The keep her choppin' thread

Remember the good old bad old days? When everybody but the English (according to some :smiley: ) were not sleeping and KILLING PEOPLE AS THEY SLEPT! Or not.

All over Europe and beyond our brave boys went, not sleeping and driving for days (if you’re English it’s heroic, so it’s OK) to get the economy going again!

Now, I want to hear your stories of heroism! Tell me your tales of derring-do.

WARNING! Liars will be repudiated by the sane and the experienced.

I’ll start with a regular load of mine: Load Ballaghadereen 16:00 Fri - Tip Linkoping 21:00 Sun. Not too bad.

thats a good run we wud load groupage in wolves sunday down to dover night boat tip holland and germany all day monday reload chipboard in belgium monday night and tip dewsbury tuesday lunch omg what the [zb] was i doing oh yeh earning a lot more than i am today lol :open_mouth:

■■■■■ please, ex-recovery driver in the house!

22 hours straight (6:30am to 4:30am :open_mouth: ), and Hull-Hexham-Hull and Hull-Colchester-Hull in the same day.

That’s the spirit lads! What I’m really looking for though, is how it looked legal. Before the cheating started with ANPR and all that big brother stuff.

For me, it was run near enough until you get to the UK, then do what you want. That’s what all my old bosses did.

Shown the ropes of how to the job by running non stop from.Dieppe to Lisbon in a day and a half.Normaly it takes four days on bad roads in the 90` s.Only stop was a toilet break in Bordeaux.He was a scouser in a British International Iveco 360 Turbo Star.

The days of the four stamp permit book and being shipped out on the fifth trip.Not allowed.And the Cherbourg Douanes asking if you have tabac on offer to cover the admin error on the permit.
The offer of coffee money kept the truck rolling…
No speed limiters.Secret buttons and switches hidden on the dash or on coffee machines.
Running a fridge on a truck driving ban with cargo that did not qualify to run on a truck ban.

It’s all well and good coming up with epic one hit trips, but there were plenty of drivers doing them week in, week out, year after year.

Most people that did Italy, Spain or Portugal did one a week, that was hsrd going and not only that but they had dinner in a restaurant every night and spent more than the odd night on the ■■■■.

One job I had used to clear Vicenza customs on Saturday morning, I would be tipping the trailer in Belvedere Sunday morning after running Frejus and nationals all the way through France and a few hours clearing in Dover and that was like a lazy Sunday afternoon drive compared to when I was on the fridges lol

Different times, it was the rule rather than the exception in those days…

Although I still regularly do 800+ miles in a day, but I do that legally now, which is a novelty.

Burning out is the phrase to use.The body and mind need rest and would let you know when you let the truck free wheel down a five mile mountain gradient.

Different time and a different era- we all pushed it, and our forefathers pushed far more than we could, and that is why, because we did push it so much we are as regulated as we are today. I was no angel in those days , tip/load off the chart, the odd 7th day chart in a fictitious name but the authorities knew we are doing it and bought in legislation to clamp down on us rogues, and today the new drivers have to live under laws that were bought in to reign us in- we all knew we were pushing it and took advantage of every loophole or trick, we cant complain that we got caught out ior they bought in technology to stop us, because every one of us knew what we was doing

Looking back now we were our own worst enemy - because we so blatently misued/ignored the fairly easy to get round checks and balances we almost forced the authorities to impose draconian restrictions and sanctions. It was too easy too fiddle and make that time up, or get that extra load in- and the new lads today are paying the price, a driver is no longer trusted to make the right choice because back in the day we didnt :wink:

Ain’t that the truth!

We look upon the good old days through rose tinted spectacles, but in reality we were working like dogs, we say it was fun, but only because we didn’t know any better.

Rikki is correct and it sums up the rules today.No hard hat.No tip.Back then doing 500 miles a day was normal.Lots of coffee stops and a long lunch break then crack on.
From Caen or Cherbourg a lot of drivers would make Pamplona or Sunbila in one shift.
That was about four hours driving more after doing a ten hour drive.
I was stopped by a trainee Basque police man who had not seen a tacho before as look confused with my charts.
I had two days off in Porto waiting to reload and recorded it on two charts.
I had driven from Porto to the birder at Irun which was a 13 hour drive or more in one go due the bad and slow roads.
The more experienced officer was dealing with a car and i thought if the young cop showed him my disc i knew that was a huge fine.The young cop said have a good trip.On i went.

Love that, running the fridge with ambient cargo to avoid the non fridge ban, brilliant. :smiley:

Love that, running the fridge with ambient cargo to avoid the non fridge ban, brilliant. :smiley:

If my memory serves me well then technically you were meant to have at least 25% of the load perishable, not frozen , to run through France on the Sunday.

Wasn’t usually a problem because if anything the ambient in a fridge was usually an export. But I have run home with the odd load of groupage and the fridge running at +4. Basically you had to rely on a moodie, self prepared, CMR and the fact that most gendarmerie wouldn’t be too inclined to offload a heap of groupage onto the road at the peage. It didn’t stop the old ring from puckering up as you approached St Omer on a Sunday morning. I used to find a good ruse would be to tag on to a group of Irish fridges running home. Didn’t always work but usually if the gendarmes were looking for coffee they would always give paddy the once over before looking at us.

Another favourite that always helped in southern europe was the weekend off. Park up around tea time on a saturday and participate in the traditional drivers weekend until Monday morning. Wind the clock back to show a 24hr rest and set about your day tipping and if lucky reloading for home. Once that card was spent you could reset the clock to the correct time and head for the boat. I’ve been stopped on more than one occasion in Italy with a chart 12 hours out of sink but was never pulled up on it. They were usually only after a coffee and could get that from you for doing 90Ks on the motorway.

The only problem that could occur was that the odd gendarme would bellyache over the fact that you weren’t leaving the card in to show your daily rest, there was good reason for that, but usually if the card all looked good they would just give you a word of advice. If they had made up their minds you were paying then they’d find something anyways.


An experienced Basque policeman stops me near Vitoria.He does the same journey in his caravan and asks how i can be where i was so soon in the driving time it would take.We stood there debating it then he gives in and lets me go.
The Spanish fridge drivers would load all night or finish loading early morning and get up to the Basque area then continue on to get the ferry in the ports in Northern France.The days of frisby tachos was the norm by chucking them out the window.
A lot of drivers would tear or deface the pear shape centre of a card so it could not record the days driving then do a false manual entry on the back.

Tip Andorra on wed am load perpignan wed pm then up to le havre for Thursday nite boat back good 2 days work but quite easily done but then all goes ■■■■ up.tipped Andorra and saw a short cut on map traced route great no low bridges (michelin map)so off i go it was a bad road lots of cut backs about 1:15 down the road 3.8 bridge tried but she want for goin under b ollox!!!had to turn round with great difficulty back to start then to foix-carcassone-perpignan cost me 5hrs got loaded got to milau bridge on 10hrs drive(wed nite) still 12-13 hrs from le havre and only got 9s left so fuse out and 3hrs drive up to clement ferrand parked at peage.done it no prob Thursday up to le havre job done

2 for you…

sarrengumines ( strasbourg) to pontypool one hit. (severnside continental freighters R.I.P))

not too bad you say :smiley:

south wales via dover to dunkirk onto antwerp, across holland to germany, fehmarn across to denmark ferry to helsingborg and up to gothenborg sweden( volvo) 22 hours then 2hours rest and down to wuppertal for reload to bradford and back to south wales.

Ok that was in a sprinter but still a killer.

Lost weight stripping down tilts.The sheet weighed a ton.A full strip was turning the trailer in to a flat bed trailer.Then build it up again.

sorry for going off topic but i don’t get why its ok for all the veterans to come on here bragging about how they used to drive for days with out sleep and lying to the authoritys when questioned but if someone does it today they are branded the scum of the earth and they deserve everything they get and so on, it just seems a tad hypocritical to me :confused:

Also used to regularly run back to Manchester from toddington or Newport pagnell with fuse hide this you had to re calibrated macho if not when you put chart in it does a lot thicker trace line at the start so you had to set clock and put blank card in close draw and machine would wizz round when it stops open draw leave a minute re close it drive about 100yds stop take chart out the thick trace is on this chart you could then put proper chart in no thick trace or missing kms

I don’t think anyone’s bragging,just telling it like it was.Attitudes and perceptions change,including those of foreign plod who would happily turn a blind eye to some things
for a ‘large coffee’.Not anymore. Anyway,my transgression was Holyhead - Herne,tip,up to Herford,load, down to Asten .No better or worse than most at the time.