How did you get to be a lorry driver?

Me, I started in the cab with my dad, as soon as I was out of nappies that was it for me, I did quite well at school but had no interest in making use of any exams, all I wanted was a steering wheel in my hands.

Started off with a Transit Luton, then a 7.5t D series, then I was a bit naughty & drove artics underage, got nicked on the M6 in an old Sed Ak with a 180 Gardner & it all came on top, lost my licence for a month & went back to 7.5t until I was 21.

Then the big day came, 21 at last, passed my test 2 days later & within a month I was heading for Italy in a 2800 Daf. Since then I’ve been to every country in Europe, East & West, Scandinavia, Turkey 5 times, Morrocco twice & Tunisia once, seen some fantastic sights & met some wonderful people, I’ve been held up in strikes & avalanches, seen things that people only dream of.

Then it all went wrong, I listened to a bird who thought I was capable of bigger things so I ended up in the office, I could do it no problem but I hated every minute, then I went road testing/writing for a magazine, loved that but the £ was no good, went back on the road & bought my own lorry, ended up with 5 on the road & spent the next 5yrs chasing people for £ so I got out of that & went selling lorries, not for me really, the £ can be good but the current supply situation means that I had to pack that up too.

So I ended up back on the road, best thing I ever did, I’m back where I belong, behind the wheel & loving every minute, as my thing on the left says I’m currently aiming a series 2 FH12 500 Globetrotter around the country on the boxes, not for long though.

Canada is calling & I’m off out there in the next month or two, just wrapping things up over here & I’m off, going to have myself an American adventure. There’s a big Kenworth waiting for me & I’m going to achieve another dream, how many bankers, accountants or computer programmers can say that :question:

This lorry driving lark ain’t just a job, it’s a way of life :wink:

good story pal, im not on the road at minute im only 20 but im 21 in june so hopeing to get on road soon ma dads a lorry driver and ive been goin with him since i was abowt 8 i love lorrys and love driving too just cnt wait to get ma licence.

Good luck with Canada, hope to be out there soon myself
what part you off to?

Age 18 - no licence - got night yard shunters job at National Carriers doing rigids, Scammel coupling and fifth wheel artics 15’ to 40’ trailers - first thing I drove was an old Ford scammel coupling unit with the fifth wheel plate attached on top and it had a 40’ box trailer with a single axle at the very rear - what a nightmare as there was a pillar every 20’ - no expanse roofs without pillars in those days :exclamation: :exclamation:
At 19 I went to National cariers own driving school at Peterborough on a 1 week residential driving course and passed test at the end of the week in a 7.5 tonner :exclamation: :exclamation: I cycled to work and back for 3 years and drove a 7.5 before I got my first car - what :exclamation: - a dinky toy :unamused: :unamused:
Passed HGV Class 1 in 1988, advanced car in 97, advanced lorry in 98.
Passed all my driving tests first time and without any test nerves so I am unable to say to my trainees “I know how you feel” if they have nerves or fail - but I do sympathise as best I can.
Started teaching advanced (voluntary - still is) in 98 and LGV instructing in 2005.

My grandad used to drive trucks, in military then in civvy street. I used to love hearing his stories of middle east, balkan, greek and africa. A real sense of comeradie in them days from what I heard, shame its almost gone now!

2000 I started off in vans and 7.5 on urgent sameday european work. Started up on my own. Lasted 3 years, too much hassle, chasing money, customers, drivers. Took class 2 in 2006 passed onthe friday started job with CCI ( Clay Pigeon Manufacturers! :laughing: ) full time on the monday. Left CCi earlier this year to go onto RJC Low Loaders.
I love being out on the road, and with this job its ALWAYS different! The office window view is GREAT :laughing:

For me it just sort of happened. I was a Cheiftain tank driver in the Army in the late 70’s and one day I was having a kip on my bed when my sergeant major happened to be wandering around looking for a volunteer.

As some of you will know you never volunteer for anything in the services - fortunately for me I was the only one around and was “voluteered” to go on an HGV2 course to drive Alvis Stalwarts, a 6x6 all terrain truck used to refuel and re ammo tanks on rough terrain.

So off I go to Tidworth, do the course, then back to Germany to drive what I still think was the best truck Ive ever driven - the good old Stally.

I left the army a couple of years later and just ended ip driving class 3 & 2 for agencies, then I did my class 1, got a job in UK general haulage and learnt how to rope n sheet etc… The rest as they say is history!

Do I enjoy it? Yes and No, ive left loads of times to do other things, i even got a job as an engineer with BT fixing phone lines for about 5 years. Trouble was every time I saw a nice looking motor I wanted to be back behind the wheel again - so here I am driving for a Spanish firm in southern Spain and never been happier.

Used to go with my dad all the time when I was a kid, on the continent, or round ireland, then acting as a helper with other drivers when i was a teenager, got in on my dad’s then business after leaving school, didnt work out, went to securicor, drove the vans for about 3 years, jacked that in and emigrated to australia…

couldnt get a bloody job, tried being a carpet steam cleaner, lasted a week and said to hell with this and went and got me rigid licence, then a year later got the artic, and here i am driving the bloody things around melbourne.

funny thing is, my dad was a driver, his brother and their dad were drivers, so it must be in the blood, and despite many years ago my old man telling me it was a mugs game, have to say he was proud as a punch when i got my licences.

i love driving though, i just dont love transport managers, not one bit.

I think it is in the blood.
I used to lay awake at night aged about eight, this would be about 1962, listening to the lorry’s climbing the hill out of town. The whine of the rear axles seemed like a song to me, and I knew right then I wanted to drive a lorry for a living.

School came and went without any qualifications being earned. A series of dead end repetetive jobs, until I managed to get on for a local farmers consortium delivering loads of Hay and straw. I got to pilot a Bedford TK, with eight stud wheels, as long as it weighed under 3 Ton 16 Cwt, you could drive it on a car license even at 10 ton gross, I had passed that at 17 so I was laughing :slight_smile:

Everything came off of that Bedford for it’s MOT, the hay rack over the cab, second diesel tank, spare wheel, passenger seat, smaller batteries fitted to save pounds of weight. Never get away with that now :smiley:

A few other jobs until I too worked for National Carriers driving a Leyland box on parcel freight. I applied for a job as a night trunk driver and got it, that meant that National Carriers had to get me my HGV. A weeks course & test at Yeadon near Heathrow on a TK artic fitted with a six speed box and 2 speed rear axle. Passed first time and back to National Carriers driving a Dodge with a Scammel coupling on the evening trunk to Ipswich aged 22.

I progressed onto a Volvo F86 pulling 33 footers on the same trunk until I went on the contracts side. I had a Seddon-Atkinson 400 sleeper (who called them Sudden-Accidents on here ? :laughing: ) I used to load at Terrington St John with tacky sea-side ware and deliver to gift shops all around the coast of the UK, out all week, it actually wasnt a bad job!

That finished and I went to a local Haulier and got a job for them, hence the signature…‘You wont last five minutes working for them’ my old boss at National Carriers said. But the best part of 19 years was spent with Hayford & Beazley Group Transport. (see my post in the old lorrys and firms section under the same name)

I spent all of my life on distance work, with my fair share of European work too, the first trip to Germany in 1981 the last in 2003, I think all in all that I have seen the best years of this industry.
Nowadays I have had to slow down, I still drive albeit on a six wheeler with a HIAB. I had a severe heart attack last May with a triple heart bypass last August. The DVLA told me I could start driving again last January, and I have a new job with Buildbase in Harlow as relief driver/yardman…until I have the urge to drift again :wink:

Saw a add
Driver Shortage earn upto £30k

3 years later i think i,ve just managed to earn that £30k :open_mouth:

(made the mistake in thinking the £30,000 was per annum
not life long earnings) :laughing:

Saw a add
Driver Shortage earn upto £30k

3 years later i think i,ve just managed to earn that £30k :open_mouth:

(made the mistake in thinking the £30,000 was per annum
not life long earnings) :laughing:

PMSL :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

from the age of 13, went out every friday night after school, as a passenger upto felixstowe and back on containers, loved it, as a kid it was a big adventure.
left school, did office work for 3 years, but knew it wasn’t for me.
so left, started on vans, (60 drops a day round kent) then onto 7 1/2’s, and then at 23, got my class 1.
i knew i’d end up doing it, and on the whole, most of the time, i still love it. it does just sort of get in your blood, and become a way of life. in the 15 years i’ve had my class 1, had a fair bit of variety, general haulage, fridges, low loaders, truck mounted aerial platforms :open_mouth: , a couple of tilts, and both were bloody strip outs, and now, doing containers, which, too be honest, i’m loving. think i’ve served my time, loading and unloading night and day, and in all weathers, all of a sudden, the pulling up at a job, opening the doors, and letting someone else tip the load, has become most enjoyable. i can have a snooze, read a book, watch a film, and hopefully, as from next week, will be able too get online, whilst at work. surf the net, make the most of the bbc i player, suits me :smiley:

i’ve travelled all of western europe, and scandinavia, and got too see some beautiful places and stunning scenery, and get payed for the privelege :smiley:

even got to do abit of the rock n roll work, doing the stones tour in 2006, plus bit of elton john, and then for me, the ultimate, got too tour with my fave band on the planet, “RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS”, and thanks too the sound engineer, at the last show, ended up in the dressing room, had a beer with “chad smith” the drummer, and he gave me a set of signed drumsticks, and got the rest of the band too sign me some cd’s :smiley: , it was abit of a surreal moment, but loved it, and got a photo too :sunglasses:
may sound a bit sad, but it was a massive deal too me, and a moment i’ll cherish forever, and at the end of the day, it would never have happened if i didn’t have my lgv.
i’d like too have stayed on the rock n roll work, but the mrs and kids were understandably not keen, its just too much time away for me.

only thing i’ve not done, that i’d still like too try, but again, probably too much time away, is driving a truck, for some form of motorsport team.

I used to be a minicab driver in Ramsgate and on my night off on my way back from the pub I used to see all the trucks coming off of the inbound Sally Line ferry and driving up through the town. They had things like “Daily service to Rome” and “UK-Greece-UK” and “Bucharest Express” written on the trailers and I thought “I could do that”.

Always used to go with my dad when i was a kid, passed my HGV and been driving ever since. Took on my own truck last year but that fell through, but got something else in the pipe line again as ive always wanted to be an owner driver same as my father.

5 Years in the Glasgow fruit market unloading trucks listening to drivers from all over ,larkins liverpool,weatagrove london etc just got me intrested,
got really friendly with a larkin driver (still are) who even offered me the cash to get my HGV! but i refused (stuppidly)
Done it the old fashoned way still in the fruit market worked for a few local guys driving things from ■■■■■■ vans to 7.5ts, left them to go to geest ,driving 7.5ts ,where i was offered my class2 , done that less than a year later when and done my class 1 with my own cash ,thankfull passed 1st time,done loads of ayg work, tesco/marks & sparks/asda/even some local haulers , 4months later left there to my currant job,
Now 10 years with filshill mostly locals , but ocasianaly i dust off the pasport and head over the border to England lol :laughing: i wouldnt swap my job for anythng involving a “office” its something i love and dont want to change it , altho like most would love more ££££ and better facilitys

28 years working in factories,
19 years at the same bench staring at the same breeze block wall,
10 years to go before I retired and I thought “sod this”, not for the first time but this time I did something about it.
Always wanted to drive artics, no interest in rigids, took my tests and eventually passed. Dragging containers around at the moment and enjoying it. Would like to do a bit more with my licence maybe work in a different country or something. But, after 34 years together wouldn’t like to start spending a lot of time away from Shaz, so that restricts my choices.So will stay as I am for now.

left school worked for JH Dewhurst as a contract butcher in their Cardiff depot they put me trough my car test so i could deliver in the bedford van they had then when 21 they put me thro my class 3
when they closed down in 1985 they paid class 1 as my redundancy package
so i have Dewhurst to blame for everything :astonished:

Loved lorries for as long as i can remember, my earliest memories were just a facination for these big smelly noisy machines. So from school i drove tractors on farms and thankfully most farms ran lorries so my first drive was a Leyland Roadtrain at the age of 16. Many jobs later and (a variety of driving experiences)12years on and my then employer offered to pay for my test. Passed my test may 2001 and purchased my first motor december 2003. No regets.

Use to go with my uncle and then when he was old enough my cousin, usually the Adelaide to perth, Alice springs or Townsville runs for TNT and NTFC in his Kenny double roadtrain. (bleeding horrible and uncomfortable before you ask, but massive inside the bunk area though)

So it’s all i wanted to do when i got old enough, oh and be a soldier, so i did both and joined up at 16 and got my license at 18 :wink:

Saw my first lady of the night in townsville when i was 12 :wink:

Love the job love the life and won’t be changing it even though I got qualifications in IT

i started as a trailer boy/spares driver got a class 1, i’ve done my fair share of rubbish jobs, best 1 i got was driving round europe in the music biz,put me in good stead for the job i do now, delivering lavvy pans!! :laughing: :laughing:

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a silly fascination with big automotive machines. As a kid, I would run about pretending to be driving an artic and I’d even make the air brake noises. I think my parents thought I was mad!
I learned to drive in a little Bedford van (off the road of course) when I was about 6 and had my first motorbike when I was 10 (all off road…I was very lucky to have those opportunities).

Hated school with a passion and left at 16 with bugger all but a raging desire to drive massive wagons. Bummed about in a load of dead end jobs but started driving vans as soon as I could. Then went on to 7.5 tonners and as soon as I was 21 I got the big boy licence, class 1 in them days.

I’m a lucky, cheeky git and I landed a job almost straight away on continental for David Somers Transport in Yeadon, Yorkshire.

Tried various bits and bobs over the years (latterly a 7 stretch in the police), but always come back to the job I know and love so well. Back in the drivers seat now and never been happier. I’d like to run my own truck, but don’t want all the financial worry and hassle. Maybe later eh?