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Thread: Trucking Hell

  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    I watched a news programme the other night about how dangerous Left Hand Drive trucks and their drivers are in the UK, responsible for hundreds of side-swip accidents on motorways and 45 deaths.



    They are ever-increasing in numbers because of much cheaper diesel over The Channel and very cheap labour rates when using drivers from the former Eastern Bloc countries now in the EU (one driver earned 12 Euro cents per kilometre). Many drivers also have forged driving licences readily available on the Net for around �150 (Quentin Willson presented the news programme and had a Polish one run up very easily complete with the extra HGV1 group).



    Although many of the trucks are dangerously defective; tyres, brakes, overloaded trailers etc and many of the drivers do not take rest breaks because they don't get paid for them, the police are virtually powerless to do anything about it. There are no on the spot fines, they cannot allocate penalty points on EU drivers' licences, and all they can do is enforce rest breaks on drivers and insist that things like defective tyres are renewed.



    Of the many trucks stopped, hundreds pass by unchecked. The biggest problem regarding safety is the lack of visibility for LHD trucks, they can't see in their blind-spot when overtaking which is why side-swiping innocent drivers in their cars is such a common occurrence these days and set to get worse.



    Most British trucks and drivers comply to UK and EU regulations to the letter, but these cowboy truckers from abroad literally get away with murder. One Dutch trucker fell asleep at the wheel and ploughed into a car which had just pulled up on the hard shoulder, killing the female driver and severely injuring her child. The driver was fined �1000 and had 6 penalty points against his name should he ever apply to get a British Driving Licence! Ludicrous I know but that's the way the law is in the UK.



    The question is, should we in the UK throw in the towel and drive on the right, or simply ban left hand drive trucks from driving on our roads, or even ban them from overtaking on our motorways/dual carriageways? No matter how good the truck driver is, or how many extra mirrors he has fitted, it is still very dangerous for these trucks to overtake.



    Living near to two ports I see hundreds of these trucks every week and I try and get past them very quickly, usually moving across to the outside lane just in case they pull out across my path. The situation with cowboy truckers cannot continue because apart from the obvious road safety issues, they are taking business away from our own safer truckers because of the cheap diesel and inadequate safety procedures and maintenance!



    Also, unlike most EU countries our police are powerless to impose on-the-spot fines for driving infringements by foreign drivers, cars as well as trucks! Yet when we travel through France the police are all set to pounce if your GB sticker isn't on straight!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: England
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    i drive a truck for a living and have found the poles to have a "devil may care "attitude towards it ,[ its not just the physical aspect of driving a large vehicle you have to contend with ,theres weight limits ,height limits ,curfew roads etc ,its very difficult to pass an hgv test in the uk ,as for poland who knows ? are they as stringent as here ?,not from what ive seen ,

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    name='davidb']i drive a truck for a living and have found the poles to have a "devil may care "attitude towards it ,[ its not just the physical aspect of driving a large vehicle you have to contend with ,theres weight limits ,height limits ,curfew roads etc ,its very difficult to pass an hgv test in the uk ,as for poland who knows ? are they as stringent as here ?,not from what ive seen ,


    Unfortunately we are ridiculed by other countries and known as "soft-touch Britain". So anything Europeans wouldn't be allowed to get away with in their own country, they certainly could in ours! Unless you're British of course, and then the UK authorites will go to great lengths to prosecute you because it's so much easier and more lucrative than having to deal with Johnny Foreigner!



    This isn't a race thing either, it's an inadequate judicial system in respect of The Road Traffic Act issue that hasn't taken into account the fact than thousands of drivers from EU countries will inevitably break the law in the UK with no fear of prosecution! A man who kills a mugger could expect life imprisonment, a dangerous foreign truck with an unqualified driver at the wheel could wipe out a minibus full of school children and just keep on trucking!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: England
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    for some reason the present government would like the uk haulage industry to disapear down the plughole ,why ? i dont know ,foreign lorrys are more and more common and believe me i dont like to hang around the offside of them on a motorway ,

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    name='davidb']for some reason the present government would like the uk haulage industry to disapear down the plughole ,why ? i dont know ,foreign lorrys are more and more common and believe me i dont like to hang around the offside of them on a motorway ,


    It will get worse for the haulage industry. When the supermarkets twig on to the cost benefits of employing foreign trucks and drivers you'll see articulated lorry tractor units full of cheap diesel coming over the water to pick up trailers full of foodstuffs from UK depots in Southampton and other ports for delivery to shops along the South Coast areas.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: England
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    im sure something like that would have crossed their minds ,but they would have done it by now

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: Europe
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    There has been a recent move to address this issue at EU level - not sure how effective it will be and it will still need to be ratified by our parliament. But at least it's a start:



    EU Directive



    UK response to consultation

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: England
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    anyway my advice to anyone reading this is dont hang around the offside [their passenger side ]of foreign lorries on motorways /dual carriageways etc ,unless you want to be side swiped by one of course !you just dont know what level of training the driver has achieved or what kind of safety standards /hour keeping behind the wheel him or his firm instills

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: England
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    there was an article in todays newspaper relevant to this thread so i thought id bring it back ,the boss of the german haulage firm called willi bettz [ theres lots of his trucks over here ] is doing a prison sentence in germany for bribing eastern european hgv driving examiners to wave his newly found staff through the hgv test ,also for treating his eastern european staff as little more than slave labour . just remember give foreign lorrys a wide berth when you encounter them on motorways !

  10. #10
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    Watched a program on telly a while back ( think it was on channel 4 dispatches) its either Poland or Romania they take their tests on farm tractors with a trailer fitted to it, theyve never even driven an HGV vehicle when they reciebe their license.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    name='davidb']anyway my advice to anyone reading this is dont hang around the offside [their passenger side ]of foreign lorries on motorways /dual carriageways etc ,unless you want to be side swiped by one of course !you just dont know what level of training the driver has achieved or what kind of safety standards /hour keeping behind the wheel him or his firm instills


    Thanks for the tip David, that's something I haven't thought of is being 'sideswiped', if I need to go almost anywhere other than London or East Anglia it's on the notorious M25 Motorway, plenty of European number plates transversing that, not so much the 'Road to Hell', the Road is Hell!


  12. #12
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    and god only knows how the polish hgv drivers treat their prostitutes

  13. #13
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='davidb']just remember give foreign lorrys a wide berth when you encounter them on motorways !


    I give all lorries a wide berth, and plenty of room for them to move



    Steve

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