Done and dusted, on holiday for Christmas, at least I hope so. In this business you never know when someone doesn't turn up for their shift. It was lovely driving in all that ice and snow.


So where are the Gritters

Alright, so what the hell has happened to the gritters. all this snow and ice on the roads and no gritter in sight. To be fair I saw one in Camberley town centre and one on the A3095 but the later one was just ploughing as there was no grit coming out from behind it. You'd have thought that all the warnings they had would have got them into action and sort out the roads. this is typical, loads of warning of bad weather and bugger all gets done.


Phone goes of at 9am this morning, are you available for work this morning. Not a chance, loads of things to do and it just happens to be snowing like mad out there, none of our roads have been gritted so far and when i was clearing the white stuff from my drive way and talking to my neighbour, he told me that the Bracknell hill had a fair few lorries stuck on it, none could get to the top. Looks bloody marvelous but not if you have to drive on it.


Oh Snowy Day

What a perfect day, 4in of snow in the yard and the snow coming down like buggery. Had to wait till the management came in for a decision to be made. Then I was told to do my run backwards, start in Eastbourne and work your way back to Billingshurst. Now that is a part of the country where the snow just happened to be the thickest. So down the A3, M25 and the M23 I go, the first two were crawl able but when I got to the M23 it just became impossible to drive. Took 2 hours to get to Peas Pottage Services and then the lorry park was inaccessible, parked up on the slip road (like others) and went to ask about the road conditions down to Brighton & Eastbourne.

I was duly informed that the road is seriously snowed under and in no way would I get up the hill to the A27 and of course the down hill stretches would be fun. Called in and was asked to deliver to Horsham, so off I crawled. The roads were horrendous, got stuck on one uphill stretch and a kind soul in a supped up 4x4 helped me out. The customer was closed so after trying to turn a few times I had no choice but to reverse to the roundabout which was about a quarter of a mile back.

Back to the depot at a crawl till I reached the M25, then a huge speed increase to almost 50mph. It will be interesting tomorrow when all this stuff freezes over as I'm supposed to be down there again.

1.) The M23
2.) Peaspottage Services slip Road
3.) The A264


CPC Part 2

Second module of this dreaded 'refresher', was hoping for the Tacho &WTD to refresh my mind but as there were a large number of Council employees who don't use Tachos we had to move on to a different module. Oh well, next time.


I was expecting to see loads of snow this morning but only a slight dusting appeared. On the road and a slight spittle of snow appeared here and there. Then things changed when I stopped in Winchester services. The snow started to come down pretty thick and fast, driving on the M3 was a bit atrocious with the driving snow. The visibility was at times very poor. Similar thing when I got close to the yard, the A331 was under some serious snow shower. In the yard I had to recouple my unit to another trailer and park up on the bay which is down a slight slope. Trying to reverse was fun with the unit slipping and wheel spinning. The snow was coming down pretty thickly. Got home and would you believe, almost no snow at all.


Thank god for night heaters, bloody freezing this morning. It took almost 20 minutes for the windscreen to defrost and that was with the engine and the night heater going at full blast. The worst part was the wind, went right through you. when delivering in High Wickham it started to snow, then the clouds came over and nothing. Got back to the yard and a few flakes appeared, nothing like the predicted amount. Having said that there's always tomorrow.


Hurry up and wait, that is exactly what my day was like. Turned up at the first delivery at 7am, they open up at 8am. Heater on and test out the bunk. Onward to the next one and no problems, got to a well known shampoo and more company at 9am and was duly informed. You're booked in for 2pm but I could unload you at around 11am. Just park up in the corner and come and see me at 11am. I had 2 hours to kill, no newsagents to be seen so the bunk got retested yet again. Managed to get tipped at 11:30 and then off to the last one. As I was about 200yds from a set of lights at which I need to turn I saw another artic turning, didn't think much of it till I got to the delivery and guess what. That damn artic was ahead of me, all the way from Poland and full to the rafters. It took almost an hour for it to be unloaded in the meantime I managed to finish off my lunch and the rest of my tea. Got back to the yard close to 2pm, unhooked and coupled up to my Monday's drop. Then it was time for a weekend break.


Ambling along the M3 as fast as the limiter would carry me I was passed by a Dutch unit and low loader like I was standing still. Noticed on the low loader a AVF432, took a quick snapshot as it was hauled past me. Kind of brings back memories of my Army days.


Oh man it's getting cold, had to scrape my car's windscreen this morning. As they are forecasting snow for the weekend it will be interesting to see if it actually arrives and how much dumps. Got the snow shovel ready the only thing I'm missing is the rock salt.

Noticed that the Warburtons boys have finally moved out of Camberley. The yard that was full of the Red 12T lorries is now completely empty. They were threatening to move and finally have done so, apparently to a fancy site in Basingstoke, trouble is since the time I left them all I've seen is new faces in the lorries whenever they go past me. Looks like a lot of the 'old' boys have decided to find pastures new.


Amazing that people find the time to whinge about the delivery, 2 days on the trot one of the customers managed to whine about the state of the 'palets'. Not going to give you any more if that is how you deliver them, what can I say. I just deliver them, not pack and load the stuff. I suppose it makes someones day to have a good whinge.

People who drive 4x4 vehicles should be taught that when you enter the dual carriageway from a slip road you have to accelerate and NOT slow down to a crawl, forcing people behind (mainly me) to slam on their brakes.


Some people just shouldn't have driving licenses. This morning just after finishing my 1st drop I was just pulling away and once straight on the road I noticed another Artic trying to get out of a side road, as there was nothing behind me I stuck my 4 ways on and flashed the other driver so that he could turn right. As his units cab got to the half way point I glanced in my mirror and saw a white blur speed past me. A white van just whizzed past, as he got past me he realised why I had stopped with 4 ways on. His brake lights came on and how did he managed to stop without ploughing into the other artic's trailer I have no idea. He then had no choice but to reverse to let the artic turn and then just sped into the distance.


Bunch of Idiots, that's all I have to say about the large number of Artic drivers who sped past me today on the M40 & M25. It was very foggy and even doing 50mph was at times ill advisable. I kept to a speed according to the conditions, which was between 40 - 50 mph. Had to slow down a huge number of times when the visibility was bad, but some drivers seem to think that they are immune to the changing weather and road conditions and continue to 'fly' past at the maximum speed. If something happened and they couldn't see it I'd hate to see what carnage they would have caused. Come on boys & girls, screw the nut, if you can't see what is ahead of you do you really need to speed. Whoopee if you get to your destination a few seconds faster, what if you don't get there at all.


Friday morning in Slough, lovely place, lots of traffic lights and people trying to commit suicide by cutting up lorries. That extra yard or a few seconds sure do make a difference. Spotted this unit and trailer parked up, seems to be a few like this on our roads. Starting to see them more often, not so sure I'd like to squeeze one of them into a few places that I've had to get into. We don't have the same amount of space as the Yanks do for these units, they sure look nice but trying to get one into Pinewood Studios would be fun. Had enough trouble turning around in my trusty Iveco this morning.


Fabulous day, all that rain and wind and I still managed to get back well before 2pm. Had to go and pick up my unit from the service yard this morning. Then hook up and off we go, the wind was a serious problem on the open roads as it wanted to move the unit and trailer onto the middle of the road. Could have done with a middle lane on the A303 this morning. Done and dusted with all the drops it was time for my break, found a cracker of a Burger waggon on the Portway Industrial Estate in Andover. Half a French stick filled with 2 Jumbo sausages, 2 rashers of bacon and an egg, all for £3.20, well worth it in my opinion.

When I took in the unit yesterday to the service yard I found this on the wall. advertising the New Iveco Artics. It looks good, the interior layout looks like it was done with some serious thought and as some of us spend a rather large amount of time in them it will add some comfort to the day.


Why me, today as the awful morning began with all that rain and wind I was making my way to Eastleigh. Two simple drops but nothing is as simple as it seems. The first delivery was supposed to be quick but I had to wait in the yard till they unloaded a container and had their break. At the same time the water level in the yard was rising fast and when I got out of the cab I stepped into almost a foot of water, towards the end of the trailer it was even deeper. Need a set of flippers or a canoe to get to the trailer doors I thought as the rain soaked me. Unloaded and on my way, then the second drop. A farm with streams of water flowing freely down the slope, oh joy lets get wet again. Back to the yard and guess what a second run, seemed easy but the first drop was a nono, can you bring it back tomorrow. and then on to the last one, middle of nowhere, if all the bridges were a decent height it would be OK but as they are not I decided to turn in a different direction, why?, I don't know. Turnaround and head in the right direction and squeeze through a few small villages to deliver the load. Finally got back in the yard at 14:30, what a day, need a drink

A closer look at the picture will show you the water level.


Why couldn't the days be like today. Casual run to Sundbury and then to Crowthorne. Then back to the yard, uncouple one trailer and hitch up to another and do 2 more drops, one to a new place and then back home. No hassles and no awkward forklift drivers to deal with.


Saw this a few days ago and it gave me a good laugh. This is on Yorktown Road, very close to where I live. Looks like someone had enough of those things and decided to have an early Bonfire night.


Oh what a day, Maidenhead, Enfield & Milton Keynes. Some of the streets in Enfield should be re classed as alleyways and not streets. The M25 & M1 were up to their usual standard with those damn roadworks still snaking along, how much longer are they going to keep digging. Stopped at Toddington Services for my 30 min break and a huge chunk of the lorries there were of Foreign origin. Had thoughts of a Bacon Double Cheeseburger but when I saw the price my apetite left me. The road layout in Milton Keynes with that daft numbering is something to savour, especially when you're looking for a road that is set so far back and the post code is wrong.


I must have had the world's slowest forklift driver today. After getting round my route in a decent time I was looking forward to a sort of early finish. Got to my last drop at about 12:45 and was told to park up and undo the curtains as someone will be with me shortly to unload. He did turn up, half an hour later and then proceeded to unload in reverse gear, one pallet from my side then one from the other side. This 'efficient' unloading proceeded for about an hour by which time he managed to unload 9 of the 16 pallets. Amazingly the forklift driver then vanished and that was it. I got so pissed off and went to complain to a manager. Amazingly a woman forkie appeared and unloaded the rest in about half an hour. Still not the fastest but better than her counterpart. This has got to be some sort of a record, 16 pallets in almost 2 hours, you could almost do that by hand.


Lovely day driving in the New Forrest, had a few drops around Southampton and then on to Lymington. The damn satnav still shows up a wrong height of bridge and I forgot my map. Quick call to the office and a helpful route was sent to me. Not a bad drive with the exception of the Forrest where I spent more time looking out for the Ponies and Donkeys than actually concentrating on the road ahead. Beaulieu is a lovely little village but not designed for a 40ft trailer. Scenery was fantastic, must pay the place a visit in my spare time. To be honest it was good to have a decent surface under the wheels when I finally got on to the A roads and what a pleasure it was to get on the M3.


Today promised to be a usual day but how wrong could I have been. Got to a drop in Crawley and as there was another artic in the yard I parked up and went to see what was happening. Got chatting to the other driver and when he found out that I only had one pallet to deliver he kindly offered to let me jump the queue. Got into the rig and whilst waiting for a few cars to go by I spied another artic coming up the road where I needed to turn into to get a straight reverse. This boy is not hanging around, he comes up to the junction right opposite me swings out a bit to get an angle to turn and almost runs over a biker who was coming down the main drag. As he stamped on his anchors and the biker swerved to avoid being flattened all I could do was to scream a few choice words. As I was parked up across the junction the impact if it happened would have thrown the biker right under my lorry. The Eastern European chappie crossed himself a few times looked at me with despair and then drove into the morning.


Last Friday I had a sneak at today's run list and saw that there would be 2 separate runs, so when i got to my first drop today(1 run) and was told to wait i thought 'oh goody' the longer I wait here the less chance of a second run when i get back. Then on the way to Fareham what looked like a serious accident blocked 2 lanes on the M27. Looked pretty serious, one car on the roof and another blocking the 2 lanes, there were 2 lorries in front but don't know if they were involved or not, don't like to linger at other people's misfortunes. On the way back I noticed that the whole motorway was blocked and traffic backed up for  miles, looked like they were taking away the victim on a stretcher. So when i got back at about midday I thought that this is it, card out and went to have some lunch, guess what, second load was being loaded as i looked on. 44 pallets to Danish Bacon in Petersfield and then 13 pallets to a chemical company in Liphook, now that was an interesting delivery. The so called Business Park was so small and tight that a crow bar was needed to get in and out, amazing the places that you can squeeze an artic into.


Ah another week over and done with, spent most of it delivering in and around Southampton and Andover. Today after dropping the last delivery in Portway it was time for a break. Since I didn't have any sarnies made I decided to do some hunting around and I found this cracker of a cafe in a small business park. The bacon & egg baguette was bloody brilliant, crispy bacon and the egg was just the way it should be. This could be a regular stop when I'm around that area. One thing though, when are they going to finish that bloody roundabout off the A303, been a bomb site for ages.


Ah sunshine and the proverbial glare, once the sun got up it was a decent day with the exception of having my eyeballs burned out when turning into the sun. Few times it was so bad the I just couldn't see anything for a few seconds, could have been disastrous if I wasn't creeping along at a few miles an hour. Saw an unusual sight on the M3 just past the Basingstoke junction, 3 marked police cars doing a rolling roadblock, further down the road 1 unmarked and 2 marked cars went flying up the motorway. Must have been a training exercise as didn't see anything that could have caused a problem.


Planned a day off on Friday as had some family stuff to attend to, but as things would have it got a call and was asked to do a Night Shift. Been there before and it was a doddle, drove around collecting empty cages for 2 hours and then went home. however not this time, short of drivers, so had a full load to T5. So much for an easy night.


Ah the perils of thinking that you can reroute the drops and get them all done before things go pear shaped. Had a delivery to a client who normally opens up at 8am but before that thother client opens at 6am and then others in the wild hills of Hampshire. So off i go and do the 6am delivery and thing that I should do the Hampshire drops before heading to Bracknell, think again, as i complete a drop in the Basingstoke area to which a small transit van would suffice due to the road being more of a track the phone rings. Can you reroute to Bracknell and then swing by the yard to collect 2 more pallets for your Basingstoke delivery. Oh sugar, so much for my idea. Down to Bracknell and then back to the yard, on to a break and then I'm told that an 'extra' delivery has been added. That will teach me for trying to be a smart alec. Done and dusted by 3pm instead of 1:30pm.

This one drop in the wilds of Hampshire had me wondering what I was doing there, off the A339 and turned into this side road. Instantly I thought 'should I be here'. Luck was in, the delivery slot was about 200yds from the main road but there was no hope in hell of turning into the yard. Stopped alongside the road and carried the stuff to the lockup. Then the fun began, no chance of turning around or backing in so the only option left. Reverse onto the A339, slow casual reverse and after managing to press gang a driver to stop the traffic i reversed and turned around. Not something i would want to repeat again.


I really need to stop getting my hopes up when I get an easy day, kind of ruins things. Had 2 drops, one for 7am and the other for 2pm. Easy, me thinks, stop of at Fleet services on my way to Basingstoke after dropping of the stuff in Sundbury and have my 45 min rest. Then loiter with intent for the remainder of the free 2 hours that they give you. Casual drive to the 2 drop and with luck they'll tip me around 12ish. Then back home. However, things do go a bit astray here. Phone rings and I'm told that I need to be in Basingstoke by 11am and then back to reload for a second delivery. Oh clucking bell (or words to that effect). When I got back to the yard I had another 2 drops added on, one was so bloody tight to turn the wagon it almost made my eyes water.


What a week, had Monday of and then Tuesday was sprung on me. A few deliveries and then a quick trip to Whitney to swap trailers. Not bad I thought, picked out a route but as plans go it went astray. Almost half way down the A415 when a sign appears, 18T restriction and having a fully laden artic i think i was just a tad over that. No choice but to turn back and use the A40, A34, M4 and a few local roads to get back. At last back in the yard at 18:00, bloody long day.

Yesterday and today as it turned out weren't bad except at the end of today when i turn up at my last drop at 12:30 and get told, 'sorry, can't unload you till 14:00'. Then there is the usual shift change so finally I get tipped at around 14:30. Still not bad, got home when it was still light.


Been down the South Coast for the past few weeks and couldn't help noticing the 'Think Bike' signs everywhere. I think it should go both ways, look out for bikers and they should ride with decency and caution. A large number of them ride like demented idiots and endanger not only their lives but ours. Loads of them zoom in and out of lanes, between cars and generally think that they own the road. Woe and betide anyone who dares to try to show them they are wrong. I think that those 2 wheeled morons should be taken behind the bushes and given a sever slapping. Usually if a bike comes into contact with a lorry it's not a pretty sight, but it seems that it's always the lorry drivers fault. No matter how badly the bike rider was behaving/riding, after all they are not immune to being stupid.


Driving around Bognor Regis on Friday I noticed this strange contraption on my way back. Hadn't a clue what it was till I got closer to it, oh cripes it's Butliz, sorry Butlins. Nice hotel style building with this domed building next to it, no chance of seeing the rest as the hedge was a bit high and had to flow with the traffic. Glad to be out of the area early in the morning as the Goodwood Speed Revival was on and the traffic was beginning to build up, saw some wicked cars on the road though.


What is is with people pulling out in front of lorries from parking places on dual carriageway. Twice in 2 days someone in a 'small' car decided to pull out and then come to a grinding halt and then crawl at 20mph. Don't they realise the danger or do they just want to cause an accident and claim some money. There should be signs telling them that a minimum speed must be adhered to.


What is it with people who own Golf GTI's or should I say boy racers. Today they just couldn't wait to try and undercut me as i was going round the roundabout. It seems that the A27 and the surrounding areas are just the thing to have a race. 'Got to be in front of the lorry' syndrome is another thing, going through Bramley a moped rider just couldn't wait to pass me and then slow down to a 30mph speed.


Been way down south Coast and in the wilds of Dorset all last week, so when returning to the localish drops I decided that Rownhams services will be the stop of choice. Don't fancy lay byes, some are so bloody small that when cars pass you end up wearing your lunch. On Thursday I saw a sight in the services that made me laugh. A number of Polish lorries were loading up trailers on to trailers, looked like a easyish job but the way these boys were going at it it was taking them absolute ages. Had a good watch for most of my break and drove off. Next day they were still there, having taken over a sizable chunk of the parking area.


Appalling weather today on the roads, on the M3 down towards Southampton and I noticed a serious accident between J6 & J7. A lorry carrying concrete slabs and I think 2 or 3 cars were involved, couldn't see much as I went past there were a lot of emergency vehicles in attendance. Got to admit that even at a cursory glance it looked pretty bad, the central barrier was bent out of shape in a bad way and all day the radio kept reporting that the South bound M3 is slow due to the barrier repairs. hope it wasn't a fatal accident.


Getting used to driving in Dorset and Hampshire, been down there almost every day for the last 2 weeks. All they need to do is to give us more parking spaces on the 'A' roads, spent ages trying to find one yesterday and unfortunately had a 4 minute over on my driving time. With luck it should be OK but still I don't like infringements, messes up your whole day.


Bloody hell what a drive, I think it must have been one of those magical drives. Started with Eastleigh then to Wimbourne then Wincanton then Andover and finished off in Winchester. All together 402km for the day, lovely scenery in Dorset and Somerset but the roads are something else. The steam Rally didn't help as a few roads were closed just for them, minor detour to Wincanton and then on to A303, loads of tourists at Stonehenge paying their £6.40 to see the stones, amazing things though as they've been there for absolutely thousands of years. Feel absolutely knackered after today.


Got to admit that of all the drops today Salisbury was the best, not in the tightness of roads and low bridges but the beauty of the city is fab. I was stationed in Larkhill in my Army days so a Saturday foray to Salisbury was the norm and in those days Michael Snell's was the place to have a coffee and a slice of gateaux. Absolutely fantastic cakes, all hand made and piping fresh, to be honest a thought of parking up outside and having a slice did spring to mind today. Well worth a visit if you are in the vicinity


Now this really takes the biscuit. One of our finest went to a shop and the owner refused to serve him. what is this Country coming to when a Soldier in unifirm is thrown out of a shop by its owner. He is fighting to try to bring stability to a Muslim country and (I assume) a Muslim shopkeeper throws him out. Boycott that store, show some solidarity with the soldiers, its about time that we stood up and got counted instead of being dictated to.
Never assume that you can have an early finish, I did and it got me nowhere. Had to do a delivery in Horsham and then on to Sunbury. Fab I thought, be back in the yard by midday and then home, think again. when I pulled in to the yard I was greeted with, drop your trailer couple up to that one being loaded and you're off to Havant. Oh sugar, already planned my afternoon and as it was a nice and sunny day my thought of an afternoon down the pub was quickly shattered.


BK Pizza

Now this is what I call a Whopper, BK has released this in the US as a 'share' pizza. The New York Pizza Burger is a 9-and-a-half-inch wide burger made with four Whopper patties topped with pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, marinara sauce, and Tuscan pesto sauce. How many Yanks can honestly say they will share this, if it ever gets here I wonder how and if it becomes a familiar fixture in a lorry drivers cab. This would last for a whole day but with a whopping 2.500 calories and 180+g of fat could the lorry stand the 'extra' weight.


Alright so it's a Bank Holiday weekend and I expected a sort of relaxed work day. well it kind of was, had to go to the dealer (Guildford) to collect my lorry as it was being serviced, then my first drop just  happened to be in Woodley and then on to Theale which was a experience in itself. When you see a sign telling you that the bridge is a 3T MGW it usually reflects to the bridge which the sign is posted by and not another bridge half a mile from it. The correct information is on the sign but it is written in such small lettering that unless you're a few feet away you can't see it. So when confronted by this sign i turned around at the roundabout and drove around trying to find a way in and then gave up. Called the yard and one of the other drivers who happen to have delivered to this place told me that it is OK to go over the bridge. On to Hungerford and Blackbushe and then back to the yard. Kind of expecting to have another short run but no, 'see you Tuesday'.

All I can say is that I'm glad that I didn't have to go through Reading today, had to do a delivery to Caversham on Wednesday and what a mess. The festival is on this weekend so all the party goes were arriving and debusing in the pouring rain, all that mud and no music till the weekend.


Bloody hell what a day, from Slough To Maidenhead to High Wycombe to Bicester to Abingdon to Didcot and then on to Reading. some spread this, lost 2 hours as one client didn't open till 8am and at another the forklift driver decided it was tea time when i arrived. Half an hour later he comes out to tip me. 3rd from last drop was similar, 'sorry drive, we're on lunch' be back in half an hour. Good god is everyone on break when I arrive today, after touring some nice scenery and playing with a foal at one farm where I stopped to ask for directions to another farm I managed to finish today's deliveries. Been told to look out for tomorrow as it could be similar.


Don't know if I did the right thing but I sure hope so, today I pulled into Reading Services for my half an hour. Parked up and went to get a newspaper, noticed a Polish plated DHL unit towing a trailer parked up on the least bay. On my way back I saw the driver open his door and pour a little bit out of a beer can, it sure looked like a beer. Then he proceeds to drink the rest, he must have been there for a decent amount of time(I assume). I walked back to my cab disgusted as a Drink & Driving is a big no no with me especially when you happen to be sitting behind a wheel of an Artic. Reading my paper I saw the Polish lorry pull away and drive of about 10 minutes later. My thought was this, how many did he have, was it only one or more beers as I don't think a Polish man would add anything non-alcoholic into a beer can. How stable is he driving an artic so soon after consuming alcohol. If he has an accident he could kill someone. I decided on the only course of action that I thought appropriate, called the police, gave them his registration number & the number of the trailer along with the description.

So Ladies & Gents, did I do the right thing


Oh what a down pour, absolutely chucking it down on the M3 & M25 this morning. I was surprised that more of the stuff didn't get waterlogged and damaged, one pallet was totally gone and a few others just about made the grade. Compared to yesterday when I baked in the cab today was nice for a change, wet but who cares, not made of sugar so I won't melt. Unfortunate thing is the delivery that I took back will probably be on my lorry tomorrow.


Boxes, Boxes and some more Boxes

Another week done and dusted, lost count of how many pallets of flat packed boxes I delivered this week. I'm amazed that some of the places that I had to squeeze the lorry into were deliverable and after negotiating my exit I wondered how on earth I managed to get in and out without any scratches. Getting to know some of the side roads very well and I hasten to add don't intend to use them that often, once is enough. I'll stick to the main roads and keep a closer eye on the map instead of the satnav. Number of times it tried to send me into places that a squirrel would have trouble getting out of its unreal, you've got to know when to ignore that 'turn here' instruction. Today I found another bridge that is not on the map and on satnav, just a tinsy 12ft 3in high bridge, wonder what the 13ft 9in waggon would have done to it or vice versa. Oh and a small rant, when placing diversions please give some other warning , fancy closing down the A321 between Molly Millars lane and Gowrings Garage roundabout to all LGV's, that dastardly diversion via Abborfield is a bit much.


Two days of local runs, well alright one or two jaunts to Hungerford were thrown in as well. Makes a change to have a drive around my locality and finish early.


Oh man what a day, from Amersham to Thatcham to Hungerford and Aldermaston. all in 8 hours along with the usual waits for the Goods In to open up. Got to one drop in Amersham and boy, did I need a crow bar to get the lorry in or what, good job it was only an 18T as an artic would not fit in any way. got to ask the question of why do people choose to locate their businesses in such awkward to get to places.


Ah another Saturday evening arrives, that means all is done and dusted for this week. Had a mixture of things this week, from straight forward drops to thinking should I be here on this road. One delivery was on such a road or shall I say track. Lovely scenery around Sittingbourne but the road where the drop was was more of a single track and having got there I wondered how I did it. Luckily it was in a rigid as there was no way in hell I would have even thought of taking an artic down there. Glad the week is over and now for some well earned R&R.


Here's something that you don't see every day. Had a delivery to Ferndown Ind Estate in Wimbourne, not bad run down the M3 & A31. Turned of the A31 followed the road through and coming up to a roundabout in front of the estate I saw something that really baffled me as to why it was there. A Burger wagon, on the roundabout, not on the grass in the middle but actually on the far side of the concrete roadway. Why on earth would someone put a burger wagon there, the other scary bit was that there were actually a few lorries parked in front of it. Talk about becoming a statistic in the accident game.


What a day, all started well, today I'm in a Rigid. Oh well can't have it all every day. Down to Eastbourne for the first drop, then to Newhaven for next 3, this is where things went a bit astray. It's not here drive, its the other building. Went there and the same story was repeated, so went back to the first delivery point and got them to call the other place and confirm where it all needs to be delivered and would you believe it, it had to be where I went originally. Then about half an hour behind I'm off to No4, delivered and just about to set off to No 5 when I realised that the bridge is slightly lower than my lorry, about 1.5ft to be precise, maps say it's supposed to be 14ft but the sign says 13ft 3in. No chance of getting a 14ft lorry under that, looks like its recently been re done as all the brickwork and paint is still pretty fresh. A 20 mile detour and a traffic jam later I arrived. Done all the drops and happily I'm off back to the yard, long day today, had plans to be done and dusted by 3pm but arrived in the yard at 5pm. Oh well of home for a well earned pint.


Oh I do like to be (almost) beside the Sea side. Few drops around Fareham and Chichester, one unfortunately had to come back with me, wrong pallets(?). I suppose there is reason for that. This time I remembered the last drop and when prompted to turn left through a housing estate I politely declined. Knew the way to the Industrial Estate was via the A29 and decided to take that road, saved squeezing through minuscule roundabout and tight roads.


All over, thank god, the night shift for the week that is. Now I know why vampires sleep all day, couldn't do this full time. Had a 12 hour shift but actually did just one run to the horseshoe. Booked in at 23:45 and finally got to the bay at 03:00, then almost an hour to unload and the drive back slightly different way due to the restrictions. in the yard at 04:30 and by the time I got through the security gates negotiating a queue of others doing the same it was time to knock off. Still feel like death warmed up, need a few glasses of wine or a few beers to cheer me up. Next week its back to realistic 06:00 starts, will be nice to get home on the same day.


Ahhhh Volvo............This time I got a decent motor, made the drive much more comfortable, no radio though. Never mind you can't have everything.


Up to Wallsall

Up to Walsall last night, trunk job but I wish I had a better unit. This DAF even though it was a 07 Plate was a bag of bones. The manual gearbox was terrible, kept jumping out of gears and just didn't have the power to pull a Double Becker, especially up hills. Even when on a flat it struggled, lets hope tonight I'll get something a bit better. Saw an accident between J10 & J9 on the M6, looks like a car tried to jump the line and got wedged in front of a lorry. No time to look just a quick glance, hope the poor sod was OK. When I got back to the yard at 3am had some fun, yard very badly lit and with units parked everywhere, trying to back up to a spot was fun.


This really gets my goat, had a continued booking this week from the firm that I was working for last week. Told them that Monday is a nono and the rest of the week is fine. all agreed and dusted, yesterday I got a call from the agency to tell me that they put another driver into that place to cover my day and the client decided to keep him on for the rest of the week. Oh bloody great, screw up my plans why don't they. No worries though as I managed to get another booking for the rest of the week a few hours later, still was a bit mad for a few hours after. Today I get a call from the agency asking if I could go back to the client as they called and asked for me. No chance, already got a booking, not going to start messing about. I've got a reputation to uphold, if I say I'll do it and commit to the job then that is is.


The week is over, trunking and delivering/collecting frozen from RDC's and customers. Few surprise sites but overall a pleasant week. It's really nice to be treated as a human being at a client instead of just another agency driver. This client's Transport office made me feel almost at home, friendly, polite and treated me like a person. Back in there next week. One amazing thing though, going up the M40 I saw loads of Hawks and Kestrels hovering looking for their breakfasts or just swooping down on prey. amazing sight watching these birds.


Nice and easy day, was the second driver as the other driver is off on holiday so he showed me one of his drops/collections. Nice and relaxing trip to Birmingham and back again.


This week I'm on the frozen stuff, delivering to other RDC's the company's wares. Today I thought it might be fairly easy day, the hardest part was staying awake. On the a3 going to Petersfield I had serious trouble staying awake, had to stop once to get myself sorted. Got to Petersfield and booked in, 'you're early, you're booked in for 11:00am'. This being 07:45, great I'll get some chance to recharge my batteries, onto a holding bay and off to bed. About an hour later some one is banging on the door, 'bay3 drive'. At least I had some sleep and feel much better. Unloaded and the next place is Portsmouth(ish). Chucking it down with rain all the way there. Arrived at the next drop P&H and got in the yard only to be met with a queue.

Had a look at the loading bays and whoever designed this obviously didn't have artics in mind. Both bays are at the end of the yard, the yard is about the width of a unit and trailer with cages, pallets etc along side of the fence. Oh this is going to be fun, any one got a crowbar, 8 shunts later I finally managed to get on the bay, self tip is what they told me. The trailer had a setting of -30c and me with just a polo top on, good job it was only 4 pallets.


Just have a seat mate, we're not sure what you're doing to be doing. There I sat for about half an hour, a unit and trailer is available so I'm off to Southend, then again maybe not and then another change of plans. Take this rigid and deliver 7 pallets of frozen to Banbury and then the remainder to Thatcham. They were loaded wrong so can you move them around when you get to Bandury, sure mate -30c in there and I'm going to shift pallets about. Weird way of doing things but I suppose booking times have to be adhered to. Got to Banbury and sat in a queue for about half an hour, on to the bay and get rid of the pallets, bloody cold in the freezer. Luckily the boys at the first drop didn't mind doing the reshuffle.
Got to Thatcham at 11:30, booked in, had a break, sat around and got a bit cheesed off, what time am I likely to be tipped, 'oh, you were booked in for 06:30, so now you have to wait'. Not bad as I started work at 06:00. Finally got tipped 3 hours later and off we go back to the yard, must be something in the air as there seems to have been loads of people who forgot their road sense and drove like a bunch of prats. lost count of how many times I was cut up today on the M4, never mind, back home safe and sound.


Bloody hell it's hot, and I mean hot. Trying to work in this heat was proving a bit much, thank god for air con. Apart from the sweltering heat nothing much has happened except the usual mundane work routine. I had to forgo my daily run as I'm not willing to run in this heat, stood outside the front of the house and almost baked, a cool glass of Rose is required, seriously thinking about paying the Coral Reef a visit over the weekend.


Tescos Drivers

Oh how wonderful driver is this person. Coming back from Barking this afternoon and for a change the M25 wasn't a standstill I had thoughts of a early finish. As I came up to J25 the traffic was getting a bit heavy and as I got half way level with the on ramp a Tesco artic came thundering down the ramp. Can't go anywhere as the middle lane if full of cars and ahead of me is another lorry so I have no option but to keep my line and speed (in the mirror I can see loads of cars behind me) but I'm preparing to take avoiding action. The tesco lorry draws level with me, the driver looks at me with a look that a goldfish would be proud of and claps on his indicator continuing to slightly edge me out on speed. I can't do anything and am hoping he is going to slow down, he's not. As we almost come to the end of the ramp still side by side I have no choice but to slow down and hear the horns of cars behind and at my side as car drivers show their appreciation of my actions. Tescos driver continues blissfully on. Somewhere in the Highway code it says that cars joining the motorway need to give way to traffic already on it. If I hadn't slowed down he surely would have ploughed into me and caused a major smash. Next time I'll take a spare pair of undies with me. Managed to get his reg number, so much for their stringent assessment.


Not one but two lorries in the spate of a few hours, how, easy. The trailer kept making a horrible crashing noise when going (slowly) over speed bumps and upon closer inspection the self level thingy bar wasn't doing its job. Swap units i was told, no probs but that one won't start as it hasn't been used for a long while. Jump start and got it running, just about to pull away and squeeze it through a gap when a bunch of inductees comes along and stops right in front of my unit. Not wishing to upset anyone and make a mess in the yard I had no option but to wait till they were shown a safe path from the canteen to the warehouse and other exciting yard stuff, such like how to avoid being run over by a lorry....................


Interesting place T5, feels like catacombs reinvented but with loads of concrete and lights. Had to drop of some cages there and not delivering there before I wasn't sure which end of the ramp to deliver. Luckily the boys at the security post informed the lot down below and I crew was waiting for me. Trying to get in to the place is another matter, have to have your profile sent to security and at the barrier a thorough check is conducted, would be easier to get into Fort Knox. Delivered and reloaded and watched all the cages go through the scanner just for the sake of it, then back and on to a well deserved break. Had one of those days today, rushing around, delivering all sorts and generally being drenched in sweat, felt just a bit less than shower fresh after just a few hours.


What is it with some of these large companies, had a unit today that threw up a 'Check Braking System', reported it as you do and was told to try another ABS suzzy. For crying out loud is that really fixing the problem, just try another cable and it will be alright. Managed to get another working unit and off to Crawley for the first drop. The service yard was easy to find but backing onto the bay was something also, not difficult mind but a pain in trying not to run over people who insist on walking behind a lorry when its reversing. Whoever designed this docking area must have been on something really powerful, two bays at an angle and the lanes overlap. I was lucky that another artic just finished delivery or I'd have had no chance to get on the bay.

Then to Horsham, another beautiful town but not designed for taking an artic through once I'd finished the delivery, especially when some numskull parks on a corner and there are bollards which don't allow for the trailer swing. I for some unknown reason decided to go cross country via Guildford to get back to the yard, my logic somehow insisted that it will be quicker. Less mileage but definitely not quicker, next time I'll stick to the Motorways.


Lorry, lorry a lorry for all its worth. Had a seemingly long wait in the canteen till a rigid was available to get some work done. Two drops and both very late, the first one not bad but on the last one the manager wanted to know what the f##k is going on at the RDC. Sorry mate no idea, you'll have to contact them and see that they say. Shock, horror, no AC in the wagon, had to have the windows open instead, can't have this, need my creature comforts. I still wish that some people would be more considerate when changing lanes, such like using the indicator and for gods sake when you get in front of me don't slam your brakes on. This specially applies when there is another lorry is close behind me. I need to find out where I can get a 'I own the road' certificate, being passed by 2 Tipper rigids on the way to Epsom today, they seem to think they own the road the way they were driving. Looks like they were being chased by the devil or were very late for their tea break.


What a Shambolic Game

What a waste of 90+ minutes, it would be if I’d watched all of the game. Turned over to something much more interesting about 15 minutes into the second half. After their usual 'magnificent' start and their 'fabulous' defending England managed to show a bit of footie, after that it was absolute balls up. These overpaid ballerinas just can't get it together. Shame on you and your performance, you're supposed to be Premier League players but a bunch of 2-year-olds could have played better than you. Donate your money to a worthy cause and do us all a favour, Don't Bother to Come Back.


Had a 4am start today, the original plan was to go with another driver and pick up another wagon but as plans go it went a bit astray. Along the way we had to make 2 drops and then to the DAF yard. Sorry you can't have it, the tacho is knackered and we can't fix it till next Monday. Oh well never mind, back to the yard, break and home.
Went for a ‘drive’ for a well-known supermarket in Bracknell few days ago. Had about an hour drive and was told that it was very good. Not like others who speed around but good and steady with lots of care and attention. Then came the reversing bit, put the trailer onto that bay, bloody hell it looks tight after the shunter slapped another trailer into adjustment bay(otherwise it would have been OK). About a half a dozen shunts and I was in, when I looked at the space on both sides when the trailer was nice and straight I felt like asking for a crow bar to get the trailer out again. I was informed that it is expected to get the trailer in in a lot less shunts than I attempted, felt like saying 'go on show me how it's done' but kept quiet. Not sure what they want there, how do you squeeze a huge box into a small gap without shunts and without being a bit nervous when someone is watching you constantly. Never mind, not so sure I want another attempt at this. Also broke my cardinal rule of doing it without pay, never again.


Relaxing day at home, nothing happening with the agencies so I thought that it was time to catch up with the things that I need to do and what the wife has listed, and its a bloody long list. Hot and sunny so at the same time a bit of sunbathing will be done, just to top up the colour mind. Have a assessment tomorrow so fingers crossed, might also be a good time to stock up on the beer for the game. Having said that after the last performance is it really worth watching.


My first and hopefully not last day at one of the upmarket supermarket RDC, not a million miles from home, had to go to Dorchester to drop of the goods. First unit at the yard was broken due to one of the tyres being slightly bald, a second one was delivered and off we go. Started to pull away and for a second or two thought that I'd left the trailer brake on, the thing just wasn't moving. Started to wonder what in the gods name was loaded in the trailer as I very slowly rolled along, to add to it all I had a '04 Plate Manual unit. Once it got going it got going but trying to get up a few of the hills along the way was an experience, felt like I was going to have to get out and push.

Once I got to the destination and what a lovely town it is I had to do some creative reversing. Blind side on and yank the trailer at an angle I never thought possible. The bay is on a uphill slope which I don’t think I’d like to attempt to reverse into when it’s wet or icy. Leave the unit at 45 degrees and unload the stuff. Then a slightly more speedy return as there wasn't much weight left, few empties but nothing like it was going down. Trying to get out of the town was a bit interesting, some prat parked just of the T Junction and left the car there. Must have some connections in high places to park on double yellow lines and about 20 feet from a junction. If it weren’t for one considerate car driver backing down and mounting the pavement I'd still be there, tight streets and just didn't want to do any damage (not on my first day).

Honestly speaking I enjoyed today, something different and it went better than I had hoped.


Was feeling a bit tired this morning but that was sorted out when I started, had to go initially to an airline to collect a few aircraft bins and then the assignment was to run 'errands' for a client. How do you run errands with an artic, simple, load up pallets and take to another depot. That was a bit later though, dropped of the aircraft bins and parked up, time to test out the bunk, had a notion that I wouldn't be there for long but lucky me. Nothing happened till early afternoon, even the other wagons were standing idle. Managed to find a good cafe for lunch and then the work began. Only to end at 17;30 as my shift came to an abrupt end. This was one of the easiest days that I've had, not complaining as I don’t get that many of them.


Gorgeous day, pity most had to be spent hanging around the Horseshoe in Heathrow. Turned up at the first drop and told by the clerk that one of the waybills is not for them. It kind of is as their main office in the horseshoe deals with it. Great, take of most of the stuff and check that it all matches and then off we go to the 'other' office. Something is seriously wrong with that place, booked in at 11:20 and finally got onto the bay at 13:40. This has to be an absolute waste of time, didn't even bring a newspaper with me, all I could do was to watch the numbers change and all the other lorries going past. To top it all people who have no comprehension how much room we need when turning and reversing keep parking in the most awkward places and then looking at you with a blank stare as you try and squeeze past them without doing any damage to their cars. Sometimes I wish that someone would just plough over a car that was parked in the wrong place, then surely the other owners might take notice. Bit of excitement at the end, a Polish lorry was trying to reverse up to the centre to park up and something went wrong, he was blocking the complete road and the driver was sitting in the cab scratching his head. I managed to escape before all mayhem ensured.


Had to pick up a unit from the garage, got to the reception and the man behind the counter tells me that the unit has a leaking air valve and it is not road worthy, will get a ticket if I get stopped. Just sign this waiver and you can be on your way. Not on your life mate, not signing anything and not going anywhere near the unit, not roadworthy and this is a garage, apparently they haven't got the part. Called the yard and the full time driver signed and drove it. Got another one and had to go to Hayes to collect medical stuff and take it to Magna Park, that was the easiest part of the day. Couldn't believe my luck on the way home, M1 & M25 clear, couldn't say the same when I got in my car and got stuck in a huge jam.


Ever felt like a yoyo, today I kind of did. Working for the Airport delivering stuff to the Landside shops and it all seems pretty simples, wagon loaded, drive to the Terminal, unload, leave it with the people who do all the manual work. Then collect empty cages and go back to the warehouse, each trip can take up to 2 hours even though the airport is only a few miles away. Then unload empties, have a break whilst you're being reloaded and do it all over again. Had 3 trips like this today, over the whole days shift (8 hours) I think I actually drove for about 1.2 hours, all this in a 53 plate DAF with an analogue tacho. Here's to a newer wagon tomorrow.


Off The Wall

 ******* I will not name this agency just yet ********

Had a supposedly long term contract for a local agency. Initially it was supposed to start on a Monday but we were told that they only want to see us on Monday to get the paperwork done. After sorting things out the start was confirmed as Wednesday, did the rest of the week and had a call on Friday to Confirm for the following week. The agency confirmed a 'minimum' of £10ph for the job, so when the payslip arrived showing only £9.50 I was a bit miffed, sent email to the agency asking what happened and informing them that as we had a verbal contract they also owe me for the 'booked' week. The usual excuses followed and I was informed that the shortfall would be in my account by this Friday (11 June). How surprising that it wasn't. An excuse of email was received stating that 'I have now spoken to our payroll department who confirm for whatever reason the payment was not made' apparently they had the money there and were going to get it to me.
Now as it is Saturday and I haven't got the cash I've decided to let the Trading Standards and the Dept of Work and Pensions sort this out. It is not a huge amount but the principle of it is, if you're promising a rate then pay it and try not to weasel out of it by making excuses.

****** Update ******

Got the underpayment and the very next day my P45 came through the post, no other calls so I guess I won't be driving for them again. Would have been very simple to sort this out from the start and we all would have been very happy.


Now I’m severely hacked off, had to go to Birmingham and then to Castle Donnington. Got to the first place at 9am, can't unload you till we open and that is 10am. Fair do, on the bay and had a snooze, when they started to unload I thought it shouldn't take more than half an hour. Guess again, they were unloading it all by hand, off one pallet and on to another, then at 11am they decided it was time for a tea break wouldn't mind but I wasn't even offered a cup. When it all returned and the unloading resumed, it took till 13:30 to finish it all. Bloody hell was I mad or what. When I arrived at the last drop it only took the man 10 minutes to get rid of the remaining stuff.. Back home on the dreaded M1, still amazed at how some idiots drive, from the fast line to the exit in the very last second. Still get numptys in lorries overtaking at a high rate in the roadwork’s section but I’m used to that. The yard is getting smaller each time, today it was full to the rafters, had to do some delicate reversing on the blind side and drop the trailer round the corner as in no way could I get the thing into a slot by the warehouse.


Love the Motorways when its raining, it brings out the best in people's driving skills. Like the prat in a Artic towing a gas tanker, who flew past me at a high rate of knots through the roadwork’s section on the M1. On the way back just after J19 the boys in blue were seeing to an accident. Two Tops Tiles artics were on the hard shoulder and a small car was buried in the bushes with just its front end sticking out, which was very well dented. Hope whoever was driving the car was OK, didn’t see any damage to the lorries but as I went past on the opposite side I didn’t really get that a good look and I hate to look at other peoples misfortune.


Oh what joy, a 4am start. Had to be up at 02:30 to get to the yard. Collect the unit and trailer which turned out to be a hide and seek game. The trailers hide and I try to find one that hasn't got the dreaded VOR tag on the emergency airline. Found one but as luck would have it it was behind another one, I'll move it, simples isn't it. How wrong can you be, someone managed to splatter into the trailer and remove the whole airline and electric box, couldn't move the trailer for the love of money. Even when the airline was on it hissed like a demented snake. Took a box trailer instead, down to DHL and load up. NCR stuff for Supermarkets, the dreaded self scan gizmos. Then a leisurely drive to Birmingham to drop them of, Quick stop at the services for the tacho break and then back to the yard and home. Not a bad day except the early start, for crying out loud even the sparrows were asleep.


Yesterday was a definite day not to be driving around without any aircon, had to go to Nine Elms MC and then to Hanger Lane. Going through the South Circular was interesting, being Saturday and a warm day the usual suspects were out. Trying to jockey for position just to be one car ahead, I'm glad that i don't do that route on a daily basis. The fun began when I got to Nine Elms, on Bay 8 drive, got one deck load. Loaded up and ready to go, just about to shut the back door when the manager comes up, 'you for PRDC', yes mate, OK offload it all, you've got the wrong stuff. He (points to a RM bod) told me all this was mine, 'well he got it wrong'. Oh joy, offloading all that stuff when it is almost boiling point in the back of the trailer was not something I’d recommend.

Reloaded and ready, had to sit in the cab with the AC full on to get to a simmer state, shall we say less than shower fresh. Back to PRDC and offload, then back to Langley to reload and guess what back to PRDC. On the way back I'm happily cruising in the inside lane when a BMW about 300 yds in front of me decides to pull straight out into the inside lane, no indicator and slows to a crawl. Hell fire, quick glance in the mirror and out into the middle lane, the prat in the BMW follows me into the middle lane, back into the inside lane. guess what the BMW does the same and almost stops, then it decides to pull into the hard shoulder. All this in a space of 400-450 yds. The lorry behind me must have thought I was some lunatic waving between the lanes. Close shave but it shows how some people must have got their licenses from a Cornflakes packet.


What a baking day, thank god for air conditioning and even then it still wasn't that cool in the cab. Run out of drinking water half way through the day, good job that one of the delivery places had a replen fountain. Had my favourite wagon again today. Must say that the MAN TGA is fab to drive, comfortable with loads of room in the cab and loads of oomph even when pulling a fully laden trailer. Shunting between DHL and the horseshoe today, delivering aircraft pallets of stuff for Glaxo. Not my idea of fun pushing a pallet into the back of the trailer even though it was on rollers. Unloading the Euro pallets from the back was hard and sweaty work, not something that I’d care to do on a daily basis but a bit of exercise and weight loss is OK, couldn’t do my usual running since finished late.


Well miracles do happen, had a delivery to BA this morning and when I booked in I expected the usual wait of at least 1 hour. Would you believe it as I'm walking back to the wagon my registration comes up. Wonders will never cease, onto one bay to check and remove seals and then back on and get unloaded, easy today, roller beds so the aircraft pallets just slide out. Then call the office and a 'short trip' to Lutterworth is sprung on me. Had to collect 40 pallets of pharmaceutical stuff and off we go. There must be something wrong with the M25, for the last 2 days it's been a right pain, so much traffic on the outward and inward journey its unreal. Where are all these bleeding cars coming from. Magna Park is where I had to go and it's bloody huge, ASDA seems to have the vast majority of it from what I saw.


Running around Heathrow today, being shown the bays for delivery of stuff to shops on the Landing side. Did a few deliveries and found some staff in Cafe Nero, etc very rude and almost too daft for words. One of the girls from an Eastern European country tried her best to upset us by telling us that we're late, even though the late shift from last night was supposed to do this delivery. Firm and polite telling off subdued her and we went to another stop. Not bad job and not that difficult, only thing is to know where the bays are and navigating through Heathrow.


God how I hate the M25, today had one delivery for TNT in Bromley by Bow. Then to Romford for a collection, the paperwork said that I'm booked in for 14:30 but after my break it was close to 1pm so I thought why not. Got there and told to park up, sat there for 1.5hrs and then they told me that they are waiting for some call from someone so no idea when I’ll be loaded. Finally got the stuff on board and more than expected, and off we go home. This is where the fun or not started, this damn road must have had the whole of the UK on it today, jams both ways like I've not seen before, miles and miles of them. Then when we finally get moving a prat in a SUV decides to come from the outside lane into the inside, right in front of me. He then proceeds to slam on his breakes and tries to exit at a point that it is impossible. Stood on the breakes and had visions of his car being embeded in the front of the lorry but he just spped off, prize plonker.


Oh yes, at last I've had the dubious pleasure of pulling a 16ft 2in trailer. Yesterday had a job to go to Kings Cross Mail Centre, every man and his uncle was out on the roads. Haven't seen so many cars on the A40 for ages. First I had to get this monstrosity of the trailer through the Hanger Lane bridge, unfortunately I couldn't as it's way too big, so a small detour of over the bridge was needed. Once I got to the end of the overpass the traffic just stopped, all the tourists milling around by Baker Street and M. Tuessauds. When I got to my first drop and found out where I needed to back in I was duly informed that the wagon already on the bay would be taking all the mail. Great, wasted journey. Then down to Greenford Mail Centre, the long way round as the bridge just off the A40 is too small for me to get under.

Then back to PRDC and unload and then load up for Langley. Hard work loading a Double Decker with all those yorks. Back to the yard, unload and drop trailer. To be honest the 16ft 2in Double Decker is not as bad as I thought, as long as the wheels are the normal size it's OK. Have to take things careful like at roundabouts and corners obviously, but overall not bad


I recon I've beaten my record for waiting to be unloaded. This morning I arrived in Milton Keynes and booked in the transport ofice, on the bay by 09:00 and the last box was removed by 13:00. All by hand, trailer load of boxes (700), glad it wasn't me. Got one beef with that town, way too many roundabouts and people undercutting me at every opportunity, maniacs all of them. Had an actros today, really getting to like them. One problem is that the computer keeps throwing up errors which are not an error as such but a software glitch. Today the computer told me that the Unit wasn't level, but it was and it drove OK, still the light was on all the time on the dashboard.


Mind numbing stuff, 6 hours of induction and Health & Safety stuff. No matter which site it is it's always the same stuff but I suppose it has to be done so that the company can say it has been done. At the same time they are covering their back side if something happens.


Had an assessment at a large parcel company, first time I've pulled a rear steer trailer. Got to admit I do like it especially the reversong as all it takes is a little lock and it slots nicely onto a bay.


How to piss of a driver and screw up his work. Had a so-called long term contract which started last week. It sort of started on Monday but then they decide that they want to see us first and see what we look like before working. Turned up on the first day, no one knew we were coming, then we had to drive to Addlestone to have photos taken for Id's. First days pay 2 hours, nothing on Tuesday as the start date was put back till Wednesday. Started on Wednesday and had issues with the lorry, namely tyres. Fitter got called out and when he spoke to me over the phone he was let’s say less than polite. When I arrived back at the site from a different job in a 7.5T the fitter started to spew out a torrent of abuse at me.

Don't need this at that time in the morning, after taking this crap for a few minutes I turned around and said 'don't speak to me like that, I’m off home', Walked away and got my phone to call the agency when the girl in charge comes running over and asks me 'not to go home'. To be honest I wasn't going to but felt so pissed of that I had to say something. Worked there all week and was told to come back today, get a call last night telling me not to come in on Monday. This morning was told that it's cancelled.

What do these people think they are, if that woman expects me to stand there and take verbal abuse from a fitter and do nothing. One minute they are all smiles and praise and then a stab in the back. Well pissed of as I’ve turned down assignments for this week. She lost the initial contract due to some problems with drivers and now I see why.

Lets see how things go from here, old lorries, couldn’t find a trailer, no fuel cards, etc, etc.


Bit of seriously posh work, or so I thought. Had to go to Guildhall in London to do a bit of work but as usual with this company nothing is as simple as its supposed to be. They have been catering to a SuperYaht Awards Ceremony. I've been retained as a driver so the usual things associated apply. Turns up yesterday just before midnight and a surprise is sprung. Could you go and cover up and stack the chairs, collect the plates, napkins and cutlery. 'You what?', sorry mate the job entails a driver and I’ll do just that, not been told of anything else so unfortunately I can't be a general dogsbody. We can't load the lorry till 2am as that’s when all this finishes, was the reply. So I waited, along the time I went and checked out where the lorry is and low and behold an artic pulls up and I'm told that we've got to load that first and then my lorry will be loaded.

What the hell, can't sit around and watch so i gave a hand, 500 bleeding chairs along with thousands of cutlery and glasses. My legs felt and still do feel like lead. Loaded the artic and then started to load mine. Managed to leave just before 5am and get back to Hampton before 6am. Its amazing how busy London is at 6am on a Sunday, went past Charing Cross and a club must have closed, loads of scantilly clad ladies walking home. Home and feeling like death warmed up. Won't be doing anything like this in a hurry.


What's the beef with the Horseshoe at Heathrow, this morning it was just OK to do the job but this afternoon. That was another matter, there seems to be more wagons there then the place is able to accommodate. Took me a few drives around to even find a spot to park up and then once I got positioned to back on some prat in a sprinter decided that he'd take it. Should have kept backing up and made him move. Then there's the reversing thing, today I just couldn't back on to a bay without shunting, except when I got back to the yard. All this and no A/C in the cab, bloody baking in there and whey you have to wait your turn. Somebody needs to seriously redesign Heathrow sheds and soon.


Been hanging around Heathrow for the past 2 days, yesterday in a rigid and to be honest it was all I needed. No huge collections from the sheds but small and smaller. The collections averaged 2 boxes and the longest thing was the waiting in the parking bays before loading up. Today for a change I had my usual wagon, the artic finally received its trailer and after a few teething bits I went forth to do my pickups. This was a bit weird as the largest pick up was 6 boxes. It seems such a waste to use this, as it surely must burn up more fuel than anything else and the cost effectiveness can't be that much. To be quite frank I don't see why we need to use Artics in the horseshoe, a full rigid would be much more effective, that place is so tight in most places it's nearly impossible to back onto a bay without shunting. The queues even to get to the place are getting worse, not to mention the state of the roads.


Had a look in the sheds of my new contract, its meant to be a long term thingy so they wanted to see us before we all start. Lost 2 days of work as was supposed to start on Monday but now its Wednesday, never mind, the weather is great. Looks like I’m going to be doing Import collections from all over Heathrow, should be interesting. The horseshoe is something to experience but can be a long a laborious wait. The good thing is that the hourly rate is good and paid breaks.


Ok, it was bound to happen sooner or later and it happened yesterday. Had to couple up to a Double Decker so the usual things, backed on had a look and oh sugar, that looks a bit close to the widow of the unit. Got out and checked and I missed the king pin. The trailer was a tad too high and I buggerd up. Had to raise the trailer to get out and then heard a horrible hissing noise. The emergency pipe was leaking air so another unit was required. Once all the hassle was sorted I set off to Nine Elms, no clear map so punched into the sat nav and looked on the route to make sure that I had all the route planned. Went through Earls Court and boy was it interesting, not something I'd like to do on a regular basis. Once in Nine Elms I wish someone would place a few more signs as to where to back on for collection. Back to PRDC, this time via the South Circular, lots of easier roads and much more doable for an Artic. Interesting duty to be honest, next time if I get this I’ll make sure that I don't go through almost Central London.


What was supposed to be a quick job turned out to be something else. The place is just of the A331/Aldershot roundabout or so I thought. Sorry mate the wagon is in the other depot, here's the post code. Off I go and the post code lands me smack in the middle of Glaziers Lane, nothing here that resembles a business park. A quick call to the agency and the firm calls back, sorry mate you're in the wrong place, here's how to get to us' At least when I got there a decent wagon was there. Down to Gosport to collect a trailer load of stuff for a courier company. Thought it might be mail/packages but it turned out to be something for the likes of 3663 and JJ Foods. Got to the site and told to park up and wait till a bay becomes free, well over an hour of waiting and then glory be a free bay. Time for a quick coffee me thinks, so off I go to the canteen and I decided on a soup instead. The machine must have had one of those days, even though I pressed the soup button a coffee came out. What the heck its warm and wet. Loading took ages and when I finally managed to get going it was well after the time that I was supposed to be back in Pirbright. On the way back a quick stop in Winchester services to give the wagon a drink of diesel, bloody hell £400 to fill it up and then a slight fun with the card. In the yard and after turning round and driving in I had the most wonderful of experiences, blind side reversing into the warehouse. Not so easy this time as the yard (if you can call it that) had the usual bits of bins, pallets etc littered everywhere. Finally in the warehouse, for a tight blind side it wasn’t bad, now I know why I hate them.


Had a job offer today, went to see this company a while back and it looked really good. Unfortunately I've declined the offer. Driving an artic is a lot of responsibility and after going through the training and gaining experience I think that a reasonable wage should be paid to the driver. Unfortunately £7.77 per hour is not reasonable in my opinion. To be honest how can a haulage company justify paying a driver who drives a lorry worth ‘loads’ and hauling goods worth the same that kind of money. I hate turning down a full time job but I just couldn’t afford to work there. I used to get the same money working for Sainsburys a few years back driving a Sprinter van on Home Delivery.
The day that almost never was, no one knew if I'd be driving for this client today, that was till the last minute yesterday. A trip to Havant to a pharmaceutical company with 51 pallets of flat packed boxes. As I was ambling down the A3 I realised that I’ve been there before but with a different client. Nice, on the bay and off to the canteen for a breakfast that has got to be the cheapest around. The receiving chaps told me that I’d be there for a few hours so I thought a leisurely breakfast and a few hours of R&R would be just the ticket. 'You're off loaded drive' tells me one of the boys as he sits down to have his breakfast, bloody hell that was quick. It took them less than half an hour to get all the pallets of the trailer, no rush though, had my eggs and bacon and went to get the wagon. Got back to the yard at around 10am and guess what, a White Van man for the next run, few local drops and home by 2pm. Weird driving a van after an Artic.


So much for today, looked like a nice and easy day till I had to go to Eastleigh to do another delivery. Got to the site and the tacho showed 4hrs 20min of driving time. Time for the break, where I thought. All the bits of the road on the estate that didn't have double yellow lines were taken and the roads to the m3 all had double yellow lines. Can’t stay on the bay as there is only one. Where in gods name do you stop legally for a break, had no choice but to go to Winchester Services, made it there with driving time of 4hrs 46min. It will show up as an infringement, with luck nothing more serious than that.


Easy Monday, about 5 drops but majority are close together. The exception is Wokingham, to get where I need to be I could go via the most direct route but there is just one tiny snag. Someone put a bridge on the route which my unit and trailer wouldn't fit under. A slight detour has to be made but never mind a drive around the centre of Wokingham will do me good. Got to admit that the people at the last delivery have got things sorted out, the first thing I was asked was if I wanted a cuppa. Need to deliver there more often.


Thank god its Friday, so an early finish should be in order. First delivery in PO postcode, so I turned up at 07:45 and the back door man tells me ‘sorry drive, can’t tip you till 9am, but then I have a course for half an hour so it will be 09:30'. Oh well never mind, in the cab, heater on and 40 winks was had. Of loaded and of to the next one, just down the road, then to Wimbourne and after that would you believe back to Bognor Regis for the last load. Not the best planned route but had no choice in the matter, back home and home for the weekend. Back with them next week for a few days. Got to be honest the Iveco that I had this week is not a bad motor, didn’t used to like them but its kind of growing on me.


Love the seaside, on my way there to swap a trailer I had to drop some goods in this farm complex. Went past the turning and it looked mighty tight so decided to go past it and stop to ask for alternative (if possible) route. Couldn’t find a single lay-by, and to add to the road layout someone designed it with close islands which were off centre and had sloping entrance and exit points. Bloody great design this. Got round and drove into this road thinking that a ‘stuck’ scenario will be appearing anytime soon but no, the road opened up nicely. On the way to swapping the trailer the local Police kindly blocked off the road that I needed to turn on to, why, because a tanker had slid of the road and there was loads of flashing lights to help him on his way.

On the way home I saw an old ‘friend’ on the hard shoulder. The pheasant that I spotted a few weeks ago or possibly one of his relations. He was happily walking on the hard shoulder oblivious to everything except the important act of finding food. Brave bird.


Ok, what gives here, has somebody forgotten something very important here or is it just plain stupidity. Driving to my second drop in Blacknest I turned of at the Bentley ramp and went down an average size B road. Trundling my artic round a tight bend I came to a grinding halt. Low and behold a bridge appeared out of nowhere and a bloody low one to boot. This thing was 11ft 3in high and me with a 15ft 3in high unit and trailer. Something’s wrong here my head screamed, nowhere had this bridge been marked, neither on the road, map nor on my satnav. I do have all the truck heights, weights, etc on it and the wagon height and weight was set before I set of this morning. Oh well nothing to do but to go back so some careful reversing down a small residential road with the locals watching intensely my manoeuvres.

Back to the A31 and called the office to see what options there were, they gave me a diversionary route to get to this place. Would you believe it 10 bloody miles. When I got to the drop and had a chat with the people there they told me that this happens a lot and other drivers had the same problem. Would you believe it there is a very simples way to get there, now that I know where they are. Very simple way, through the Farnham bypass and up the A325, Simples when you know how.


Been down a road that I used to frequent on a regular basis when I did a stint for 3663, the A264 is just the perfect place to take an artic. Some places are nice and tight and with bright sunlight head on it makes for interesting driving. Then onward to Sunbury and then Stanwell Moor to a nursery, just off the J14 on the M25. I didn't realise there was a business there so was a bit concerned about taking the wagon down the slip road but hey presto a Plant Nursery springs up. The last drop was just on the outskirts of Slough and when I got to the 'turning' I thought no way will it fit in there. A slight detour to the roundabout and back on myself, now I can get in there without using a crow bar. Bloody tight for a packaging company to have a delivery to, just managed to get round the corner without ripping up the grass and the fence posts. Wouldn't fancy delivering there after dark.


Had an interview on Thursday for a full time job. Looks like the job is something decent and company looks OK but there is one slight problem. You've guessed it, the wages, just couldn't believe a hourly rate of £7.77 for days and a £9.27 for nights. There are few other allowances but I just don't get it, we drive 44T wagons, which are not cheap, and the goods are also worth a bit. Why pay us a wage that I used to earn in Sainsburys driving Sprinters, and that was over 3 years ago. Is there such a glut of drivers that companies are just taking the proverbial with wages, surely the responsibility of driving an artic should be fairly compensated.

Having said that even the agency rates have come down, 2 years ago i was getting £9ph for driving Class2 and now the same rate is applied for a Class1, with a slight cut for the smaller class of lorry.


Boxes, boxes everywhere. Few deliveries for a packaging company, all the way to W3 and if I'd have looked on a map instead of relying on the satnav I would have saved myself the bother of crawling along the M4 & the North Circular. The drop was just off the Hanger lane underpass so going up the M40 would have been much quicker, but oh no I had to do it the hard way. Then off to Slough and High Wycombe. Back in the yard within 4.29 driving hours and I thought, great time to go home a bit early. Oh how wrong I was, take a break and we'll get you reloaded for a quick drop in Petersfield, bummer, there goes my chance of sloping off home. Managed to get it all done by 15:30, no thanks to the A3 and the Farnham queue system, it seemed that everyone and their uncle was out on that road today, typical, just when I wanted to get home.


On the M1 today, Going through the roadwork’s I was overtaken by another artic who's driver decided that me doing 50mph (posted limit) was to slow, he then smartly pulled in ahead of me and slowed down to guess what, 50mph. Another artic in the other lane decided that he needed to get somewhere in a hurry and got so close to a car in front that the poor driver accelerated a bit, so did the artic driver. Kind of bullying to make the car driver go faster. Didn’t get him very far though as the traffic ahead ground to a halt and we in the inside lane sailed past him. Prats like that give us a bad name and so much for improving the public awareness of good lorry drivers. I had to drive on the A47 and have been doing the correct limit, sorry for the tailback but I have this thing of not loosing my license. Also people please have a good look in the Highway Code, I'm sure it tells you that when joining the motorway you have to give way to oncoming traffic, the amount of times I had to brake sharply today to avoid a car who suddenly shot into the inside lane was unreal.


Same job today, but it took a little longer getting to Leicester. What the heck is going on with those bloody roadworks on the M25 & M1, they’ve been there for ages and they just drag on for miles with those stupid 'Average Speed Cameras'. Why can't people understand what they are and instead of whizzing past me and then slamming on the brakes they just keep to a steady speed. If they did things would go much more smoothly. Also when they join the carriageway don't expect me to give way to you and move over when I have nowhere to go, and don't give me that flash of the headlights and an angry salute. Since you're joining a Motorway it is up to you to either join correctly or give way to traffic already on the carriageway, don't join that lane and then slow down to cause a jam and me having to slam my brakes on. Some drivers need to re do their tests or re read the Highway Code.


Good start to the week, have a 3 day booking with a large company, trunking runs to Leicester. Have to admit that I'm impressed with this Renault, engine & gearbox are from a Volvo so it pulls well and drives really good. Although the seats could be a bit more softer. Most of it is up the M1 with a few interesting things to liven things up. This morning some prat in a flat bed artic almost caused an accident. This dollop overtook the lorry in front of me and just as he passed the lorry he decided to cut in. The poor driver must have stood on his breaks as I saw the unit and trailer sway violently from side to side. Morons like that shouldn't be on the road and I bet he comes under an 'experienced' driver syndrome. Experienced moron more like.

Got to the depot and as usual, back on unload and wait as the staff are on a tea break, fair enough I'll take mine as well. Loaded up and on my way home, thinking that I'll be doing the M25 shuffle when I get to it but have to get there first. This time it was my turn to be cut up. Some prat decided that he needs to be on the inside lane and after overtaking me he swings in almost taking my front end of. Just carries on without a care in his world. Another idiot that should be re valuated.


Simples job today (or so I thought), just pop down to Downton to collect 13 pallets of magazines. No probs, nice and sunny day I don't mind driving down to Wiltshire and back. It seemed like an easy Friday. Got back at around 11:30 and parked up. Have a seat in the canteen we might have something for you local. Hour goes by and nothing, so I thought that would be it. How wrong can you be, 2 more drops in Slough and Reading and on a Friday afternoon to boot. Oh well in for a penny in for a pound. New lorry and trailer and off I go. Slough can be daunting at the best of times but today it just seemed to get worse, every man and his dog seemed to be out there.

Reading was just as bad, the constant roadwork’s are a pain and the road that I was supposed to turn has a width restriction. Oh well lets drive round the estate and see if there is another way in that they haven't told me about.

Guess what there is another entry, the warehouse man seemed to be enjoying himself bossing people about. You've got to park there in between the lines and have your hiviz vest on, etc etc. Let’s unload and get the heck out of there as I want to go home. Amazingly the M4 was OK, wish I could say the same for the M25, then again it was Friday afternoon.


Multi drops in an artic, well sort of. Had 5 drops and a collection. Got to the first one and oh brother, the gate and the yard were tight. Parked up and started to tip and this van parks up next to the trailer so I inform the driver politely that he might have to move the car if I can't spin the wagon round. The next thing I get is a torrent of verbal abuse, which kind of stumped me. Unload the stuff first and then take care of this prat. Decided to do it with a bit of decorum, complained to his manager and that was that. The other drops were easy except the hanging around for the paperwork at the end. Delivering to food service distribution companies and cash and carry’s is something else. Everything gets scrutinised and checked and rechecked.

The last drop was on a small Industrial Estate just off the A40, boy was it small and even smaller. Got in and then had a thought, 'how the hell am I going to get out'. A shunt or five and somehow I managed to pull the trailer round the other lorry without any mishaps. Then the collection and that was it. Turned up and no one seemed to know or understand what I was supposed to be collecting. After a lengthy pass the buck the stuff got sorted and loaded, that took almost 2 hours. Home to park up, uncouple, and hand in the paperwork and home.


This is starting to hack me of, had a confirmed booking for all of this week, so Monday was OK. Then a call late on Monday to tell me that Tuesday was a no go but the rest of the week is still confirmed. Turned up this morning and guess what, we've got no work for you, probably nothing for the rest of the week. This is hacking me of as I've turned down another booking for this. Got to check it out how I stand on this, I assume that as all was confirmed I should still get paid for this regardless.


Sort of a day off, had a call late last night to stay home. This damn ash cloud is starting to get on my wick. Loss of pay for one day and god knows when the airports will fully reopen, when they do however it should be manic for a time.


Love it, love it and again love it. Just 3 drops today, the last one being in Andover, on a day like this it was great driving down the M3 & A303. Nothing huge but it’s still a drive down. The best thing I reckon was finding a family owned bakery in Andover, cracking stuff, even home made cakes. Pity its such a long way to go, as I’d happily buy my bread from a place like this instead of a supermarket.


A jaunt to Eastbourne this morning, just to deliver 2 pallets of books and would you believe it some of the books I collected yesterday. Lovely countryside in East & West Sussex and something else sprang to my eye. Driving along the A27 I noticed that almost every lay-by had a Snack Wagon in it, 'all those bacon sarnies and so little time'.

Then back up almost the same road to Mitcham to drop of the remainder of the load and then back to the yard. I would have made it back within the driving/working timeframe except of the typical traffic, so pulled up in a side road to have a break and guess who comes driving along and conveniently blocks the junction. The VOSA man, there were 2 other cars just ahead of him so I assume that there must have been a fender bender and he was just checking they passed on the details.

Then on to the dreaded M25 and home, being on this road everything is possible and it almost happened. Trying to pass this Dutch artic who couldn't make up his mind whether to go slow or not, I was just in the middle of his trailer when he decides to slap on his indicator and start to move out. What the, quick blast on the horn and a 'wave' of my hand woke him up. Then things got really slow till J12, a car transporter and another lorry had a meeting and the transporter was being towed with his load down the ramp to the M3.

In the yard and on my way home by 14:00, not bad for Friday.


Definitely an interesting day, set of this morning to Havant to collect some Pharmaceutical stuff. Had to be there by 11:00 at the latest so when i arrived just after 9am I thought that a breakfast in the canteen would be just the ticket. Must admit that the price was just right £1.35 for a Full English, just as I’m tucking into the bacon the phone rings. The office, the collection is cancelled due to the Ash in the sky and the pharmaceuticals were supposed to be on a plane later on. Easy day I’m beginning to think, finish the breakfast and drive back, then the bombshell. Can you go to Basingstoke and collect some books, no probs. I arrive at the destination and the backdoor man explains where I have to go and load up. If I said that the slip road was tight then I would be making an understatement. Keep one eye on the offside to make sure the trailer doesn't bash any cars and the other eye on the end of the trailer as not to take out a post as it swings round behind the unit.

Drive down this alley between parked cars on one side and a fence on the other side. Can't move even half an inch either side as if I did something would be crunched. Back onto the bay and load up. The forklift delivers 36 pallets of books each weighing between half and three quarters of a tonne. This is a huge load, a few are double stacked and off we go at a snails crawl. Arrive in Ashford and hope for a speedy unload, yeah right, 2.5 hours it took those chaps to unload me. They kept disappearing somewhere and then there was the shift change and so on. Finally at 17:30 I’m all set to go back to the yard, park up and go home, another long day and now home for some well earned nosh.