Day 4 - Beyond the Spray

Well done on getting the truck. reckon you’ll do well and sounds like you have some good bosses, it always makes the job easier when they treat you like a human not a number or something they picked up on thier shoe.

Well done you deserve the truck as you have earned it and proved you deserve it your daily tales are great and interesting best of luck

Sounds like you’re doing well. Got “your own truck” already, :sunglasses: . :laughing:

Reversing in somewhere and lining up on the drivers side. Common sense really, but like a lot of common sense things, the :bulb: only comes on when someone else pushes the switch :smiley: . That is something to try n remember for in a year or two’s time, when you are the experienced hand, showing someone new the ropes :open_mouth: .

Keep up the good work, and keeping us up to date :sunglasses: .

Today is Thursday, and so Day 4 of the first week :slight_smile:

Got there for 5.30 as prescribed, and succesfully located the truck, and a trailer to hook it up to, got it all together and pulled away. Then stopped because of a little yellow light on the dash I didn’t like the look of. After a headscratch I realised it was the ride hide warning light, and so found the remote control by the door, and pressed the adjuster button - and nothing happened. Now, I didn’t want to go up the road with a warning symbol showing, so called the night number - no answer, so just turned the tacho back to break switched her off and sat there. 2 minutes later one of the gaffers turned up and asked what the problem was, I told him and he jacked the suspension right up then pressed the self level button and it went back to where I had it…and the light stayed on. Anyhow he said it should be ok, and so off I went all on my ownsome :slight_smile: the light promptly flicked off within 100 yards. The guy who normally has the wagon told me later that it ‘sometimes does that, it doesn’t matter’.

On top of this, the yellow tacho light was blinking at me all the way there and back, so I knew something was wrong; but when I looked at the chart in the petrol station it was recording fine. turns out, in a double manning tacho like that one there has to be a blank in the 2nd mans slot or it blinks - as we were double manning we had both our tachos in yesterday and Vic didn’t put the blank back in afterwards - another lesson learned!

Got to the diesel pumps at Barnetby Top (jet station) and followed the instructions, go see staff in kiosk who’ll check the card then gas up, then go back in for the card…noone told me it takes soooo long to fuel up. Then again £280 worth of fuel takes a while to come through!

Down to the docks I went, firstly to Killingholme to ‘lose’ the empty, as efficient as always there; then off to Immingham where they were as annoying as always! As I may have mentioned previously, at Immingham you book in and they give you the Road Notes for the container, you then have to drive round up and down and try to find the container. After an amazing 2 minutes (normally count on at least 10-20) I spotted my box! result… anyhow I saw the dors were the opposite way round to how I had pulled up, so did a drive round the block (some drivers do u-turns in the aisles but its too tight for me as yet), pulled up, handbrake on and in neutral - and spotted the crane geezers dissapearing into their restroom. Bugger - cue switch tacho to rest mode again and switch the engine off. 20 mins later the lads reappeared and soon had me loaded up.

It was agreed that I’d go back to the yard in scunny and pick up Vic, and we’d go together to the delivery in Flixborough so he could give me advice on what to do re paperwork etc. It didnt take long to get there,a about 15 minutes or so. Anyhow we spotted a lovely big roller shutter door, so went there and nicely parked. I went in to be told ‘right company wrong door’ - we had to go back out onto a small industrial estate ‘dual carriageway’. up to the end - u turn back down and left into the ‘units’ round the back- basically little tiny light industrial units. So I tootled round, and the ‘road’ into the unit yard was at a double back angle to the dual carriageway and just wide enough, so it was really tight to get round, having to use both lanes of the dual carriageway to get round without knocking down a lamppost :open_mouth:

Pulled up outside this unit with no sign of a loading bay or ramps, and waited. Vic said something like ‘well son you’re going to have to unload this yourself, someone will come with a forklift and a pump pallet truck and you’ll have to push the pallets to the back for the driver. when you come to this kind of place everyone tries to treat you as a dogsbody’. Sure as eggs is eggs, a bloke rolled up on a forklift, bolt cropped the seal off and we swang the doors open…to reveal many large metal tube of bolts of many different types on metal pallets (all in 1 construction tub and pallet). So I hopped up and mateyboy lifted a pump truck in - it was broken and so vic had to come and help me to manouver them round, basically he pulled the handtruck and i pushed the tubs to give them movement. This certainly raised a sweat! When we had done and got back in the cab he said that if I get somewhere like that again and they give defective trucks out, or if I dont want to do it to refuse, but this could cause problems like it making them ■■■■■■ off and go on a go slow hence make you wait for hours.

So with this out of the way we sat and had a break b4 heading back to the yard. We were each given a consignment, Vic was told to take a different truck and we spent the rest of the day shunting individually :slight_smile:

This was great really as I learned even more things - like check the bulb types when fitting trailer bulbs (single or double prongs on base) or your indicators and brake lights wont work… I also learned more about reversing from one of the gaffers who helpfully came out and sat on the bunk right behind me so he could see roughly what i could see in the mirrors - best tip he gave me was to look out of the open window as you can really see where you are then and reverse in so the container you are going in against is on the drivers side - obvious really…when someone points it out :slight_smile:

There was also an interesting situation that I had never come across before, that caused me a potential headache. Coming back to the yard with a full container (so heavy), going up a hill that is a main road with a cycle lane and then pedestrian islands with bollards in the middle of the road. Normally, the truck fits - just - in the road without going in the cylcle path but to get round the refuges u have to go slightly into the cycle lane. But cyclists aren’t a problem as you can time the overtake to be between refuges so you can use a bit of the opposite lane if its clear. However, today there was an elderly man in one of those disabled carts they use to go round shopping centres going up the hill - and his vehicle was about 2 foot wider than the cycle lane. This meant that unless he went onto the path or stopped to let me past there was no way I could overtake - and his cart was only doing 5mph. This caused a difficulty as 3rd was too low a gear and 4th was too high, so I kept 3rd to avoid labouring and just hung back. Looking in the mirror a queue of about 20 cars soon backed up but there was nothing I could do. The guy looked back and saw me, and instead of pulling onto the path just kept going. It was difficult to maintain progress without actually stopping, but fortunately he turned left into a side street, and I was on my way again. This shows how a ‘normal’ situation can cause such a ball ache to a truck :confused: Then I guess its another bit of experience to add to the belt :slight_smile:

Today also showed me how an empty container is affected by strong winds, on the M180 it was hard to keep a straight line in the lane, and looking in the mirror was just looking into a wall of water from the spray being kicked up.

When I got back to the yard for the last time the main gaffer called me in, and I wondered what the craic was - was i about to get a rollocking? In short, he said that they were pleased with how I’d done this week, so tomorrow is a on my own job again, but this time going to Goole dock (not been there b4) to swap boxes, then going to Wigan the Heinz warehouse ! So a proper drive out already. Then he said, by the way that truck is yours now, we have got Vic a different wagon for shunting!! and then he said I’ll get a company mobile phone next week too :slight_smile:

So all in all, this week has been gr8 so far and having now got my own wagon I am well chuffed !

tune in tomorrow for the final episode of my First Weeks Diary