Plans to take ‘Muscle Mite’ to WA schools for road safety education
With a fresh coat of paint, a shiny new interior and engine upgrade, the smallest licensed prime mover in Australia has hit the road once more, with the revamped vehicle making its ag show debut at Newdegate Machinery Field Days.
The 1988 Mini Moke with a Mini Minor engine has a long history promoting road safety with the Livestock and Rural Transport Association of WA, dating back almost 30 years.
It was a fixture at agricultural shows and even led record-breaking road train pulls in the Goldfields.
But last year it received a little TLC ahead of the association’s bold new mission — to teach primary school students about safety and careers in transport.
LRTA president David Fyfe said they would start with country schools and see where it went from there.
“I don’t know how far it will go or how much mileage we’ll get,” he said. “I’d love to be able to get it to agricultural shows too.”
A grandfather himself, Mr Fyfe said he wanted to give young children an understanding of just how big trucks are and instil the need to be safe on the roads for when they do start driving.
“It’s about them respecting the size of these vehicles,” he said.
“If you can get in while they’re young to understand that even though that’s little, it’s big.
“New cars are very nippy ... people come up behind a truck and pass it and they cut in and stop.”
He hoped to be able to park it on school grounds for children to walk around and sit in the cab, which he hoped might also spark an interest in a career in the transport industry.
“As we get around my dream would be to take a big prime mover to a school,” Mr Fryfe said.
“I used to do it a bit before, kids love it and you never know ... there might be a little young fella who might think in years to come, ‘I want to be a truck driver’ or ‘I want to be in the transport industry’. The equipment nowadays is pretty good ... it’s like a motor car, really comfortable, great sound systems and you get paid to drive around and look at this beautiful country.
I think we’ve got to get rid of the days where the truckie in the blue singlet and thongs is what we think of. We look at a guy that can operate a million dollars worth of equipment, earn very good money, get home safely on the weekends to his family and be part of our community.
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