UK Transport Crisis?

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.

To a degree you are right and rates will come back down
But not down to below a tenner an hour that has been common up until now

Brexit and Coronavirus have undoubtedly done British lorry drivers a great service
 
To a degree you are right and rates will come back down
But not down to below a tenner an hour that has been common up until now

Brexit and Coronavirus have undoubtedly done British lorry drivers a great service

Covid will (hopefully) be temporary.

Brexit will depend on what the rules are on Eastern Europeans coming to the UK, a tenner an hour is great wages for them, so if it takes a bit more paperwork to get it, they are likely to do it.
 
Covid will (hopefully) be temporary.

Brexit will depend on what the rules are on Eastern Europeans coming to the UK, a tenner an hour is great wages for them, so if it takes a bit more paperwork to get it, they are likely to do it.

Hard to tell on the Brexit element

Long bitter experience for me means that I won't employ Eastern European drivers
Doesn't matter how tough times might get I'd retire before I employed another

Asides from that current thinking is that we won't see them in big numbers again
Not many people I know think that's a bad thing either
 
Probably a bone question but - how did the transport industry cope prior to Eastern Europeans coming over? Is it a case of English people not bothering to train / qualify due to disproportionately low wages?

I gave up HGV1 due to being messed around, working average 66 hr weeks, not having any social life including not seeing my kids whilst awake and earning similar wages to what I'd earned 15-20 years previously whilst single.

I am thinking of renewing my HGV quals but doubt things have got much better in conditions - or pay.

And yes, I would say it was the influx of cheap labour that kept wages low. Many were extremely good workers but I saw a drop off as more and more got into driving in Britain.
 
Hard to tell on the Brexit element

Long bitter experience for me means that I won't employ Eastern European drivers
Doesn't matter how tough times might get I'd retire before I employed another

Asides from that current thinking is that we won't see them in big numbers again
Not many people I know think that's a bad thing either
Can you elaborate on the issues with EE drivers please. I was led to believe they were good workers??
 

Truxx

LE
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.
I will have a pint of whatever you are drinking.

There will be some autonomous vehicles for sure, but not for at least 15 years.

Just remember folks, by the 21st century we were all supposed to be living on a spaceship wearing flares.
 
I gave up HGV1 due to being messed around, working average 66 hr weeks, not having any social life including not seeing my kids whilst awake and earning similar wages to what I'd earned 15-20 years previously whilst single.

I am thinking of renewing my HGV quals but doubt things have got much better in conditions - or pay.

And yes, I would say it was the influx of cheap labour that kept wages low. Many were extremely good workers but I saw a drop off as more and more got into driving in Britain.

Loads of ex squaddies use to do weekend work for agencies while having a proper job elsewhere, they had a lot more control over money earned and time spent away from home.
 

Truxx

LE
Can you elaborate on the issues with EE drivers please. I was led to believe they were good workers??
Some are good. Some definitely not. But they were cheap. There is a big NE company that hails big Caterpullar Dump Trucks down to Southamptin for export. We had a big item delivered by them

44 tonne truck, polish driver, nice lad, 7 quid an hour.

Just remember that when one of them looms into view in your rear view mirror.
 

Daz

LE
Covid will (hopefully) be temporary.

Brexit will depend on what the rules are on Eastern Europeans coming to the UK, a tenner an hour is great wages for them, so if it takes a bit more paperwork to get it, they are likely to do it.
You can add taxation to that, pre-April a lot of them, and indeed UK drivers were working via Ltd companies and other alternative payment models, as of April this year IR35 kicked in at last for the private sector which meant they had to pay NI etc on their earnings, this has become an incentive for drivers to look for either higher pay rates, or to seek other none driving employment that offers the same take-home pay for fewer hours, or for Eastern Europeans to remain in their home countries and work there, there are also issues like the Polish Government now taxing Poles working in the UK if they still have family in Poland, that would mean the driver going from effectively a 0% tax rate to a combined tax rate of between 38% & 72%
 
Loads of ex squaddies use to do weekend work for agencies while having a proper job elsewhere, they had a lot more control over money earned and time spent away from home.

This was after I'd left though. Working for an Asian food wholesaler who used to try Shanghai me 200 mike's from home so 'I may as well have a night out' - I used to max my hours to get as close to base and inform them that I'd be back at base for when they opened. When they cottoned on to drivers being able to reduce their breaks to 9 hrs sleep they interpreted that as being able to work 15 hr days and factored it into their planning. I got a lot of interest for why I'd photoed a pallet with well over 1 tonne on it too.
 
You can add taxation to that, pre-April a lot of them, and indeed UK drivers were working via Ltd companies and other alternative payment models, as of April this year IR35 kicked in at last for the private sector which meant they had to pay NI etc on their earnings, this has become an incentive for drivers to look for either higher pay rates, or to seek other none driving employment that offers the same take-home pay for fewer hours, or for Eastern Europeans to remain in their home countries and work there, there are also issues like the Polish Government now taxing Poles working in the UK if they still have family in Poland, that would mean the driver going from effectively a 0% tax rate to a combined tax rate of between 38% & 72%

Still worth it for them

 

No Boots

Swinger
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
I thought you was a TM, if so you are Mr Shiny Shoes and I claim my £5.
Good for you out there getting your hands dirty so to speak, but a word of warning your bosses will ask you to do it more and more, then your office work will pile up and they then employ someone to catch-up with the paperwork and you become a bum on the seat longer than on your swivel chair in the orifce with no doubt a screen between yourself and "them Drivers" I've seen it so many times!
History will repeat itself just like late 1990-2000ish in that wages will rise for a period of time then Mr Transport Owner will see his drivers with new sporty cars and holidays abroad and think I am paying them too much (it will start with people like Turnips & Slobbards) then they will all jump aboard and around we go again.
The Industry needs to take off it's rose tinted spectacles and think what do we need to retain and encourage drivers, a shiny truck & s***e attitude to your employees just wont do it.
The old days will never go away, instead of a phone call to the driver asking where he is and what he is doing it is now done by telematics so Mr Shiny Shoes can sit there driving his desk all day watching the dweebs actually earn the money for the firm.
They need to tempt drivers like me back, but us more experienced ones have very long memories, fool me once etc.
What other occupation can you re-enter after a 4-5 year break without forking out of your own pocket just to get an interview. I would need a medical - cost, renew my entitlement - cost, then sit in a classroom for 40 hours while someone who has read a few books tells me how to drive a truck with an addiontial cost, my superior qualification means sfa.
Now Maureen who works in Tesco leaves to have a child and has a few years off incurs no cost to herself to go back to her old job, Dave the bricklayer also has no hoops like a driver to jump through to return to work, it has always been an older age occupation and always will be.
Automation will not solve the problems, take your Drivers experience with no gears as an example an auto truck will probably attempt one or two restarts and just shut down, ok it can call for assistance but what will turn up another auto truck, is that able to recover it? Is it able to disconnect the driveshaft/electric supply. Can it even hook up to a different unit?
Can you imagine how long an automated truck will wait for a gap in traffic so it can reverse into an access and as someone else said, down a narrow country road meeting head-on with another auto.
They probably will meet a need in trunk runs etc but for everyday applications it will not work, just take compactor rollon bins for a start, how insert pins, or sheet the door at the end of the skip when its all falling out, and thats without some plum parked in front of it, muckaway work will probably mean more surveyors to scan every jobsite and obstacle than profitable, either that or everything is going to be very expensive.
Nothing I have seen so far has tempted me back to the profession that I loved, the same old sticking plasters will be applied and then rinse and repeat.
 

Wetneck

Old-Salt
About 12 years ago I was between overseas contracts and decided to make use of the HGV license I got when I was 18 as a "Just in case"

I ended up enjoying it so much that I stayed driving for about 5 years, went all over Europe and did some really interesting work. In 2008/2009 I was easily taking home £120 a shift as a paid hourly driver. Around that time there really was an influx of drivers from various parts of the world. All of them generally worked hard and did a thoroughly good job, not a bad word to say about any of them that I worked with. The issue was that it affected wages massively.

It got to the point a £13/hr job ended up being a £9 an hour job.
More and more was demanded from the drivers in less time and things just started to get bad. Even over a few years facilities and overall perks just took a nose dive.
In 2009 a driver could go into a service station and get a free coffee with their fill up, probably whack the points on their own nectar card and then use a nice clean shower and get a meal voucher with their parking at a service for a decent meal at a good price.

By 2013 it was a huge shame, I still loved the job but the money was a genuine £40 a day less for the same work but you just got treated like absolute dirt wherever you went. I was getting up at 0400 and not getting home until 2000 on the days I was working 'days' and when out tramping I'd leave at 0400 on a Monday and not get home until, normally, mid Saturday Morning. All for the same wage as someone working in a coffee shop working standard hours and with a significantly better quality of life.

The real 'issue' is that anybody with the desire, and about £3k, can go from someone with a car license to being a fully fledged LGV driver in less than a month. It's VERY easy to get into, the resulting issue is that the drivers aren't valued and the job they are doing is more and more work in less allowed hours with no thought for the person trying to get it done.

I now run a reasonably successful company, but occasionally I do consider taking a few weeks off and just going driving again for the sheer enjoyment but remembering how people treat drivers quickly gets such thoughts out of my head.
 
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 want to drive a truck and enter that competition they have to see who can overtake a slightly slower wagon over the longest distance of the dual carriageway.
 

No Boots

Swinger
I gave up HGV1 due to being messed around, working average 66 hr weeks, not having any social life including not seeing my kids whilst awake and earning similar wages to what I'd earned 15-20 years previously whilst single.

I am thinking of renewing my HGV quals but doubt things have got much better in conditions - or pay.

And yes, I would say it was the influx of cheap labour that kept wages low. Many were extremely good workers but I saw a drop off as more and more got into driving in Britain.
Bang on the button.
Close the thread.
 

Daz

LE
Not according to the Poles who've stated that's the main factor in not returning to the UK

Plenty more where they came from.

At the end of the day the main focus point will be the money, if they are taking home 1200 in Poland or 2000 in the UK they will be on the next Ryanair flight (assuming they are allowed).
 

giatttt

War Hero
The cost of the CPC and the seemingly vacuous content seems hideously expensive. How much does an eastern European pay for it in their own country?
 

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