Truckie a prime mover and shaker

TRUCK driver Des Bailey has made a lot of friends around the country in his 30-year driving career.

With jobs regularly taking him between Melbourne, Broken Hill and Queensland to deliver Koppers electricity poles, the Waterview Heights-based driver has worked with all sorts of characters.

And he must have made a good impression too, because glowing reports from the businesses he has dealt with, not to mention the support of his own employer, Herb Blanchard Haulage, have helped him earn a nomination for a national driving award.

Today Mr Bailey will travel to Newcastle for the Australian Trucking Association's (ATA) annual conference as a finalist in the organisation's Professional Driver of the Year Award.

It's not a new experience for the 50-year-old.

He won the National Association of Road Freight Operators professional driver award in Coffs Harbour last October.

Mr Bailey is at odds to explain why he's found such favour with the national awards but a record that boasts only one infringement in more than 30 years of heavy driving surely plays some part.

And his love for the open road is just a bonus.

"I just love the freedom of being out there on your own," he said.

"You get out and meet different people.

"I've made a lot of good friends over the years, yeah, it's just a good lifestyle."

The reigning ATA Professional Driver of the Year is Junction Hill's Merv Edwards, an employee of Lindsay's Brothers Transport.

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