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Over the last forty to fifty years the job has changed a lot. Generally, the skills used, and the nature of the work done, has changed.
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The Changing Role of the Truck Driver

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Over the last forty to fifty years the job has changed a lot.
Generally, the skills used, and the nature of the work done, has changed.
Index of Articles, stories, etc.
Overall, judging by the Driver shortage, it is now a much less attractive vocation than it used to be.
The obvious and most objectionable thing is the intolerable degree of regulation.
'Spy in the cab' is one thing. Taking it too far is another.
Long ago, when the Earth was young ...
The first thing one had to master was the ability to rope and sheet.
Changing a wheel, by yourself, was next. (Heavy, but we used levers a lot).
You had to be resourceful: Like scrounging and replacing a broken injector pipe.
In a strange place, a long way from home.
Runs took much, much longer and generally involved nights out.

The attraction of the job, to a young man, was that it was 'adventurous'.
You saw the country, you surmounted problems, and there was minimal paperwork.
You were your own Boss.
And, to most of us, it was more attractive than the Merchant Navy or Foreign Legion.

Today ...
With the development of a motorway network, and the utilisation of that system for things like fast trunking, between regional distribution depots, driving involves far less nights out.
Food distribution, to regional distribution centres, and thence on to supermarkets, seems to dominate the transport industry now.
And the parcel business has gone bananas: Massive central hubs servicing hundreds of trailer changes a day, etc.
The type of person required has changed.
Today's job would not have been so attractive to the older Driver when he was young.
Obviously, and today, many younger people, who try the job and then leave, feel the same way.

There are numerous rules and regulations to learn.
Drivers are told how to do everything.
Drivers are not required to be resourceful. Just obey the rules.
And don't complain.

It is a great pity that young Drivers today will never experience that which we experienced 'when the Earth was young'.

Like those unique experiences you would never get in a factory.
Like reversing onto a moving ship:
Where the sea outside the harbour is so rough, the harbour waters are affected.
What you see, in your mirror, is the rear of the trailer describing an ever increasing circle as you back down the ramp.

Or like when coming down a mountainside, in another country, with a fully loaded wagon and drag.
Then your brakes just fade away.

And the good things.
Where you get away from the beaten track, and cities, and meet the real people of the country you are in.
They may have little, or no, English, but they really make you welcome.
We all have had our own little adventures.

The average age of a HGV Driver is c 56.
This means there are primarily older drivers in the industry.
Older people are more tolerant and tend to accept the bad things.
Many, however, will be doing it because it’s the only work that they can get due to ageism, whatever, elsewhere.

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