Work and Molly

quiet motorway

Yesterday I did a Friday run into Oakthorpe at Palmers Green, London. What a traffic nightmare?! It does seem to me that while the mayhem never gets any less, it never stays the same – it just keeps getting worse! lol
Today I start at 16:30 and on the cards is a run into Bridgwater followed by a single run to Westbury. That is a nice evenings work and if all goes well, it’ll be completed in under 10 hours.
Tomorrow is another 16:00 run to Oakthorpe, delivery time 22:00… however, this is the other end of the weekend with what seems like the world trying to rush back to London!
But oddly, I’m not complaining!

rocketboom_logo-copyMeme Molly has finally returned to Rocketboom! She had to return to the UK earlier this year to obtain a US residency visa / green card. All is now apparently sorted and she’s back in New York City to kick in to the daily news from Monday.

Published in: on 19 September, 2009 at 14:49  Leave a Comment  
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Odd, everything is different…

I was supposed to be going to Crediton and Westbury this evening, and right the start it has all changed.
Firstly, there were no vehicles at all and certainly no spare trailers. On top of this I’m going to Bridgwater (where I’m writing this) then to Taw Valley Cheese.
But then I was sent to rescue a vehicle that had a brand new trailer – that had just completely snapped it’s suspension – I see they’re getting quality for the £65,000 these things cost!.

Just to bring it all to a head, and that it serves me right for taking the micky out of others recently – While on the weighbridge at the Wiseman’s Bridgewater dairy, we took a sample from an obscure sample screw valve thing that promptly shot off and went straight down the side of the weighbridge plate!!

While covered in milk with my finger now wedged in the hole, we found a ‘bung’ of sorts and started looking for the sample cap, I spotted it and set about trying to get the access panel up.
At this point I would like to give a firm recommendation to all readers that if, for whatever reason, you feel the need to climb down under a weighbridge at a Dairy – DON’T!
It is the most vile, disgusting environment on the planet!.
I have been trying to wash most of this off, but the smell is killing me.

But one satisfaction I have gained while holding back 28000 ltrs of milk with a my index finger – now I know what it must like to have your fingers in a Dyke!


Published in: on 3 July, 2009 at 21:49  Comments (8)  
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Oakthorpe and a sore realisation

So yesterday I go to Oakthorpe for the second day on the trot and today I’m doing a third run. The thing is I don’t go there so much these days which is a shame, both for earning potential and the fact we used to go up there 5 times a week – every week. Then typically, I get three all at once.
So yesterday was Friday, the millions of home bound cars trying to cram into the same spaces to get to there destinations quicker – while extra traffic because of events such as Glastonbury all added toOakthorpe copygether for a little mayhem.

Arrival at Oakthorpe found Dave running everything – and in a disturbingly good mood… I was also, until he put me on bay two. Bay two is one of the toughest reverses I know of and I’ve had to reverse in some pretty amazing places.
What I mean is, I’ve reversed into places that look like you simply couldn’t get a truck into it – yet it goes in very easily. Bay two looks so incredibly straight forward and simple….But it isn’t!! It’s a complete right angle, narrow, always between two trucks and then at the front end there is simply no room to swing the cab around to straighten up.
Sometimes, you get it right first time, but more often than not – FAIL!!
I eventually got it in with a bit of hand and arm waving and then took my break.

At this point I received texts of the some what dark humoured Michael Jackson jokes presently doing the rounds. Then I recieved more, and more and, well so damn many – I had to switch my phone off!! That much laughter is painful to the old rib cage!

Arch of LightHowever, on my may back around the North Circular road at around 10pm I was stunned at the vision of the new Wembley Stadium all lit up. The huge arch over the top is completely full of lights and almost blinding!  I tried to get a picture of the place – but it’s not very good, hence the pic nabbed from the net.
I couldn’t help but admire the place, where my brother was some top Health and Safety guy during its construction.
While staring at it and noticing the flashing lights from within – I realised what was going on – it was AC/DC’s Rock and Roll Train concert on their Black Ice tour – the very same concert I could not get tickets too!!!
Well, that took the smile right off my face!!

And now, I’m off back to work and sunny Oakthorpe – again!


Another day on the Motorways of the UK

Watch this it’s Unmissable!!

Published in: on 26 September, 2008 at 02:08  Comments (5)  
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Silly Season

Be advised that this Friday is the official start of the summer ‘Silly Season’ on Britain’s roads and motorways.

I was talking on the phone with Fenny last night and we were talking about the so called spate of knife assaults going on – BUT!!!! lets do a little comparison here.

The number of people killed in road accidents was 2,943 in 2007.  There were 247,780 road casualties in Great Britain in 2007. Thats at least 8 people dead for every day of the year!!!!

Already 1836 people have lost their lives in 2008.


74 people were shot dead during the 2006 – 2007 period and this was far more highly published.

In London alone – over the May Bank Holiday weekend (27-29th May 06) – Police recorded over 50 knife attacks. Yet no one was shouting about knife crime then…

Yet 3000 people a year are slaughtered on our roads

Published in: on 15 July, 2008 at 11:21  Comments (3)  
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Bank Holiday Weekend continued (rant)

Earlier I said I was impressed how people were driving for a change on the Motorways of this fair Isle… .

Yesterday (Sunday) while missing the Monaco GP-  the day started out well albeit the weather not so great – but when I was driving back from a town in south Wales called Pyle (lets not get into why they named a town ‘pyle’). Well, let me say that I have seen all sorts of driving around the world and with travelling the UK motorways every day I get to see some odd things here too.

Bank holidays and summer are when people come away from there normal lives and take to the motorways, something they probably only do once or twice a year. This does not make me a great driver – I’m a terrible driver! And so are we all. I simply do this for work and try to get my job done without injuring myself or anyone else. But as a former instructor once said to me, “There are two things in this world that will ignite tempers instantly, 1) tell someone they’re bad in bed and 2) they’re a bad driver. Ironically both are always true – we’re all bad drivers and we’re all bad in bed”.

NOTHING on this planet could have forewarned me of the stupidity and oblivious recklessness I witnessed yesterday!

Contrary to popular belief there is a minimum speed limit on motorways in the UK and while it isn’t listed it’s easy to work out – it’s 52mph!!!!

Several times I have nearly hit cars joining motorways doing farless than this speed and yesterday was no exception. A girl driving at 47 – 48 mph in a Citroen AX totally oblivious to the traffic conditions around her due to the fact she was so engrossed in the conversation with her friend (who may be dead now for all I know) had cars, trucks and coaches swerving all over the place to miss her. The worse part is the pride of drivers… no one has a right on the motorway and all the rules in the world are not going to save your life if you don’t switch on to what is happening around you!

How many times do we hear of horrorific accidents when the person hit wasn’t aware of what was happening – it does not in any way make it their fault, but it gives you a chance to react and survive.

Well eastbound M4 Wales was full of stupidity yesterday from camper-vans to cars… and eventually this. Yep, stuck in accident tail-backs.

So how do we know and work out the minimum speed limit on a motorway?

In the UK previous prosecutions for car drivers on driving too slowly have been prosecuted at speeds of 18mph, 32mph, 40 mph and 50mph – and of course THIS more famous one.

The Road Traffic Act 1991 has (under a missleading heading) this;

 111.   Racing and sport on public roads.—

 (1)  For the purposes of this section the expression “race or sport” includes— 

(a) any race, speed trial, reliability trial, hillclimbing competition or sports meeting; 

(b) any other activity whatsoever(nice catch huh?)

 (i)which may constitute a source of danger to traffic;


 (ii)which may hamper, impede or disrupt the normal flow of traffic.

There it is… So I’ll explain it;

The speed limit is 70mph for cars and 60mph for Trucks, Coaches and caravans.The minimum speed for a truck is between 52 and 54 mph according to EU rules and with the Euro5 engines 89kph (55mph) is the most any truck will soon be able to do as they’re limited. If a car driver can and has been prosecuted for driving at 50mph it is an obvious conclusion that the speed of 50mph is too slow. So basically if you drive slower than a truck – you’re driving illegally and damn right dangerously.

However, you obviously can drive slower – but only with a lot of amber flashing lights or an escort and are required to inform the police before doing so. The actual rule for trucks is 48 mph or slower. Oddly, this does not even come close to covering the use of vehicles with trailers in the 3rd lane, 7.5t trucks (rollerskates) in the 3rd lane also and so very much more I witnessed yesterday – frankly, I wshed I’d stayed at home!!

So the rule of thumb for speed for all roads as quoted from ‘Roadcraft’, The Police Drivers Manual: “You should drive at a speed that enables you to stop in a controlled manner on your side of the road, in the distance you can see to be clear”. The IAM then adds “except where other limitations apply” recognising speed limits. As for motorway speeds it is an offence under the road traffic act to impede traffic, a driver, driving excessively slowly on the motorway can (and have been) prosecuted for driving without due care and attention.

Published in: on 26 May, 2008 at 09:26  Comments (3)  
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