Got back and coupled up and went on my way to High Wycombe, no idea where the customer was but it made things interesting. Arrived and got through security and on the bay. Keys taken of me and loaded up. Back to the depot and got tipped, asked where do the units and trailers go and got a sarcastic remark so decided to leave it on the bay. Keys & documents in, timesheet signed and home.
Should I charge the agency for being a mechanic.........................................
Finished back at Langley at 11pm, another long day but didn't expect Saturday to be almost the same but this time i couldn't do the second run. Run out of working hours and had to take the second run to Langley to swap drivers. Oh happy days, four days off.
The Lexus update - Nice car but drinks fuel and it is geared wrong, way too much torque in the upper gears. Have to be doing at least 80mph before engaging the 6th gear. If engaged before that speed the engine labours and the car vibrates. According to the trip computer I'm getting around 29.9mpg.
Collected the other one and being in a hurry to get back I went the wrong way, ended up on the QE2 bridge and had to be shepherded back through the tunnel as I didn't have any cash to pay the toll. It was kind of funny to be escorted back to the other side of the tunnel, first time ever through the tunnel in a 16ft 2in high lorry then I had the long drive back down the way I came. The roadworks between Junction 28 & 27 are a pain in the backside, about time they were finished but what the hell they'll always spring up somewhere else
This duty seems to have been bought in for Christmas and not scoped out correctly. Each day I take an Artic & trailer which is empty to Mount Royal and then I am tasked to do specific 2 runs to United Airlines. One run in the morning and the other late in the afternoon. Most days there seems to be little to take down in the morning so I’ve been tasked a number of times to put the lorry on a bay and await further instructions.
Few times they didn't arrive till about 16:30 in the afternoon so a whole day was spent either sitting in the cab or in the canteen. Not that I mind this but it can be a bit boring just waiting there.
The handling agents moan when I arrive late which has happened a number of times as the mail wasn't ready and loaded in time, what can i do in this case apart from saying sorry.
Few times this week I managed to do some seriously long hours and when the days off come along all I can say is that they arrive just in time.
Drove to PRDC and back to United Airlines 3 times, empty there and back.
All the way to Dartford with half a trailer's worth of mail, at least I had a Volvo this time so it made driving a pleasure.
Wednesday & Thursday
Same as monday but this time i had mail to bring back, loads of RSC's full of mail. The good thing about this is that a bay has sort of been reserved on United and when you turn up and there is no one there then it's straight on the bay and then go and book in. This really saves a hell of a lot of time waiting around.
Not bad job this, 4 on 4 off so now for a relaxing few days off to get my 'strength' back.
Been booked for this till Christmas.
Having an 18T lorry in a town so full of bikes and tiny streets along with masses of 7.5T restrictions is no fun. Apparently the other delivery driver is happy to break restrictions but I'm not. Specially when there are hundreds of cameras pointing at all the restrictions and are just waiting to snap you up.
The lorry (DAF) was a bit old as well with a splitter gearbox, which made driving in a busy town extremely interesting.
Called the agency and explained my predicament and was told that 'the client will absorb this'. I doubt it as breaking restrictions is something that will come back to the driver and after all its my license and lively hood and I don’t plan to have anything go wrong with that.
Never again will I do a job like this
Two of the places were OK but one was a bit adamant to part with his money, but soon saw the error of his ways. Dropped the two in Crawley and had serious visions of sitting on the M23 & M25 for hours as it was getting a bit late. Low and behold hardly any traffic, got to Slough in record time.
Delivering in the high street I realised that I should claim danger money, it seems that Algeria beat Egypt last night in a football match and the Algerians were all going hell for leather celebrating this. Fireworks going off everywhere, car horns tooting and of course the usual singing that has to be done on such occasion. Well that made an eventful end to a Wednesday evening.
A quick lorry change and off I go with an artic to Cathay Pacific at Heathrow with a trailer load of cages, loads of mail for the Far East, interesting place to get into, almost made reversing into the bay in one go. Unfortunately had to take a few shunts, never mind better luck next time.
Getting quite used to trunking for Royal Mail.
As I was watching the Remembrance Day services yesterday I couldn't help but get very angry as I saw the idiot that caused the deaths of our soldiers standing behind the leaders of the main parties. Old Tone was there, bold as brass and what I want to know is who invited him and how does he have the gal to show his face after causing this senseless 'War'. Being an ex squaddie I support out boys over there but I do not believe we should be there. If the Afganis want to shoot each other, fair play, give them the rifles and let them get on with it.
They are a bunch of unreliable, scheming and deceitful people who don't give a to## for anything and anyone, so why should our boys die for them. Gordon couldn't even get the name of one of the boys who died right when sending a letter to his family. The nonsense from Downing street is pitiable.
Lets get our boys out of there before many more loose their lives for a senseless cause.
Then the details came along on the delivery note. Drive to the Langley outhouse and drop the trailer's load, collect another from there and bring it back. Did that twice and drove a whopping total of 15km. Spent more time loading and unloading then driving.
Not complaining as it gave me some exp on tight & blind spot reversing, which will always come in handy. That's it for the next few days, got to have some well earned rest and then on to the night shift for a week.
Royal Mail all this week, yesterday it was Winchester. Took a trailer load of empty dollies to another hub. The location is in an interesting place, as you come down a hill towards Twyford and when you have to turn right two things spring into mind. Firstly the road doesn't look like it could support an Artic and secondly there is a 7.5T restriction. A stop was called for and a call to the depot was made. Carry on down this road and after the waterworks turn right. Oh well lets have a go, would you believe t the road opens out and just after where I turned the restriction begins. Well now I know so next time it will be less sweat inspiring experience.
Today a jaunt to a number of places to drop off the backload from yesterday, loads more wheeled dollies. Today for a change I drove a Volvo FM12, Euro5 instead of the usual RM DAF CF. Have to admit that it was an enjoyable drive, the Volvo handles fabulously, smooth, and well designed with loads of comfort in the cab.
Bit of Royal Mail work today. Almost new DAF CF on 08 plate. Start at Slough go to Heathrow to collect mail but wait for ages before it was decided if I was required. Got to admit that getting in and on to the bay was an experience, bloody tight there. Getting out was even better, the metal post at the gate house crept very close to the end of the trailer. Once loaded it was off to Dartford. Nice and relaxing drive on the M25 and local roads and then navigating the side streets to get to the warehouse and onto the bay once more. Offload and back home. Problem when I got back as I couldn't find an empty bay to park the trailer, eventually got one and uncoupled and then really go home. Interesting day but enjoyable. The photo was taken at the Depot in Heathrow.
Today was a good day, started at 9am in Woking went to Colnbrook to collect a trailer then to Rochester to get loaded up and delivered to Guildford and then back to Woking. All in 8 hours 50 minutes. First time ever driving a Renault. Caused a bit of commotion on the A320 when stopping at a set of traffic lights I inadvertently knocked a switch which shut down the lorry. Everything went blank, no lights, four ways, couldn't do anything. Thought that the wagon broke down as all day it was showing a 'Fuel filter' problem. Called the yard and the mechanic asked me about the switch, low and behold everything was turned back on. The switch is there as the tractor unit is used to pull fuel tankers, something new was learned today.
As I was leaving to go to another area I told him that it won't be possible for me to return here as I'll be miles away and this customer has a habit of doing this. Later on I get a call from the Senior Team Leader and I proceed to explain what happened. He tells me that I have to go back and deliver but that means all others will be late. He then tells me that I have to go back at the end of the shift and I told him if I have the time I'll do it. As we don't get any overtime anything after 12:30 is my time.
I carry on with the route and get back to the depot at around 12:15, unload and the offending delivery note is taken upstairs. Then I'm told to go and see the Depot Manager. He then proceeds to read me the riot act and tells me that my contract states that I have to be 'Flexible' and tells me to go and redeliver or he'll do an investigation. As other things have been brewing within me and after making the required notifications of the issues and nothing being done about them I decided there and then on the action plan.
'You've got my official weeks notice as of Now' I told him. He didn't even bat an eye lit, all he said can you put it in writing. Went home and typed up a letter, asked for Pay in Lieu but don't know if they will honour it. So if nothing is heard after my 2 days off I'll be back to work to work my notice. He might be a Class1 prat but I'll do thing properly.
I know in this economic climate it wasn't the smartest thing to do but when you work for a manager that doesn't care about his drivers then he deserves what's coming to him. Have to point out that my Team Leader is very good and I'll be sorry to leave that team.
For a Company that claims to be a Family Company all this Depot Manager is interested is the bread and he couldn't give a monkeys about the drivers.
Down in Bournemouth & Poole this morning, after doing all my drops I had the unfortunate time out trouble. Had to stop for a break, so driving down the dual carriageways looking for a likely spot I spied a road that looked just right. No restrictions on parking, no yellow lines of any kind anywhere to be seen. Reversed into the road making sure that I wasn't blocking any driveways and stopped. Had a snack and then this gent comes along in his van and proceeds to give me the what for for parking on this road.
You're blocking the road, you shouldn't be here, you're over the half way on the road. After he finished I politely pointed out to him that there were no restrictions of any kind and I can park here. However I'll be gone in 10 minutes so I don't see any problem. Away he goes and comes out with his camera, few pictures were taken, so I decided to do the same just in case to show that there were no parking restrictions. Then I drove away.
Just as I was about to start reversing Some prat decided that they couldn't be bothered to wait for a minute or so and sneaked in between me and the wall. Good job I was just beginning to get moving and after slamming on the brakes I had a few choice words in my mind. If I'd have caught the pillock I'd have told him what I think of their driving.
Makes you think how some people are just so impatient and have a serious wish to die under a lorry. I don't mind them dying but don't do it under my lorry and don't take me with you. I have plans for the future and they don't include idiots being caught under the wheels of a lorry that I'm driving.
This morning whilst driving in the pouring rain I just happened to glance down to the temperature sensor on the lorry. This thing is supposed to measure the outside Air temperature. Today must have been a phenomenally hot day, got a feeling that we must have had one of those flash heat waves. The temperature outside the lorry showed an amazing 80.5oC. Towards the end of the journey it went up to 90oC. Me thinks the gauge has had a bad day and went a bit ballistic.
The other bit of my saga is a bit of a beef on the planing of this route that I had he misfortune of doing today. Bear in mind that it is a local route and it goes round Farnborough, Fleet, Farnham & Aldreshot, it usually has 24 drops. Some bright spark in the office upstairs decided to add another 2 drops to the route, now this is the good one. The planning boffins have added the first drop in Hook, which is in a different direction and about 20-25 minutes one way. Then at the end when you have done all the drops and are in Aldershot the final drop is in Odiham. So you're going down the same motorway twice and running yourself ragged to get it all done and they think its OK, no problem as GU14 and RG29 postcodes are supposed to be net to each other. At least so it looks on their planning maps. A contestant for the title of 'Brain of Britain'.
Apparently they add a 'minute' here and there so they you can take a break but when you look at the delivery times and the driving in between I just can't see where a break can be taken. So I just take them when needed and if the stuff is late then too bad.
This can't go on for ever it has to give one day and when a mass walk out happens then possibly the management will wake up. All they are doing right now is thinking up new ways to pester us and make our jobs more difficult.
On the other hand yesterday when driving back around Amesbury I spied an old hand (I presume) driving a Nolan Transport Artic. The problem was with his trailer, the back side curtain was open on both sides and the back door was leaning back at a dangerous angle. Surely he/she must have checked this before setting off. Looks a bit slap dash to me.
Have to admit that some of the so called roads around Tisbury are what you might call a cutting in the wood. The biggest annoyance of the whole trip was having to turn around and go back 7 miles when I was just half a mile from destination. The cause, a 9ft 9in bridge, the wagon 11ft 3in.
Now this is one agency that I can highly recommend. Ever since I began driving lorries they have kept me so busy that it's unreal. Polite staff, always cheerful and the work is varied and interesting. If you happen to live in Berks, Hants or Surrey then I can highly recommend that you give them a buzz. Camberley office is 01276 24111 ask for Lisa.
149 London Road
Oh well, just been de registered by an agency in my locality. Their excuse is that I didn't do the last job and I'm unreliable. It all points to the last phone call I had from them about 2 months ago and it went like this.
Agency: Can you do a job for us tomorrow.
Me: I'm in a restaurant at the moment sitting down to a meal, I'll call you back when I'm finished.
Agency: via text - you've been booked for tomorrow at ABCD, start time is 0400, directions.
Agency: via text - please confirm for tomorrow
Me: Still in the restaurant and oblivious to the text.
Agency: via text - don't bother about tomorrow, you're canceled
Me: When at home - What the bloody hell, I didn't tell them that I'd do it.
Me: Next day - Can you explain about yesterdays text.
Agency: The case is closed you've let me down.
Me: But I didn't confirm anything yesterday, you were told I was in a restaurant.
At this point the conversation became a bit weird and the girl from the agency started to be a bit rude so I told her that the conversation ends as she cannot be civil. Haven't heard anything from them since then and the only reason she called me was that I replied to an add from their Southampton branch and the chap obviously called her. The person in charge seems to think that since I signed up with them I have given them an exclusive right to my services.
Bloody rude agency and to be honest I'd warn others against working for them.
Yet all the other agencies that I'm registered with are always calling and finding me work. In those cases I must be doing something right.
I had to wait about 5 minutes before any break in traffic to move on and as soon as I'm fully out on the right side a car comes flying towards me and decides that it 'will' manage to squeeze through. At the last moment the driver realises that they can't and at this point neither can I and I can't go backwards as there are cars behind me. All I can do is stop.
The driver then proceeds to give me a dirty look even though they saw me and could have stopped at a point to allow me to proceed and then this hassle wouldn't have happened.
That is the question. I would put it as a Test since what has to be done is almost like the DSA Test.
The lorry was a brand new Volvo 08 plate fully auto with some nice features, one being the assisted uphill start. This device locks up all brakes when you come to a full stop and then it gives you 4 seconds from when you remove your foot from the brake pedal to press the accelerator. Nice and smooth start with no pressure on the clutch and you don't even have to apply the hand brake.
- Vehicle checks, as you've not driven the vehicle before. This includes the trailer as its already coupled up.
- Instruments check inside the cab to make sure all is OK
- Drive around the site to familiarise yourself with the vehicle.
- Reverse onto a bay.
- Drive through Basingstoke for 45-50 minutes.
- Reverse onto a bay.
Now I know where to position the tractor unit and how to manoeuvre the trailer to get in the bay. On the good side I have been invited to 'have another go'.
The assessor was pleased with all the other attributes and I recon I'll do it next time, now that I know where to position myself.
So now I have to wait and see when I can get the retest slot.
No overtime and they want us to do a bit 'beyond' the required amount to get the job done. Fair be t once in a while and not a few hours each day. This is exploitation and I'm just fed up with this.
Others do moan and gripe but do nothing about it and the Union is absolutely useless as the local rep knows what is going on but has done nothing about it.
So a search for another full time job or a long term contract begins.................
Assessment wouldn't be on my Tacho card and it's a local delivery so I wouldn't loose my driving time, this has me thinking of 2 serious possibilities.
- Analogue Tachograph which would be destroyed after the assessment.
- No Tachograph be it analogue or digital would be used, this would contravene the Law and if I was to be stopped(which is possible), I'd be in serious trouble and could loose my license. They also wanted me to do the DSA Theory Test again(?)
In light of the seriousness of this I think that this supermarket should be named & shamed.
No doubt you've guessed who it is, the one and only TESCO Weighbridge.
- Would you want to be paid for this or just bite the bullet and do it and with luck all will be OK. As the tacho card is in use technically I'm working and therefore should be compensated for my time and effort.
- Is this supermarket using the assessed drivers to get a 'Free' one days delivery out of them and not bother to pay them because they are who they are.
What would you do in this case, I'm more in favour of telling the agency 'no thanks, they want me to do a delivery, they pay me'. I've informed the agency that unless I get some sort of compensation, even fuel money and a sandwich I'm not willing to do this.
Had a call from my usual agency yesterday @ 2pm, could you be in Iver by 3pm was the usual question. To be honest I'm getting used to these last minute jobs.
Arriving in Iver a Merc Actros 2544 was awaiting me by the warehouse. Have to admit that I'm not that impressed with the gearbox and the change system. A short jaunt to Croydon and then back home to get ready for work the next day or so I thought. When I arrived in Croydon after negotiating a few almost suicidal bridges I parked up and went to see where I need to go to be loaded.
The chap in the warehouse pointed to some iron gates with a barrier and said 'you need to drive through them and park up by the side of the warehouse'. I thought that he was joking at first as the gates didn't look wide enough but what the hell if others can do it so can I. Creeping forward I hugged the right side of the gates and almost gave the people in the offices a heart attack. Had to get right up to the building before turning to get the back end of the trailer inside, 'tighter than a ducks behind' springs to mind after getting through.
Parked up and waited for another 18T to arrive with their persons to load up all the goods. When they were loading a horrible noise and smell came from the tail lift motor and it stopped. Now this is almost 7pm and we need to do something about this, so they call their boss who in turn takes his time to call out the lift repair guy, who arrives at around 10pm. After closing the tail gate and telling me that the 'motor is almost gone' he writes up the ticket I sign it and I drive very slowly around the building through an opening smaller than a mouse hole and get through the exit gates which are almost the same size as the entrance. Back in Iver @11pm I get the time sheet signed and drive home arriving at midnight, bed and then the bl**dy alarm clock goes off at 3am.
Feel absolutely shagged out and don't even think that I can go and do my daily run. Few other mishaps were encountered whilst waiting for the Tail lift chappie but they'll remain anonymous.
- I'd be self employed
- I would have to form a Limited Company
He seemed to be informed that all drivers are paid like that as it's easier for them. Apparently they are so busy in Southampton that they are expanding here and have possible contracts coming up with a few Blue Chip places. This I've heard before. Also mentioned were trips to Europe, etc.
This self employment lark is not as easy and simple as I've had my own business before and have experienced the hassles involved in being your own boss.
To think I turned down 8 hours of work to go to Basingstoke and come straight back again.
The job was confirmed and I was all set for the next day. In the middle of the night I had a call informing me that my mum was taken into hospital, I legged it out of the house and drove to the hospital leaving a few thing s behind in my haste. Spent the whole night there making sure all was OK.
On my return I had 16 missed calls from Corr and when I returned the call the recruiter hung up on me, so I sent a text and an email explaining what happened. No replies to either of them. After a few weeks I contacted them again and still no reply. I then sent an email to the boss who surprise, surprise got back to me informing me that the recruited was very busy that day as it was Monday and they were doing payroll.
I would have thought that me calling to explain what happened and why I couldn't do the job would have been important, but I guess I was wrong.
The boss explained to me that he was willing to start afresh so I thought that was fair. I sent the recruiter a few texts and emails since then asking if there was anything 'cooking' but no reply.
So yesterday I sent the boss an email informing him that I would like to be deregistered as i have had no response from anyone. He informed me that the recruiter is on holiday in Poland and he has not received any texts/emails from me.
This is strange as I have return receipts for emails and the O2 site keeps all text messages sent. Absolutely CRAP agency to deal with.
I might be wrong but if you call an agency and they hang up on you and then don't bother to answer your calls/emails then that tells me how they would treat me if I was to work for them.
Then we went to pick up the tractor unit, a DAF, after the vehicle checks were completed off we went to collect the trailer. Just reverse in and couple it up, he sais. So that is what I did, connected the cables checked the brakes, lights and off we went.
Out of the compound and down to the A329, then off at the next junction and turn left to go through Wokingham. Nice and easy through the speed camera and then a drive through the town centre. No problems with this I'm thinking to myself. Piece of cake I thought when we left the town centre behind.
Back down to the A329 and back to the depot, then the fun began. We couldn't find any room in the yard that we'd left earlier to reverse and drop the trailer, so we went to another yard and guess what, still no room. Then we spotted an empty bay and a quick turn around and reverse into it. Uncoupled and secured the trailer and that was it.
Examiner shook my hand and went for his dinner. I thought that I'd got the job but the next day got a call from the agency and guess what, 'Not enough Class1experience'. Nothing else was wrong just not enough experience, fine but give me a bl***y chance to gain some. If they need drivers that take me on and let me loose with a short trailer(which they have) and I'll prove that all will be well. To be honest I was hoping that they would take me on as it's a great place to work at.
What are these people scared of, if my driving was so bad a) I wouldn't have passed my test & b) he would have stopped me there and then. To be honest I'm getting a bit sick and tired of this 2 year crap and 'need experience'. If the tester sees that you can drive ffs give the person a chance. If he's no good then get rid of him.
ps - Does me being a newly qualified Class1 driver place me in a 'liability' group. On the contrary I'd have thought that having the test and all that's involved in it freshly on my mind it makes me a much more careful driver as I haven't developed any 'bad' habits. I have seen many of called 'old timers' driving so badly that it is them who should be a liability and not me, surely we all deserve a chance to prove our driving skills.
In this economic climate it makes more sense to hire eastern European drivers who are cheaper but cause havoc on the roads. Fair play there are good drivers among them but so are they among US.
Just got home yesterday from work and got a call from the agency. What are you doing this afternoon, nothing much, do you want to do a quick job for me. Now I've heard this before, a quick job and it can last a good few hours. As it was Class1 I thought go on I'll have a go.
Arrived at the clients site and a New lorry presented itself to me, something that I've not driven before. Iveco 450E5. Had a look in the cab and have to admit it looks OK, the layout is good with the dash display in colour, familiarisation over I had a walk round to make sure all was OK. One small problem was that the gear selector wasn't a selector. 3 buttons on the dash, Drive, Neutral & Reverse. Bit strange but what the heck.
Once loaded and secured the side curtains I set off, sat nav took me down the M3, M27 & M275 to Portsmouth(?). Arrived at the destination and decided to have a look see where I might be tipping before I pull up. The place on the manifest and the name differed so it took a bit of finding but once found I arrived and the forklift chappie began to off load. Almost a full trailer of flat packed boxes on pallets, took 2.5 hours to tip.
Reversed back down the road as I couldn't turn where I was and after a few shunts got going back to Aldershot. This time the satnav took me down the correct route. Local roads, A3, B3000, A31, A331 and home. Absolutely chucking it down all the way home, more spray that the wipers could cope with.
The Iveco is not that bad but I have to admit that it's not my favourite lorry to drive, had to constantly fight it to keep it straight and every time it hit a bump it felt like the wheels left the road and were doing a wheel spin. Major problem was not being able to adjust the steering wheel and arrived back with aching shoulders and forearms.
Had a call from one of the Agency's (the one that has kept me busy the most) with an urgent request. Could I do (if I'm free) a job tomorrow. Simple one she said, be at the clients site for 6am and you'll be dropping of some Marquees. So on Friday I got up nice and early and departed to the site.
When I got the the job turned out to be a bit different than originally explained.
- Take a 7.5T to Finsbury Square in London and leave it there.
- Collect a fully laden 7.5T and bring it back to the site.
- Pick up another 7.5T from the site and drive it to Gloucestershire(2 hours) with 2 others who will add a few bits to a Marquee.
On the way back it was like driving in a river as the roads were so water logged that it was almost impossible to see the road markings. Of course the M25 was up to its usual standards on a Friday afternoon and the M3 was also stacked up, the information boards do have some uses once in a while. Decided to use the A30 to get home and arrived back @ 19.30. Having started at 6:30 it made an exciting 13 hour day.
Had a strange call from one of the Agencies. Could I go to Reading and collect a car, take it home overnight and then the next day deliver it to a client in Leicester. Makes a change to driving lorries for this agency, initially it sounded like she wanted me to collect a tractor unit and I thought that in no way can I park it outside my house. A nice jaunt to Leicester was had but this is a definitive no no. If you purchase a car with built in satnav then I suggest that you rip it out and throw it in the bin.
Why I hear you ask, then I'll tell you. Punched in the address and off I went, going down the M3 and coming up to the junction with M25 I would have turned left to head for the M1 but this stupid thing tells me to go right and head for Gatwick. Possibly it wanted to take me all the way round the M25 to join the M1 but ignoring the directions till the last 20 miles made me feel much better. The trip home on the train was interesting, the last connection had no A/C and it was like being coped up in a very hot oven.
Got back from work on Friday and soon after the mobile went off. What are you up to this afternoon was the question from the agency. As nothing except shopping was planned I asked why, how would you fancy a trip down to Brighton. OK says I, so off I went armed with the details of the client and I dully collected a DAF CF, Auto.
Fully laden with photocopy paper, all in all 23 pallets of the stuff. On the trip down to Brighton the lorry handled like a flying brick and as I wasn't that surprised considering what I was carrying. A rough guess about 10T+ in weight.
Arrived in Brighton and had to find the place to drop off the goods, and found an interesting thing. When I entered the yard to get into the loading bay I had to go up hill and the lorry dully died on me. It would not go up this incline in normal gears so I had to revert to the 'crawl' gear.
Off loaded and set of home but as it was Friday I expected a solid jam on the M23 & M25, but guess what the M23 was clear and unfortunately most of the M25 wasn't. Crawling along to J11 I left that wonderful piece of roadway and headed of to Woking. Lorry in the yard, time sheet signed it was time to go home and enjoy a well earned beer.
PS - Had a chat with another local agency and when asked about pay rates I was informed that 'our Class1 drivers are on £10ph', so the question of pittance pay by other agency's is still valid. Surely they are not helping themselves by offering such low rates of pay. Theoretically speaking if you offer low pay the quality of the worker might/will suffer.
Another agency that I applied to asked me for my CV and contact number and since then nothing.
I honestly think that its about time that we in the driving industry started to Name & Shame these agency's, who seem to offer non existent jobs.
Onward and upward to the next assessment on Monday, lets hope its not a Volvo.
Finished the assessment, will know either tomorrow or later on today how I did. I don't think that I did badly apart from trying to get round that d##n gearbox and slight bounce off the kerb while looking at the gear lever.
Drove a Volvo FM Euro5 and apart from the gears its a good lorry to drive, very comfortable and the cab and dashboard layout is well positioned. Again a first time with a rear steer wheels, sure made the trailer come round the corners fast.
As we left the paved track and turned on to one of the main road the evaluator took me round and round some roundabouts and than down some smaller streets. Then he took me to one of the sites that they collect from and believe you me the flies were wearing gas masks. But to get into this place I had to negotiate a very sharp and tight right turn over a small bridge covering a drainage ditch. That negotiated safely and driven into the facility I then had to do a blind side reverse into the hook up point.
That would have been completed in 2 shunts but as I didn't get the trailer close to the wall and couldn't swing the tractor unit out as a small building was in the way I had to do a few more shunts. Once in place we went back out again and getting out was even more fun. As the so called road leading to this facility is narrow and there being huge trees either side I had to drive almost to the hedge and then a hard left and watch that trailer. No scrapes and dents and back to the depot.
Reverse in and that was it.
She was quite happy to place me as a Class2 but as the pay is way below what I'm getting now it doesn't make sense to me to do this. They pay £8ph for day hours and £12ph night hours.
Seems to me that someone is either making a hell of a packet or the rates have seriously come down from last year as I was getting £9ph for Class2 work.
I've signed up to a few 'jobs by email' boards and lately they all seem to be chasing the same jobs over and over again. The Night Driver @ Heathrow has been making its rounds for almost a month and with different agencies, can't believe it hasn't been filled yet. This after some thought had me thinking that it could be s 'ghost' job.
We all or most of us use agencies at some time or other but trying to get a Class1 job they want to cross reference you either with the place that you worked or the agency that you worked for. The agency I'm happy to give them the name but the client's name is a nono as they would try to get themselves in there.
Well today was the day, my first 'Live' drive in an Artic. Turned up at the site and almost had kittens, the trailer was a Double Decker, something that I wasn't expecting. Nothing to worry about I thought, reported to the office and got the details of the trip and the keys.
The Lorry was MAN TGX 26.440, on a 08 plate. 16ft 3in in height with a 50ft trailer. The vehicle checks carried out (one new thing, the cable housing is on a floating bracket instead in a fixed position), I went and explored the cab, very spacious and well laid out with all the controls at hand. Full A/C, Auto gearbox with D, Dm, R & Rm selections, very comfy seat and a sleeper cab just in case. As soon as the loader finished I set off.
Here's where the additional surprise came in, the Lorry was so quiet and comfy to drive, very responsive to controls. On the motorway it felt like the lorry was gliding. Negotiating the bends and roundabouts was pretty simple and even a few tight places were taken comfortably.
Arrived at destination 2 hours later and made a slight mess reversing but I got it in on the second attempt, once offloaded it was time to set off back.
Quick stop at South Mimms to fill up and take my 30 min Tacho break and off on the A1, M25 & M3 to get home, this process was slow as the usual Friday afternoon traffic and a serious accident on the other side at J14 caused serious tailbacks.
The other side tailed back to J9 according to the radio. Back at the depot another 'small' hash with reversing as someone parked their car in the wrong place and I had to squeeze the trailer between it and a forklift without pushing them out of the way with the trailer.
Locked up, keys in time sheet signed and that is is. I'm chuffed with myself as a first live trip went well without any problems. Here's to many more of the same.....................
Unfortunately I can't comment on any burger vans en route as I didn't manage to find any.
Something amazes me with the Job Centre, I specified the search area as Local and the vast majority of the results were either in the Midlands or even further up. So much for the Local filter search. Also the hourly rate was a bit paltry anything from £8 to 9.50 per hour, very few jobs broke the £10.00ph range.
So here's to a speedy recovery in the Transport Sector...........................