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.
Their address:
149 London Road
GU15 3JY

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.

Me: Hallo

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: OK

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.


Car & Lorry

Here's a question that is open to debate, why do people think that a lorry will be able to turn in the same amount of space as a car or it can get through the same amount of space as a car. Yesterday and today whilst driving in my little 12T I've come across some diabolical scenes. In Sunningdale when returning towards the A30 at one stage the school run mums have parked on or very close to the zigzag lines without any consideration for space. This doesn't allow drivers like me to try and judge the road as it curves and see if there is enough room to get through.

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.


Assessment or Driving Test

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.
What I screwed up on was the reverse onto the bay. It was very tight and I didn't give myself enough room/angle to get the trailer into the space provided and having a brick wall on one side made things interesting. To make things more interesting the assessor placed a cone to simulate another trailer being there. I inadvertently pushed the cone back a bit, which would have meant clipping a trailer.
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.


Have another assessment at a Supermarket tomorrow. All the info on what I'll be doing has arrived by email after a few glitches and I'll be there at Midday. Strange though to be 'invited' to an assessment. At the bottom of the page it says 'No Invite, No Assessment' so have to make sure I don't forget this 'important' piece of paper. Fingers crossed.


One day at Royal Mail to see if the job is OK, well its not bad, new DAF's fully automatic so that bit I liked. Had to couple up and then take the trailer to another depot to load up. But this has me thinking, the main supplier of agency drivers is Manpower and the people I went through are subcontracting. As there is a Nationwide strike brewing just how safe will those jobs be after the strike is over or if it doesn't materialise. I'm thinking that RM is just making sure that all its avenues are covered and when it needs to cut down the first ones to go will be the sub contractor drivers. My understanding was that if you get a full shift it's only 40 hours and you might not get a full days work, possibly 4-7 hours on a daily basis. Will have to think hard about this...........


Can't believe this. All week I've had calls from different agencies to do some work, I really hate turning down jobs but this time I've had to. Been to on place today and with luck something long term might become of it. Also waiting for another agency to let me know if I'm in at a certain place in Hounslow, perm job so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. With luck tomorrow I'll have some good news and then I can do what I've been wanting to do for ages. All will be revealed when the 'good' news arrives.


Whats wrong with this picture

Just called an agency in London to enquire about a job being advertised. One of the positions is in Charlton and this is the pay rate - up to 39hrs £11.25ph, 40+hrs £10.25ph. Now whats wrong with this picture, surely working overtime should be paid either the same or slightly more. I told the girl that I'd have to pass on this. The jobs are being advertised by Milestoneops, unless they rethink their rate policy this is one driver who will not be working for them.


Had another call for a days work on Class1 but at this time I can't do it. Also decided that the time has come to seriously look for another job as I'm not willing to do what my current employer is asking. I've had enough of running around like a blue arsed fly and being asked to come in early to do jobs that should have been factored into the working day.

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.................


An interview

Had an interview on Thursday for a full time job with a well known company, with luck all will be well and I'll finally get to drive a Class1 for a living. Keeping all fingers crossed for some good news next week.



As we all have to do this silliness to keep our licenses I was wondering what my current employer will/would do about this. When I asked about this a while ago one of the Team Leaders said 'you seem to know more about it than me'. Not something that you want to hear, nothing has been mentioned so this has me thinking that either they won't do anything about it and leave it to us to sort out or leave it all to the last minute. I'm betting on the first option.


Had another call from an agency that I decided I couldn't work for as their pay structure was on a self employed basis. The call related to an assessment in Portsmouth and the job being in Southampton. I had a call regarding something similar a while ago and don't really want to travel to Southampton for work. One heck of a long way there and back each day on top of the work related driving, although if the job pays extremely well I might consider it for a while.


Work & more Work

Albeit only on the agency ad hoc jobs. Have been looking for a Class1 position for ages and so far not that I'm complaining only managed to get agency work. It seems to be picking up as there are more lorries on the road and more job adverts are coming through, but agency only. Then again it could be the seasonal holiday covers for other drivers being of work. I do hope that something comes up soon, got a few agents seriously looking for me and keeping my fingers crossed.