Thursday, 21 July 2016

Truck Driving and Nights Out

Hi folks

so, since my last post I have indeed "jacked in cab driving" and via various agencies around Ipswich have  driven vans and 7.5 tonne lorries in my pursuit of meaningful employment.

It all started around about 6 weeks ago when I applied for a driving job via my iphone whilst on one of my weekends in Ipswich visiting the wife ( that statement alone justifies what I've done). I received a reply the following day and the guy was desperate to provide staff for the courier company Interlink. I turned up the following day and was put to work with one of the old hands, Glyn, who showed me the ropes. The work was very fast paced and there was only a few minutes allocated for each parcel drop of which there was around 70 to 80. After the deliveries were complete there were collections to make from various companies all over Ipswich. After 2 days with Glyn they put me out by myself and I felt I coped extremely well although they gave me more time and less parcels than Glyn. The following week I was sent out all over the place.  One mishap was when I locked the keys in the van and the big boss man had to come out with the spares. He was not amused and told me so. On the third week we had a Bank Holiday Monday followed by a quiet Tuesday where I wasn't offered any work. I went in on the Wednesday and carried on where I left off. On Thursday morning I was getting ready for work and a text from one of the supervisors informed me my services were not required that day. My agency guy did some checking and got back to me with news that work had severely dried up and might improve in the coming days. That proved to be the end of my working time at Interlink and I was left with the dilemma I had last year when a similar thing happened and I ended up returning to cab driving. I decided to persevere and spent the next few days applying for all types of jobs such as Lidl, Argos and Ipswich Buses to name a few.

Whilst all this was going on, Jane decided she needed a break from her work as a carer and I felt it was as good a time as any to take a break. We spent a very relaxing week at a caravan park in Dymchurch in Kent. Whilst there, ironically, another agency I had signed up to started offering me work so I had to put them off until I returned to Ipswich. On returning I was offered 7.5 tonne work immediately and spent a great three days working at a logistics company called Debach. I drove a Mitsubishi Canter truck around Suffolk delivering palletised goods to private houses and Industrial Estates alike. Some places especially the private house never had fork lift trucks so I had to use a pump truck and the tail lift to get the pallets off. Gravel drives proved difficult to manoeuvre  the pump truck as close as I'd like and more often than not the pallet remained on the pavement where I would then have to offer my apologies. This brings us to this week where on Monday I was offered a 7.5t job at another logistics company called Magnus. They also use a Canter truck because they're easier to get down country lanes and tight areas. My journey took me towards London where I dropped pallets off at Swanley and Merton before heading into Central London to South Molton Street. Before I got there I had to take a compulsory Tacho break of 45 minutes. Finding somewhere to stop safely and legally proved difficult but I finally found a space on Prince of Wales Drive next to Battersea Dogs Home. As I sat there drinking my coffee and eating my sandwiches I saw a steady stream of volunteer dog walkers taking their charges towards Battersea Park and then return them 15 to 20 minutes later. With my break over I headed in to the centre. I parked on Brook Street and had to walk the full length of Great Molton St before I found no 43. There were workmen working away and I had to pull a few of them away with me to help take the pallet off my truck. Unlike the Debach truck this one had neither a pump truck or a tail lift so unless a fork lift was available the goods would have to be removed from the pallets and carried by hand (Handballing). From Central London my final drop was a clothing warehouse on an industrial estate in Enfield. It was owned and staffed by Chinese workers and when I got there they refused to unload me because they were on their lunch break. It looked to me like they were all eating bowls of steamed white rice and I thought how tasteless that must be but they seemed to be enjoying it. From there I drove the hundred or so miles back to base in Great Blakenham, Suffolk to end my shift.

Today I worked at yet another logistics place called Bacton Transportation. I drove yet another Mitsubishi Canter truck and did 8 deliveries in the Bury St Edmunds area and also in Thetford. At one delivery place I jumped up onto the truck, lost my balance and fell off. I tried to break my fall by spinning in the air and managed to land against a fuel tank injuring my shoulder. I quickly got up and looked around to see if I had been noticed and thankfully not but even as I type this my shoulder is smarting and will probably stiffen up overnight.

My agency called me to discuss tomorrows job. Normally they just text but needed to ask if I would do an overnight job or a "night out" as its known. I was in the middle of deliveries and just said yes to everything but when I had a bit of time I called them back. The job is for a company that makes quality beds and I have to take a truck load of them up to Derby in the Midlands. I'm not sure what else I have to do once there but after my shift up there I have to bed down in the truck which apparently has a bunk, and do another shift starting in Derby and ending up back in Ipswich. It's all quite exciting and Jane's been clucking around preparing a bag with everything from a duvet and pillow to fresh clothes. I told her I'm going to look like a right wally turnig up with all this stuff but I'll probably be glad of it in the wee small hours as I bed down on some obscure industrial estate.

Watch this space for the write up on what happened but as I have to get up at 5 am and it's now 10pm I'm off to bed so goodnight all.

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