The First Assignment.............

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.


At last.......................

Got my first job in a Bendy, tomorrow I start at 9am driving a Class1 for one of the Agency's clients. Anxious and excited about being out on my own in an Artic. Will post the days travels when I finish the job.


Still quiet

The silence from the agencies and no replies from jobs applied for is scary, had a look at one job and there was 1700+ viewings for it. Tried a number of places again but the same reply of 'we're not recruiting at the moment & the vacancy has been filed' comes back.


The Dreaded Replies

A reply arrived for job that I've applied with TNT, unfortunately no joy and emails from Stobbard and Dentressangle arrived with similar replies. The latter weren't that informative about the rejection just stated that I've been unsuccessful. Oh well back to Plan X....................


2 Years or 6 Months

That is my question. Been calling around and in some places I get the 2 year answer and one agency told me that one of their major placements requires 6 months experience with an Artic. After chatting I asked her if she could have a word with the transport manager and see if she can get me an assessment, fair be it's 2 days but worth a try if the man agrees. All I have to do is wait and see what she says. There seems to be more emails from job sites arriving lately but still the majority are chasing the same jobs. Can't give up, something will turn up sooner or later with luck sooner.....................


Same old stuff.........

Been to an agency near Heathrow to register and provide all the usual documentation to prove who I am. Nothing happening that they could use me with immediate effect but who knows. Had a look in at Jan de Rijk's office and they aren't recruiting at the moment. One place was advertising for a driver which I found via Reed.co.uk but as soon as the advert went out (last Friday) it was filled. Even went to my local Job Centre to look on their computer, found a couple of prospects, one told me that I need a minimum of 1 year for their client. This is much better than the usual 2 years. The other agency will let me know by the end of the week as they are waiting for 'the client' to make decisions on assessment dates.

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.


The saga continues

Came back from making my rounds at Colnbrook nr Heathrow. Did the rounds of most places that have LHV's and nothing doing. The only place recuiting is Food Partners and that is for 7.5t work and the pay is about £8ph for 5on 2off. Almost everyone is hoping for a pick up at the end of this month as this drought can't continue(that's what I've been hearing all morning). One agency told me that last year they couldn't get enough drivers, they were so busy and now they are kicking their heels.

So here's to a speedy recovery in the Transport Sector...........................

The fun begins

Had a look at Watkins & Sole in Colnbrook after looking at most of the other yards, the job was OK with 4on, 4off but unfortunately the pay was not. Thought that it was a misprint. Had to decline the offer which was only a Class2 BTW.

My Test

Passed my test on 23 April on the Artic (C+E) with 5 Minor points. 1 for a reversing shunt, now that was my weak point and I thought that I'd lost it on the reversing as I couldn't see the central cone. But I did correct it and swung the trailer round got it to a almost perfect position but couldn't get it in the 'garage'. 4 while driving, the driving ones were as the examiner put it a bit too close to the kerb. I was told to make sure that I use all the space and stay away from them (kerbs), apart from that he was very happy with my driving and informed me to enjoy my new license and have 'fun' on the road. Now all I need is a job to gain experience, even an ad hoc job will do on my days off.