White Van Man of sorts

Driving yesterday in my little 7.5T(work Vehicle) I crossed the Blackwater rail bridge and came to a set of traffic lights. At that stage the 2 lanes split, one going straight on and one bearing to the right. As the lights change a van bearing Anglian Windows comes hurtling down the outside and decides to change lanes just after he passed me. If I'd have been a few seconds quicker of my mark he would have swiped into the drivers side of the lorry taking out the front of it and including me in that equation. This prat just drove on totally ignoring me. Idiots like him shouldn't be on the road let alone driving company vehicles, his luck is that I didn't have the time to take down his registration number. If I had I would have reported him to the Police and Anglian for driving like a pri*k. So if you see one of their vans approaching be very aware that an Idiot might be driving it.


Assessment - The Aftermath

Turned up at the transport office and the assessor gave me a sheet of paper with loads of questions with bits missing. Just fill in the blanks he said, no problem, the usual drivers hours,tacho etc questions and have to admit that I couldn't answer 2 of them. Mind just went blank.

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.
- 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.


Have a assessment tomorrow at a very well known supermarket. It's only a part time job to get some extra hours and cash as I have a fair bit of driving hours that can be used on my days off. Swat up time tonight on driving/tacho hours etc as they are pretty hot on those. To be honest I'm looking forward to it and a bit jittery..............


Had a call to do the same client again, tramping to a different location I suppose. Unfortunately I'm knackered and need a bit of relaxation at home. Hate to turn down jobs but can't do them all, need to rest and stay legal.

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.


Tale of three Lorries

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.
  1. Take a 7.5T to Finsbury Square in London and leave it there.
  2. Collect a fully laden 7.5T and bring it back to the site.
  3. 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.
So in all I drove 3 different lorries that day, all 7.5T, the one in the middle being a W Reg Iveco was something of an experience. Three different tachos in one day. The drive to Gloucestershire in the pouring rain was 'fabulous' and unfortunately not having any wet weather gear I had to sit in the cab while the other chaps added the bits to the 'Tent'.

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.


The job bulletin boards seem to be much more active as of late. Had quite a number of emails advertising some jobs and by chance found a number of jobs that were recently (today) posted on one board. A quick application was submitted and a phone call will be made tomorrow to see if I can be placed on a short list or at least get an interview. Could things be moving or is this just a temporary jump to cover the usual holiday absences.


Its back again, the job for Night Trunk Driver @ Heathrow. This job and 2 other ones that have been making the rounds for the past few months must be 'ghosts'. I can't believe that there is no one out there that would have filled this vacancy, on the other hand it could be that this job is so crap that the person who starts it leaves it very quickly. Hence the adverts going out with constant regularity. I did apply when it came round a few months ago but haven't heard anything so assuming my application was unsuccessful.


Nothing new on the horizon, had a promise of another assessment but still waiting on confirmation date. Lots more jobs coming through via the job boards but some of them seem to offer very little in pay.


Yet again the stupid 2 year rule crops up. Pretemps are advertising LGV1 Positions but when I called them the person informed me that I need to have had my license for 2 years as it's the Company's Policy for Insurance purposes. Having spoken to DSA they have informed me that this can be classed as Discrimination since I was good enough to pass the DSA Test therefore I'm good enough to drive commercially. I have passed on the agency's details to them and will leave it in their capable hands. This I have to admit is stupid since they are looking for drivers and I'm willing to work so why not give me a go and see what I'm like. Yet they are willing to employ foreign drivers who have 'bought' their licenses and cause utter chaos and mayhem on our roads. Even in these tough times there should be some give and take as when they really do need drivers and can't find any I'm sure that I just might be very busy that day/week.


Just got a email from careerjet.co.uk and there is an advert for LGV1/HGV/Class1/2/C/7.5 Tonne/Drivers, what intrigued me was the Salary. I sincerely hope it's a misprint as it advertises a salary of '£9 per Year'. The add is from an agency in Reading that I had once dealt with but as a family matter came up I couldn't fulfil the assignment and they haven't even bothered to answer any of my texts, emails and phone calls. This tells me that they don't really dive a damn about the driver as long as he/she gets the job done and they get paid.


Hate turning down jobs, had a call from a local agency with a Class1 trunking job up to West Midlands. Problem is that I need to get up at 3am for work and this would have just finished by then, so after driving all night I wold be pretty clapped out and somehow I think unable to drive the next day. ................I hate turning down jobs....................


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.