Truck driver loses $10,000 contract over court delay

A CENTRAL Queensland truck driver lost a $10,000 ­contract after a court ­adjourned his matters for ­excessive driving hours when he moved drought-impacted cattle.

The truck driver had also been fined for an oversized load of hay he was carting for cattle during drought in 2014.

Grant David May, 48, from Theodore, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on December 13 to two counts of working in excess of 12 hours in a 24 hour work day.

Defence lawyer Grant ­Cagney said the solo driver, who had been driving trucks since he was 18 years old, ­misunderstood how the log books were to be filled out.

He said May had taken a seven hour break and thought he was right to start a “fresh day”.

Mr Cagney said May had been intercepted by Department of Main Roads and Transport officers who went through the whole log book and found the two entries – one on July 16 and one on July 20.

He said May was transporting drought-impacted cattle to greener pastures at the time of those log book entries.

The court heard May was convicted in 2014 for a load of hay that was too high.

Legislation has changed since that conviction, allowing truck drivers more flexibility when carting hay for livestock.

Mr Cagney said May had, since being charged over the excess driving hours, completed a course in fatigue management which allowed him to travel for up to 14 hours per day.

He said May had attended Rockhampton court in November with the view to settle the matter, but the acting magistrate adjourned it to December 13, resulting in May losing a contract in South ­Australia worth $10,000.

Magistrate Jeff Clarke said May’s traffic history was “not that bad” for someone who had been driving trucks for 30 years.

He ordered May to pay $1500 in fines and traffic ­convictions were recorded.



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