Repeated chaotic scenes - including fights between drivers and the theft of thousands of dollars in equipment - have prompted a multimillion-dollar rethink of trucking operations in the tiny northern Wheatbelt town of Wubin.
And in a twist, the planned investment by trucking company Linfox and Main Roads WA is expected to resuscitate the dying town, home to about 80 people.
Linfox is spending $3.4 million to create a secure truck assembly depot in the town and Main Roads intends to spend $3 million to extend its existing assembly area.
Other transport companies are believed to be considering similar investments.
Since the start of the mining boom, Wubin, about three hours north of Perth, has become an important transport hub.
With long-haul trucks restricted to only two trailers between Perth and Wubin, drivers known as dog-runners take trailers to Wubin and leave them there.
This allows other drivers, who are headed for mines further north, to arrive in Wubin, hitch up a third trailer and continue their journey.
As a result of this arrangement, dozens of trailers and dollies are left in a Main Roads assembly area - a sealed area about the size of a football field - in the centre of Wubin.
And when 20 or 30 road trains try to manoeuvre around this area to attach or detach trailers, driver frustration can reach boiling point.
"It gets crazy," one driver said. "With trailers parked all over the place and no one on site to manage the situation, it gets really silly.
"Drivers abuse each other - I've seen a couple have a punch-up - and often trucks can become trapped and don't have room to move at all."
Lifetime Perth driver Alan Arnold said you just had to listen to the anger and expletives on the drivers' radio to realise how frustrating the situation was.
"It's a crazy, stupid situation," he said.
"Trucks get damaged and the lack of organisation means that drivers get unnecessarily delayed."
Shire of Dalwallinu chief executive Peter Crispin said he was aware of reports of punch-ups and thefts at the assembly area, with one trailer carrying $100,000 in white goods recently stolen and later found in Northam.
He said the situation was far from ideal, with many drivers forced to park along Great Northern Highway because of the lack of space.
A spokesman for Linfox said work on the new depot would begin this month and be finished by the middle of the year.
"We need to build this depot for two reasons - the safety of our drivers and the security of our fleet," he said.
"We are constantly having trailers and dollies damaged or stolen."
A Main Roads spokeswoman said expanding its Wubin assembly area would eliminate congestion and overcrowding.
The hardstand area would be increased 30 per cent but a modified layout would allow an increase in bays from 30 to 80. She said work was expected to start in April.
Mr Crispin said the recovery of Wubin had created challenges.
With no blocks available in the town, the shire was looking at ways to rectify the shortage of rental accommodation, a far cry from a situation just six years ago.
In 2007, the Wubin Primary School was closed because of a lack of numbers, a State Government decision that locals thought could be the death knell for the town.
The school site was bought "for a song" by local tow-truck operator Paul Watson and has been converted to his family home.
The main classroom block is now the living area, the library building has become a bedroom and the music room has been converted into a hairdressing salon run by Mr Watson's wife Coby.
And with the Linfox project across the road, the trucking company has bought part of the school site and another nearby block for accommodation.
"But, as part of this project, we are keen to employ locals as drivers or depot operators," the spokesman said.
'We need to build this depot for two reasons - safety of our drivers and security of our fleet.'" *Linfox * spokesman