HGV shortages: Jeremy Vine says 'Brexit is working'
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
The nationwide shortage of HGV drivers is causing widespread disruption across the UK – with some of the biggest supermarket chains and restaurants impacted by driver shortages – but those already doing the job can see why more people are not rushing to fill the vacancies.
In an interview with Essex Live, Tim Baldwin, 51, explained the challenges facing lorry drivers and why he doesn’t think there is a quick fix to the problem.
Mr Baldwin, from Southend-on-Sea, says he gets around five hours’ sleep a night, waking at one or two in the morning and then driving half an hour to Thurrock to pick up his lorry.
A working day can last anywhere between 13 and 15 hours and will see him picking up and dropping off loads across the country, before returning to base and then enduring a one-hour commute home if traffic is heavy.
He says that poor pay, long, unsociable hours and rough working conditions mean that the shortage of new drivers is unlikely to be reversed within the next two years. Another problem, he says, is that the younger generation just don’t want to do the job.
Mr Baldwin said: “You work 13-15 hours a day. People don’t want to do it.
“It takes a minimum of a week on an intensive driving course, and that’s just the driving side. You have got the medicals before that and the theoretical side of it, which is a lot more in-depth than a driving test.”
He explained that the unpredictable working conditions are certainly not for everyone. He says at some stops drivers can try to grab a quick nap or a bite to eat, at others, drivers can queue for several hours waiting to be unloaded.
Couzens sick nickname was KNOWN to Met – Cressida Dick urged to resign[UK]
Gloating Michel Barnier says Brexit was ALWAYS going to cripple UK[POLITICS]
Paying by phone at McDonald’s could land drivers with £200 fine[CARS]
He said toilet facilities, showers and general pit-stop areas vary dramatically: “Invariably on the motorway, services aren’t the cleanest – they can be pretty mouldy as they are usually inside the building.
“I remember going into one at 4am to have shower and it was mess with used condoms all over the floor.
“I have had it when you are in the lay-by side on the side of the road, parked up, there is no toilet and it’s the middle of night.
“You don’t want to get out the cab, so you pee in a bottle or if you get caught really short and are really desperate you have to improvise. Get a carrier bag, line it with newspapers, squat over it and do what you need to do.”
Depending on his hours, Mr Baldwin earns between £700 and £1,000 a week and says there is always overtime available because of the nature of the job. A recent 20 percent pay rise has taken him from “being on the breadline” each week to having some extra money left over.
Even so, he admits the basic money is not much of an incentive for working more than 10 hours a day.
Last week, the Government promised more support to help people to become HGV drivers as well as a package of measures to try to ease the risk of shortages.
The plans include up to 4,000 people being trained as new HGV drivers, using MOD examiners to help increase immediate HGV testing capacity by thousands over the next 12 weeks and nearly one million letters sent to drivers already with a HGV driving licence, encouraging them back into the industry.
Additional reporting by Louise Lazell.
Source: Read Full Article