Rod Pilon Transport—is adorned with safety messages.

Hannifey says his efforts have helped raise the profile of the industry and achieved wins for drivers, such as getting roads fixed and highlighting the issues they face daily.

He was instrumental in getting blue reflectors installed on the roadside to notify truck drivers that unmarked rest areas or places to pull over were ahead.

"If you don’t have a go, nothing happens," Hannifey says.

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