Monday 27 September 2021

New source of tanker drivers: not what you'd guess

So at the weekend I was chatting to Someone Who Knows, & apparently ... the mass lay-off of commercial pilots has resulted in significant numbers of them becoming long-distance truckers.  (a) They have the skills!  (b) they are totally reliable;  (c) they can deal with complex away-from-home schedules.   

And they make decent money trucking.  What's not to like?  Not as if there will be many flying hours for them any time soon.

(Of course, how long they can hack it without hot and cold running stewardesses is another matter.  Yes, I've known some pilots.  Still, some of those cabs have proper beds ...) 



Anonymous said...

So these pilots that spend almost all of their time with autopilot on, are going to spend hours concentrating with 38 tonnes flying along the congested roads.

Someone has been pulling your ....or you are the gullible John Redwood.

Anonymous said...

I've seen some of those 38-tonne jockeys in action (got hit by one of them once), they are definitely on autopilot. Marriage made in heaven I'd say.

Timbo614 said...

@Anonymous 3:36
autopilot "flies" an aeroplane like a tesla would auto-drive a country road,
there's a lot more to it than just steering!

Anonymous said...

I’ve worked at Exxon-Mobile on the Fawley site.
Tanker drivers are not just HGV drivers they need ADR
I’ll let you google it.
My guess, and it is a guess, there is no actual shortage of either petrol or diesel at the refineries.
Nothing fundamental has changed in the last week with the amount of drivers with ADR.
This is a totally non event driven (excuse the pun) by the media and subsequent panic buying.
Deliveries will match demand in the next few days at the bigger fuel stations.
Smaller independents will have to wait.
I’ll continue working at home and look for some diesel for my 70l tank next week.
It’s a rhetorical question but do you know how many litres the biggest articulated lorries in the Uk can carry ?

Bill Quango MP said...

I was told the same thing today. Virgin airline pilots shifted over to work for Amazon when there were no flights and no prospects. The person explained that the airlines would not/could not even do the basic training to ensure their pilots were able to maintain their current certification.

Plus the whole tax base change.
So, as with the HGV drivers. Many packed it in for an easier job with better hours. On not that much less pay.

dearieme said...

One of our lockdown supermarket delivery men had been a driving instructor. Another a cabbie. If any were schoolteachers drawing two pay packets they didn't admit to it. Or GPs come to that.

Petrol crisis: how much of the population is stupid enough to let their tank get almost empty before they fill up? I'm thinking of this sort of dozy bugger:

Anonymous said...

At my local garage now it's care workers and NHS people only, and they check ID.

What a pity Dom told the world “don’t employ me anywhere important ever again” when he slagged off the Cabinet and PM, as if we didn't know they were crap (just not as crap as the other lot).

If he'd kept his trap shut on leaving he'd be back in No 10 when the next crisis came (as in right now), heading up a tiger team with real power. He’s chucked it away.

And the UK's long term energy needs are still IMHO an accident waiting to happen.

Jan said...

@anon 12.25
What a pity Dom told the world “don’t employ me anywhere important ever again”
Same applies to Angela Rayner........she's kissed her political career goodbye
No great loss there.

E-K said...

What about all those unemployed city youth who wail that there aren't opportunities for them ? Aren't they interested in doing this work ?

There are similar problems in the rail industry.

An inability to form training bubbles allowing trainees to go with instructors and assessors. A huge backlog of training and lapsed competencies.

Brexit did not cause this.

E-K said...

... I'm not sure a former pilot would be happy on a diet of cold Ginsters and crapping in a bush beside a lay-by.

IR35, traffic 'calming', city charges and restrictions... everything geared up to work against you rather than with you.

They won't hack this work for long.

Don Cox said...

Energy in Britain will be in very short supply for the next few years.

This news site is worth following. Things are moving, but very slowly.

dearieme said...

Another contribution to the stramash:

"Roughly a third of this is down to older drivers quitting due to tax rule changes, known as "IR35", which has resulted in disputes over how much income tax and National Insurance they should be paying, according to Marc Fells of the HGV Recruitment, a jobs agency."

If you tax work you get less of it. Shock horror!

dearieme said...

A suggestion: Sir Kneel Trimmer should do his HGV training and then help alleviate the problem.

Elby the Beserk said...

Jan said...
@anon 12.25
What a pity Dom told the world “don’t employ me anywhere important ever again”
Same applies to Angela Rayner........she's kissed her political career goodbye
No great loss there.

1:08 pm

No. She's more than happy wailing and screaming form the sidelines. There's always a role for such in Labour. The rest of us can carry on ignoring her.

E-K said...

This from a trucker.

I fail to see why airline pilots will put up with this for very long if their capabilities match more rewarding jobs. And the buggerations caused by anti-lorry councils isn't mentioned for some reason.

A big standout from the article is DVLA, where a strike and WFH has caused a hold up in licences... hey ! I thought WFH was supposed to improve productivity.

Put the can-do pilots in DVLA instead !!!

Average age of truck driver is now 53 and Andrew Brigden warned the Tories about this EU wide shortfall of drivers in the House in 2015.

The Tories' response was that we were in the EU and drivers on low wages could be recruited from abroad.

lilith said...

Thought about getting an HGV licence....then I imagined myself stuck under railway bridges, or in the centre of small towns with traffic light failures and saw myself running from the cab in's not a job for those who lack spatial awareness,.....Some days, in certain moon phases, I can't even parallel park the Dacia.

lilith said...

Those pilots will have found that the money is better too.

Anonymous said...

I think women would probably make very good HGV drivers for the same reason they were preferred for boring, fiddly but essential assembly-line work on pre-robotics days - the power of sustained concentration on a boring task over long periods.

When I do a car run from the Cotswolds to Carlisle and back in a day I'm mentally shattered - the thought of doing that EVERY day would be appalling - just haven't got the concentration, although I can work five 10-11 hour days on a project that needs completing.

All HGVs now have power steering - few of the jobs need brawny forearms any more. I know precisely one lady HGV driver - an easy on the eye IT analyst who drives 44-ton trucks for fun and profit in her holidays.

To be fair to her, she is not as most other women are. She has a girlfriend, for starters, and is the only woman I've ever met with any interest (never mind her fanatical one) in traction engines and steam trains.

Her poor girlfriend. For a treat she was once taken to York for a few days romantic break - and to see all the extant A4 Pacifics reunited at the National Railway Museum.

E-K said...

Katie Price ?

estwdjhn said...

@Anon 4:58

Men on average have better spatial awareness than women, which tends to make them better at driving vehicles, especially ones which behave in "complex" ways like lorries and trailers.

I'm fairly used to doing 8 hours driving in a day plus a normal days work at my destination - I don't really find driving tiring at-all. The one thing I find hard is running in average speed camera sections - without cruse control it takes a lot of concentration to hold speed down on empty roads (I'm fairly sure I'm actually safer on a motorway at 90mph when my most of my brain is gainfully employed concentrating on the road than at 50mph when 90% of my brain is idle, other than trying to monitor my speed).

Anonymous said...

A lot of men are capable of driving 8 hours a day, or HGV driving wouldn't be so male, but quite a lot aren't. Driving, especially motorway driving, is boring and it's easy to lose concentration - I actually prefer A roads when tired.

Cotswolds to Boat of Garten for February skiing with the kids - by the last stretch of the A9 you're starting to lose touch with reality, is that a person or a bush at the side of the road? Fortunately there's not much traffic at 2 am.