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.