A night of work and old friends

Since being fit to work I’ve only been able to do Milk runs, this work is a vital part of Devon’s local economy but with only two days work in the last week, we’re waiting for the enevitable warmer weather which will bring a huge increase in the milk yield around this time of year.
When this happens we go to six day working because of the sheer quantity of the white stuff that becomes available.

Sadly though, as milk is a live product, it can’t be stored for very long and we must have moved the milk from farm to Dairy in under 24hrs. Dairies can only cope with so much. Cheese factories can only process a steady consistent amount and this means the rest go to Westbury where they turn it into milk powder. In fact they turn 60,000 ltrs into powder every 15 minutes!

However, last night was a simple run to a weird place called Rattery (I’ve mentioned it before) and then onto Cadbury’s (as in the Chocolate).
Getting down to the farm at Rattery it was dark, I dropped an empty trailer, took the numberplate off and hooked into the steps of the fuel tank and went to find out which trailer was mine…
Bouncing about over mud and puddles I eventually find my trailer and go to put the numberplate back on – only to find it missing…. 15 minutes it took me to find it!!
By now I was looking like a hobo who just lost a mud wrestling match!!

The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful other than my hours running out and needing to take a break within minutes of getting to Cadburys. I ended up having to squeeze ‘Florence’ (the name of this particular truck) under a petrol station canopy where I eventually took my break.

Cadbury’s has recently been taken over by the large US multi national ‘Kraft’ much to the dislike of much of the staff of the company. So, of course – I see this as an opertunity to get to know the staff better.
With questions like;
Still got the sign up then I see – you keeping it?
Are you gonna be going all American on us then?
How long do you think you’ll be keeping your jobs?

And so on…. I don’t think my bonding worked!

A fast paced run back via Monmouth, Newport, dawn breaking the sky over the Severn Bridge and the Sunrise across Sedgemoor was a great end to ‘different’ night.

Arriving back at base WKD came over to my truck all beaming and bobby along – I swear, I’ve never met anyone so Jolly – ever!!
Beaming away she told me that someone had stink-bombed her truck and was off to get coffee. I stopped and wished her Happy New Year as I hadn’t actually seen her since just after Christmas!
But even with social communication and media of today and keeping in touch, and frankly when I was injured between Her and Gabby – they were the most consistent voices of care – and I aint repeating THAT!!

I dropped my trailer on a bay and went and had a chat properly in that ‘you have 2 mins – Go!!’ kinda way we talk.
It was indeed good to see her and to know all is well with her world.

So… in all, a great 12hr shift

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Published in: on 7 March, 2010 at 20:09  Comments (1)  
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Wow… hopefully a new week brings better days

I went back to work the other day and regretted it almost immediately. I was fine until about 10 minutes into the drive of a 15hr day…
The run, while a long day was simple – run down to the Roddas clotted cream factory, load up with cream and then make all haste to Westbury in Wiltshire before returning home.
Well things didn’t go quite according to plan, but I made it home in one piece – almost was surprised after they over charged the tank with steam raising it’s temperature to 120 oC thus cooking the last 400lts into a solid mass. A further screw up on the CIP ended up with having 20000lts of Caustic Soda to get rid of and I can tell you – the moment I opened the rear valve, you’d be shocked how fast truckers can run (myself included).
 
Then of course we had Valentines day….

Valentine’s day has two benefits;
1 you can slightly cross certain lines in the work place.
2 it makes a fortune!!
However, as it was a Sunday, it was lost on most logical people. After all, if you know your heart, you’re hardly going to allow a 3rd party depict how you act, when you and how you feel.
The greatest Valentine gift a guy can give to a woman is this the shopping spree for all the reduced priced chocolate the day after – that’s a result!
 
Vancouver Winter Olympics have started,  but not with out the sad death of one of the participants.
It was funny how everyone was pointing fingers at everyone else about the whys and wherefores of this tragedy… So let the commonsense of TWBrit tell you who’s fault it was…
It is the fault of the design and placement of the support pillars!! They simply should not have been there – just in the same way that any over sport i.e. Formula 1 removes nearly all ‘spin-off’ obstacles.
So basically – they should test for these things over every inch of the track…pure and simple eh?
At least while I watched the horrific collision, I didn’t hear the “Whoooooaaaaaarghhhhhh-SPLAT”
 
Returning to my car for the first time in over a month, I have received a fixed penalty notice for the none displayment of road tax… nice! I was just so able to run about and sort that our over the last four weeks!!
I finally finished my complete paper and sent it off… this time with a basic action plan on the end.
I would like to think something would come of this, but frankly I doubt anything will.
So with the arrival of my HGV1 (truck license) renewal forms and the need to pay for a medical etc, I seriously doubt that I will pursue my present paths.
In this my friends, I’m not happy, but we pick ourselves up and get on with it I guess – Can’t believe I took the test back in 88 and it’s only been renewed once in 94!
Need to take some new pictures this week for my Passport – should be interesting as I’ll be tacking them myself LOL
 
Terry aka Little Trucker has been driving in some tough snow conditions stateside and Gabby has spent the last month keeping me on my toes.
 
WKD is someone I don’t think I’ve now seen since Christmas, but we do communicate.
 
Fenny is busy as ever working away, she also posted an article about the subject of my paper which can be seen HERE. The response on her blog just shows how much feeling there is about this subject – she can also write better than I can lol.
 
I contacted Worthy Farm at Pilton the other day. If you don’t know, I’m talking about the Glastonbury music festival. I asked if I could have some of the official artwork to do an article on the blog rather than nabbing their logo from the web.
I went on to tell them I wished to write about not only the festival and the announced final line for this year, but also that the site is still and will always remain and active dairy farm and an important part of the local community.
the reply was this:


Not quite sure what to make of their response other than, well ok – it’s their logo, choice and lack of write up.
 
So, lets see how this week pans out eh?
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Ooo, what a day?!

Well it started with being roused from my sleep by the phone to be told/asked to get to work an hour early… thinking that something had changed about the days planning, I returned a few hours after I had left to find that nothing had changed as such, but there was an added job – valeting!!

A little stunned, the said vehicle that is now on it’s way to Europe was in a hell of a state. So it was with this I trekked off to North Tawton to clean this beast – oh, and pick up a tank of milk as well.
Returning a few hours later with a very clean truck (on the outside) I was then on my way to Bishops Nympton to pick up another.
Gabby, who was stalking me on Google Latitude, twittered me to tell me I was in a field – hmmm, “No, S**t”… That is, after all, where we go LOL.
I spent time at Bishops Nympton, taking my break and trying to remember the day I spent there in summer sitting on top of the tank watching the sun go down – instead of freezing my proverbial butt off.
I sent a few emails and commented on my previous article before heading back to base with the milk.
Now when I got back, I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of standing tanks full of milk and after further enquiry I found that the dairy at Crediton had had a problem with cleaning out it’s pipes and silos and had to re-do the entire process. The thing is, the dairy industry in the UK runs on a knife edge and when things go just slightly wrong – the knock on effect is massive! Especially when you consider that the milk never stops coming…
Anyway, back on the road and back to North Tawton to pick up my last tank – only to find it was the only tank there, so I have no idea how they faired in the end.
While there we (a few drivers) got into a conversation about just how bad at driving we can actually be. This was a hilarious conversation with some outstanding admissions. But then came the question of who was a truly outstanding driver and everyone said the same.
Personally I can’t think of who it might be – but apparently she reads and comments on this blog under a 3 letter acronym (b*gger!!) LOL. Sometimes you have to ask about the injustice of it all, even if uninformed (that’s ignorant by the way) passers-by do feel the need to stop and ask her if she has her diff lock on – especially while reversing back up a 1 in 4 gradient, single track road with four/six wheel drive, traction-control, auto load ballancing, three axle steering and a moving liquid load of 18000 ltrs of milk on the back… if she didn’t know what she was doing she wouldn’t be behind the wheel, after all she was hardly wearing a hoody shouting “yo,yo,yo look at my ride – I iz gonna pimp this sucker”

And with that I will leave you with this very short vid that makes me laugh outragiously every time I think about it, it’s dedicated to the ladies who read and comment on this blog Loraine, Fenny, Gabby, WKD, Terry, and JK

Published in: on 14 December, 2009 at 12:54  Comments (15)  
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You Did What?

Yesterday I had the joy of the worse driving day I can remember. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the truck I had – was anything like a truck really!!Image(253)
As soon as people had seen what I was driving, the laughing began. Infact, some people even drove around the yard several times to laugh all over again.
In despare I took this photo and sent it to WKD saying that this was just shameful – That was the first mistake of the day!! Oh the texts back and even an email… May be I won’t text such info in future lol.

Published in: on 31 October, 2009 at 18:50  Comments (10)  
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A different day

Yesterday I had a bit of an odd run. I was to take 28000ltrs of milk up to Droitwich. This in itself wasn’t at all unusual as it’s normally a singe days job or around 8 – 9 hours.
But on the back of it they wanted me to return and take a second load to Bridgwater dairy. This again isn’t a problem, it just means you can’t stop off anywhere and you need to get your foot down.
Having made good time to Droitwich I received a text from WKD bringing a smile to my face, you see, on Sunday night I came home to find I was out of milk and all the shops shut (oh – the irony), then made a mistake in mentioning this to WKD – who promptly told me off in a later phone call – something about hauling 60000lts of milk and not even having a pint!
So expecting a basic text – I was stunned when I received this;

Photo0010

Heard you ran out of milk
Can I help?

Bringing a smile to my face, ok I had a mouth full of coffee at the time and simply wasn’t expecting a text like that.
I returned in good time to make my second run – in fact I did it 7 ½ hours so I had time to have sit down somewhere that wasn’t behind a steering wheel.
Half way up to Bridgwater and the phone rings asking me if I could pick up an empty trailer from Devon Cider Company in Tiverton after I returned… This in actual fact turned into picking up two trailers and finishing a 14 hour day soaked to the skin with prevailing rain.
But you know what? I thoroughly enjoyed my day yesterday, I effectively did four jobs, had a laugh and now I’m enjoying 2 days with my feet up!!

 

Published in: on 27 October, 2009 at 14:40  Comments (3)  
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Odd stuff

 So a guy is driving around the M25 London orbital motorway when he sees debris is the fast lane in front of him, he moves to avoid it and just as he getstortoise to it he sees its moving and has a head… Pulling over and running back he finds a Tortoise that has succeeded in travelling across 5 lanes of this, one of the busiest sections of motorway in the UK – in rush hour!! He takes it home, stopping off to give it a slap up meal of lettuce, and takes it on to his local vet. The vet scans the little hero in a half shell to find it’s micro chipped. It was micro chipped in the US! They are presently trying to find out if this little globe trotter actually stowed away on a plane or came with a family moving to or through the UK. The tortoise has now been given the temporary name of ‘Freeway’

Sat-Nav…

Now, there are things people need to know about this; 1. It’s a back up system and not accurate at all (unless you’re going to war and want your bombs to drop in the vicinity of somewhere) 2. The GPS saSat Navtellites are creaking under the strain of over use 3. It only takes a solar storm to make them worthless 4. They rarely consider the size of vehicle and weight (think bridge heights and road width) 5. They generally work on major routes – therefore they’re  somewhere between bad and useless in more rural locations. 6. Most truckers don’t use them – they buy a map. So this week, the HUA award goes to this guy in his BMW… Who said, ‘it didn’t look right, but I just trusted it’!

HUA

Don’t be a moron – buy a map!! They’re cheaper too and never lie.  Never EVER rely on a GPS device if hill walking in poor visibility!!!! (however, if you do want reliability – get a Sat-naG).

Last nights work;

What a simple and straight forward relaxed evening – if not a little too relaxed. Everything went well, albeit the cushion in the driving seaOakthorpe milk intaket back was almost none existent on the left hand side, which in turn twisted my back out and led to me ‘defecting’ the truck upon my return. Today (as stated in an earlier article) I head for Oakthorpe in north London again. I start at 4pm and that’s about the time that the end-of-weekend commute back to London starts – so I’m in for a lot of sitting in traffic. Normally I’d head up the M5 to Bristol, but seeing as they’re doing roadworks on a major bridge up there – I’ll be using the A303 and M3 all the way in.

Oakthorpe 303

Published in: on 20 September, 2009 at 14:07  Leave a Comment  
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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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Work that just turns out wrong

Yesterday afternoon I was sent to a reload site at a place called Lanreath (pronounce Lan Reth) way down in Cornwall.
This is part of doing a lot of work for a particular Dairy company and when I asked where exactly it was, no one could give me any kind of answer. So I was chasing people around the yard and phone calls were being made.
In amongst all this, WKD and I were kinda having a conversatiLan RL 2on on the move. Well I say a ‘kinda conversation’ because we seem to have these weird ‘high volume’ of information, minimal time to talk things. But the bottom line here is I broke a rule, I did not give her proper time and attention. You see my rule has always been that people come Lan RL 3first, way before any job and the fact I didn’t on this occasion was just nothing short of rude!
I got directions and set off, I was told to go to a place called Dobwalls and turn off for Lostwithiel (yes, that really is a place name), then take the first road – sign posted ‘Looe’. Drive for 3 miles and there will be a large lay-by on the left and this is the reload site.
Errrr – no, it wasn’t…
I continued down the narrow road for several miles until I found a second lay-by where I pulled in.
Phone calls ensued and eventually the place found in darkness.
I wouldn’t have minded too much, but the truck I was driving had a steering problem and on top of this – some moron had removed the rear skids/ramps from the chassis. These protect the rear of the truck and help mount the trailer to the 5th wheel (the coupling plate on the back). As such, as people had dropped trailers, the pins had struck the rear chassis cross member and had done some considerable damage to it. So much so, its now impossible to miss the trailer pin without bottoming out the vehicles air suspension – so after spending a little time wiping my nose (off the windscreen/shield), I was back on my way.7side

I arrived at Severnside Dairy in the early hours of the morning and was met by the ever helpful and friendly security – only to find the whole place was screwed up.
I would tell you about this – but I just want to forget it.
But I will say that when my hours were running out – the security staff were very helpful in expediting my leaving of the site, securing documentation and allowing to leave the still loaded trailer on the road, and for that I am most grateful.

Published in: on 15 September, 2009 at 17:00  Leave a Comment  
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Hmmm… not the best operation

Starting work at 4am Sunday morning with the usual banter and laughter, the job was to take an empty milk trailer to a new milk depot just north of Bristol – drop that there, pick up a full one and drive on to Cadbury’s.
This depot (Old Sodbury) is ‘new’ in terms of its use for milk, the greater company has used the site for many years and early this year it was to be closed.
I know the site well, and on my last visit, there was a skeleton staff running refrigerated cheese deliveries from there and the rest of the place was cluttered up with old trailers and trucks for sale.

Arriving at 6am, the place was a mess!! The the new areas for CIP (washing tanks out) and where milk was loaded were obvious, but there was no where to drop off an empty tank. In fact, there was barely enough space to turn the truck around.Old Sodbury Here is a very old photo of the place when it had some room.
I did turn it around, stopped and headed into the office. Apart from two ex-farm drivers (new to the job), there was no one. I looked around for job sheets and various other things that would normally be ready – but nothing!
An hour and a half later I could get back underway.

All sorted out, I got back on the road heading north on the A46 towards Stonehouse. I chose this route because it was now sunrise cotswoldbecomming daylight and it took me over the bottom of the Cotswold hills – which is the most majestic run at dawn.

Cadbury’s was a hassle in so much a I screwed up the CIP process and had to drain the tank and start all over again, before heading home in glorious air conditioned sunshine through Hereford, Monmouth and down to the M4 at Newport.

I think the milk operation out of Old Sodbury is going to be very short lived at the present rate – unless someone shows a degree of leadership and flare and moves all the old trailers from all their depots to onSmeatharpee of hundreds of old wartime airfields where a farmer will happily take a base rent on the storage of such things – like this one 10 miles from the main Cullopmton operating base  .

Published in: on 14 September, 2009 at 12:49  Leave a Comment  
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Hmmmm…..

News of late is…
I have a non recoverable hard drive. Before anyone starts saying otherwise, it’s a dual platter with a dead motor and if you know anything about HD’s, HDD motorthen you’ll know it’s a done deal. Any other problem would have been fixable – but a dead motor on more than one platter is a no, no. Sad really, as I have so much info on it (118gigs out of 120). I might still mess about with it, but not until I buy some secondary storage device.

I received an odd note through my door at 4pm yesterday stating that the Landlord required access with a surveyor at 10 am this morning – so much for the 24hr notice.
But this did indeed give me the opportunity to give certain areas a very deep clean. Just need to finish the dec**-hating now.

24inch  monitorProcrastinating (also dithering) over the purchase of a repllaptop screenacement laptop screen or a 24” LCD monitor – what do you guys think? (sigh)

 

Back to work Wisemans tankertoday 17:30 and off to Wisemans, Droitwich and tomorrow…. Wait for it, yes, Bishops Nympton! to Cadburys also at 17:30. This almost seems organised (less we speak too soon).

Published in: on 4 September, 2009 at 16:36  Comments (1)  
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Busy Honiton

hot penny dayThese last few weeks have seen a variety of local events. We have strange customs in this part of the world (for sure), these range from ‘Hot Penny Day’ where the children walk up the middle of the High Street and everyone else throws hot (warm or cold) pennies in to the street. The children in turn pick up all the pennies and spend them at the street market.
honiton hill rallyLast week of course was the Beautiful Day festival and this week is the Honiton Hill Rally which where old stream traction engines show off and various other events happen.

For me, I miss most of these events. You see my time off is so ridiculously varied and uncertain – I can never make plans to meet up with people and go and do things locally. That is of course not quite true because Dave, (my friend who owns the chip shop across the road) have been known to frequent certain drinking establishments locally, the trouble with this (or not actually – as the case may be), is we start drinking, then drink some more and then we start our way through anything unusual looking things behind the bar – which always appear to be many! We haven’t fallen over yet – but we’ve drunk some pretty weird local drinks!

It’s now 6:30 in the morning and I’ve not long since arrived home from work. It’s a Bank Holiday here in England and it would appear that I’ll miss this and any chance of going to the Hill Rally.

I’ll be posting later, when I finally get up so do pop back

Published in: on 31 August, 2009 at 06:25  Comments (1)  
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O2 ok, i’m impressed

o2banner

The broadband transfer went well and it was completely straight forward.

But here’s the thing, my internet is faster, pages load quicker and downloads seem to be much faster – yet it is supposed to be the same 8mb connection!

I was impressed that they didn’t automatically load junk software from the cd and that the process gave me choices to opt out during the whole process, which so many other vendors do.

So all is good – right, I’m off to work. Today, for the Co Op, tomorrow (so far) I’m off to Oakthorpe – but I’m not holding my breath!

Published in: on 27 August, 2009 at 14:24  Comments (1)  
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Odd…

Today, aside from the normal amount of grumpiness my age brings with me, I can honestly say I’m not a happy chap! This is work related and will, I have no doubt – lead to a predictable course of action on my part. You see, I simply don’t do things or work for people who make me unhappy (no matter how detremental to my life/income) – but, we’ll see how we go.

dellOn a lighter note and that makes me smile – Dell have been in touch. But more on that at a later date.

Now, these days it’s fair to say that life has led me to a point where by Chapswearing like a drain is common place for me. Indeed, this is not the best outward persona for anyone outside the bounds of humour – but while I was suffing the net the other day, I came upon ‘The Chap’ a truly English magazine based on both the web and of course in hard copy. To have a little read through it’s pages left me with a wry smile (my worst lol), but ulitamtely it’s an excellent look at what we have truly forgotten.

Published in: on 26 August, 2009 at 17:00  Comments (1)  
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All change – again…

I was supposed to start work at 16:30 with two trips to Westbury. Apparently certain people don’t understand that I have a life away from work, so it was no surprise that my home phone was ringing and email inbox filling up with calls and notices to leave my mobile phone on and ring us asap after I had given them notice that I wasn’t available until 13:00 when my phone would be switched on.
So, basically they tried to palm off work I loath on to me – so I simply refused to do it. The next thing – can I go to Oakthorpe at 12:30…
Oddly enough – I can…
And I had such an interesting post about chickens to write… Oh, you so think I’m joking! lol

Published in: on 25 August, 2009 at 11:43  Leave a Comment  
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This work lark…

Yesterday started typically, I was at work for 1pm and waited until well past 2.30pm until therefarmer was a truck available. It was a chilled wait, talking to the fluffy faced yard guy ‘S’, only to find he was a qualified farmerist too!!  There you go see, I didn’t know you qualified in such things…
During the wait, I even managed to nip around to the local supermarket and get some shopping in while avoiding the Battenberg cake shelf as too much excitement before work really isn’t good for you.

I was down for a double Westbury and as soon as truck became available – I was off!
It was a gloriously hot sunny day and even the traffic seemed to be behaving itself.
Returning to get the second run was however – different. I was asked if I wouldn’t mind going to Droitwich instead. Droitwich copyThere is nothing unusual in this, well not this week, but my hours would be pushed to the max.
I raced off to Droitwich and just as I pulled on to the industrial estate, my four and a half hours driving limit expired and I need to take a 45 minute break – 600 yards short of the dairy gates.
I finally made it back to the yard with 10 minutes to spare on my days duty and sorted everything out and completed all the paper work, 780kms achieved (484miles) and all was good.
Now at this point, an unusual and should I say, a very old school scruffy driver staggered into the office. He had never been to this place before and certainly never pulled a milk tanker.
The night supervisor asked if I would show him what is what and how to get to Honiton reload site. Now at this point we were all looking at each other – as though to say ‘this guy hasn’t got a prayer’.

TWO hours!!!! It took two hours to give him the information he needed!!
I have to ‘fess-up’ here and say that I do actually enjoy certain aspects of the communication with other people – but not today.
It was now 7 am and all I wanted was my bed!
I didn’t mind too much, though after hearing all these stories about what he had been doing before, when he finally pulled away – it was a relief.head
But here is the thing; firstly I wasn’t even sure he could read, secondly, he couldn’t add up really basic numbers and as he pulled away, the truck silhouette getting smaller, I thought – what’s betting that truck never comes back in one piece – and that is something I don’t like, as it invariably means others will be involved.

zombieI spoke to a couple of guys as I staggered to the TWB Car of Character as the time approached 7:30 and eventually drove home (in a fashion). It’s just that, well, after walking through my door and dropping my small rucksack and the shopping from earlier – I thought, I’d better go and check on him.
Back in the car, I headed to the reload site which was a couple of miles away and found him sitting there staring at the paperwork.
Eventually and after much story telling, he had completed the paper work correctly and was following me the easy way back out to the main road. I say following, I was driving at 20 mph (a speed I didn’t know my car could do, I was watching leaves change colour it’s so slow) yet he kept falling behind.
Finally he made it back on the main road, but not without having first tried playing just about every known classical music piece on the gearbox.

I truly hope he gets the job done ok and enjoys his day; after all, we all do have to learn at some point. But I think dropping people that far in the deep end with liquid loads is just darn dangerous.
I finally returned to home at 08:30 and to bed. The phone was ringing by 3 pm and work starts at 6pm.

I know this post is boring, but I just need to write it. I could have written about driving a Mercedes the other day that as I applied the brakes – my hands were violently thrown from the steering wheel due to warped discs, but that can wait lol.

Published in: on 12 August, 2009 at 17:38  Leave a Comment  
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Good grief… how much work?

Things do come in fits and starts around here. Last night I was brought up to speed with the forthcomidavidstow_airfieldng work load for the next couple of weeks. It’s seems as heavy, if not heavier than I anticipated several weeks ago. Davidstow, a village on the north coast of Cornwall has an old disused war time anti submarine air base next to it, on this site is a little place that makes a lot of cheese – a hell of a lot of cheese! Anyway, they’re going into shutdown this weekend so they can give the place a nice sparkling clean and as such we have to take theDavidstow Cheese Factory millions of gallons of milk elsewhere – i.e. Severnside!
On top of this, Swine flu and people taking time off for a holiday has left our agency ranks decimated, in so much that there is too much work and simply not enough drivers.
This global recession finished some months ago – really it did, you see what happens on the road with trucks is a very accurate indicator of what is happening to the economy. Last year there was a huge drop in goods being moved and that is when we were really suffering the onslaught of the downturn. This came to a head in Feb-March this year and the amount of goods being hauled has steadily increased ever since (even before bail out packages). This morning at 4am the M5 southbound was nose to tail with trucks!
My work today, as mentioned previously is from North Tawton, tomorrow is a 4pm start from Cullompton. I normally take Mondays off to re-adjust my sleep pattern, but as I did so little last week, I’ll be working through and return to Mondays of when the rush is over.

Driving home this morning I noticed my car was ‘hunting’, finally I get to the bottom of it – I need to clean the Idle Speed Control valve. So if I have to wait around for a truck again tonight – then I’ll give a clean then.

I don’t know if I’ll post from the road, either way, I’ll catch you later.

Published in: on 8 August, 2009 at 15:36  Comments (11)  
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And the Sun goes down…

It’s funny, no really – it is. You see, I’m not really a fan of living in Devon. Maybe if I had come to this area under different circumstances, I’d feel differently, but I don’t.
However, rural life, no matter where it is – is awesome!
It’s pretty much dark here now in Bishops Nympton and the farmer and his son’s have just about got all the hay bails in, in a race against a fading sun.
Sometimes, if you could just hold a vision, a moment in time, forever – this very moment would be a good one.

SUnset

The sad part of this is – I’m finding it hard to be grumpy… and that is just wrong! lol

Just met the Farmer/owner, thoroughly nice chap.

Published in: on 7 August, 2009 at 21:42  Leave a Comment  
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Odd again…

It’s been a weird day for news, almost riots at a political meeting in Tampa, Florida, a guy jumps from the roof in the Isle of white, mass hangings in Iran, WKD driving and 09 plated truck and as the week draws to a close – mWKDicony work begins again…
Tonight, I’ll be driving milk from 18:00 onwards and tomorrow, I’m back to N.Tawton to start at 17:30 – and I’m only guessing here, but I bet that close to midnight tomorrow (like last week) I’ll tripping over things in the dark at Bishops Nympton.

UPDATE; I was gonna write, that if I was doing a double run to Westbury tonight, I’d probably see WKD in the morning when I get back to the yard, well probably not to talk to.  I just rang Sue in the office an apparently I’m doing…. oh the irony, Bishops Nympton to Westbury, a single run. So I’ll see B/Nym in daylight (amazing) around 7:30 pm and if Westbury is working properly, I’ll home and tucked up in bed around 4am

2nd Update; Now at work and waiting around for a truck as normal… Looks like B/Nympton will be a 8.15pm etc. (sigh)

FINAL Update;

Here is the village, taken from point of standing on top of the tank at the reload site 15mins ago (8.30pm) via mobile phone. I must admit this summer , to acquiring the habit of sitting atop tanks as the sun goes down – it’s a great moment of solitude.  Have now been told to sit here until 11pm (at the site, not on top of the tank – bad WKD!) until I get loaded further – then take this to TVC, then go to Rooks Bridge – it’s all change. Might go for stroll in the village.

Bish

It’s been a week off ,where I’ve again achieved little other than fix the car and clean my home. If, on the other hand, I’d known I was having this time off, I’d have been at the Tuttle’s meeting this morning on the Mall in London and probably spent the restwb-new1at of the afternoon playing guitars I can’t afford.

I have also had a chance to revisit the TWB artwork as it’s becoming quite obvious that people in my Who’s Who want certain promotional items rather than others (i.e. instead of what I was thinking of). So a complete rethink is on the cards but just so folks know, this is something that’s going to happen.

Now, with the time moving on, I’d better hit the shower, make food and get ready for work.

Published in: on 7 August, 2009 at 16:05  Leave a Comment  
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Oh a resultful day

I could say, that in the tiresome indulgence of actually needing to inform folk they’re truly in the presence of genius and then wait 5 years for them to catch up, or in the absence of the game I was playing just a few moments ago – that one might have to deal with issues of a real world nature – that my car might just be now working properly….
But, if I were to say that, then it would suggest I would be available for work tomorrow.
So in the actual interest of me needing to tidy my place up, and indulging in so much more rest and laying around – My car will be fixed tomorrow and I’ll be available for work on Wednesday ;-)

Published in: on 3 August, 2009 at 18:37  Comments (2)  
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Car Trouble and work

cartrouble

Well, I’m back to running on only three cylinders (or less).  I have what appears to be an air leak of types near the distributor coil. A quick surf of the web found one or two people with air leak issues, one of whom had a leak in the exact same area. This of course is good news, so when I go out to the car shortly, I’ll be able to check if it is the exact same place – if so, it’s a simple cheap fix.
The loss of power is staggering and I like a little power, but Ironically I bought this wreck because I didn’t want too much power as I have a habit of driving a little, errrr, quickly?

PalletlineLast nights work was fairly quick, that said it didn’t turn out that quick as walking across the yard these days can take too long as I end up having to have a conversation with nearly everyone! The crazy thing about this is that for the most part, I can’t stand talking to people – I’m just not that sociable! There are a handful of folks I enjoy talking too, but either rarely see, or get the chance. Oddly though, last night I did see an old agency work colleague who I rarely see these days. As I have not thought up a name for him, I’ll refer to him as the ‘Bass Player’, the reason is simple, he looks like the stereo typical bass player with shiny head and beard. Living over at Lyme Regis and just around the corner from Ian Gillan of Deep Purple, it was good to see Bass Player again because I don’t think I’ve seen him for months, actually it could have been February when we were racing against each other in the early hours to Davidstow.
He reads this blog and has for some time, and said he’d been reading recently to see what work I’d been doing…  Well if he’s working tonight, I’ll be sure to have a proper chat and catch up.
Tonight however, is the last night I’m doing this run, so unless something comes up tomorrow night, then I might just get the first real weekend off in what seem like an age.

Published in: on 31 July, 2009 at 16:19  Comments (1)  
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