Letting the side down

Hello everyone.I assume some of you heard the other day that a petrol tanker driver has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving,after killing a lady driver on the M11.

I was driving down the A12 yesterday,and a report on Essex Fm was condemning Lorry drivers for putting peoples lives at risk as police had run roadside checks in Basildon and found that a number of trucks had defects.I was thinking to myself ‘Its reports like this that give every honest,professional hard working trucker a bad name’.What also angered me was that million miles a year are covered by Britains trucks each year,and people would not have their great Christmas without the decent folk driving these trucks and putting food on shelves and toys in shops.Yet as soon as there is an accident and my heart goes out to the ladies family who was tragically killed,and even sadder at this time of year,but the media goes for the sensationalist story line every time.I do wonder why they hate truckers so much,as without us they would have nothing.

What are everyones views on this please,because it does get my goat.It also angers me that one cowboy in this profession tars us all.The majority ,being conscientious,and taking a pride in the job are unfairly lambasted as that radio report just says ‘lorry drivers in Essex’.That is a very big generalisation.Which companies do you think are slack on maintenance with their wagons.I wouldn’t have thought it would be the big boys.Let’s hear your views.Does anyone share mine?


I agree with you whole heartedly Glenn, but not actually being a driver myself… YET, I cant say I have had the eye-rolling and tutting, when I say I am a lorry driver. Its true, the media do go for the bigger story line, and the story thats gets the general public behind them, gets them their Stats they are always looking for.

The general public just dont get that when they go shopping for whatever… it would have been delivered by a truck…
Remember what happened when the tamker drivers stopped delivering fuel, a couple of years ago??.. The whole country nearluy ground to a standstill, but even that hasnt changed peoples views.

When I finally become a lorry driver, I will be one of those ‘Essex Lorry drivers’, as I will be operating out of Dagenham, But I can tell ya this… If there is any defect on one of Ford Motor Co Truck fleet lorrys, even a side light bulb… The lorry goes No-where until its fixed… end of story, no exceptions.

Hi Andy,thanks for prompt reply.I will have to show you a picture of me on said Honda CBR 600 which I hired from Raceways,London.I prefer the Suzi GSXR 6 though.Is that your Blade?

Hi Glenn

Yeah, thast my Blade. :smiley:
here is the thread for us bikers though, so we’ll leave this thread for others views…

:imp: Just hold on a minute here.

On what grounds have they proved that the petrol tanker driver was driving dangerously ?

Simply because the 3 (or whatever) following car drivers who witnessed the accident said so ? And that’s good enough is it ?

Is there any photographic/camera evidence that actually confirms that this was the case or is it that there wasn’t any other trucker around to testify what actually happened and the reasons so they’re just taking the view of the small-minded, don’t-know-better, anti-truck car driver brigade that the truck was 100% in the wrong?

I haven’t see the full story nor the evidence to back it up that the trucker was driving dangerously and I think until ALL the facts are known it is extremely unfair of you (Glenn, AndyM [a non-wagon driver]) and anyone else thinking about putting their tuppence worth in, to condemn the wagon driver.

I remember an article in T&D a few years back about an XF driver who hit a car as she barged her way out of the end of a sliproad onto a motorway and the XF driver didn’t even know she was there because of his blind-spot and he had the right of way. A hoard of car drivers ganged up and said the XF driver was 100% at fault. If I recall correctly it went to court and one of the T&D guys (was it you Davey?) came up with evidence or whatever to prove the trucker was completely in the right.

Whilst you’re knocking this tanker driver (who may not have been at fault at all), just think how you’d like it if you were in his position and everyone was talking about it and saying it was your fault and you should be banned for life, have your licence revoked and be locked up for a few years. Yeah, exactly…



When you take into consideration how much mileage the average lorry driver does in a year and multiply this by however many lorry drivers there are then I would think the rate of accidents per mile would be considerably less than the average car driver

Without a doubt Trev. But we still get the book thrown at us.



Ummmm… speedy■■?

Do you want to take a step back and read the post properly and take it ■■? :imp:

We aint condeming the lorry driver… we are in fact siding with him, its Essex FM radio and the millions of car drivers out there that are condeming him, and thats the whole point of this thread!!!

Its the Fact that Essex FM are calling this poor lorry driver a menace and all lorry drivers in general!!!.. which you know, I know…(even though as you say I dont drive a wagon…Yet, Thanx for that!!)… and every other truck driver out there knows is complete crap!!..

As I said, (if you had read it properly) in my post, the general public dont realise that everything, EVERYTHING that they buy in there shops has been delivered by lorry, truck or van… but its THEM who jump on the backs of lorry drivers and slag you off…(remember, I dont drive yet, do i, so I wouldnt know!!)… when one of you guys has the slightest little incident. Its those that know nothing… (Me??)… that are condeming him… Not Us!!

Infact, reading back, we aint actually talking about the tanker driver anyway… we are talking about the fact that Essex FM are calling lorry drivers a danger to the public!!.. and as I say… we all know that aint true!

Well Andy, I’ve taken Glenn’s comment “one cowboy in this profession tars us all” as referring the tanker driver in question as this is the focal point and you agreed with it in your post so… ?

Have I picked up the wrong end of the stick then ? :unamused: :confused: :question:



I thought he was refering in his comment ‘One cowboy…’ to the few trucks that had been stopped and found to be defective, not the tanker driver, but he was saying that because of the trucks found to be defective, Essex FM was stating that Lorry drivers are a danger to the Public, and taring all lorry drivers, with the brush of running bent with Defective units…
The Radio station probably brought up the tanker driver to highlights its stupid story…But dont know for sure

I think we have both got the wrong side here… :confused:

Have I picked up the wrong end of the stick then ? :unamused: :confused: :question:

In a word “Yes”. :unamused:

The only condemnation that I saw was of the radio station. I didn’t see any critisism of the driver subject of the incident. :open_mouth:

:unamused: :frowning:

Yes,let me clear up the fact that I was referring to Essex Fm’s report and when I said one ‘cowboy’,I was in no way referring to the tanker driver,but the odd dodgy operator.Thank you to those that had the sense to to read the post and take the the time to think about instead of the usual culprit who rushes straight in and thinks it’s ok to run fellow drivers off the road!

What they don’t tell you is that these defects will have mostly involved broken bulbs and cracked windscreens or mirrors. Not exactly a killer fault.

Half the cars in Essex (or any other county for that matter) would have the same or more defects if they were stopped and subjected to the same rules-lawyer scrutiny we are. Broken bulbs, missing lenses, cracked screens, the list is endless.

And they have the cheek to condemn us? From what I’ve seen on my news trawls, there are more car on car accidents than there are truck on car accidents, and they do less miles in a year than we do in a month… now who is the better driver■■?

I’d just like to point out that it is often police policy to arrest drivers involved in a big accident on suspicion, and let them off the hook later on if they are innocent. Being arrested after an accident is NOT proof that you were in any way at fault.

Well Glenn, I’ve read your post several times and I have to say that you did phrase it in such a way that people could misinterpret what you meant. Perhaps if we all take more care with the text we input there would be less misunderstandings.

Sounds like a typical misinterpretation of statistics to me.

i.e. “50% of trucks stopped have faults” means that "50% of trucks on the road are faulty.

Of course, since the police won’t be stopping everyone, just the ones which look badly maintained, so “50% of the trucks which look badly maintained actually are badly maintained”.

It’s similar to the drink-drive statistics - every year, we hear about how a higher and higher proportion of people tested were over the limit - maybe the police are just getting better at spotting the ones likely to be over the limit?

police had run roadside checks in Basildon and found that a number of trucks had defects.

Interesting is it not Glen :confused: :confused:

It also angers me that one cowboy in this profession tars us all.

So firstly all the drivers of the defect ridden trucks are not Cowboys then?

Saturday Morning 8-30am I was North Bound on the A1 between the Lobley Hill . Team Valley Split and the Gateshead Split A171

Following a TDG Tanker in the Outside Lane, absolutely nothing on the inside Lane, until the Motorists who were stuck behind decided it was time to start over taking on the inside lane, this tanker (ZB) was determined he was staying in the outside Lane doing 60mph and I am NOT exagerating, now anybody knowing the A1 will be aware that it then becomes 3 lanes from Dunston until the end of the Metro Centre, but mr tanker driver still insisted on sitting in the outside lane until it got to the point of motorists blasting their horn as they passed him on the inside.

What was this driver carrying? well he had the Haz Chem cards on display, along with the Toxic Gas card. Professional? Nahhhh just a pratt who must be new to TDG because they certainly would not endorse this in their 5 star training plan.

HGV Drivers are the first to be hung up and painted as the big evils of the World, but when idiots like this are on the roads, can you blame members of the public for their opinions?


a couple of things to mull over here.

firstly, over 90% of accidents are avoidable, so driver error was probably to blame, any driver that is in charge of a petrol tanker whether full or empty should be extra cautious when driving that vehicle on the roads where other members of the general public are at large. it is possible that the tanker driver was not responsible for the accident but perhaps the driver is responsible for their own inactions to circumstances happening around them.

secondly, the amount of trucks stopped that have defects, as has already been pointed out by alleycat, these may relate to blown bulbs, cracked windscreens or whatever but this is what makes us professionals, if the truck has a fault fix it before you go out on the road, if you cannot fix it yourself then get it fixed at a garage, i carry all the bulbs i may need to do a roadside replacement, headlight and trailer/sidelight bulbs, double and single large and small bulbs as well as spare lenses and a spare number plate, i carry a small tool kit as well as the truck manufacturers tool kit, spare air lines and a circuit tester as well as wiring connectors, my abs line is always connected to the trailer, i always have a number plate fitted and the dog clip is always in place, tyres and tyre pressures checked daily along with wheel nuts, this is your job, you are the driver of the truck, it is your respnosibility to ensure that the truck you are driving is fit to be on the road, we are not car drivers who can jump in the car and drive off hoping that we won’t get stopped for having a headlight out, we are professional drivers and if the headlight is out we should change it or get it changed.
if we all did our job properly there wouldn’t be any defective trucks on the road.

Okay reading these posts and replies, Just makes me wonder what it is we are all chatting about here. In Glenns first post, the subject was brought up, that it was Essex FM and its thousands of listeners that were condeming lorry drivers “As a Whole”, this was because, and I am only presuming here, that the radio station brought up the fact that a tanker lorry driver was involved in a fatal accident. This, backed up by the fact that Basildon Poilce found a few, and I repeat a few defective lorrys made Essex FM think that every lorry on the road has a defect.
We all know that is not true. But as glenn said, there are a few out there that do run lorrys with defects, and this is the brush that tars us all.
As Allicat said, in some cases, drivers are arrested on “Suspicion”, and this is due to impendng enquirys. If the driver is not at fault, he/she is released, plain and simple, but the fact that we are Professional, means that that is the way it happens. It would be the same if any Joe Bloggs help out at an accident, and something went wrong, he would probably just get his knuckles wrapped, but if you were a Trained Paramedic and something went wrong, you would be Investigated, posibly arrested, and so on. This is because he/she would be the professional in that case.

But this thread started by Glenn, was just mearly an observation that the radio station is telling its listeners that Lorrys Drivers are a danger to the public by using very vague and unrustworthy facts that cannot be proved, and thus making the general public see us in a very bad light… and as we all know is complete and utter rubbish.

I think we are all getting a bit lost as to who or what we are talking about in this thread, maybe because Glenn chose the wrong title.

And when I start driving, I too, will also carry spares to carry out roadside repairs, Bulbs, spare number plate, bungee’s, cable connectors etc, as I agree, we are responsible for our own lorrys on the road.

the radio station is perhaps right in it’s stance and perhaps we are a danger to the public but are we not to blame in the first place for loading the bullets into the gun?
had the tanker driver been driving responsibly (maybe s/he was and maybe not) then the collision could almost certainly have been avoided and the incident could not have been used by the radio programme.

if every driver checked their vehicle thoroughly before taking to the roads then the figures for defective trucks stopped in checks would be very low if any at all on most occasions thus rendering this argument as less of a concern.

perhaps a better form of argument would be to establish how many private cars have had defects in roadside checks.
what percentage of trucks have been caught speeding in comparison to the amount of private cars by speed cameras.

we are not all perfect and everyone at some point will have a lapse of concentration but the professionals amongst us are let down everytime by those that are not and probably never will be.