Now before I start I would like to point out that I am a driver. I do it for a living in one of the many 44 tonne artic’s you see tramping up and down the motorways of Britain.
It was my back up plan. I thought best get something behind me that will always be needed even in times of hardship and this has served me well especially during the last recession as I ended up jobless so the licence kicked in and I was employed again in under a week.
It’s not my first choice and quite frankly the idea of spending another 27 years doing it until I retire is less than appealing but it does have it’s good sides too. I enjoy the solace the open road brings, I am happy with my own company and getting to see parts of the country I would never have even thought to have visited whilst getting paid for it is a bonus. I have been back to hidden gems nationwide in my own time that I would have never knew existed if it wasn’t for the hours behind the wheel of my truck.
Its not a demeaning job in fact it takes a lot of practice and skill to move these wagons around with varying loads and weights on just getting the bloody things to stop in some circumstances comes only after years of experience!
So I’m not here to put the job down, oh no I am here to point out how diverse the type of people who drive artics are! I don’t think you will find such a broad ranging group of folks in any other industry. You get both male and female young and old. Some folk never retire and keep going well after retirement age the oldest I have met so far is 77 years old.
This chap started working the year my Dad was born, he retired for the first time around the age I discovered girls but decided it was ” a bit dull” so after six months came back to work! I guess this is one of the reasons for his life longevity. He thinks we are all spoilt now with our trucks that have all sorts of mod cons and are nothing more than “Steering wheel attendants” I guess compared to him we are!
By far the majority by type for drivers are the Moaners. There’s always something wrong. The skies the wrong colour, the trip they are on is too far away (never understood that as we are paid to drive far away), the cab smells, the other driver looked at me funny, I always get the shit runs, “I started at 07:30” when the time is now around 2pm. These are but a few of the thing s I here but by far the most regular moan I hear is “this jobs rubbish I’m getting another”. They never do. This class of driver is the one who likes to find themselves a little rut within a company bed in and then complain. They will never move on unless forced to do so because they are too scared to do so. They will moan and bellyache forever and a day on how the company owes them a living and try to do as little real work as possible. It’s like a virus this behaviour and it spreads. I have seen guys start with the company being all happy and jolly but within a month after witnessing the moaners in action they then drift over to the dark side. I have no sympathy they should be stronger and not so easily led.
Then there’s the mad ones. Now I don’t mean funny or amusing I mean mad as a box of frogs crazy. It amazes me these people manage to survive at all let alone sit and pass a test that allows them to drive a 44 tonne lethal weapon down the road. Once whilst I was covering in the transport office one driver called to tell me he was stuck on the M6 in a traffic jam “as far as the eye could see”. I said thanks for letting me know I wont send anyone that way for a while when he replied “So what are YOU going to do about getting ME out of this traffic jam?” To which I replied “YOU are the traffic jam now and the company helicopter is out on another job”
This chap genuinely thought I could make a few calls and get him out of a 10 mile jam between junctions of the M6!
Indifference is part of the group I inhabit. There’s quite a few of us in this realm and I think it’s by far the best place to be. We are happy to work because we have to. Not over the moon happy and grinning all the time but the “hell we all have to do it” type of contentment. Why get all worked up over where you are being sent what’s the point? Why moan all the time you will still have to do the damned job. We turn in roll out get the job done and go home but we do line plenty of things for the weekend we enjoy doing.
We all have to earn money because no one will just come along and give us it. We have to pay taxes which is a bummer but hell its the way it is. We all have to work. if you dont like the job you have and are genuinly that unhappy well friend you must change that job and make your life a bit better. Dont be all “I cant do anything else”, retrain or just look around the field in which you are qualified because there will be many variations of what you do with opportunities to match.
This job I do was not my first choice and if I am honest I am very bored of it now BUT I am looking, things are picking up out there and until I move on I will plod on satisfied with what I have got.