My first week of driving Class 2

I’ve just passed my Class 2 and found an agency that has found me work everday since then, I guess that’s pretty lucky?

The best day was a run up to Yorks on a collection, I love being on my own and being trusted to sort any problems myself. Sun was shining, roads were clear, a good day.

Worse day was being given a 15 year old ERF to do multi drops locally. The truck has been to the moon and back and should be on the scrap heap, it wasn’t even fitted with seatbelts! Is that legal?

Anyway, I called the agency and told them that I wasn’t going to drive that truck again and they moved me to another company instantly, it’s nice to be taken seriously.

The hardest day was doing 15 drops in London, how do you do it? I don’t know London and you can’t afford to take any wrong turns. There are weight, height and width restrictions EVERYWHERE! I ended-up lost, going under a 13ft6in bridge in a 13ft4in truck with my eyes closed! I did ok, i think, I only bought four drops back to the yard.

Seriously, do you have any tips on driving in London?

Anyway, it was a hard week with long, long hours and the money isn’t brilliant, but it stil beats office and factory work hands-down.

, it wasn’t even fitted with seatbelts! Is that legal?

As it’s 15 years old, then yes it’s legal :slight_smile:

Seriously, do you have any tips on driving in London?

Not really no, it’s an arse of a place if you don’t have a basic idea of how to get about. The only good thing is the traffic is so stop start that you get plenty of time with the A-Z.

Assuming your route is in drop order, tackle it one drop at a time. Some companies will swallow parking tickets for certain drops as they are unavoidable, sometimes I’d get 2 or 3 a day when doing 20+ coffee shops.

You can load / unload on double yellows providing there are not any little yellow plates saying no loading or no loading 8am - 6pm or whatever.

The biggest problem is getting your breaks in if you’ve got a couple of hours to run in to London, you soon use up the rest of your 4.5 and then you need to find somewhere safe and legal for a 45. Get a 15 in on the way in and it’ll make it easier to grab a 30 on a red route loading bay.

Alternatively once you’ve got a parking ticket in one place you can always hang it out there, you won’t get any hassle for a while.

As for driving itself they are all tossers, watch for cyclists running red lights and suicidal pedestrians. Your best friends will be other wagon drivers and coaches, no one else will let you out.

And I always keep my eyes out for blue lights, there’s always some emergency and they always appreciate someone getting out of their way or blocking traffic to ease their passage. Especially the fire crew who are trying to do what we’re doing, but quickly. They usually give you a thumbs up for helping them out too, gives you some feelgood factor.

8wheels - great advice and I’ve done the fire engine bit :smiley: :smiley:
TIP - ask a parking attendant if you are having probs with a rest place - they love to have the power in a situation - be nice to them and they will usually direct you to a yellow line no parking place where you put their number on windscreen and get left in peace for the time you have asked for - I’ve done this many times and never had a problem.

  1. Know where you’re going. A little time spent studying your route in advance is better than working it out on-the-fly. Helps if you can get into lane several junctions ahead.
  2. Know your loading restrictions / red route rules. Even if there’s a time plate up, if they don’t paint the bars on the kerb they can’t enforce it. Also loading doesn’t have to be continuous. They’ll try and say it is, but it doesn’t. I have loads of tickets issued (mostly by City of Westminster) and all of them bar one were cancelled after sucessfully challenging them. So don’t worry about getting a ticket too much, let them have their quota and you can sort it later.
  3. Have a Nicholson Greater London map book or London A-Z Master Atlas. The Nicholson covers further out, but I seem to remember the A-Z has some street numbers marked.
  4. Street numbers can follow all sorts of strange sequences.
  5. I think the West end is easier than the City, but agree with 8wheels, it’s an arse of a place when you don’t know where all the restrictions are.

Well done 8 wheels! :wink: I’m a firefighter and part-time class 1 driver. We really do appreciate it when people can help us on our way, It always seems to be the LGV drivers that help us the most, they always have a good idea of where we are heading and never seem to get in the way. :wink: As for the bloody car drivers, taxis and buses…thats another story! :imp:
Regards and thanks Smokinbarrels :smiley:

Pleased to be of service smokinbarrels, I have the greatest respect for all of the emergency services. Blue lights are not for just for show, to me everyone is a potential life or death. One day those blue lights might be coming to help me and I’d be glad if people use their loaf and help out some.

What really ■■■■■■ me off is that most people see blue lights and stop dead rather than keep going or speed up or pull through the red light that’s holding them or whatever other course of action would be best to enable the vehicle to pass safely through without further delay.

I guess it’s mostly wagon drivers who help because they can use their size to block and realise how difficult it is to drive them normally.

I guess it’s mostly wagon drivers who help because they can use their size to block and realise how difficult it is to drive them normally.

Also, the majority of wagon drivers THINK before they react :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: