UK based truck driver Luke Cuss has been on the road since 2016.
Identifying areas that need attention
“As a trucker, your day usually starts first thing in the morning, before daylight has broken”, Cuss tells us. “You must make sure the truck is roadworthy, and the load is securely strapped down and then complete other checks before eventually hitting the road”.
Discussing his long hours, Andrews said, “When I'm on the clock, it's full steam ahead for most of the day. My shifts tend to be between 12 and 14 hours long.”
Many drivers work in general haulage, which means their loads—and routes—vary massively from day to day. Deliveries can include food and drink one day, medical supplies the next, construction materials the day after that. Somedays it’s even exotic cargo, like speedboats! In short, if it fits on the truck, drivers will move it.
There’s a lot of freedom
One of the best things about being a trucker is getting paid to travel the country. And when you’re rolling down the highway, you never have to worry about someone looking over your shoulder. It’s just you, your truck and the open road.
Andrews says the fact that he can spend days in his own company is a unique freedom for truckers, his job taking him anywhere in the UK on a moment’s notice is liberating.
“I just enjoy the freedom more than anything,” said Cuss. “It’s nice to be paid to look out the window all day!”
Truckers drive differently than the rest of us
Driving a heavy multi-axle vehicle is not at all like driving a car. To be a great trucker, you obviously need excellent driving and parking skills. To move around traffic and tight roads in busy cities takes an immense amount of concentration, awareness and technical skill. Driving a truck through a city becomes an art form.
“To be a truck driver you have to be very observant”, said Cuss, speaking of the responsibilities truckers take on when behind the wheel. “I genuinely believe that truck drivers read the traffic ahead far better than any motorists.”
It’s also essential to have good intuition. You need to be able to anticipate what other road users will do before they do it. And then you must react fast to stay safe on the road.
Cuss recalls a time where his intuition prevented an accident and saved a life, “Just a few days ago, I had a lady and her dog walk out onto the road in front of me causing me to make an emergency stop. The lady walked out in front of me and I very nearly killed her. If it wasn’t for my fast reactions and observation of the potential hazard before it even happened, I may not have stopped.”