WE leave Jayde Transport at 8.05am in Errol Abas’ prime mover hauling a heavy freight container.
Mr Abas, a truck driver for nine years, makes the round trip between North Fremantle and Forrestfield about 20 times each week.
“Truck driving makes you patient,” he says. “Today we have 38 tonnes on the back, but we can have as much as 70 tonnes. You can’t take risks carrying weight like that.
“We drive safe, stay calm, get home.”
It takes us 11 minutes to reach Stirling Highway, and from there we get an unusually smooth run across Stirling Bridge to High Street.
Mr Abas says traffic is usually pretty good at this time of day, but from here patience is key. High Street is dual lane both ways to Leach Highway, but it is a tight squeeze.
Mr Abas eases his way to the Leach Highway/Stock Road intersection and despite the increase in cars it is a relatively smooth trip to the Kwinana Freeway, which we reach at 8.35am.
The first obvious discourtesy comes on Roe Highway five minutes later.
A motorist in a blue Ford Falcon cuts across into our lane, using no indicator.
Mr Abas brushes it off, saying truck driving is all about give and take. “You can’t hold grudges,” he said.
We reach Jayde Transport’s base in Forrestfield about 8.57am, a travel time of 52 minutes.
It is not long before the container is unloaded and we are heading back, empty this time, to North Fremantle.
The trip back starts slowly. Traffic has picked up and it is more tedious getting back on to Roe Highway.
Mr Abas said it will be easier once the road works around Tonkin Highway and Roe Highway are finished.
Back on Roe Highway, traffic has picked up considerably. The flow is not helped by a truck moving slowly in the right hand lane, keeping pace with another truck in the left.
Traffic begins to bank up until the slow driver in the right lane finally moves left, left again into a slip lane and off the highway.
We get another smooth entry into the Kwinana Freeway for the four-kilometre journey north to Leach Highway. When Roe 8 is built, the truck will continue west through Bibra Lake to Stock Road.
The arguments against the extension are plenty, but Mr Abas says it would make freight movement easier, and keep trucks off Leach Highway.
“The number of cars is increasing all the time,” he says.
“Perth is growing bigger and bigger.”
By 9.39am we are back at the Leach Highway/Stock Road intersection. Options for extending Roe Highway from Stock Road to Stirling Bridge are still being debated, yet if option one is chosen this intersection would remain a central thoroughfare for trucks heading into and out of Fremantle.
Some nearby residents could lose their homes. Signs hang from back fences, proving how personal the battle has become.Five minutes later Mr Abas makes the tight right-hand turn from High Street back on to Stirling Highway.
He says drivers have to take it slow to ensure momentum and the gradient in the road do not topple the vehicle over.
Heading into Tydeman Road a motorist in a sedan makes a swift move into our lane, squeezing in between us and another truck.
It’s the first time today Mr Abas is forced to push hard on the brakes.
“People don’t realise that we need more time to stop,” he said.
“It’s really hard to anticipate other cars jumping (lanes), but we have to do our best.”
Fortunately no damage is done.
At 9.56am we arrive back in North Fremantle, a 51-minute return trip.
After two hours, we leave Mr Abas. His truck is being reloaded for the second of four return trips he will make that day.