Scott Morrison makes 'brmm, brmm' in a big rig, just like Donald Trump
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Scott Morrison makes 'brmm, brmm' in a big rig, just like Donald Trump

Some national leaders can’t resist the urge to get in the driver’s seat of a big powerful truck and masquerade as real-life truckies. All that power. All those childhood fantasies.

Donald Trump made it something of an art form back in March when he climbed into the cabin of a Mack truck and pulled all sorts of absurd faces.

He lacked only the “brmmm brmmm” noises because the truck was parked on the White House lawn. The images hurtled around the world - and at one point, found an echo in pictures of North Korea's Kim Jong-un, another leader who likes big seats in big rigs.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison in a truck on Thursday morning and US President Donald Trump earlier this year.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison in a truck on Thursday morning and US President Donald Trump earlier this year. Credit:Fairfax Media

Scott Morrison has been Prime Minister for less than a month, but he couldn’t help himself when faced with a giant Mack truck near Canberra on Thursday.

He insisted on clambering into the cabin and hunching over the steering wheel, making excited faces, as if he were flying down a country highway with a country music song turned up loud, instead of sitting in a stationary machine.

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And he was wearing a suit.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the driver's seat on Thursday morning.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the driver's seat on Thursday morning.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Just like Donald Trump.

Morrison had a purpose, happily.

He was out to announce that trucks carrying fodder to drought-struck farms from across Australia will be allowed to carry longer and higher loads without special permits.

Until now, access to state-controlled roads without a permit was limited to Class 3 trucks carrying loads up to 4.3 metres high and 2.6 metres wide. It meant that trucks hauling feed and crossing state borders often found themselves pulled up for inspection and regularly copping fines for travelling without permits.

From Thursday midnight, trucks carrying loads up to 4.6 metres high and 2.83 metres wide will not require a permit.

Convoys of trucks loaded with hay, grain and other fodder have been streaming for months to drought areas, particularly in NSW and Queensland, from as far away as Western Australia and Tasmania.

Mr Morrison and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack made the announcement on a property outside Canberra on Thursday morning, declaring common sense was required to cut through red tape.

"One common sense thing that we need to do is make sure when you're driving a truck full of hay, they don't stop it at the border because it doesn't comply with some rule that, frankly, doesn't need to be there, particularly in circumstances like this," the Prime Minister said.

"And so, one of the things we've identified early is the need for these trucks, large trucks, carrying the hay, to move past state borders and not be pulled up, not be fined, not have to face 6,000 permits a year.”

And in the spirit of common sense, the Prime Minister climbed in to the big Mack and hammed it up for the cameras.

On the very day Mr Morrison became prime minister, the Chair of the Australian Trucking Association, Geoff Crouch, issued a glowing press release declaring “Australia’s new Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, understands the trucking industry and its need for regulatory and tax reform”.

The Prime Minister knew he was on a winner.

Tony Wright is the associate editor and special writer for The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald