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 Post subject: HGV Training Y/N?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 15:40 
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Hi all,

I am debating weather to take my HGV training, I was going to take it when I was 19 but had to wait 2 years and still havn't taken it, I am 22 and I am seriously considering taking the training.

I was hoping that I could get some responses of advice about the pros and cons of a driving job.

From where I stand the hours would be long and I wouldnt have too much of a social life when doing long trips but the wage would help sooth that.

If I was to go ahead what should I be aware of and are there any pitfalls I should know about, please any advice would be gratefully received.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 19:52 
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this is not easy to answer. driving a truck is not what it says on the tin. you could be away for weeks at a time or home every night after an 8 hour shift. both ends of the scale come under that heading and there are many many more diversities in there too.
1. consider where you live. if you live out in the sticks like cornwall, you will struggle to find work. if you live in milton keynes you will have as much work as you want. its all about location.
2. what do you want to do? short hours/long hours. shop work, general haulage, specialist etc etc etc. do you want to be home every night or would you like to travel the uk and be paid for it? its all part of the equation
3. do you prefer working with people or alone? if you dont like you own company, i would suggest thinking hard about this choice of career. if you spend 9 hours at the wheel in one day, that is time on your own.
4. is this what you really want or is it a passing fancy? £2k - £3k is a lot of money to invest in something you might not enjoy.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 21:27 
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Quote:

If I was to go ahead what should I be aware of and are there any pitfalls


Well.. Bet one probably is to understand that.....

You have to go through the sh!t to get to the shine... All part of the learning curve.

And believe me... trucking can be pretty damn sh!tty when you're a n00b.

As Scanny said above... It really depends on what kind of person you are.

My handle isn't "Outcast" for no reason.... I like solitude.. I get plenty... Night trunker to Taunton & back etc.

I've been in the trucking game for 21 years now so I guess I must like it. Trucking is now a hell of a lot easier than it used to be as well.

No Constant mesh transmissions anymore although I loved Eaton Twin splitters.
No trying to sheet a flat on Sheerness docks with a force 9 blowing.
Very few Tilts left.
Disc brakes now standard all round.. ABS etc.
Decent output engines
More sensible working hours
More villages Bypassed

etc

etc

etc.

Can you run shotgun with anyone for a week ?
The biggest problem is actually staying awake...... Are you prone to nodding off ? If you run shotgun with someone your'll soon find out !!

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 Post subject: Trucking for a Living
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 16:35 
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I take the same view as "outcast & scanny" as I have been doing it for over 35 years and still enjoy it but as they said the drawbacks are you are on your lonesome for most of your days work :) :) .

Can you stay awake and concentrate as one says for long periods at a time say 4-5 hrs :?:

Sometimes the hours can be long especially if you are away from home then there is the family to consider (wife & children etc.)

If you do nights away how do you feel about spending all day in a tin box (metaphorically speaking) and then sleeping in said box :?:

Like all jobs there are the good days and the bad days but overall you have to think what kind of work you want as "scanny" says you need to think about being away from home for up to 5 or 6 days or more even if on continental work :!:

Most people who become drivers tend to stick at it but you must remember it is certainly not a 9-5 mon-fri then go home job as if you make any plans for anything in this job murphy,s law takes over and everything goes tits up, but that is only one of the drawbacks as you are bound by all kinds of laws drivers hours / correct weight for loading there are a lot of laws to comply with plus traffic jams virtually every day not just going to work and coming home :roll: :roll:

Like all jobs the good times far outweigh the bad times as for one thing you are getting paid to see parts of the country you wouldn,t normally see (not sightseeing by the way) unless you are off duty :lol: :lol:

IMHO I would give it a go as you can always go back to your other job if you don,t like it but as you say your social life does take a bit of a back seat except for weekends but you can have a social life even away from home as well in other towns and cities.

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 Post subject: Thanks...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:50 
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I appreciate the responses, this post may get slightly confusing please bare with it:

Scanny:
"consider where you live" - I live near birmingham so I think there would be adequate work considering the industrial estates around, considering work if I was to get a regular either day/night shift I would be able to stick at it anyways, but Obv Its establishing that job initally.

"do you want to be home every night or would you like to travel the uk and be paid for it"? - I have always thought I would like to be home every night but I am open to the idea of travelling for a week or so on end, but am not sure about kipping in the van for a week, from a safety aspect and also being on my Todd aspect. What would be mangeable is if I were to land a short houred driving route that enables me to travel home each night to discard the lonliness!


Outcast
"trucking can be pretty damn sh!tty when you're a n00b" - This is understandable can i confirm that you mean the hours and the tireness? or the actual laws and regs of the job, when I do a job I always follow rules and regs so the only issue would be the amount I would have to take in, I not 100% sure that I could hack the hours atm (I wouldn't fall alseep thou, just be shattered)

"Can you run shotgun with anyone for a week ?" - I know a self employed trucker and have been offered to ride shotgun but not taken it up, hmm maybe I will for a couple a days, would be good experience

Stormin

"as "scanny" says you need to think about being away from home for up to 5 or 6 days or more even if on continental work" - The idea of doing continential work was the reason I got interested, I was prepared to do 2 week strecthes but not fully committed, the thought of not doing continental work and still being away from home doesn't sit right and therefore puts me off.

"you can have a social life even away from home as well in other towns and cities" - You do but you can't park up and stay for a night in a certain town can you? you have to be with the vehicle all the time yeah?

"IMHO I would give it a go as you can always go back to your other
job if you don,t like it" - not a truer word spoken but is it really worth the expense for a 2 - 3 year trial and then for me just to return to a bogo office job?

Just some doubts I have i guess, please reply if you can advise further!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 17:02 
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midlands? you are in a bloody good place to start. pick a direction cos trucks will run that way from there.
i would say you should take the opportunity in front of you. you have a mate who can take you out and show you what its all about. that has to be better than anything we can say here. you can beat hands on experience and seeing with your own eyes.
if you decide it is for you then the vast options are there to be taken whether its trunking (going from A - B then back again) or shop work (varies depending on who you work for) to multi drop general haulage (going to anywhere with lots of drops and collections but with naff addresses) to tramping (running around the uk all week and spending a day or two at home) to god knows what. there really is a huge selection of job types under the heading 'trucking' and its up to you to decide what suits you best
one thing is for sure. its not a 9 - 5 job. you can be working up to 15 hours some days. i would say the average is around 12. not much less than 10 although there are a few.
another thing. there is 365 days in a year. you will not find a single hour in those days where there are no trucks on the road. they run 24 hours a day EVERY day with little thanks for it!
money isnt that bad though. i wouldnt take a job that pays less than 400 a week take home and i go home every night. you might do better than that though being in the midlands. higher demand so higher incentives

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 20:44 
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Do you think you would have the character to drive a 44 tonner down one of these roads..

Hope no one comes the other way !! Yup, Artics DO come the other way !!

Or being one of the first on the scene at an...

R.T.A.

Here's what his arse hit

She lived !!

or getting stuck on the Motorway for TEN hours

My view of the M5 in those floods

Sometimes you get to view nice scenes like

THIS though.


BBL... Time for WorkyPooz

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 Post subject: Noobie Driver
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 22:28 
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To answer the question about can you stay were you want the answer is "yes" as long as you are not miles "off route" just to see a girlfriend or whatever (your boss might not be happy) :!:

You don,t have to stay with the vehicle but you normally do cos that is your BED for the night but that doesn,t mean you have to sit in it all night you can still go out and socialise down the pub etc. so long as you remember that alcohol stays in the system for some time the following day as I have seen drivers absolutely legless at night and then start driving at 4 or 5am, obviously still well over the limit from the previous nights drinking :!: :!:

I would say give it a go, as once you have tried it I would be surprised if you wanted to go back to pen pushing for a living as like all jobs there are the good and bad times but for me the good times far outweigh the bad ones even after over 35 years on the road, as you meet some right characters on this job some good some not so good :!: :!:

As you say you live in the midlands so you probably won,t have any trouble finding work through say an agency till you find something more permanent as you will then see waht other firms are like to work for and you will soon get to know the ones to steer clear of by listening to other drivers etc. :wink: :wink:

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 Post subject: Thanks....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 13:34 
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Outcast thanks for the pictures, that jack-knifed HGV was kinda worrying only cause its taken the central reservation out, the women did well to survive that incident :o

Thanks all for the insights they were helpful, I think if I can get half the dollars together within a couple of months I will be HGV Qualified :) class 1 and 2, not looking forward to all the theory though I printed of a HGV reference book similar but not the same as the car theory test book and its very interesting, hell of alot to it.

BTW is there anyway of stopping a HGV jack-knife if you know your starting to?

Regards


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 13:56 
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Good luck

Quote:

BTW is there anyway of stopping a HGV jack-knife if you know your starting to?


Yes. Take your foot OFF the brake !! Usually not an option, but you try and buy some room from somewhere to release the brakes a bit.


I remember around 1987 three of us running convoy back to base ( we had sneaky night out at home - ie: you get paid a night out subsistence for parking up away from home but we had it at home) driving along the A47 just west of Peterborough on a very frosty morning.

The A47 used to run through a village called Castor (now bypassed) which had a fairly steep decline into the village. The trucks trailer in front of me started to drift out to the right across the other side of the road.... i thought SheeeeIT.. Then looked in my mirror and my trailer was doing the same as was tail end charlies.

All we could do was keep releasing the brakes... but that meant you were speeding up at the same time !!

good job it was around 03:00 and we were all running empty flats.

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 Post subject: Jack-Knife
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 21:12 
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Without being pedantic "outcast" what you and your 2 mates had was not a "jack knife" situation but "trailer swing out" as I have experienced that same thing myself and it is a bit frightening to say the least :shock: :shock:

A "jack knife" is when the trailer pushes the tractor unit round and pivots on the front axle and not when the trailer swings out as in the case you mentioned both just as frightening occurences.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 05:43 
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Indeed you are absolutely right

I sit corrected

:)

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 Post subject: Jack Knife
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 20:45 
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No problem mate as either one can be a bit of a "trouser filler" so to speak :roll: :roll:

Very unnerving the first time it happens as you hope to god nothing gets in the way of the trailer, as the saying goes "there but for the grace of god go I" and I don,t think there is a driver who hasn,t experienced trailer swing as it is the easiest thing to happen to even the most experienced drivers. :oops: :oops:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 01:44 
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i experienced it in the middle of southampton a couple of years ago. i heard it going before i saw it. automatic reaction was to hit the go pedal and pull out of it. just as well since it was heading for the pavement :shock:
it turned out just fine

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:44 
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Without actually having driven anything bigger than a maintance van which is incapable of either I'm still not 100% sure on how to stop the jack knife, comes down to experience I guess, my instinct in a trailer swing out like scanny would be to pull out of it best I could and hope I continue on the road :)

LOL love the lingo "both can be trouser fillers", what if you have a swing out or jack knife in a small village, with a HGV you'd be going straight through a building if you couldnt correct it, that kinda freaks me out!

Knock a Biddy of his/her zimmer without being able to control it! :x :?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 19:31 
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i have a mate who is a little anxious about going for his class 1 due to fear of the wind blowing wagons over. this may seem a little irrelevant but the answer to the problem is the same:

only incidents are reported. how many wagons jack knife in comparison to those who dont? (in his case replace jack knife with blow over)

yes they do happen but not every day to every driver. thankfully they are relatively rare compared to how many truck journeys there are every day. dont worry about what could happen to that extent. certainly be informed and prepared but you can never be prepared for every single eventuality. you are only human, you will make mistakes just like anyone else. accept it as fact and relax a bit :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 20:31 
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I can elaborate on that a bit as well Scanny....

Remember those high winds that October...

Well I was out in a 14"9 Tautliner carrying only 5 tonnes of plastic medicine bottles in it....

I was delivering to a place called Seldon Research up in the Derbyshire dales.. Buxton to be precise...

As I had what looked to be a busy day ahead I started particularly early that morning.... It was chuffing windy but I must've been "running with it" and then I was protected by the granite of the Derbyshire Dales (Matlock etc)... I parked up close to the building to wait for the dayshift to start....

tick tock tick tock.....

I noticed that they were having some extensions done to their building and the workers had knocked off the previous day before finishing it... You know those corrugated... Sheets .. Well the wind got behind them and was ripping them off ...

I thought.. Fkin hell..... Memories of Cyclone Tracey ( I was in Perth then !!) anyway.. Dayshift made their way in and I eventually got tipped...

Tied my curtains back (took two hours) and made my way home..... On getting on the M1 there was devastation everywhere... Arriving back at our depot (Pc Howards) I was told most of the fleet was stuck in Sheerness Steel. Two RPC Containers (who I was contracted to) had been blown over.. Drivers ok.


Years later Working for Murfitts

Going round a roundabout with a copper following me... The drive axle air suspension gave way just as I turned to go up the slip road to join the M62 (J26).

I was doing about 12mph and was fully freighted.

Wrote the whole shooting match off !! The cab fell on a lamp standard and cut the roof off just above my head.


You just don't know when your numbers up so don't worry about it.


ps... I drive a lot more sensibly now as a result !!

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 Post subject: JackKnife
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 22:17 
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Hi "Talenatrucker" believe me you have to be superfast to drive out of a trailer swing situation as it happens literally in a nanosecond ask "outcast " and the only way you can try to remedy the situation is to use "cadence" braking which (without being condescending) means pump like hell on the brake pedal as fast as you can to apply and release the brakes (this is in the days before ABS / EBS etc.) and say 3 hail mary,s and then stop for a trouser change plus jockey,s or for the brave the thong !!!!!!!!!!! :oops: :oops: :oops: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Thankfully as "Scanny" says compared to the mileage artics do in a year the jackknife situations are very rare and if it does happen to you, you hope it comes round on the N/S of the cab (cos that is the opposite side to the driver) plus with modern braking systems (EBS / ABS etc.) it usually happens because the road is greasy or icy :shock: :shock: :shock:

And for all the know alls who say it is down to bad driving my response is simply "Utter Rubbish" :x :x :x and "There but for the Grace of God go I" and to err is human and no one is perfect but some are vain :!: :!: :!:

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 Post subject: Re: HGV Training Y/N?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 13:52 
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talenatrucker wrote:
Hi all,

I am debating weather to take my HGV training, I was going to take it when I was 19 but had to wait 2 years and still havn't taken it, I am 22 and I am seriously considering taking the training.

I was hoping that I could get some responses of advice about the pros and cons of a driving job.

From where I stand the hours would be long and I wouldnt have too much of a social life when doing long trips but the wage would help sooth that.

If I was to go ahead what should I be aware of and are there any pitfalls I should know about, please any advice would be gratefully received.

Thanks

Quote:


I was an instructor on all licence groups when I left the army in 83 and my main job was driving because i could earn so much more than as an instructor so I did the instructing part time and have done for 25yrs. (You would be surprised how many hrs a driving instructor actually puts in for their acclaimed sheckles, the point being, I was able to continue something i enjoyed whilst working full time earning good money) Anyway, if you have the money and time to train and obtain a licence then do so, its a great fall back job if you find you need one suddenly. As has already been pointed out, driving can be a sh***y job but it can also be rewarding, free travel for one. If you get the right trucking work with the right employer it can be great. As far as your own time is concerned, again its the job and regime you have to look at, I kicked many jobs and/or employers in to touch till I got good ones. You can always get driving jobs but there are few vacancies for primeminister.


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 Post subject: Re: HGV Training Y/N?
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 22:52 
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The biggest problem you will come up against is the two year rule.
It's great passing your test, but very few employers will touch you until you have two years experience.
So where will you get this experience, no one will give you a job, so you can't get the experience.
Your only answer seems to be agency work.
I did agency for 8 years, it kept me alive, and gave me loads of experience of different trucks and loads.

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