Advise on Direction


New to the forum,well Ive been about viewing posts and all that, but think its time I ask for advice… Pass my class 1 & 2 about 8 year ago, got very little use of it (aout a dozen times ) as I had a full time management office job in a totally different industry…One would say why spend a couple of grand on training, Well it was done as a backup / fall back…People in my industry where I work where never safe…management would always the the first to go under some dicks idea of restructuring…

I injured my back at work and was off work a few months, as my GP wouldn’t / couldn’t to give my employer a fixed date of return due to the treatment I was having,they decided to end my employment after 18years of loyal service… thus I ended up of the scrape heap ( so it feels ) as my employment was terminated whilst on the sick I ended up having to go welfare for a while until I was deemed fit for work…
Now to cut a long story short…Ive got this HGV license,which I fully intentionally want put to some good use… paid enough for it…Kept my DCPC up to date and now looking to get back into some form of work…due to still have a some issues with my lower back here and there ( couple of good days followed by couple of bad ones ) I think its in my best interest in aiming for Agency work ( see I said that dirty word) lol just so that I can get some experience… But firstly before registering with any agencies I am leaning towards the idea / the responsible approach of getting some refresher training…they say driving class one its like riding a bike but hey its when I go for a driving assessment I wanna be on top of my game…

My questions is how many agencies can I registrar with ? whats the situation of pay…ie can I just be paid for what I earn and sort out tax and NI myself which I prefer or do they have to do that bit… heard some bad story’s about agencies suppose to be paying divers tax and don’t ending up the driver gets landed with a huge tax bill…

Am I attacking this from the right direction for getting back to work… Not sure if full time is for me just yet

You can register with as many as you want.

Welcome to the forum, As far as refresher courses go I would usually advise against it however as you had very little experience to start with it would be advisable to contact a local training school to see if something is available.

Your back issues are a further complication but providing you can sit comfortably for long periods and aren’t taking loads of painkillers finding a job with very little load interaction is possible like on containers.

That’s unless your back would be better if doing light work to work the muscles, I’m no expert though gynaecology is more my specialty.

Worth noting that trucks now have very comfortable seats with a plethora of adjustment points, although my stingy company gave me a new truck with no lumber adjustment, I would have played me face if it wasn’t for the fridge and microwave included.

Best of luck but a refresher then a few agency shifts would soon have you back up to speed, be careful of trailer swaps though as even winding the legs down or inserting the red airline can jar your back.

Thinking about it even container doors can knacker your back in if there stiff ones, sure you know your limits and can work within them.

Sammy which area are you based?
The masses might me able to offer local info to assists your quest

After 40 odd years with a bad back, sitting on yer arse all day probably ain’t the best thing you could be doing. You might be better off trying to find something where you’re actually moving around a bit. I’m not talking multi drop, bot defo not trunking or something. Boxes might be ok if you don’t have to open doors, (some can be a right bugger) or help tip. Take box to delivery and go for a walk is the type of thing I mean.

Good luck.

To re-inforce what peterm said, I too have a bad back. I’ve had one for 25 years now and have three damaged discs in my lower back and I’ve had major surgery in the past. This job is not good for it. I do what I can do within the limits of my back injury but even then it doesn’t work out OK all the time. For example three weeks ago they shut the A66 and I was going to Lockerbie. We turned around and went up the A68 to join the A69 to go that way. The A68 is a crappy twisty road and I’d forgotten how bad. I was OK that night but the following day was in a lot of pain and today is the first day in three weeks I’ve actually not got any pain which was all caused by driving down the A68. Some days I’ve been going to work feeling like someone is constantly squeezing my balls and I’ve had to sit in a wagon for 10hrs putting up with that, could you? Saturday was really bad as I had a blowout on the way back so was sat there in agony for 2hrs waiting for the tyre fitter.

Climbing on and off trailers will knacker your back, pulling out pallets with a pump truck will knacker your back, yanking fridge and container doors open will knacker your back, dragging open XL load bearing curtains on double deck trailers will knacker your back, strapping down loads with ratchet straps will knacker your back. But even if you overcome all that and get a job like mine where its mostly just trailer swaps the one thing that’ll do it a lot of grief is driving down bumpy roads because of the air suspension on the seat and the cab going up and down with the resulting compression it puts on your spine and you’d be surprised at just how much more bumpy a road is in a truck that is seemingly quite smooth in a car. I got to a point where I couldn’t drive down any roads in a truck within 30 miles of my home for several years until they started resurfacing them. I know I can’t drive down the A68 in a truck again after the other week.

Think very long and hard about it. Agency is the right way to go, there’s certainly no way I could do a full-time job currently.

I have registered with an agency after being away from class 1 for 25 years,

I would say, be up front about your situation, what type of work you want, loads of agency work out there,if you feel you need an assessment tell them they will help and accommodate you ,

I get plenty work and my reversing gets better every day :grimacing:

To throw my sage advice into the mix - you are the expert on what is or is not good for your back. I have a lower disc problem and when it’s bad it hits my sciatic nerve and you get that lovely sciatica pain to go with it. Now, what actually works for me is regular use of the muscles. Back muscles (in fact any muscle to be fair) hates to be inactive for too long. It’s usually inactivity, folowed by a sudden strain which tends to cause problems.

My issue started to be noticeable in my last job where I was driving around 400 miles a shift - not straight up and down a motorway, but cross country, rural, towns…variable speeds…the point is, it was lots and lots of gear changes and twists, fast slow etc…then every now and again I’d be leaping bravely out of the car. That’s when my back kicked up a fuss.

But many people mistakenly believe if you have a bad back you should be laid up in bed - fine for a first problem that you need to understand, but no way to manage a long term back problem. Getting out of bed first thing in the morning is the worst thing for me. After that, I function perfectly well. In fact, this week I have put up 60 mtrs of post and rail fence, worked my nuts off, yet my back has behaved wonderfully.

So, definitely figure out what keeps your back happy; but don’t feel you should exclude yourself from the industry. You just need to find a role the suits.

As everyone has said, it can be hard on your back. I damaged my back badly on a job. Next morning I was going down to the smoke. Had to slide out of bed horizontally, couldn’t bend. ■■■■ shift too.

The agency can probably find you something. With all that “experience” on your licence, not saying lie to them, but between a person with 1 year experience and 12 years experience, which one will they pick? (Ignoring the fact the 1 year person probably has more actual experience)


Been in the similar sort of situation with back issues and all I can say is you know your own back, know your own limitations, the only thing you got to beware of don’t rush anything & do everything at your own pace, remember the snail and the rabbit.
The one thing I found is whilst being inactive you tend to put on weight,so don’t worry about being little soggy around the mid section, quite a few truckers are fat…lmao me included

As far as direction get some refresher training, shows that your responsible. Sign up to as many few agencies as you want, see what they offer & tell them what you will do and wont No hand balling & don’t be afraid to walk away if the shift looks that way.

Some old boy always told me health before wealth.

Id say your going about this the best way possible, just remember baby steps first and see how you get on