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Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

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monabri
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Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#444980

Postby monabri » September 24th, 2021, 10:58 am

Listening to Radio 5 Live, I was appalled by the way lorry drivers are treated, especially by the big supermarkets. A common theme seems to be that the big supermarkets have too much power in terms of their relationship with the haulage companies.

The lorry driver turns up with their load and often have to wait around for several hours to be unloaded - this time is unpaid and the lorry is effectively off the road.

Drivers were not allowed to use the toilets at the supermarkets and not allowed to use their restaurants - even when kept waiting for hours.

Prices are going up at the supermarket with the blame being laid on the lack of drivers but the independent drivers report that although costs are going up for them (drivers wages, fuel costs) the supermarkets are not paying any more!

It seems that a lack of planning on the part of the supermarkets is a significant source of current problems.

The reduction in foreign drivers (Brexit) is a contributing factor although the British drivers made the comment that the driving abilities of the foreign drivers was not up to scratch (the person making the comment stressed that they were not playing the racist card but cited a situation where the keys of a lorry were taken off a foreign driver and given to him as the driver was struggling to back up the lorry, another UK driver said that one driver spent 20 minutes trying to reverse the truck into a bay).

There was talk about the other main issue of the time that a driver is allowed out on the road and the unsociable hours that the job entails (one driver described talking the lorry out at 3am to arrive for a 7am drop off) and the need to be away from home if on long haul. On long haul, the driver can elect to pay to stay in a B&B or sleep in the cab. There is often a charge for parking up the articulated lorry which the small independent company must bear.


And they wonder why there is a shortage of drivers ?

(p.s. not a lorry driver and no member of the family is one, neither!)

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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445031

Postby mc2fool » September 24th, 2021, 1:30 pm

Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland Foods, said last night on Question Time that they were now giving "double digits wage increases" to their HGV drivers.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000zxfs/question-time-2021-23092021, start at 20:20 for that comment or 17:50 for the start of the section on HGV vacancies.

redsturgeon
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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445034

Postby redsturgeon » September 24th, 2021, 1:32 pm

Perhaps we are just beginning to realise what the important jobs in the country really are.

John

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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445038

Postby Leothebear » September 24th, 2021, 1:53 pm

The play "Help" demonstrated how the unique qualities required to be a good carer are not at all valued.

Howard
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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445043

Postby Howard » September 24th, 2021, 1:59 pm

redsturgeon wrote:Perhaps we are just beginning to realise what the important jobs in the country really are.

John


Yes, you have a very valid point. As well as for very deserving NHS workers, we clapped for shop workers and delivery drivers in lockdown. We know someone close to the front line in a supermarket and the staff there were probably just as exposed to the virus as the average NHS staff member. And the teams who supported us at click and collect and deliveries were brilliant.

In fact one of our contact's colleagues did train as a HGV driver for Waitrose, a good employer, but gave up because he found the role too stressful for some of the reasons quoted above.

regards

Howard

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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445051

Postby UncleEbenezer » September 24th, 2021, 2:22 pm

monabri wrote:Listening to Radio 5 Live, I was appalled by the way lorry drivers are treated, especially by the big supermarkets. A common theme seems to be that the big supermarkets have too much power in terms of their relationship with the haulage companies.

The lorry driver turns up with their load and often have to wait around for several hours to be unloaded - this time is unpaid and the lorry is effectively off the road.

Drivers were not allowed to use the toilets at the supermarkets and not allowed to use their restaurants - even when kept waiting for hours.

That sounds to me like spin. And given that the villains are supermarkets, the BBC have form!

I have no first-hand knowledge, but I do recollect as a teenager travelling very long distances on the trucks, chatting with the drivers, experiencing just a hint of their facilities. The experience back then was a whole lot more positive than you portray, and it's hard to think they (and their unions) would let their lot get so much worse over four decades. In recent times we can still see such things as the truckers getting VIP treatment on the ferries, with separate checkin to spare them queueing with the tourists, elite cabins, and dedicated facilities.

I daresay Bad Things happen in their work. But it seems unlikely that what you describe is in any way normal.

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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445055

Postby vagrantbrain » September 24th, 2021, 2:40 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:
monabri wrote:Listening to Radio 5 Live, I was appalled by the way lorry drivers are treated, especially by the big supermarkets. A common theme seems to be that the big supermarkets have too much power in terms of their relationship with the haulage companies.

The lorry driver turns up with their load and often have to wait around for several hours to be unloaded - this time is unpaid and the lorry is effectively off the road.

Drivers were not allowed to use the toilets at the supermarkets and not allowed to use their restaurants - even when kept waiting for hours.

That sounds to me like spin. And given that the villains are supermarkets, the BBC have form!

I have no first-hand knowledge, but I do recollect as a teenager travelling very long distances on the trucks, chatting with the drivers, experiencing just a hint of their facilities. The experience back then was a whole lot more positive than you portray, and it's hard to think they (and their unions) would let their lot get so much worse over four decades. In recent times we can still see such things as the truckers getting VIP treatment on the ferries, with separate checkin to spare them queueing with the tourists, elite cabins, and dedicated facilities.

I daresay Bad Things happen in their work. But it seems unlikely that what you describe is in any way normal.


it *is* the normal though, that the point drivers have been making for several years! Honestly, go and ask a truck driver next time you see one. Go and read some of the driver forums - the industry conditions are disgraceful and supermarket RDCs are the worst of the lot.

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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445066

Postby AF62 » September 24th, 2021, 3:13 pm

monabri wrote:And they wonder why there is a shortage of drivers ?


Pay in relative terms has fallen dramatically for truck drivers in comparison to other jobs; why do a hard and unpleasant job driving when you can earn almost as much driving a forklift in a warehouse on fixed hours.

And that fall in pay, combined with soaring house prices, means it increasingly takes two incomes to support a family.

And that is a problem if you are a truck driver working unsocial and unpredictable hours never knowing when you will be home so it is difficult to fit with their partner working and performing child care between them.

And the changes to IR35 where saving tax relieved some of the pay issues changed recently so exposing them to full tax and NI.

And lots of foreign lorry drivers went home after Brexit.

And COVID meant that truck drivers were treated even worse than before, being denied access to toilets and restaurants on site in case they brought the plague in.

Perfect storm really.

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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445093

Postby Hallucigenia » September 24th, 2021, 4:41 pm

Also - an ageing population of truck drivers, I saw something that they were retiring at a rate of £1k/week.

But training has come to an almost-standstill thanks to Covid-19.

UncleEbenezer wrote:I have no first-hand knowledge...it seems unlikely that what you describe is in any way normal.


There's always a range, just my personal experience of service/petrol station toilets ranges from great to pretty grim, and the places with the most expensive fuel tend to be better - but that's not where a owner-driver on tight margins will stop. And I'm not stopping at warehouses, where facilities seem to be something of an afterthought if they allow drivers to use them at all, despite the legal requirement to provide sanitary facilities. Eg from before the pandemic :

https://www.commercialmotor.com/news/co ... rgy-health

Covid has obviously made many more businesses reluctant to let delivery drivers share facilities with their staff, which is understandable but the result has been a portaloo in the carpark if you're lucky :

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54994472

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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445259

Postby Sussexlad » September 25th, 2021, 1:35 pm

redsturgeon wrote:Perhaps we are just beginning to realise what the important jobs in the country really are.

John


Indeed. We need far less Awards Nights for the myriad of infinitely replaceable media types and far more recognition of those society actually relies upon for their fundamental needs.

servodude
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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445266

Postby servodude » September 25th, 2021, 2:13 pm

Sussexlad wrote:
redsturgeon wrote:Perhaps we are just beginning to realise what the important jobs in the country really are.

John


Indeed. We need far less Awards Nights for the myriad of infinitely replaceable media types and far more recognition of those society actually relies upon for their fundamental needs.


Ah! But would you know that if it weren't for the media types!
I'd settle for holding the fuds ultimately responsible to account
- perhaps voting reform might be a good start ;)

-sd

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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445267

Postby onthemove » September 25th, 2021, 2:16 pm

monabri wrote:The lorry driver turns up with their load and often have to wait around for several hours to be unloaded - this time is unpaid and the lorry is effectively off the road.

Drivers were not allowed to use the toilets at the supermarkets and not allowed to use their restaurants - even when kept waiting for hours.


Lorry off the road, and they're not being paid and waiting for several hours ... so just a.n.other member of the public on their long break then, and you're saying that the supermarket won't let them go and buy a meal as a paying customer in the supermarket's cafe?

I simply do not believe that.

I don't mean that in an exasperated "unbelievable!" sense, I mean literally I don't believe the claim.

And nor do I believe that they would be challenged if they nipped into the store and used the customer toilets.

I am of course assuming that the lorry can be safely left unattended and we're not talking about genuine safety or similar reasons that mean the driver must remain with the lorry. If that were the case, then the situation would be a bit different to what the claim is trying to portray.

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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445268

Postby richlist » September 25th, 2021, 2:17 pm

Perhaps someone can organise a round of applause say, every Thursday evening at 8pm ......just like we did for the NHS workers, so we can show our appreciation for all their efforts ?

Oh, hold on, that didn't result in any significant benefit for them so......perhaps that won't work for the lorry driver either.

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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445276

Postby vagrantbrain » September 25th, 2021, 2:52 pm

onthemove wrote:
monabri wrote:The lorry driver turns up with their load and often have to wait around for several hours to be unloaded - this time is unpaid and the lorry is effectively off the road.

Drivers were not allowed to use the toilets at the supermarkets and not allowed to use their restaurants - even when kept waiting for hours.


Lorry off the road, and they're not being paid and waiting for several hours ... so just a.n.other member of the public on their long break then, and you're saying that the supermarket won't let them go and buy a meal as a paying customer in the supermarket's cafe?

I simply do not believe that.

I don't mean that in an exasperated "unbelievable!" sense, I mean literally I don't believe the claim.

And nor do I believe that they would be challenged if they nipped into the store and used the customer toilets.

I am of course assuming that the lorry can be safely left unattended and we're not talking about genuine safety or similar reasons that mean the driver must remain with the lorry. If that were the case, then the situation would be a bit different to what the claim is trying to portray.


You do realise most deliveries to supermarkets take place out of hours when the stores are closed?? Most regional distribution centres (where the majority of trucks filled with food actually get offloaded) have driver rooms where drivers MUST wait while they are unloaded - they cannot wait in the cab. Often the facilities are nothing more than a few chairs with no welfare or toilet facilities.

https://www.truckanddriver.co.uk/latest ... -from-you/

Straight from the horses mouth: "The biggest negative to being a female on the road, though, is the lack of basic facilities. And actually that’s for all drivers, not just women. A lot of “drivers’ toilets” I wouldn’t even let my dog use – they are horrendous. Most companies used to let you use their office loos, but when the pandemic hit, I was refused at a lot of places. I don’t know how people can justify refusing a basic necessity like that, but they did.

https://inews.co.uk/inews-lifestyle/fem ... rs-1187295

Whats most telling is that it was only in 2017 that drivers even got the right to use toilet facilities when delivering:

https://www.unitetheunion.org/news-even ... lth-issue/

It's got so bad that both the HSE and PHE have had to send reminder letters to the industry following the amount of complaints about drivers being denied welfare facilities:
https://www.hgvalliance.com/against-law ... facilities
https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/driv ... livery.htm

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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445278

Postby Hallucigenia » September 25th, 2021, 3:02 pm

onthemove wrote:And nor do I believe that they would be challenged if they nipped into the store and used the customer toilets.


Never rely on argument from personal disbelief - see my link above for an example of McDogs refusing access to customer toilets.

But as has been mentioned, the real issue is distribution centres, which don't have a nice café attached but which are where most "external" drivers interact with the big retailers apart from perishable things like milk. Talking of which, this is the story of a modern milk run :

https://twitter.com/thelorryist/status/ ... 1872602112

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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445282

Postby onthemove » September 25th, 2021, 3:15 pm

vagrantbrain wrote:You do realise most deliveries to supermarkets take place out of hours when the stores are closed??


That wasn't the scenario to which I was expressing my disbelief.

This was the claim to which I was expressing my disbelief...

"Drivers were not allowed to use the toilets at the supermarkets and not allowed to use their restaurants - even when kept waiting for hours."


It puts a completely different light on that scenario if you're adding the caveat "not allowed to use their restaurants when they are locked up, closed, already cleaned up ready for leaving overnight before opening the next day and all the restaurant staff have gone home".

In that scenario, it would seem entirely reasonable that drivers wouldn't be able to use the restaurant.

You can't expect that an untrained (in terms of kitchen duties) lorry driver should be able to unlock the restaurant, turn on the cookers, open up the fridges and cook himself a meal, then be expected to tidy up, clean the table, wash the pots and pans he'd used, then turn off the lights ready for the normal restaurant staff to open up for normal trade the next morning.

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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445283

Postby pje16 » September 25th, 2021, 3:17 pm

https://www.bluearrow.co.uk/driving-car ... iving-jobs
Tanker drivers are the highest paid truck driving job in the UK
Note the article is 18 months old so things may have changed

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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445315

Postby UncleEbenezer » September 25th, 2021, 6:33 pm

Sussexlad wrote:Indeed. We need far less Awards Nights for the myriad of infinitely replaceable media types and far more recognition of those society actually relies upon for their fundamental needs.

Just remember, an "award" in media is basically a warning label.

The phrase "award-winning" is a bigger warning that should sound louder alarms.

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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445343

Postby Mike4 » September 25th, 2021, 11:29 pm

pje16 wrote:https://www.bluearrow.co.uk/driving-career-advice/what-are-the-highest-paid-driving-jobs
Tanker drivers are the highest paid truck driving job in the UK
Note the article is 18 months old so things may have changed


I remember 50 years ago when my best mate, an intelligent and articulate geezer, elected to be a lorry driver straight from skool to my surprise, explaining he loved the idea of the itinerant lifestyle. He quickly graduated to artics and told me his ambition was to be a petrol tanker driver. They are the top of the pecking order amongst lorry drivers (skip lorry drivers being at the bottom, apparently), as their load is seriously dangerous and valuable, the driver is not required to physically unload the delivery (unlike with most stuff e.g. building materials) and they get top money as a result of the responsibility.

Sadly I lost touch with him soon after, as internet and mobile fones didn't happen until 25 yrs later.

Edit to add: Norman Parker, I don't suppose you are here by any chance, are you?!

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Re: Lorry Drivers Appreciation Society

#445356

Postby UncleEbenezer » September 26th, 2021, 12:38 am

Mike4 wrote:I remember 50 years ago when my best mate, an intelligent and articulate geezer, elected to be a lorry driver straight from skool to my surprise, explaining he loved the idea of the itinerant lifestyle.

I got something of that feeling when I travelled with them. There was a pleasure in the job.

That'll have been severely dampened by the new delays and Red Tape. It might still exist for a new generation, but those who have been used to doing it when borders and trade were open might very easily feel the job had lost its attraction.


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