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My days as a driver

Jackie Hill

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
Hi Stitcher

You say you are suprised there are not many lorry drivers contributing to this thread, I have been trying for nearly two years to encourage LUCAS drives to contribut to the Lucas Memories web site, there must hae been hundreds over the years that drove Lucas trucks, Lucas had there own transport department where are you all with your photos and memories

If you drove a truck for Lucas please send in your memories and photos

www.lucasmemories.co.uk

Jackie
 
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Stitcher

Guest
As soon as I passed my test I got a job driving a small bedford van for road Services Caledonian Ltd. from the Tysely depot. I was sent all over the midlands doing several drops and pick ups every day. The main depot was in Dumfries and starting Sunday evening 5 men would come to Birmingham and return on Monday evening as another 5 left Dumfries. This went on each night until Saturday when the 5 went back but no-one came down. These ten men taught me how to secure any imaginable load onto the back of an articulated lorry. It is thanks to the way these men treated me that I took to the job and enjoyed many years driving all over England Scotland and Wales. The only sensible way from England to Scotland was either the A1 to Scotch Corner, or the A6 through Cumbria and over Shap. Shap was a nasty uphill drag over several miles and although the gritters did a fantastic job during the winter, one could get stuck. I was once towed over the summit by a snow plough it was so bad. With prior warning we would use the A1 which was a long way round because it was on the Eastern side of the country. At Scotch Corner we would turn left and drive over Brough which was a lot easier than going over Shap. I see that now the M6 has taken all the lorries off this notorious mountain road, a monument has been put into place.
 
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dereklcg

master brummie
Wow stitch,my bum is numb with the memory,of so many hours on the road
albeit in modern time,good days bad days but happy memories. Derek
 
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Stitcher

Guest
Happy memories Derek. You will know there is a thread about best and worst jobs, well I dont know your age but I never needed to work anywhere I didnt want to. I only applied for a job if it appealed to me. Such was the situation with employment in those days. If you are about my age you will already know this of course. I will say again that I really did enjoy my working life I wish I had carried a camera at all times and I wish I had kept a diary.
Trevor.
 

dereklcg

master brummie
hi stitch, i like most started with van driving,panic stuff nights days even of all things
taking them to magull,for to go to Scotland.
The panic stuff was to all the ford factories, it had to be there at all costs then they used to keep you waiting there all night,but i used to enjoy my job the money was,nt the best until i started hgv, i,m just turned sixty and grew up on the road my Dad used to go everywhere,great life when we were young.
i kept a writing pad with everywhere i,d been and a lot of the time took pics i,ll have a sort out. approaching the dartford tunnel seven bridge Tyne tunnel humber bridge,
i had to rope and sheet chain steel down,and you knew what to and how to do what you had to do to keep it on the lorry i used to spend a bit more time and attention to it and more or less forgot it until you got there.i,ll have to try and find that song on you tube i,ve been everywhere. regards derek
 

OtherHalf

posher half
i had to rope and sheet chain steel down,and you knew what to and how to do what you had to do to keep it on the lorry i used to spend a bit more time and attention to it and more or less forgot it until you got there. derek
reading this derek reminds of one of the blokes where I used to work had to recover a JCB for Customs and Excise from Immingham which is where you mentioned earlier he drove it on to his recovery truck and brought it back to Birmingham under the Queensway tunnel breaking a few lights in the process when he got it back to the yard in we noticed it was tied off with TWO RATCHET STRAPS can you believe that true every word:(:)
 
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Stitcher

Guest
Derel and otherhalf, I like it. Its all good stuff. I cant see how a man who spent his entire working life under the gaffers nose in a factory could have many memories. I may be wrong but I liked making my own decisions when I was away from home.
If any of you go under the bridge in Lincoln Road Acocks Green, you may still be able to see a scratch right in the center from end to end. Ha Ha I did that with a very large propellor/screw.
 

dereklcg

master brummie
It was Hereford county hospital for me took the lights out under the canopy,
with a barrow hoist when i was on plant hire. happy days. Derek
 
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Stitcher

Guest
This is from my days as a Hackney Carriage owner-driver. Freddie Starr was on with Alan Titchmarsh on t.v. today and it reminded me of a very embarrassing moment a few years ago. I was what was known as First Turn at the old Birmingham Airport. The airport mini-bus pulled up alongside and out got Freddie Starr and two minders. He asked to be taken to The Night Out. I had an older type taxi which I used for giving tours of the City and The Midlands in general. The cab had recently been re-furbished so I was quite proud of it. I told Freddy Starr to keep his feet off the seats and warned him about using spray cream or spray string. On arrival at The Night Out I told him the fare which was about £8, and he said he would pay when I went back for him at 1 am. I knew he was on stage that night so I assumed the money would be safe. I picked them up at 1 am as arranged and took them back. He told me to pull onto the back of the rank because he was phoning for the mini bus. They got out and I told him the fare was £16, expecting a £20 note. He gave me a £50 note. It turned out the £50 note was genuine.As I checked its authenticaty he scowled at me. I told him I would not give him any change until I was satisfied that the note was genuine. He said he did not want any change and the £50 was all for me. While all this was going on the other cabbies had gathered around and were watching. Just then the Mini Bus arrived and Freddie Starr gave me a kiss and ran onto the bus. I was furious and tried to get him but the bus shot away and all the other cabbies laughed.
 
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Stitcher

Guest
Chainmaker, I also drove a Foden 12 speed. It may have been for Henry Joyner of Short Heath Road, Erdington. I used to have a little book in which I kept addresses and phone numbers for return loads along with phone numbers for digs when I was on nights out. You mentioned roping/chaining and sheeting, without boasting I can honestly say that I could secure anything on my wagon as could all lorry drivers years ago. Vans were for special cargo and curtain sides were unheard of.
Happy days.
 
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Wendy

Guest
Michael drove a Foden 12 speed maual splitter box eight wheeler with a coach built fiberglass and wooden cab. This was for Distillers at Coleshill.

Stitcher you are so right about roping and sheeting. Michael's skills came in useful when we bought a car trailer to transport things in. He could secure anything in that trailer. He uses the type of knots learn't all the time now.:)

He drives vintage wedding cars sometimes now. He often says old technology is hard work as you get older.:D Especially no power
steering.:sweat:
 

chainmaker

knowlegable brummie
we caried allsorts never knew what next,timber steel pallets scafolding used to do most of kwickforms work back loads you found yourself even carried loose sand once, put my sheets on the trailer bed loaded sand on top roolled sides of sheet over to make sausage put fly sheet on top ropped it up and delivered it to a foundry.took weeks to get sand out of sheets,never tried to be clever again,rather wait for a more suitable load
 

chainmaker

knowlegable brummie
the foden i drove had a fibreglass/wood cab s36 twin steer tractor 40 trailer 220 cummins engine do 75 and often did lol
 

mallyb2

master brummie
A firm I worked for had a couple of Foden eight wheel rigid tankers,12-speed gear-box,Gardner 150,'mickey mouse' cab(remember them?)and the fantastic performance of 32 (yes 32)m.p.h. flat out.Good old days????.........Mal.
 

mallyb2

master brummie
Talking about Fodens,I mentioned in another thread another company local to me that ran Foden eight wheel tankers,Cawood Fuel Oils,but theirs had the two-stroke fitted,they screamed and went like the clappers.......Mal.
 

Bernard67Arnold

master brummie
Its interesting lorry drivers talking about loading and
sheeting up etc; in those days the HGV men were the true Knights of the road and would help anyone
in trouble. Deferent nowadays they are nearly all "Cowboys, some of the driving you see by these young men in lorries is absolutely terrible and Ive been on the road since 1958 and passed the HGV class 1 in 1970.
It must stem from the companies putting more and more work on the drivers with less journey time,but the
price of fuel and the tax on it has not helped the firms.Mind how you go on the roads lads take care.
Bernard67Arnold.
 

chainmaker

knowlegable brummie
I remember one night coming out of Glasgow about 4 of us from the same firm running together, one of the lads flashed his lights and pulled onto the hard shoulder so we all stopped. He had a flat front tyre, we never carried spare wheels and no one had thought to invent mobile phones(I was born premature by about 30 yrs).So we decided to swap his flat tyre for a good one off one of the trailers(tandem axles twin wheels), while we were doing this (in the rain) a cop car pulled up and out got the future chief constable lol "whats going on here then lads" he asked One of our drivers Neal Campbell (a no nonsense jock) looked at him and said, “ we're cooking ******* chips dya wan sum,” the copper turned on his heels got in his car and bu***rd off. We got the wheels changed then went like the clappers to the nearest cafe for a big plate of bacon sarnies and a gallon of tea oh and it stopped raining when we got to the cafe
 

nickcc101

master brummie
A firm I worked for had a couple of Foden eight wheel rigid tankers,12-speed gear-box,Gardner 150,'mickey mouse' cab(remember them?)and the fantastic performance of 32 (yes 32)m.p.h. flat out.Good old days????.........Mal.
Unusual if you could get more than 32 out of a Gardener 6LW in any commercial unless you put the reigns on (pulling back the cambox forks) as the max revs were 1750rpm. When the 6LX 180 BHP was introduced speed increased to about 48 mph.
 
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