Peter Fitzherbert and his neighbours have good driving skills but for one big 15-tonne problem. And it's one that's being reflected increasingly up and down the back roads of rural New Zealand.

We all have skills, little things that we are proud of, that some people don't notice in themselves until observed by another person who is clearly lacking in that particular skill set.

I live on a rural road; a road that most New Zealanders will never see as they go about their daily lives, until the day they make a wrong turn following Google maps directions and end up on it – then panic if they find another vehicle traveling towards them. My rural road contains as many blind corners as it does straight sections.

But on this road, us locals, we have a skill.


This road that seemingly wouldn't fit two stationary utes side by side actually has carefree locals commuting happily on it every day.

It's a skill when wing mirrors are passing within millimetres in the single digits, while you're steering with one hand and throwing out a combination of one finger, two fingers or full hand wave with the other.

It doesn't sound too hard until you add in that we rural folk have a friendly characteristic of a good dose of eye contact simultaneously. These are legitimate skills!

But something changed recently.

As if the game of driving the road wasn't challenging enough, we just went up a level.

And just like a video game, this new level has bigger, more imposing characters owning the road.

With a No. 8 wire fence and a 100-metre drop on one side and 18 wheels and 15 tonne of logs on the other, even the locals are at risk.

If you haven't yet caught up, it's two words that put hearts in mouths on my road: logging truck.


And not to mention that our little underfunded country road is starting to fly apart like dry white dog poo passing through the lawnmower.

I don't know what the solution is; I mean, the logs have to come out. I don't want to make this political and compare forestry to a tumour growing in rural New Zealand, but it's not the most unprofitable tumour currently.

I also don't think we are the only valley coming to the end or climax of the forestry rotation.

So what am I saying?

Be careful, look ahead and be thankful that there is no cellphone reception so texting isn't going to be a contributing factor in the head-on crash that might be coming your way.

Hone your driving skills, people, and stay safe on country roads.