Monday, 13 October 2008
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Yes, there is a knack on how to board a truck, the steps are straight, the first one high off the ground. So, you have two handlebars to pull yourself up, get your footing and climb up!
The first times it seems quite daunting, like most new skills, but, now I don’t even think about it, I just ‘swing’ in and out!
In the truck my son is finishing his paperwork, there’s lots of that, as everything is highly regulated.
I know that there are a number of ‘rogue’ elements, like in everything, who give the job a bad name, but most of them are quiet, normal guys, who like a joke, a smoke, a coffee, after work a beer… or two…or three…
They work hard for a living, but it’s a world within ours, almost a community.
Look around you, in your home, anywhere, think of your food…what, at some point in time was not on the road, being transported in a truck?
ON THE ROAD!
My youngest son, from when he was a little boy had a huge interest in trucks, when I came back from the States and Canada, I always knew what to bring him, magazines on those monster trucks, beautifully painted and maintained, the centrefolds all ended up on his bedroom walls.
He studied, had a very good job, when he called me to say he was taking all the exams that would fulfill his dream.
He quit the job and became a truck driver! For a number of years he drove International and mostly Arctic (temperature controlled).
One of his routes was the UK, he’d call me out of the blue, sometimes on his way back from Scotland, sometimes on his way to a ferry.
Since he'd have to 'rest' by law anyway, we'd often meet at one of the service stations along the motorway, I'd sit with him, we'd exchange all the latest news and enjoy each other's company.
Sometimes I’d pack and go with him!
Once we did 6 countries in one go, England/Belgium/Holland/Germany/Denmark / Sweden. Let’s not glamourise it, it’s not the scenic beauty of the countries that you take in, but motorway, not the most exciting, you fly past all the wonderful names, and if you’re lucky sometimes you’ll see a glimmer in the distance.
In the morning they are in the warmth of The South of France or Spain, next day in the cold of Scandinavia, through all weather conditions and traffic...
It’s tough, stressful, they are under constant time pressure.
The truck becomes their home for a week, many have TV, they have a fridge, music, radio for contact, heating and airco, curtains for 'privacy'.
To sleep, well, you have to get used to the incessant traffic noise, AND... the motor to cool or warm whatever product was being transported, every 15/20 minutes!
That is with the exception of the ferry crossings, on ferries they often have their own quarters, restaurants, relaxing areas and sleeping cabins with shower, you'd BETTER be QUIET in those passages!
We had some wonderful times and adventures, great memories, lots of stories, all written....
Now he is married, they have a little girl. He’s given up THE life…
He drives a huge Scania with a trailer=a deep loader to transport very heavy loads, like huge cranes and giant bulldozers.
This is the highest truck I was ever in, very comfortable, especially for the driver, a special hydraulic seat, great music and communication console.
All the mirrors are NOT luxury or bling! Pure necessity!
Here he is, in the days that you were still allowed to hold your cell phone.
They have to be in constant contact because things change often by the minute.
I'll always be grateful for our 'trips' together, they were great times, he is a very responsible driver and I am proud of him!.
I discovered a 'hidden' world, around service stations, ports, parkings, we fly past them, but they are there... waiting, eating, resting, sleeping, doing their paper-work, looking up routes and addresses, phoning home... Everything in our world at some point was hauled in one of those trucks by one of those people!
Have a great day and thanx for viewing, M, (*_*)