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Wspomnienia z Hebrydów (eng.)

Na forum Trucknet UK jeden z kierowców zadał pytanie, czy praca w szkockich Highlands naprawdę wygląda tak pięknie jak na obrazku. Postanowiłem zachować sobie to, co mu odpisałem:

I worked for Hebrides Haulage for six months. This is a best driving job I ever had - beautiful places and decent people.

Why I quit? Heavy lifting. You are on your own and you are delivering everything - sofas, washing mashines, farm mashinery, cattle feed, salt in bags, stone graves, coffins, pool tables, gaming machines, motorbikes, quads, tractor tyres, carpets, furniture, some magic things I even don't know what it was, apart of it's being fragile and bloody heavy, we were also doing some removals there...

Some things can weight good few hundred kilos and only sometimes you have someone to help you. My spine was sometimes killing me and I decided that money aren't worth killing my spine (and I am affraid that no company is able to pay me enaugh to hurt myself).

But this is the job I miss, really. If I had some job like that, but with everything palletised, I will go back there straight away, even for this 290 basic I had there. Another issue is the people. Compare Dover ferry port, when you are told "get into lane 129 and you are 12th lorry on there with a ferry terminal in Lochboisdale, where you just park up in the lay-by and at the morning the ferry guy is knocking to your cab, holding your ticket in one hand and a mug of coffe in the other?

And all this adventures like deliveries to the Eriskay Island, driving down farm lanes or even on the beach, looking for some fish-farms lost in the fjords (or what the scottish word is for it), driving breaks spent on the stone circles or watching the birds through the lunette of the bird -watchers... The nights spend with a tourists on the camping fields just next to the atlantic ocean (as you can't park in passing places, so you had to go off the road) and all this interesting people from all arround the world to chat with during the 7 hours ferry sailing from Lochboisdale to Oban...

Also this atmosphere, where everyone knows everyone, and there is no such thing like "not delivered" - you can leave it in local shop, with the neighbour, or there is just a letter on the doors "Driver, it's open, put it in the living room, there is a jar with money in the kitchen, help yourself with a 5 quid tip" (really!). If I will agree for every tea I was offered there, I think I would be still there.

Remember, when I was offered that job and I was told what I will earn, I asked the guy on my interview how much notice he will need when I will quit. I thought " I will go to Hebrides once or twice to see how is there and then I'll get some decent job". But it turned that it's one of the most beautiful places on Earth and I stayed for so long.

I think I would not quit HH if not that I had international job promised with going to places like Malta or Greece (but after one month I was made redundant and replaced by some Romanian subcontracotrs - bloody eastern-europeans :D )


I was working there from February to August. Sometimes it was really wet, but suprisingly average weather on Hebrides was much, much better than in Glasgow. I remember once when I came back to the yard and jumped off the cab wearing shorts and sandals and the forklift driver saw me and said "You bloody [zb], you were supposed to go to Benbecula, not to Ibiza" - it really made me smile :)

Off course I remember going causeway between North Uist and Benbecula when waves were so big, that water was splashing on my windscreen like from buckets and I was barely able to see anything... My lorry also had black doors, as once previous driver opened original ones and they gone with the wind... I broke the door limiter about four times while working there...

But when I was working there I was much better, I was really sick once, just after I started, and then I had never blocked nose or got cold - I think after few years in this job you are pretty cold-proof.

And I like when something is going on, and the storms are definitely something. I remember once I was sleeping in ferry-terminal waiting room, as I had sleeping cab on the roof and I got sea sicknes due to the wind rocking my lorry...

Other day I was driving about 3-4 am trough Glencoe, there was full moon and tops of the hills were covered by snow... I was in this place when you can see plenty of road before you, so I turned my headlights off and was enjoying beatifull wiev, flashing only from time to time in case that other similar moron would go opposite way... By the way: who else in UK has a chance to drive 6 hours and meet 11 other vehicles?

I just came back after four days trip - Bristol, High Wycombe, Heathrow, Cetral London, Nottingham...

It was good and I enjoyed this, but motorways are so boring, and traffic jams on them are even worse. Only going into that big cities are keeping me busy... If I had job like Trunking up and down motorway, I doubt I would be able to stand it for long.

So, to sum the things up:

Yes, sometimes it can be harsh working in north of Scotland, but at least you can't say that it's boring. And for the places you go, and people you meet it's all worth it.

I was sure, that driving the lorry is not my live-long career, as I already planned to go to the university after some years, so I planned to change jobs quick, progressing to better ones, but still keeping in mind that I want to see as much world as possible during this few years of trucking I planned, therefore I was only taking jobs which had opportunity to do it (like this one, or this international driving of 7.5tonner). But if I will consider driving for life, I will do everything to work in Highlands or Islands...

sobota, 20 czerwca 2009, tomek854

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