Tuesday 13 December 2011

Loose loading

I have moaned about this before. This week i finally got round to writing down all the issues i thought were relevant and submitting it to my employer Since then i have had my biggest ever loose load. 38 bars for brum. I was not a happy bunny. Neither were they:@. Anyone wanting a copy of my 3 page missive, please get in touch. Having to go back on the road after 2 hours of physically demanding work just isnt sensible in this day and age. "Dont drive when tired" the signs say. Not really a choice i'm afraid!

Sent from my Nokia phone

Monday 12 December 2011


Long trip yesterday to deliver 1 of 5 trucks. Shame about the weather - reduced the pleasure of returning to my partial homeland for the first time in 40 years...

Sent from my Nokia phone

Tuesday 6 September 2011

A1 - Junc 17 (for 2-9-11)

Blogger doesn't seem to like my UbiSufer - so that's twice it failed!
Anyway, this was meant for last Friday...

My route from Bury St Edmunds back to Long Eaton doesn't actually go on the A1 - let alone near junction 17! However, the closure of that junction last Friday led to an 11 mile crawl along the A14/A11 joint section between Cambridge and Huntingdon because all the potential A1 traffic was diverted via the A14/M1(N). That wouldn't have been a problem in itself (although the A14 westbound was busier than I have ever seen it) - but it did mean that this same extra volume of traffic had to go through the traffic lights on the island in Huntingdon!

This was the problem - you would have thought that the 'traffic management plan' could have been better thought out really so that this light sequence was 'adjusted' to cope with the temporary biased demand!?

Or maybe that would be expecting too much?

Monday 29 August 2011

In the rain..

..on Friday I saw the aftermath of no less than three separate accidents in the pouring rain. All were on/just off the A14. All had police and ambulances in attendance. Given that many motorists were just treating the roads as they normally would (insufficient time to brake, lane swapping erratically etc), I suppose they were all inevitable. Of course I expect they will all blame "the weather" not themselves and their lack of extra care in reduced visibility and poorer braking ability...

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Timed deliveries

For some reason this didn't post before, so here is what I think I wrote earlier in the day...:-)

I quite understand why big companies (eg Tesco) don't want all their deliveries to arrive at once but why is it that when you have another delivery in the same area that they insist on not allowing you in the gate more than half an hour before time?

This is why I am sat for an hour outside the gates at Fradley...
Its just a waste of resources! (Yes, it does rankle that I am doing nothing - but being paid for it! Its nice, but its fundamentally wrong!)

Even worse of course is being sent away if you arrive minutes too late for a delivery. Who gains from that? Its really, really bad environmentally as well as (generally) not your fault!

It wouldn't be so bad if they were able to tip you efficiently once you got in there! But it seems different rules apply. A few years ago the 'team' at Middlewich were quite shocked when I threatened to leave if my 3 hour wait stretched to 4 (it didn't!)

(PS Today unloading two pallets took over an hour!!!)

Monday 28 March 2011

Two Lanes into One Won't Go! (Easily!)

On the A52 eastbound from Nottingham, there is a section past Ratcliffe on Trent where the fast dual carriageway (50mph for trucks) turns into a single carriageway (ie 40 mph for trucks).  Therefore, inevitably there is a queue of cars trying to overtake before this slow section. It doesn't seem to matter that trying to cram into the smaller space regrettably means that we all end up doing 35mph for the next mile while everyone sorts out their personal space - they all still try anyway!

Anyway, on Saturday, there was the usual queue of cars getting past me before the narrow bit. Just as the last one went by, I noticed two more were going to have a go. Giving an inward sigh I prepared to take avoiding action - the road was already narrowing. Car one (prat) made it and nipped into the gap in front of me (I am already slowing at this point to make the gap bigger). He then brakes (I expected that - they usually do - not realising how small a gap was left).

Meanwhile car two (double prat) is still trying to get in - straddling the cross hatching and just clearing the oncoming traffic. He (although I think it was actually a she) realises this is not sustainable and drops back. Sorry but - I just can't create gaps out of nowhere; in my mind I am visualizing the crumpled wrecks of the queue of cars behind as they slam into the rear of my trailer if I do an 'emergency stop'.

Just one question, where did you go? You weren't behind anymore after the next junction. Were you *really* so desperate to get by (and almost kill yourself and other innocents into the bargain) that it was worth trying?

Saturday 12 March 2011

Gosh - this blogging business requires commitment!

So, its been 6+ weeks? Never mind. The sort of stuff I want to blog about is fairly time-independent.
Take yesterday... most frequent, as any trucker will tell you, is the stupidity of motorists leaving motorways at junctions. Typically you will be last in a long line of vehicles in the nearside lane - with maybe a quarter mile of empty lane behind you. Motorist overtakes you, realises they are passing 'their' exit and takes a dive between you and the vehicle in front - straight through all the solid white lines and everything.
There was all that space behind you and they choose to ignore it - preferring the dive to potential oblivion instead?
Yesterday's was a classic. Brand new ('11' reg) black hatchback, straight thro the gap, then the driver wound down his window waved a thankful hand at me and gave me the thumbs up as he careered off along the slip road!
He obviously thought I had given way. He was mistaken. The only thing I gave him was a complete lack of hooting, flashing of lights, or verbal abuse.
I don't do road rage :-)

Monday 17 January 2011

Flu again...

Can't safely go trucking with flu.
Neither can one do much computing with a streaming nose!
The first bout started on Boxing Day and lasted nearly two weeks. A couple of days out last week and then I got floored again on Thursday.

I was finally desperate enough to look at th NHS direct website 2 days ago. Did I find the information I wanted? No. Where was the way to diferentiate between swine flu and any other ('ordinary'?) sort? Where was the information about incubation periods - so that I can work out who to blame?

Why do people go to work (or anywhere else) to spread their bugs around?  If one is in regular employment there is no excuse, take the time off. Go sick. That way those of us who only get paid when fit to work can earn some money!

(grumble moan etc etc)

Friday 14 January 2011

Wednesday - the thaw gathers pace...

I suppose it was inevitable that once I decided to do this blog that the daily sorties would become uneventful!

Anyway, on a trip round and through the West Midlands, not only were al the overhead signs blank again but the Coventry Canal and the Birmingham & Fazeley canals appeared ice free everywhere I saw them - at Polesworth, Tamworth & Tyburn.  On the other hand, our own Erewash Canal was still solid in the lower reaches - only clearing today! That's the first time since November 2010.

Tuesday 11 January 2011


Uneventful trip round Redditch and Coventry Arena. The traffic flowed smoothly and none of those irritating overhead signs seemed to be in use anywhere - very unusual. One day soon I will write a diatribe about them and what an utter waste of money they, and those who administer them, are - but not today!

The most exciting thing, just on the last few hundred yards back to the yard, was passing an oncoming fellow M&S driver and hearing the horrendous jangling of metal from the rear of his trailer! I was trying to find out who he was when he reappeared at the yard. The rear steel 'bumper' had failed at one end and dropped to the ground just after he had gone out the gates.  It doesn't imply much about the build strength of the new super dooper 'tear-drop' trailers!

Also of interest was that the Coventry Canal at Polesworth had broken ice on it for the first time since November! Someone had obviously been through breaking what still appeared to be a couple of inches of ice. That would not have been easy going. Also at Coventry Arena, the ice on the Coventry Canal arm was broken too - not quite so thick there though.

Sunday 9 January 2011

The New Year

It started with the 'flu. Yes really the flu, not a mere cold. It started with a sore throat on Boxing Day and has only just really felt like it has gone away. After a brief respite last Monday (3rd) when I felt able to work again, there was a relapse for the rest of the week. This was all the more annoying because I had been looking forward to some extra money working all the bank holidays that this particular 'Season of Goodwill' has given us. Its unusual to get three such days PLUS the weekend special rates.

At this point in the blog it is probably worth explaining that I work through an agency and can therefore pick and choose the work I do and when and if I want to do it. Its very handy that our children have left home and SWMBO and I can have our 'weekends' out during the quieter days when everyone else is working. Weather permitting.

Anyway, on the 3rd, drove to Shrewsbury for M&S. Shrewsbury is possibly my favourite city to visit in the UK. Quite why I feel an affinity with the place I don't know but I do. I love its mix of historic and modern and the cleverly unobtrusive ways the modern shopping centres have been discretely fitted in behind the older city centre shops. Inevitably to get there you have to pass through all the usual suburbian mush and 'out of town' shopping experiences (ie supermarkets :-)) but the city itself has much of interest and many of the sort of interesting shops you used to get everywhere (but don't any more) mixed in with all the usual chains and things you would expect to find.

Friday 7 January 2011

It begins...

Ok, I'm new to blogging, and relatively new to trucking. It was a midlife 'career choice' forced on me by redundancy in 2007. Prior to a job at Nottingham University - where I went on a 'temporary' technician's post in 1978 - I had been a white van man. During my 28 year at the Uni, I always said that if I got made redundant I would go for my HGV Class 1 - or as it is now known an LGV C+E!

The object of this blog is to inform, educate, complain, and occasionally rant, about our transport system.
So here goes...

Firstly, about that Class 1/LGV C+E thing.
What kind of an idiot ever thought that would catch on? 

Here we are several years down the line from the change and local authorities are still putting up signs saying 'No HGVs' and the like. Why? because, as everybody knows, LGV stands for 'light goods vehicle' and has done so for decades. It will remain so for decades.

Also, whilst I can understand the logic of the C+E thing (ie C[=LGV] + E[=trailer]) it really is not good is it?
I have already lost count of how many times a month I have to explain this stuff!