Never rains when it pours. Had to turn down some agency work. Three different agency's called yesterday with some work but it was only for one day, still nothing permanent that I can get my teeth into. One promised to get me an assessment at Gist and nothing happened so far. Lots more jobs coming through on the jobsbyemail but it all seems to be agency work, looks like cover for the summer holidays.


Another Agency and more calls

Registered with another local agency yesterday, didn't know it even existed till someone I worked with for a very short time told me about them. Hopefully they can provide me with more work related experience and keep me going on the Class1 scene. At the same time had some more calls from my 'old' agency, pity but I couldn't do this job. Just couldn't get to the yard in time as the call came when I was on the M3 (services). The main thing is that the calls are getting much more frequent. Have to admit that they are good, kept me busy when the other local agency's have not been that successful in getting me work, wonder if it's worth me being on those agency's books......?


Update to the Assessment

Got off the phone with the agency (they called me again). This is what they told me.
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(?)
As the assessment duration is 8 hours they are saving having to pay someone to do this. No doubt the assessor is an employee of this supermarket.

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.
Been offered an assessment at a Major supermarket tomorrow, but there is a big but involved. It would all kick off @4am and involve a number of reverses and a delivery to a store(s). All would be completed by mid day. My questions are these;

  • 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.
Turned up for the assessment and somewhere in the process of getting all the documentation ready at home I dropped my Digital Tachograph Card. No card no assessment, how strange as it quite clearly states that you can drive without the card for a number of days.


I have an assessment over two days this week in Thatcham. Day one involves 2 hours of 'something', which I assume is driving & maneuvering and Day 2 is a accompanied delivery. Fingers and thumbs crossed that all will go OK.


Had some more calls about Class1 work yesterday afternoon, unfortunately the previous night's escapade and working a full day after only 3 hours sleep didn't give me much of a chance of being able to drive last night. Had to take one of our lorry's to the main depot and hitched a lift back with a trunk lorry bringing back bread to our depot, managed to get a hour of sleep in the comfy passenger seat. Not sure if turning down jobs is a good thing but at the same time its better then falling asleep at the wheel and making a total hash of things


Croydon and Beyond

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.


Agencies - Yet Again

Registered with this agency in West London(Hounslow) and was informed that I'd be required to do evening work for one of their clients. I suppose I should have known better, sent them my availability dates and told them that I can work most afternoons into early evening as well. So far not even a dickie bird of a reply. Seems yet again that they either are so 'busy' that they haven't got the time to reply or just can't be bothered to reply as there is and never was any work. Me thinks its time to de register from them as well.


Just got back from an 'Interview' with an agency, unfortunately had to terminate this as they failed to inform me of a few major points.

  • I'd be self employed
  • I would have to form a Limited Company
The info pack had all sorts of forms and the guy was surprised that I had a full time job. This self employment would have been a pain as I'd have to keep all receipts and find an accountant to do my Annual Self assessment/Tax Returns and they (Bigfoot) would charge me £10 per week to pay me like that.

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.


Agency Debate - Corr Recruitment

Had dealings with them a few months ago. Initially I contacted them as they were advertising a job. Had an almost immediate response and after a few minutes was enticed into a Class2 job.
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.


Uncouth or What

Had a call yesterday from one of the local agency's, this was whilst I was sitting down to a meal at a restaurant with my wife and friends. Am I available tomorrow, what, where & how was my reply and I'm in a restaurant so I'll call you back when I get home. When we returned home I checked my phone and found 2 messages, 1) Please call back & 2) Don't bother about tomorrow you're cancelled. Now as I didn't receive any confirmation texts and informed the agency that I'd call them back on my return home I thought that this was a bit rude. A quick text back to say that nothing confirming this booking was received and when she called we were in a restaurant(which she was told initially). I haven't had any other communication from them so they obviously think that they are above such things. If you call me and I'm busy then I'll call you back but don't assume that I will do something unless I confirm it. Have to admit that some agency's are getting a bit pushy and think that in this climate they can do whatever pleases them and that only they count and us poor drivers can be treated like a piece of rag.