TRANSPORT for NSW is urging Upper Hunter motorists to be understanding on the roads this weekend as a convoy of almost 180 trucks hits the New England Highway.
The heavy vehicles, taking part in the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners, will travel from Singleton to Armidale on Saturday, January 25.
After departing Albury, the massive fleet - under the guidance of founder Brendan "Bumpa" Farrell OAM - is expected to arrive in the region on Friday where volunteers are scheduled to stay overnight.
The convoy then leaves the Singleton Pony Club grounds from 6am, and passes through Muswellbrook, Aberdeen, Scone, Murrurundi, Willow Tree and Tamworth, on its way to Armidale.
"We're advising everyone to be patient and wait for safe overtaking opportunities or take a rest break and allow the truck drivers to move through," Transport for NSW senior media officer Rena Richmond said.
"The volunteers are delivering much-needed hay to the drought-stricken New England region, which has also had parts ravaged by fires.
"We thank motorists for their patience while this disruption to the road network occurs."
Mr Farrell admitted it had been a "hard" decision where to take the next convoy after the success of last year.
"The whole of NSW and southern Queensland - look, we're all in a lot of s$@t," he said.
"You throw a dart at the map and you still won't be able to help everyone.
"We've cut a few fences here at home and made a bit of a pad - and trucks will come in and get loaded up and stay at Burrumbuttock the night.
"Then we head off the next morning.
"There's bits and pieces we're trying to do all over the place like fundraising to install a new toilet block at the Cunnamulla Showground and fixing up the Eulo school playground... we're just trying to keep the dream alive as much as we possibly can."
Based on figures from the corresponding event in 2019 - to Quilpie, Queensland, this trek will mean a substantial boost to local farmers and businesses.
The Burrumbuttock Hay Runners was born in 2014, when Mr Farrell delivered a truckload of hay to a Bourke farmer after hearing his story of struggling in the drought.
He received a Medal of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours last year.
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