AN "OWNER " DRIVER AGAIN......
CAST TRADING LTD
So, time to start again. I must admit it is far easier the second time around. When you call in at local hauliers to find if they have work when you are just beginning, the traffic clerk takes your details and says "We'll be in touch", and rareley does. When you go as I did, knowing the company, you tend to get shown the Guv'nors office, and given a cup of coffee, and asked what your work preference is.
Companies like Shakespeare, Bosman, Newtons, Seymours,Colin Wild and many others all pitched in to get me back on my feet again. I suppose it is a touch of "there but for the grace...." combined with " thank God, another competitor out of the way". It was good, though, going into it knowing you can trust the people you are working with. In the whole of the seven years of my second go we didn't have a single bad debt!
This was the first truck, a 280 FL6 Volve 6-wheeler with a tail-lift, bought from Wheatley's at Waltham Abbey.
This job, for Seymour Wild out of Townsend Hook Papermill, was one of "those" addresses : "Looney Lugs, Charing Cross Rd".
Turned out to be a tiny print shop in an underground (ex) public toilet. The above ground structure was a souvenir shop. There was a section of the pavement, in the picture, that had a little goods lift, and down it went.
I couldn't resist taking this pic, no, I hadn't gone early for the Beijing Olympics, I was delivering fertiliser for Shakespeare in Battersea Park!
One job that kept popping up was running from Water for Works bottling plant at Hadlow (here) to Marden, where they ran their van distribution. They liked me, because being very short of staff, I was quite happy to unload and reload myself. I never realised that from being maybe once a week, it would become a fulltime job until the well ran dry in 2004.
This was simply the best trucking job I ever had. It paid reasonably well, but it was working locally that appealed to me. I knew every tractor driver, dog walker, farmer and householder along the route that I would travel sometimes three times a day. I could meet my Jackie for lunch at the Garden Centre, and there was no pressure, I always had time to stop and talk.
The spare time, something I had never had in ordinary haulage, gave me the opportunity to become involved in community life, initially the Borough Green Christmas Lights, where my truck made a perfect stage. Sevenoaks Town spotted this, and I got roped in one year for theirs as well.
Just to make a change from all those dirty old trucks, sunrise across Shoreham Harbour : worth getting up early for
G517 PBA had to be replaced, and again I had to go hunting because Maidstone Commercials had no 6-wheelers in stock. We tracked this one down at Hartshorne in Walsall. This was actually the from half of a roadtrain, a 320 FL10, not an FL6, and did it hustle! And after 4 years of the FL6 steel suspension on country roads, the air suspension was like staying in bed!
Although the truck was owned and operated by Cast Trading, my bankruptcy had been discharged in 2000, so we decided to use the old livery again.