24 March, 2011

Delivery boy

Byblos didn't provide a happy working environment so Ade quit. 55 hour weeks are only tolerable if you're enjoying your job so he had the full support of L, F & E.
He spent his 2 week hiatus on home duties, doing the school run and parent roster, cooking, cleaning and 4-wheel-driving (!). However, he wasn't unemployed for long  (a lot of work in this town if you have accommodation!).
This week he started working for Pilbara Foods, a small, friendly, family-run business that supplies and delivers food to mine sites, construction and exploration camps across the Pilbara. He drives a refrigerated truck and is having a blast. I have asked him to take photos so we can all see what the rest of the Pilbara looks like.
Ade's truck.
Spoke to my dad yesterday and found myself explaining what 'the Pilbara' is. So for his benefit I have borrowed some info from Wikipedia:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Pilbara region according to the Regional Development Commissions Act 1993
North of the Pilbara looking south at the range
The Pilbara (pronounced as "Pillbra") is a large, dry, thinly populated region in the north of Western Australia known for its vast mineral deposits, in particular iron ore.


The WA Gas Industry claims that the region takes its name from pilbarra, an Aboriginal word for the mullet and that the name was derived from the Pilbara Goldfield, discovered in 1885, which was itself named after Pilbara Creek (originally spelt "Pilbarra") a tributary of the Yule River.
Alternatively, Wangka Maya (Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre) says in its publication Bilybara (p. ii) that it derives from the name for the Pilbara region in Nyamal and Banyjima, bilybara meaning 'dry'.

Location and description

Under the Regional Development Commissions Act Pilbara is situated south of the Kimberley, and is made up of the local government areas of Ashburton, East Pilbara, Port Hedland and Roebourne.
The Pilbara region covers an area of 507,896 km² (including offshore islands). It has a population of just under 40,000 people, most of whom live in the western third of the region, in towns such as Port Hedland, Karratha, Wickham, Newman and Marble Bar. A substantial number of people also work in the region on a fly-in/fly-out basis.
The Pilbara consists of three distinct geographic areas. The western third is the Roebourne coastal sandplain, which supports most of the region's population in towns and much of its industry and commerce. The eastern third is almost entirely desert, and is sparsely populated by a small number of Aboriginal peoples. These are separated by the inland uplands of the Pilbara Craton, including the predominant Hamersley Range which has a considerable number of mining towns, the Chichester Range and others. These uplands have a number of gorges and other natural attractions. Pilbara contains some of the world's oldest surface rocks, including the ancient fossilised remains known as stromatolites and rocks such as granites that are more than three billion years old.
The climate of the Pilbara is semi-arid and arid, with high temperatures and low irregular rainfall that follows the summer cyclones. During the summer months, maximum temperatures exceed 32°C (90°F) almost every day, and temperatures in excess of 45°C (113°F) are not uncommon.
The Pilbara town of Marble Bar set a world record of most consecutive days of maximum temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) or more, during a period of 160 such days from 31 October 1923 to 7 April 1924.
The Terra satellite captured this image of Cyclone Fay, over the Western Australian coast on March 27, 2004.
Flooding is a major hazard in the Pilbara with periods of torrential rainfall between November and May. Like most of the north coast of Australia the coastal areas of the Pilbara experience frequent tropical cyclones. Due to the relatively low population density in the Pilbara region cyclones rarely cause large scale destruction or loss of life.


The Pilbara's economy is dominated by mining exports and petroleum export industries.
Most of Australia's iron ore is mined in the Pilbara, with mines mostly centred around Tom Price and Newman. The iron ore industry employs 9000 people from the Pilbara area. The Pilbara also has one of the world's major manganese mines, Woodie Woodie, situated 400 kilometres (250 mi) southeast of Port Hedland.
Iron ore reserves were first discovered by Lang Hancock, and considerable portions of the Pilbara region are still claimed by his daughter Gina Rinehart and the family company Hancock Prospecting continues to gain from its interests in the region - as well as commencing its own mine workings. Blue asbestos was first mined in Wittenoom Gorge in 1943.
Geoscience Australia calculates that the country's "economic demonstrated resources" of iron currently amount to 24 gigatonnes, or 24 billion tonnes. It is being used up at a current rate of 324 million tonnes a year. In the 1960's it was reportedly called "one of the most massive ore bodies in the world" by Thomas Price, then vice president of US-based steel company Kaiser Steel.

The region also has a number of sheep-grazing stations and a substantial tourist sector, with popular natural attractions including the Karijini and Millstream-Chichester national parks, the Dampier Archipelago and the Ningaloo Reef.


Iron ore train arriving at Port Hedland
The first railway in the Pilbara region was the narrow-gauge Marble Bar Railway between Port Hedland and Marble Bar.
Currently four heavy-duty railways are associated with the various iron-ore mines, with a fifth line proposed to serve the Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. mines. The railways are all standard gauge and are built to the heaviest North American standards. Between 2008 and 2012, Rio Tinto proposes to convert to driverless trains on its railways. An additional 300km line is planned from the Roy Hill mine to a port at Boondarie, near Port Hedland.

Weano Gorge in Karijini National Park


The vibrant colours of the outback in Karijini National Park
The dominant flora of the Pilbara is acacia trees and shrubs and drought-resistant Triodia spinifex grasses. Several species of acacia (wattle) trees are endemic to the Pilbara and are the focus of conservation programs along with wildflowers and other local specialities.
The Pilbara is home to a wide variety of endemic species adapted to this tough environment, including dozens of species of stygofauna; microscopic invertebrates which live underground in the aquifers of the region. The Pilbara olive python, the Western Pebble-mound Mouse, and the Pilbara Ningaui of the Hamersley Range are among the many species of animals within the fragile ecosystems of this desert ecoregion. Birds include the Australian Hobby, Nankeen kestrel, Spotted Harrier, Mulga Parrot, budgerigars, and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos.
Wildlife has been damaged by the extraction of iron, natural gas and asbestos but the protection of culturally and environmentally sensitive areas of the Pilbara is now advanced by the delineation of several protected areas including the Millstream-Chichester and the Karijini National Parks.


  1. Ade do you have a blue singlet under ur fluro hi vis shirt, hahahah.

    Road Ranger gear box?.

    Do you need a delivery boy offsider ?, I will buy u ice coffees in the morning ?!

    Paul ( 40 now (: ) that was my pathetic attempt at being tech script savy !!

  2. no blue singlets yets, naybe once I start drinking emu from a can
    road ranger/eaton gearbox, you go through the 1st to fourth H pattern then flick a switch and go back to 1st wich is then fith sitxth seventh eight, in the case of the trucks I drive but some trucks have more gears,
    come on up mate, in this job the ice coffes are free

  3. Eight gears? Flick switching?? H Paterns?? How do you remember where you are up to in between sculling free ice coffees?? (PS: Does it have reverse as well?)

  4. Ade, sorry I havn't responded - i am still recovering from the free Ice coffee bit.

    Try changing gears going up without the clutch, its easy, once you have mastered this do the same coming down gears crunch crunch.. you caan dooo it - my Padawon.

  5. yep, used to do that all the time in my
    1972 datsun 1200, not something i would risk getting wrong on a 15 thousand worth of gearbox!