7.5t driver - Future employment options? - Dave_TD
Hi all,

I have been driving for a living since my early 20?s and currently work for a medium size general haulage firm (approx 20 vehicles) in the East Midlands. All of the drivers have just been balloted on our second pay cut in 4 months and talk is of redundancies if things don?t pick up soon. The amount of work has dropped by 30-40% this year, simply because our existing customers aren?t spending the money. We have no obvious ties to any particular sector of industry however so the slowdown in new-build housing etc isn?t having a savage effect on us, but rising fuel costs are biting hard.

If the worst happens and I do lose my job, what other possibilities are open to me? I?m a very good, experienced truck driver (I hope!) but if no-one?s recruiting truck drivers good or otherwise, what are my other options? I'm literate, numerate, polite and well-presented with a clean licence, 8 GCSE's and a willingness to learn new skills.

Thanks in advance,

Edited by Webmaster on 21/09/2008 at 13:38

7.5t driver - Future employment options? - Pugugly
Police are recruiting again.

www.policecouldyou.co.uk/
7.5t driver - Future employment options? - Hamsafar
Employment by the state is your best bet during this 'modern' times.
7.5t driver - Future employment options? - doctorchris
Employment by the state at present offers the best job security and pensions.
However, the dead hand of the state means that initiative and individuality will go unrecognised and unrewarded. Only the plodding, yes men and women who toe the party line will thrive.
7.5t driver - Future employment options? - Avant
I do sympathise, particularly as this whole nonsense isn't an unavoidable act of God but the result of a combination of greed and incompetence by a whole lot of people whose jobs are probably less at risk, at least in the short term, than yours.

All I can suggest is for your firm to try to diversify - or maybe find a USP, some form of product or service that the competition hasn't thought of. Perhaps each employee could be given an incentive to find one new customer.

But I agree, be looking at the job market and perhaps find something else before things get any worse - making sure you get some payment for voluntary redundancy whole you're at it.

Good luck.
7.5t driver - Future employment options? - Dave_TD
Thanks.
All I can suggest is for your firm to try to diversify


We have rented out twelve 40-foot spaces in the yard to a coach operator and a guy with 5 tipper trucks for secure parking, also we rent out one of the two workshop bays and have always offered warehousing and HGV servicing as well as transport. The directors have said that these measures will go more than halfway towards alleviating current losses, unfortunately wage/job cuts will have to cover the remainder.
Be looking at the job market and perhaps find something else before things get any worse


I'm used to a net weekly income of £320 +/-£20, at the moment there doesn't seem to be anything of that level around. Not that I could expect to be successful in applying for, anyway.

Edited by Webmaster on 21/09/2008 at 13:37

7.5t driver - Future employment options? - qxman {p}
I'm surprised you say that no one is recruiting truck drivers. From previous threads in this forum (and radio/TV programmes, newspapers) I thought that there was a shortage of several tens of thousands of lorry drivers - or is that LGV only? I have a relative who works for a major supermarket and they have had to recruit Polish drivers because they can't get UK drivers. I think EU rules on drivers' hours were being blamed at one time. Has this changed?

Maybe you could retrain as a bus driver, seems like there might be an upswing in bus usage by commuters as driving to work gets more expensive?

Edited by qxman {p} on 02/09/2008 at 01:21

7.5t driver - Future employment options? - Dave_TD
Maybe you could retrain as a bus driver


Ah, I have a "lazy eye"... Which means I can never meet the eyesight standard to gain an HGV/PCV licence. The standard for passing the HGV medical is 9/20 in each eye, my ratings are 20/20 and 7/20.

And before anyone asks, I've never driven into something I haven't seen (in over a million miles of driving) and I virtually never get taken by surprise on the road.

A 7.5t truck is the largest vehicle I can drive on my licence, or a minibus with no more than 9 seats including mine for hire and reward.
I thought that there was a shortage of several tens of thousands of lorry drivers


There may well have a been a shortage of qualified HGV drivers at the start of this year, but in the last few months an awful lot of them have been put out of work (Amtrak being the latest company to go under, shedding 900 jobs around the UK) so at the moment it seems there are many drivers chasing very few jobs.

Edited by Webmaster on 21/09/2008 at 13:37

7.5t driver - Future employment options? - DieselBoy
"Ah, I have a "lazy eye"... Which means I can never meet the eyesight standard to gain an HGV/PCV licence. The standard for passing the HGV medical is 9/20 in each eye, my ratings are 20/20 and 7/20."

I too have a lazy eye, but passed the medical. As long as your corrected vision is within tolerance then all is okay.

DB.
7.5t driver - Future employment options? - oldnotbold
Round here (S Oxon) I see that TNT are always looking for drivers. No idea on their pay rates.

What quals do you need to instruct on 7.5T? Anyone with car licence post 1.1.97 now needs another test to drive over 3.5T.
7.5t driver - Future employment options? - Dog
Well Dave ... You've certainly had more edumacation than me, I never attended school much at all really, but when I did - at least it was approved !
I can tell by the way you've "composed" your question that you have a brain in your ed, so my advice to you (for what its worth) is to retrain and give driving for a living the boot like I did 30 years ago ... what do you fancy being, a plumber, electrician, builder, IT work (office yuk!) etc., etc., The world (my friend) is *your* oyster ... go for it.

Dog.
7.5t driver - Future employment options? - Dave_TD
Hi all,

Thanks for all the replies. My main difficulty in retraining for a different career is the need to support a family whilst doing so, therefore anything which takes weeks or months to qualify for is out of the frame. Also there is the issue of cost, as I mentioned above we have now had our second pay cut this year (all the drivers accepted this instead of resorting to opting for redundancies, for the time being anyway) and it?s hard enough to pay all the bills as it is.

I have obtained an application pack for the position of Highways Agency Traffic Officer as there is a current vacancy at the outstation nearest to where I live, however the application is one of those which requires 200-word answers to several questions explaining my actions and the outcomes in certain scenarios, most of which to be honest I have never found myself in. Also the salary there doesn?t look a great deal better than what I?m getting at the moment, therefore I think life as a TO is not for me.

I have also spoken to a local vehicle recovery agent who it turns out will be looking for a Recovery Driver / Technician in around a month?s time. This looks much more promising, I won?t go into too much detail but the basic wage is 10% higher than I?m currently getting, rising to 25% higher after a probationary period, plus callout payments on top of that, and also it?s three quarters of a mile from my house as opposed to my current job which is 14 miles away. Fingers crossed?.

Edited by Webmaster on 21/09/2008 at 13:37

7.5t driver - Future employment options? - drbe
a Recovery Driver / Technician >>

>>

Have you considered the risk to life and limb in that job?
7.5t driver - Future employment options? - Dave_TD
Have you considered the risk to life and limb in that job?


Yes, that was one of the reasons why I stopped driving cabs - although I was at the lower end of the market and had to scrape up what I could from the High Street at 3am on Saturday nights.

I also don't think it would be any more (or less) dangerous than the Traffic Officer position.

Good to hear you're still about drbe.

Edited by Webmaster on 21/09/2008 at 13:34

7.5t driver - Future employment options? - R75
I'm surprised you say that no one is recruiting truck drivers. From previous threads in
this forum (and radio/TV programmes newspapers) I thought that there was a shortage of several
tens of thousands of lorry drivers ...................


There has been no shortage of drivers for a very long time, what there is is a shortage of jobs paying the types of wages a driver will work for. The reason Tesco etc are saying they have to recruit from abroad is because that labour is so much cheaper. The decent companies don't even need to advertise for drivers as they have a waiting list of people wanting to join them, as they offer a good job with a good wage.
7.5t driver - Future employment options? - DanG
Dave,

Can I ask you what YOU what to do with your life? That's what **YOU** want to get up for in the morning for and have a real passion doing? Not what you feel you have to do, or can only do because you feel certain options are open and others not.

Am I making sence?

Once you've answered the above, I think someone like yourself will have no problem finding a job.

Dan

7.5t driver - Future employment options? - injection doc
I understand from the papers today that Britain is the most populated country in Europe & Poland is the least! " No suprise there then" so may be jobs should be easy to find & housing cheap in Poland at the moment. Next guess is that loads of EU money will get poured into Poland & it will become the most desirable place to live in Europe. Judging by the amount of PL lorries coming over drivers must be in demand.
I Doc
7.5t driver - Future employment options? - jbif
I understand from the papers today that Britain is the most populated country in Europe


If you take out Scotland, Wales, and oopnorth from the stats, the remaining darnsauth may be the most heavily populated in the World! No wonder London traffic crawls along at an average speed of 10mph, just fast enough to suit mimsers in Lud's neighbourhood. ;-)

7.5t driver - Future employment options? - Big Bad Dave
"so may be jobs should be easy to find & housing cheap in Poland at the moment"

It's not, it's become shockingly expensive since becoming part of the EU. I bought a fairly big five-bedroomed, three storey house with 500 square metres of land for 67k three years ago, it was half built and we spent another 17k on it. We just had it valued at 1.1 million zlots, at the current exchange rate that's 268k GBP. That's partly due to the weak pound of course - another reason why many Poles are coming home.

Flats are even more expensive per square metre, because they're more desirable to Poles but they're generally much smaller. However you can build your own house pretty damned cheaply - one problem is finding labour - it's all gone to Britain. The other problem is land prices - where I live (less than 10 miles from the city centre) it's now 100 GBP per square metre for development land.

There's plenty of EU money already pouring in, the major road systems around Warsaw are rapidly becoming world class, there's construction going on everywhere. That's not to say that there still aren't some pretty awful roads too, but at least we're going in the right direction.

Not to mention the weather is so much better - months and months in the 30s this summer, there's no knife crime in schools, vodka is four quid a bottle and for just a few grand we got ourselves a summer house in Lodz with its own little forest so yes you're right - it's a very desirable place to live. It's let down by the shocking standard of driving so on this forum I often come over as very critical but I love it here, what on earth could possibly tempt me back to the UK. Wheelie bin police for heavens sake, what the hell is going on over there...
7.5t driver - Future employment options? - Harleyman
There has been no shortage of drivers for a very long time what there is
is a shortage of jobs paying the types of wages a driver will work for.


The decent companies don't even need to advertise for drivers
as they have a waiting list of people wanting to join them as they offer
a good job with a good wage.


The actual shortage is of good experienced and flexible drivers. There are any number of people who hold a Class One HGV and will pilot one of same from a depot to another depot in a safe and orderly manner. They are known in the trade as chauffeurs or trolley drivers.

The shortage is of drivers who are capable of, and willing to do things like roping and sheeting, know their way round without using a sat-nav and spending four nights a week in a tin box parked up in a lay-by because nobody wants dirty smelly trucks and their drivers near THEIR town, although they're the first to complain when their Daily Mail is late arriving at the newsagents, or the delicatessen's clean out of fresh parsley.

I'm one of the lucky ones; or not, depending on your point of view. I work for a major animal feedstuffs manufacturer who is known as a good employer; the money's not bad (salaried) but even in a quiet week I rarely do less than 50 hours. Work can range from delivering bulk feed to dairy farms ( a bit dirtier, smellier and dustier than your average office!) to taking a little 7.5 tonner up the Valleys with 3 tons of sheep feed in 25 kg bags; this by the way has to be unloaded by hand and oddly enough the farmer's always up the fields when you get there! ;-)

I wouldn't swap it for the world; but as I say I'm lucky and there are a lot of HGV drivers earning little more than minimum wage for that; consequently they go to Tesco's and stack shelves, wouldn't you?
 

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