LET'S talk roads. I know, you are just beside yourself with excitement aren't you? Outback roads - they are our life.
We travel more on dirt roads than we do on bitumen so it is important they are well maintained.
Most cattle stations up here employ a full time grader driver. We used to, but when our grader driver left years ago we decided to get a contractor in to do the job.
One less employee to have to worry about. John is our grader man, he is the main man and it just so happens that he knows this place like the back of his hand.
Before we arrived here John used to managed the place for about 10 years. So he knows where he is going and what to do, low maintenance and just an all round top bloke.
He usually has all the roads on the station (which is 1.7 million acres) graded in about four weeks - which makes our bore runner's very happy indeed - lovely roads to travel around on day in, day out. It isn't much fun bashing over ungraded roads after the wet season, not to mention hard on the vehicles.
We also need the roads well maintained so the road train can travel out to the various cattle yards without any hassle.
They also form fire breaks during the fire season. First things first, unload everything from the road train.
Two graders, one water tank, a diesel tank, and a ute. They camp out where ever it is they are grading.
They cook their dinner in a camp oven over a fire or use a gas hot plate.
To shower they use a bucket and tip the water over themselves somewhere behind the grader.
They will work from dawn until dusk grading the roads.
Often they are a long way from the station which is why they take the Toyota out with them.
This way they can make trips back in if need be.
They may need to do repairs or stock up on food.
They also have UHF radios and a satellite phone.
Someone always checks in on them to make sure they are going along okay - fit and well - and often our bore runner will deliver bread or other staples out to them.... home delivery, doesn't get much better my friends.
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