Since my last post where I was waiting for my next driving job I have been back to London to drive my cab since the beginning of August. I think the reason I never got any more work was because I broke the last truck I drove. Let me explain.....!
I had been assigned an evening shift for a logistics company on Ransomes Europark in Ipswich. I was to take a load of nuts to the Waitrose RDC in Bracknell. That all passed off uneventfully. As I would not be getting back to the yard until 1am they entrusted me with the gate key and alarm fob. Being a Friday I was told to keep the key and fob until Monday where I would get another shift from them and also return the key. So, on the Monday morning my truck was loaded with eight pallets of various goods going to several destinations, the first being a private house in Saxmundham. On arrival at the front of the house I took the pallet off the truck and dragged it to the front gate. The customer said it was needed round the back door which would mean re-loading the pallet and driving around the block. the customer said he'd show me the way so he got in the truck. As it was only a short drive I decided to keep the back doors clipped open and the tail lift only half raised. As I pulled away from the parking space and straightened up, the offside door became unclipped and as I turned right it bounced off a wall. "Only a wall" thought I "Should be ok" and I carefully continued on my way round to the rear entrance keeping well away from anything else I might hit. The pallet came off, the customer signed the paperwork and all that was left for me to do was to close the back doors, raise the tail lift and get on my way. The only problem was that the off side door that had hit the wall had split in two and the bottom hinge was all distorted. I tried my best to get it shut by using bits of wood to lever the hinge straight but it was no use. I knew then I was in trouble. I rang the fork lift driver who had loaded me first but it was too big a problem for him to sort out....he would have to talk to the boss man. The boss man called me up to get my story. In all fairness he remained calm and instructed me what to do next. I was to take it to a body-shop just off the A12 where they would have a look at it. The body shop guys managed to straighten out the hinge but the fibreglass door was still split in two....but in my opinion safe to continue my deliveries. The boss man disagreed and I was told to return to base immediately. My load was transferred to an 18 tonner and the driver told to do their best to access the drop offs which were probably only accessible by a 7.5 tonner. When I got to the yard the boss man came out to look at the damage. I was grovelling like an idiot as I didn't want this all to go against my chances of getting any more work. He then asked me to go to the office with him and show him on Google Street View exactly what wall I hit which I did.....and that was the premature end of my shift. I called the agency to inform them what had happened and that I was available for any other work straight away. Over the next two weeks I waited for the phone to ring but it never did. It had obviously gone against me. I had a funeral to attend in Manchester during the two weeks I waited and also went camping with the wife and still no work. Nothing for it but to go back cabbying in London.
I did two months of taxi work, returning at weekends to see my wife but she was getting peed off with it so last Sunday I gave the rented taxi back and came back to Ipswich in search of meaningful work. It is now Wednesday and I have had no work offers but have been busy signing up to three other agencies which are in the process of getting clearance for me to work. Ironically, the agency that has been blanking me has just offered me a 7.5 tonne job for Friday which I've said yes to so things might be looking up for me.
Watch this space.