It is something in the country many of us are aware of, we can look at each other and know that D applies to all of us. There is no escaping it, we have to interact on a daily basis and we know those coming to see us are partakers of this. Driving is one of the biggest time wasters country people have to participate in. I can hear the sales reps who work on the road howling their protests and the great truckies of Australia, but that is their jobs and they get paid for it.
Farmers cover kilometres just driving around the farm checking on things. they have to check fences if they have livestock. They have to check troughs, waters and dams, they have to check the stock that live in the paddocks, that drink the water out of the troughs and they need to drive to do this. I currently have a husband who is wearing out trouser belt tabs from his pants as he is forever hitching them up as he gets in and out of the ute. Even the classical mens shed is not attached to his house or ‘in the back garden’ it is normally close on 200 mtres from the house, the place where they go to ‘fix things, check things, get tools from and plan their day.
Women get to drive everywhere as well, if you work off farm then you are travelling, I have clocked myself some weeks and I have done over 1000 kms in a week. It is such a tiring waste of time that it is boring. I have travelled many times just to see family and friends, you can not do business from the ‘farmgate’ that is a complete myth, one has to travel for this.
As farmers if you require service people they charge you the driving fee and though we only live 50km out of town there is always a travelling fee, it is as if they are travelling into Adelaide, it is offensive most of the times we receive it. We can not charge them for return of goods, we can not charge them for the inconvenience of them not doing their job properly in the first place require them to come out numerous times nor if we have to take the machinery or parts back into them and when questioned they get offended.
Living in the country is kilometres and kilometres of driving whether it is on the property or off the property and it’s boring. I waste large amounts of my life driving but sadly if I don’t do the trips very few opportunities or people come our way.