UK Transport Crisis?

In part yes it's wages. I had an agency on the phone yesterday (I know the bloke quite well) offering me £22 an hour to moonlight on Class 1 work with him at weekends.

20 years ago, tem agencies were offering stackers and drivers at 16 regt 20 notes a hour to drive HGV. 22 quid is hardly a massive leap in that time.
 
We coped quite well.
The Eastern Europeans weren't invited to help out with a driver shortage, they were invited to keep drivers wages low and profits high.

Yep! Right across the employment spectrum!

I can recall bricklayers earning £160 a day roughly 25 years ago and Polish bricklayers touting themselves around the sites for £30 a day.

Most other manual workers suffered similar fates as the Eastern European’s started queuing up to get in.

I recall reading of a bus company winning a contract to run bus services in Norfolk somewhere and their recruitment team jumping straight on a plane to Poland to recruit drivers despite there being loads of locally based bus drivers where the new contract was looking for work.

A friends lawyer wife went to Poland for a few days work for a company and when she arrived at her hotel, they told her that due to a problem with the room, she was being moved to a sister hotel for the first night but would be brought back to her original hotel the following evening.

The hotel also told her half jokingly that the unexpected move was her fault. When she enquired just how she was to blame for it, the response was that all the Polish plumbers were now working in London!

The reason Blair didn’t hang about letting them all in was partly because he was seriously lobbied big time by various industries to open the gates of the UK to cheap Labour from abroad.

If companies have now got to up wages to get the job done, good luck to the people doing the work finally getting decent wages!
 
I've not read the whole thread, so sorry if this has already been covered.

This "crisis" is only going to be short term, in the grand scheme of things. Like many roles, the way out is already off the drawing board and actually being tested. Indeed, the Government has already changed the laws to allow full blown testing to take place in the UK.



What does this mean? In the medium term, the long distance trunking routes will be automated. No need for the trucks to stop for rest breaks, no worries is they are caught in traffic and driving hours start to come into play. Make no mistake, big companies are going to go for this as soon as the technology is sorted. They'd be mad not to. Yes the machinery will be eye wateringly expensive to start, but no staff overheads, no training, no NI payments, no pensions to worry about, no sickness, no disciplinary issues.....what's not for them to like.

These machines will run 24 hours a day only stopping to load/unload and fuel up (think electric for this, and they will sort out the tech so that they can charge during the loading/unloading downtime.

It's going to take longer for the multidrop stuff, but again, it will come.

It's going to cut down times on the long distance routes (just think, routes from the south of Europe to the UK only stopping to recharge.


It's happening across many walks of life. The militant underground drivers have all but sealed their own fate too!


Not without it's own problems to be overcome, but you can see why it's an attractive proposition for TFL. No more strikes, no more pay rises.
 
Thee consumer is going to squeek for a month or so but it's good news for drivers. They suddenly find themselves in the position of being a valuable commodity rather than cheap labour.

I'm told that Brake Bros (one of the biggest foodservice providers) have informed customers this week that their delivery frequency has just been reduced. Like it or lump it.

The interesting knock on effect is that the customer is just about to discover they are not king. Consequently the whole shebang is just about to get more sensible, delivery frequency will be reduced and delivery volume increased.
That will take customers in all sectors a few weeks to get their heads around but its good news economically and environmentally.

Our factories started increasing stockholding last week as the problem tarted to emerge. We have a nationwide delivery network on our own fleet and so far we've been able to divert returning unladen vehicles in to suppliers to collect.
Not everybody has that ability
First of all thank you for starting this thread, this is exactly the sort of reason why ARRSE is worth visiting. When you get past all the petty bitching and stupid arguments there is always a wealth of fascinating information from people at the sharp end telling you stuff that no one in the media is picking up. This can then be confirmed or modified by half a dozen others who can add their knowledgeable tuppence ha'penny, from ships stuck in the Suez Canal to the problems of electricity generation you can be sure someone here can let you know what lies behind something you previously never gave much thought to

As regards the issue at hand I for one, and I am sure most other rational people, got a very clear perspective on what jobs matter during the pandemic. At first I genuinely feared that there would be riots in the country as food supplies ran out. There weren't, for the simple reason that the people that mattered in society turned up at their work and did their jobs. We saluted the nurses as well we should, but single mums doing part-time shifts at Sainsburys also went out and got the job done, as did pot-bellied blokes who wolfed down their bacon butties before climbing into the cabs of their trucks at some god-awful motorway service station at stupid o'clock in the morning.

When GPs and dentists abandoned their surgeries and teachers fled their classrooms and many other "professionals", and I include myself, congratulated ourselves on how marvellous it was to work from the spare bedroom these days, other people shrugged their shoulders, put on their coats and went out to put in 10-hour shifts at their workplaces.

If these people find themselves enjoying the fruits of their service when it's all over, I won't begrudge them a few bob extra on my frozen peas.
 

No Boots

Swinger
I have lurked on here for a long time and have never joined a forum before but this subject makes my blood boil.

I have driven HGV’s for nearly 30 years of every type except for mixers, would I do it again – NEVER!

I will give you a bit of my background, 6-7 years ago I had part of a load hit me on my bonce, the load was secured properly by me and also had internal curtains restraining the load but these didn’t quite fit the length of the load space -industry standard at the time and may still be!

At the time I was with an Agency working for a firm, result sick pay of @£56 per week and had to sue the firm for compensation after they filed for insolvency two days later. Did the Jobcentre help me -did they f***! I got nowt and still do.

During the fight for compo I was sent for various scans etc. and they found I suffered from sleep apnea so lost my licence until it was sorted, during this time my licence needed renewal and my old style National & International CPC that I studied bloody hard for was worthless and I needed 40 hours of EU mandated training oh and a bloody medical because I reached the magical age of five oh. Who was expected to pay for all this – yep Joe Muggins.

If you wonder why there is a driver shortage just look at the conditions any driver has to endure.

I have started work at every hour of the day and finished likewise, finished your day in less than 8 hours and pointy shoes in the office will send you out again to max out your hours – can’t have a lowly driver doing less hours than him. One spotty so called Transport Manager fresh from Uni told me “not to ask me any questions about my truck as he didn’t know one end from another”

Expected to drive something that should either be in a museum or sent to Africa as scrap while Billy Bigballs who owns the Company has a new top of the Range Rover or BMW while paying you the bare minimum he can get away with, also applies to 95% of transport companies. I have been supplied with work boots ONCE in all my years or been given a tenner towards them if I gave them the receipt – no doubt so Billy Bigballs can claim it off his tax.

EVERY other road user treats you as scum, if you have never cut into a HGV’s braking capability just so you can save a few seconds or had to beat that wagon on the roundabout or traffic lights well done you – you are a dying breed.

I challenge any of you to do a days work either as a distance driver of on multidrop around any large town or city in this country and find somewhere to park during the day that allows you to also answer the calls of nature and find something to eat, no local clowncil wants a lorry park.

Imagine every where you go during the day and every a***hole asking where you have been you should be here thirty minutes ago or so and so does it so much quicker- well bully for them.

Aldi & Lidl even wanted you to unload at one time I don’t know if that is still the case, asking them if they would drive the truck back to base usually got the same answer.

Who wants to work 15 hour days or 60+ hours a week and take home the same as someone in Tesco’s in the warm & dry doing 40 hours, Hey there is a pandemic you can now work longer hours if you deliver food and want to.

Name any other occupation where enforcement of rules is actively carried out against your profession so rigorously every day, because I can’t think of one, nor can I think of one where I could earn the same driving a truck in 2015 as I could earn in a factory in 1988.

Everything you own has been on a truck driven by that piece of s**t in front of you that is now in your way, that same person everyone from the top downwards has dumped on. I learnt the hard way don’t take no s**t from anyone especially Mr Security who says your too early and go away – no problem see you another day perhaps because you ain’t getting it today now. Oh how the tables have turned.

Mr/Mrs We must follow the EU Rules, Mr Foreign Driver doing it for less, Mr Billy Big Balls, Mr Pointy Shoes, Mr Enforcement, Mr Local Councillor, Mr Warehouse Bod, Mr Security, Mr Roaduser and Mr I am more important than you, you are ALL to blame and I for one am glad it has finally come.

Keep s***ing on the downtrodden in that hole and the s*** piles up and he climbs out.

You might think automation is going to come to your rescue, just don’t put your house on it.

I missed all 3 of my kids growing up and it won’t happen to my Grandkids.

Still wonder why no one wants to drive a truck? Would you do it?

Sorry for the long winded rant.
 
I have lurked on here for a long time and have never joined a forum before but this subject makes my blood boil.

I have driven HGV’s for nearly 30 years of every type except for mixers, would I do it again – NEVER!

I will give you a bit of my background, 6-7 years ago I had part of a load hit me on my bonce, the load was secured properly by me and also had internal curtains restraining the load but these didn’t quite fit the length of the load space -industry standard at the time and may still be!

At the time I was with an Agency working for a firm, result sick pay of @£56 per week and had to sue the firm for compensation after they filed for insolvency two days later. Did the Jobcentre help me -did they f***! I got nowt and still do.

During the fight for compo I was sent for various scans etc. and they found I suffered from sleep apnea so lost my licence until it was sorted, during this time my licence needed renewal and my old style National & International CPC that I studied bloody hard for was worthless and I needed 40 hours of EU mandated training oh and a bloody medical because I reached the magical age of five oh. Who was expected to pay for all this – yep Joe Muggins.

If you wonder why there is a driver shortage just look at the conditions any driver has to endure.

I have started work at every hour of the day and finished likewise, finished your day in less than 8 hours and pointy shoes in the office will send you out again to max out your hours – can’t have a lowly driver doing less hours than him. One spotty so called Transport Manager fresh from Uni told me “not to ask me any questions about my truck as he didn’t know one end from another”

Expected to drive something that should either be in a museum or sent to Africa as scrap while Billy Bigballs who owns the Company has a new top of the Range Rover or BMW while paying you the bare minimum he can get away with, also applies to 95% of transport companies. I have been supplied with work boots ONCE in all my years or been given a tenner towards them if I gave them the receipt – no doubt so Billy Bigballs can claim it off his tax.

EVERY other road user treats you as scum, if you have never cut into a HGV’s braking capability just so you can save a few seconds or had to beat that wagon on the roundabout or traffic lights well done you – you are a dying breed.

I challenge any of you to do a days work either as a distance driver of on multidrop around any large town or city in this country and find somewhere to park during the day that allows you to also answer the calls of nature and find something to eat, no local clowncil wants a lorry park.

Imagine every where you go during the day and every a***hole asking where you have been you should be here thirty minutes ago or so and so does it so much quicker- well bully for them.

Aldi & Lidl even wanted you to unload at one time I don’t know if that is still the case, asking them if they would drive the truck back to base usually got the same answer.

Who wants to work 15 hour days or 60+ hours a week and take home the same as someone in Tesco’s in the warm & dry doing 40 hours, Hey there is a pandemic you can now work longer hours if you deliver food and want to.

Name any other occupation where enforcement of rules is actively carried out against your profession so rigorously every day, because I can’t think of one, nor can I think of one where I could earn the same driving a truck in 2015 as I could earn in a factory in 1988.

Everything you own has been on a truck driven by that piece of s**t in front of you that is now in your way, that same person everyone from the top downwards has dumped on. I learnt the hard way don’t take no s**t from anyone especially Mr Security who says your too early and go away – no problem see you another day perhaps because you ain’t getting it today now. Oh how the tables have turned.

Mr/Mrs We must follow the EU Rules, Mr Foreign Driver doing it for less, Mr Billy Big Balls, Mr Pointy Shoes, Mr Enforcement, Mr Local Councillor, Mr Warehouse Bod, Mr Security, Mr Roaduser and Mr I am more important than you, you are ALL to blame and I for one am glad it has finally come.

Keep s***ing on the downtrodden in that hole and the s*** piles up and he climbs out.

You might think automation is going to come to your rescue, just don’t put your house on it.

I missed all 3 of my kids growing up and it won’t happen to my Grandkids.

Still wonder why no one wants to drive a truck? Would you do it?

Sorry for the long winded rant.
Up untill the pandemic pretty much bang on the button.
But as jag man says , things are changing at a startling rate.
As regards the previous post re automation, we discussed this at length in a previous thread a few months ago.
Without regurgitating it all again, What the tech nerds can build and what will be of widespread practical use in the crowded, frequently Dickensian, and very litigious British isles, are very far apart.And will be for some considerable time.
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
Brake Bros - Dont they supply Witherspoons?
No, Wetherspoons source their produce from all over, they have their own distribution hub at Daventry where it is all shipped to, divvied up according to each pub's needs and then shipped out via their own trucks (they could be someone else's but they have the Spoons logo and advertising all over it).
 
I have lurked on here for a long time and have never joined a forum before but this subject makes my blood boil.

I have driven HGV’s for nearly 30 years of every type except for mixers, would I do it again – NEVER!

I will give you a bit of my background, 6-7 years ago I had part of a load hit me on my bonce, the load was secured properly by me and also had internal curtains restraining the load but these didn’t quite fit the length of the load space -industry standard at the time and may still be!

At the time I was with an Agency working for a firm, result sick pay of @£56 per week and had to sue the firm for compensation after they filed for insolvency two days later. Did the Jobcentre help me -did they f***! I got nowt and still do.

During the fight for compo I was sent for various scans etc. and they found I suffered from sleep apnea so lost my licence until it was sorted, during this time my licence needed renewal and my old style National & International CPC that I studied bloody hard for was worthless and I needed 40 hours of EU mandated training oh and a bloody medical because I reached the magical age of five oh. Who was expected to pay for all this – yep Joe Muggins.

If you wonder why there is a driver shortage just look at the conditions any driver has to endure.

I have started work at every hour of the day and finished likewise, finished your day in less than 8 hours and pointy shoes in the office will send you out again to max out your hours – can’t have a lowly driver doing less hours than him. One spotty so called Transport Manager fresh from Uni told me “not to ask me any questions about my truck as he didn’t know one end from another”

Expected to drive something that should either be in a museum or sent to Africa as scrap while Billy Bigballs who owns the Company has a new top of the Range Rover or BMW while paying you the bare minimum he can get away with, also applies to 95% of transport companies. I have been supplied with work boots ONCE in all my years or been given a tenner towards them if I gave them the receipt – no doubt so Billy Bigballs can claim it off his tax.

EVERY other road user treats you as scum, if you have never cut into a HGV’s braking capability just so you can save a few seconds or had to beat that wagon on the roundabout or traffic lights well done you – you are a dying breed.

I challenge any of you to do a days work either as a distance driver of on multidrop around any large town or city in this country and find somewhere to park during the day that allows you to also answer the calls of nature and find something to eat, no local clowncil wants a lorry park.

Imagine every where you go during the day and every a***hole asking where you have been you should be here thirty minutes ago or so and so does it so much quicker- well bully for them.

Aldi & Lidl even wanted you to unload at one time I don’t know if that is still the case, asking them if they would drive the truck back to base usually got the same answer.

Who wants to work 15 hour days or 60+ hours a week and take home the same as someone in Tesco’s in the warm & dry doing 40 hours, Hey there is a pandemic you can now work longer hours if you deliver food and want to.

Name any other occupation where enforcement of rules is actively carried out against your profession so rigorously every day, because I can’t think of one, nor can I think of one where I could earn the same driving a truck in 2015 as I could earn in a factory in 1988.

Everything you own has been on a truck driven by that piece of s**t in front of you that is now in your way, that same person everyone from the top downwards has dumped on. I learnt the hard way don’t take no s**t from anyone especially Mr Security who says your too early and go away – no problem see you another day perhaps because you ain’t getting it today now. Oh how the tables have turned.

Mr/Mrs We must follow the EU Rules, Mr Foreign Driver doing it for less, Mr Billy Big Balls, Mr Pointy Shoes, Mr Enforcement, Mr Local Councillor, Mr Warehouse Bod, Mr Security, Mr Roaduser and Mr I am more important than you, you are ALL to blame and I for one am glad it has finally come.

Keep s***ing on the downtrodden in that hole and the s*** piles up and he climbs out.

You might think automation is going to come to your rescue, just don’t put your house on it.

I missed all 3 of my kids growing up and it won’t happen to my Grandkids.

Still wonder why no one wants to drive a truck? Would you do it?

Sorry for the long winded rant.


Rant away mate, it perfectly illustrates where the problem lies.

I'm one of your Mr Billy Big Balls by the way!

But as I happen to be sitting on a Dock of a supermarket RDC right now I do know 9ne and of a lorry from the other, I think!

The transport world gas just changed for the better this week and it is long, long overdue
 
Up untill the pandemic pretty much bang on the button.
But as jag man says , things are changing at a startling rate.
As regards the previous post re automation, we discussed this at length in a previous thread a few months ago.
Without regurgitating it all again, What the tech nerds can build and what will be of widespread practical use in the crowded, frequently Dickensian, and very litigious British isles, are very far apart.And will be for some considerable time.

Last Friday night I had an Actros shut itself down in a live lane of the motorway

Stop start traffic so stationary but it literally d3cided not to move
Driver eventually got it to engage a gear and moved to hard shoulder.
Merc attended and got it moving
In to Mercedes for a full check and no fault found. No fault on trailer
Replaced a slightly loose fitting suzie as the only possible cause

I won't be buying a truck driven by a computer anytime soon
 
First of all thank you for starting this thread, this is exactly the sort of reason why ARRSE is worth visiting. When you get past all the petty bitching and stupid arguments there is always a wealth of fascinating information from people at the sharp end telling you stuff that no one in the media is picking up. This can then be confirmed or modified by half a dozen others who can add their knowledgeable tuppence ha'penny, from ships stuck in the Suez Canal to the problems of electricity generation you can be sure someone here can let you know what lies behind something you previously never gave much thought to

As regards the issue at hand I for one, and I am sure most other rational people, got a very clear perspective on what jobs matter during the pandemic. At first I genuinely feared that there would be riots in the country as food supplies ran out. There weren't, for the simple reason that the people that mattered in society turned up at their work and did their jobs. We saluted the nurses as well we should, but single mums doing part-time shifts at Sainsburys also went out and got the job done, as did pot-bellied blokes who wolfed down their bacon butties before climbing into the cabs of their trucks at some god-awful motorway service station at stupid o'clock in the morning.

When GPs and dentists abandoned their surgeries and teachers fled their classrooms and many other "professionals", and I include myself, congratulated ourselves on how marvellous it was to work from the spare bedroom these days, other people shrugged their shoulders, put on their coats and went out to put in 10-hour shifts at their workplaces.

If these people find themselves enjoying the fruits of their service when it's all over, I won't begrudge them a few bob extra on my frozen peas.

I'd would like to give that post more than one excellent but I'm no allowed!

I know quite a few people in this game who have worked as normal through the pandemic and have seriously asked themselves if the pain is worth it
I include myself in that and the honest answer is that I'm not really sure
The only real plus point is that we've kept a lot of people gainfully employed and are coming out the other side

Sorely tempted to just drive a lorry instead of dealing with the shit though
 
Last Friday night I had an Actros shut itself down in a live lane of the motorway

Stop start traffic so stationary but it literally d3cided not to move
Driver eventually got it to engage a gear and moved to hard shoulder.
Merc attended and got it moving
In to Mercedes for a full check and no fault found. No fault on trailer
Replaced a slightly loose fitting suzie as the only possible cause

I won't be buying a truck driven by a computer anytime soon
I have a suspicion, though, that your competitors might.

I’m not up to speed with the latest state of play on LGV/HGV automation, but I am quite happy to believe that this state of affairs will accelerate both the development of the technology and the legislative/regulatory landscape. It may very possibly bring forward a big shake up in the distribution industry.

In the short term, drivers can enjoy their new found bargaining power and should enjoy it while it lasts. At a more macro level, the inflationary pressures that this is going to cause for the economy as a whole should be giving the Government something to think about.
 
Up untill the pandemic pretty much bang on the button.
But as jag man says , things are changing at a startling rate.
As regards the previous post re automation, we discussed this at length in a previous thread a few months ago.
Without regurgitating it all again, What the tech nerds can build and what will be of widespread practical use in the crowded, frequently Dickensian, and very litigious British isles, are very far apart.And will be for some considerable time.
I have a hobby which involve electronics, programming microprocessors and working with various sensors etc.

It will be interesting to see how these self driving trucks are going to fuel themselves up, and clean their own sensors. Also the weather in UK in the winter is not the greatest, and you get some mad drivers on the roads - so how it will be interesting to see how a self driving truck with a muddy sensor that fails on a motorway, or runs out of fuel because another sensor fails, or repairs it's own blown out tyre is going to cope. Maybe once there has been a few pile ups in the fog and a few people are killed these self driving trucks will be only allowed on special roads where no other traffic is allowed. I would also like to see how these self driving trucks can cope with narrow country roads which we have quite a few of the further north you go.

Probably if special roads were built and distribution hubs were placed at random points on these - part of a loads journey could be completed using self driving truck, but for now the infrastructure isn't there and neither is the tech, so drivers are safe in their jobs for now and probably will be for at least the next 10/20 years.

Also out of interest, how long would you give it before some driver that got paid off and their job was taken over by a self driving truck, would just get a can of spray paint and paint the sensors on a self driving truck so that it was forced to stop and then be required to be recovered from the road? Then the recovery service would have nobody to talk to, know what the problem was etc, I can see that happening if I am honest.
 
I have a suspicion, though, that your competitors might.

I’m not up to speed with the latest state of play on LGV/HGV automation, but I am quite happy to believe that this state of affairs will accelerate both the development of the technology and the legislative/regulatory landscape. It may very possibly bring forward a big shape up in the distribution industry.

In the short term, drivers can enjoy their new found bargaining power and should enjoy it while it lasts. At a more macro level, the inflationary pressures that this is going to cause for the economy as a whole should be giving the Government something to think about.

You are probably right

It's a long way from workable though

I suspect Boris will be sharply focused on the issue in a week or so
In the meantime I will watch with 8nterest

Browsing Indeed last night there is Class 1 work within 5 miles of home being advertised at 50 grand a year. More than one job at that price too
 
It's close to double what the same agency was paying two weeks ago

That's why it's startling


Or its just a temporary supply and demand problem.

At 16 regt I recall it because a load of factories were opening in the town (Bicester) like Mars and Budweiser, in the days before the internet, they had to hire locally to start with.
They were offering Hyster drivers 15 quid an hour, people were signing off to get on the money train (Most suppliers had both Hyster and HGV).
Then the factories sorted their shit out and temp jobs wages went down.

I reckon in a few months, the truckers will be back to close to their old wage offers.
 
Without going over it all again , the killer on automation of hgvs is litigation and liability.
44 tonne trucks kill people really easily. A slow speed collision between two cars or a car and a pedestrian not usually fatal. A truck with all that mass keeps going through stuff.
And when someone gets killed when the tech goes wrong.( and it will, a lot in the early years) Lawyers , civil law , and 300 years of Tort come into play.Someone will be liable , but who? The company directors of the company that built the truck?. The director of the company operating the truck?. The transport manager?.The poor sod who sighned the pre start release form that morning?
Spin the bottle and the one it stops at gets a year of stress and the opportunity to bet his house and career on the outcome of proceedings whilst the lawyers gorge themselves.
Any techie who thinks primary legislation is going to be able to sweep that risk away whilst they try and get their kit right is simply pissing in the wind.
That will be the brake on this particular bandwagon.
 

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