My time on sugar beet

So alittle about me
Passed my class c in July , and got accepted onto goldstars train to employ scheme , passed my c+e and handed in my notice … Only for me to be hauled into the office and explain my reasons for leaving and my current company to make a better offer to keep me ,
So I decided to stay for another six months to see if they’ll sort themselves out , I also put it in that I’d like to do some casual work elsewhere ,
A friend of mine works a foulgers driving one of their rigids he said run on over and have a chat , so I went for an interview one afternoon and they promptly offered me full time !! Providing I passed an assesment , being a man of my word I said I’d stay where I am , for the time bieng [WINKING FACE],

So I went back for the dreaded driver assesment , first up alittle reversing . And I’ll be doing baulk work so baulk trailer it is and it’s much shorter to what I’m used to , so it’s a lot more responsive and I’ll be honest it’s not pretty , but we head out ,
Only to be told the pick ups from a farm and it’ll be a " baptism of fire " , we head through altlebourogh and down a small lane , dragging the mirrors on both sides through the hedges and some really sharp 90degree bends which I had to use the whole road !! , but we get to the loader and tip at bury st edmounds British sugar plant , reversing onto the beet pile and putonghua the buck up for the first times alittle un nerving ,
Back in the yard I ask if It would be possible do another day under instruction , only to be told they’re quite happy to send me out on my own !! , so I take a picture

And book some holiday from my “regular” job so I can do some driving work

Day 1
Arrive at snetterton at 6am , go and pick up my keys and delivery notices , I’ve got the keys to a Volvo fh12 Score !! And it says to see stu and pickup from outside quidenham , so card in , I do my walk around fire it up stu helps me roll the sheet back ( it’s been used for chicken poop and smells badly ) , I can’t get it to build up air … Aparently the air drier plays up and it needs to be turned on and off again , problem solved and it’s built up the air pressure but I can’t get the brakes off !! Turns out there’s a knob next to the hand brake you pull out ,if the air pressure drops to low and it pops in all the brakes come on !! , and were off , I follow stu around do two pickups ok , on the way back I catch the mirrors in a hedge and fold it back . So I stop fold it out and loose sight of stu !!! At that point I realise I should be paying a lot more attention to where I am , ( FYI sat nav is absalutely useless for sugar beet work , I don’t think the concrete pads in the ■■■ end of nowhere have a post code !! ) , so I follow the road and eventually catch up , but not close enough and miss a turn … I’m now lost !! The phone goes and stu explains where I missed the turn , so one ugly reverse into a junction later I’m back behined him and everything’s ok , until I check my tacho ( early digital ) and I have to take a break where as stu’s got enough time to get to bury again . I’m on my own . . . . And it sinks in , best take a picture

The rest of the day goes ok another 2 pick ups and drops , apart from clipping the mirrors again , last pickups from another pad and I tail another driver to it … Paying close attention to where I’m going [WINKING FACE], and it’s back to the yard loaded and straight off to bury in the morning , phew !! I made it !!

Day 2
Get to the yard , do my checks fire it up , give it a gentle rev to build the air up , dash lights up like a Christmas tree , low oil pressure warning . That’s not good , turn it off and wait for the workshop to open ,
As it turns out the oil pressure sensors weeping and filled the wiring loom full of oil ( common fault apparently ) . At this point I realise I’ve knocked all the mirror covers off the passanger side ( bugger !!! ) So it’s off to thetford for a visit to the main dealer , I don’t know how big the yard is , so I park and walk in … Best safe than sorry , turns out loads of room , I do a beautiful park with the trailer , and uncouple and have a few ■■■■ and a coffee whilst it’s fixed ,
The rest of the day goes ok last pickups from quidenham , and I get lost again going back to the yard !! I end up in east harling and not knowing the area very well is killing me , so I decide to pull a turn in a junction and I’m making a real meal of it , in the end some old boy gives me an ear full and I’m fed up so I pull it straight and carry on … It’s at this point I realise it’s the same junction I got lost at yesterday and I’m going the correct direction this time , so I go around the block ( ok it’s the long way round ) but it works out ok !

Day 3
I meet Reece , nice lad tells me to follow him so I do , he doesn’t realise I’m loaded and almost makes me follow him down a muddy track , I’ve realised the turn I should have taken last night and missed out east harling completely !!, starting to learn the area now !! Meet up with Reece at bury and follow him back to east harling and to the pickup … Never off roaded in an artic before but that was interesting

Fantastic day manage 6 loads ,but I get out the factory and my nine is up , so it’s a park up and 45 minute break and a solid hour to get back from bury st edmounds to snetterton …I get to thetford and they’ve doing up the road , it’s Friday night and the traffics horrific , I get to the thetford
Bypass with 15 minutes to get home … So I call the office and someone comes to pick me and the lorry up ,he gets back in 14 minutes , being new I didn’t want to risk it !!

Day 4
Pickup from eleverton and run to bury , reversing through a gate post was interesting but a highly productive day 6 loads along a half decent a road , only drama was the strap holding the sheet came loose , but I spotted it early so no drama

My last day in fleet 111 [CRYING FACE], really enjoyed driving the Volvo

So it’s back to my regular job now and Saturday work

Day 5
Un eventful day in fleet 180 , this ones even got an aux in and a USB plug in it so I can connect my iphone , turbo waste gate makes a good noise too [WINKING FACE], but the I shifts still the bee’s knees

Day 6
Fleet 117 pickup at riddlesworth and take Richard ! , one of the regular drivers went sick on Friday and left his truck at a near by farm , we get to this track and Richard asks of I want him to drive it so I can see what I’m in for , I say I’ll give it a whirl .select manual , traction control off , diff lock in …it’s rough really rough and with a tricky 120 degree bend , trough the mud and the trees

I make it out again , drop Richard off and I’m only way ,out onto the A143 past ixworth and fleet 117 selects neutral and flashes up transition warning in red . Oh no that’s not good !! I let it coast to a safe position as possible position and call the loader and recovery , tried turning it on and off again no joy , the recovery lorry turns up …and 10 seconds later the old bill who to be fair we’re very nice , the recovery guy checks the fuse with the engine running , and it dies … Wrong fuse .plugged it back in everything’s ok !! The test of the day goes without a hitch

Day 7
Fleet 117 still has the marker light on the trailer out that I defected last week !! , today’s pickup was from knettishall airfield uneventful day got some good pics too

Day 8
Fleet 117 still has a marker light out , defected again and now it has a fog light lense smashed , so I book it and remove the bulb todays pickup is from Wretham and my first dark blindside reverse …which doesn’t go well and it takes me about 8 attempts to get in the right position , on the flip side I get a good picture ,


The rest of the day goes ok and I’ve cracked the o/a tail light lense so I get back to the shop and get both lenses replaced and the marker lamps , Ian the other guy how’s got 117 on Sundays very happy !!

Day 9
Fleet 117 again pickup from thelnetham , got lost on the way out missed understood where the "standby " pad was and had to turn around , pretty uneventful day but I’m getting the hang of it now and starting to enjoy myself

Day 10
Fleet 117 on my walk around I notice the spray suppression is falling out of the mid axle , the sheets over ( it’s been used for muck bugger ) so I back it into the cleaning bay roll the sheet back and sweep out the the buck , and one of the twist locks threads stripped so it doesn’t tighten , 8.30 I finally get on the road the rest of the day goes ok , I get back to the yard and I’ve got another lense knocked out !! , knowing I’m in the following day I fill in the defect form get the office to sign it take it to the workshop and ask them to do it for me

Day 11

Tail light lense hasn’t been fixed [POUTING FACE][POUTING FACE], so as the foglight has a tail light lense on it , I swap the lenses and cover the foglight with a coke bottle wrapper ( I have been advised since not to take the vehicle with such defects and won’t take one in future ) , the rest of the day goes well considering how muddy the track is and on the last run the engine warning light comes on followed by reduced power !! I had intended to do another run but with an ailing steed a trip to the workshop was in order ,

Unfortunately that’s all now until April as my regular job has a peak season from January to April and doing Saturday isn’t an option , but I’ve really enjoyed myself ,
Even when it hasn’t been going to plan I’ve seen se beautiful dawns , and some spectacular sunsets , I’ve taken an artic into places I’d never dreamed I could get into or out of !! All that’s missing now is to get alittle further away from home , having worked in an office for 16 years I fully appreciate how beautiful our country side is and I want to see more

Thanks for reading , and keep it lit boys [WINKING FACE][WINKING FACE]](Photo Storage)

Thankyou…thats a great story. you should write a book…Or do a telly thingy…made me smile…great stuff

Cracking read mate, very encouraging for someone (me) planning there training and obviously a tad nervous about what they’re letting themselves in for.

Cracking read mate, very encouraging for someone (me) planning there training and obviously a tad nervous about what they’re letting themselves in for.


Top drawer write up, thanks.

Great read! Interesting to see what it is like from another’s point of view as I thought I was being an idiot when I first did beet in Bury.

I know exactly what you mean with dirt tracks and doing all kinds of manouevers in the dark, but all part of the job when it comes to beet isn’t it?! :slight_smile:

Shame you only did it for such a short time as it does get easier! Really strange when the campaign starts to come to a close as you get used to pulling up, thick coat on, high viz on, get out and freeze your knackers off. But at the end you rock up in polo and even shorts! Glorious! But then, that is a long way off!

Many a story myself over the two campaigns I have taken part in. Getting stuck and being towed around the field by tractors, going through housing estates and suddenly the cleaner loader / Maus suddenly appears. Getting shouted at and sworn at for blocking the road and having the police turn up. Funniest one I have got is this women started shouting at me, then completely lost her rag and started throwing beet at the Maus! Will never forget that particular episode! :laughing: :unamused:

Good story.

I like the underlying theme that runs throughout; Foulger Transport have got some maintenance issues. :laughing:

Good story.

I like the underlying theme that runs throughout; Foulger Transport have got some maintenance issues. :laughing:

That’s alittle unfair , parts fail , people knock bits off , 117 wasn’t always on beet there were a couple of occasions where I had to uncouple from a curtain sider and pick up the regular baulker ( trailer 92 if anyone’s interested [FACE WITH STUCK-OUT TONGUE AND WINKING EYE]) , chances are it had been left there all week before I used it again ,
I did feel alittle unlucky , but I’m sure if I was a regular doing week days , any minor Problem I could have got fixed that night with the workshop night shift , and I worked weekends when the workshop wasn’t open
unfortunately trailer 92 had 3 lenses broken in three weeks and all over the Christmas week . And I have a feeling ordering new ones over this time will be slightly difficult , I’m not making excuses but even I don’t know the “full” story so let’s not jump to conclusions [WINKING FACE]

Cracking read muppet :smiley:
Into manual , traction control off , diff lock in :smiling_imp: reminds me of going up forest tracks to collect logs ,with my previous employer . Beats supermarket work any day :wink:

Just have to ask you say u trained with gold star how come you left them and did you have to pay back the cost of training ?

Cheers Mike

I passed my c licence off my own back at NTS in Norwich using there axor with ips ,as I’d passed my car test before 97 had to do the cpc off my own back too ,
The following week I went down to woolpit and had a drive around bury st edmounds in a artic and having never driven a 4over4 had me ■■■■■■■■ it big time !!
Goldstar have their own driving school so you could go to them for to get your class 1 , but having passed the assesment I was garenteed a job afterwards ,
So I passed and was offered a job doing nightshift from woolpit , so I handed in my notice and was all set to jumps ship ,but my current employer ( I make wiring Looms for formula 1 cars / moto gp bikes etc etc , basically high end Motorsport looms ) made a substantial offer to keep me where I am , which to be fair was THE hardest decision I’ve ever made ,So I had to repay the training fee and decline their job .
Although I did make sure before I said I’d stay that they didn’t mind me doing casual work and that’s where the sugarbeet work from foulgers has come from ,
I’ve been unlucky ( took me 5 attempts at passing my c licence ) and very lucky ( passing c+e first attempt ) and with getting a chance at foulgers , all I can say is keep knocking on doors , from what I’ve heard from my new found trucking friends at various places around Norfolk is they are short of drivers and willing to give you a chance , just don’t expect a toplinegigaspacetrotter as your first truck [WINKING FACE]

Bugger I’ve just realised how long winded that is from a simple question but need to be explained properly ,

You can go to goldstar with a car licence and they will put you through , but obviously it will cost a lot more with hazard perception , theory , medical , class 2 , mod 4 , class 1 etc etc ,

Ahh all becomes clear :wink:
I have had my class 2 for 3.5 years ish and will of had my class 1 for 2 years next month .
I think you have the best of both worlds a well paid job where they obviously value you and can now "live the dream " driving when you get the chance :slight_smile:

Good luck with it , Mike

Nice post, gives people a good idea about bulk too

So many photos It’s like lorry ■■■■ lol

Sound like your having fun class 1 to me is a while away as a Newley past driver in class 2 I’m doing my baby steps first
But it looks like really good job what’s the pay like and how long you been at it

Tuesday this week was the worst day ever !! So after 11 days I had to phone foulgers and tell them I couldn’t do it anymore , As mentioned above my regular job make high end wiring looms , and at this period it goes absalutely crazy ( 70hr working week this week ) as the teams want they’re Looms for February testing and start of the season in March . And doing that as well as driving will break every WTD going
I’ve asked if I can go back in April maybe even full time , sometimes it’s more about the what makes you happy , than the money :wink: