Trucking Digest

The past few weeks have seen me deeply immersed in sport. I’ve been listening to the Cricket World Cup on Test Match Special while driving my truck. Then this week has seen the annual Tour de France cycle race which I really enjoy watching on my computer. Additionally, Tuesday saw the first pre-season friendly game for Wingate & Finchley so I’m back at work photographing the team in action.

In my last Trucking Digest I said I’d be getting back into Europe and with the Tour de France in full flow I decided to get out and about in the Renault Magnum and give it a suitable French paint scheme. With the Tour on during the day, my driving has to be early morning or late evening – not that this affects the time of day in the game ๐Ÿ˜‰ On Wednesday evening I enjoyed a long run from Dresden to my Montpellier base with a load of carrots. This included a run along the re-mapped A4 autobahn which has several punishing climbs and this rather intriguing piece of engineering near Chemnitz……This is the Bahrebachmรผhlen Viaduct which was built circa 1870. The A4 Autobahn was built in the 1930’s. It became necessary to widen the road in the 1990’s but the viaduct’s piers were too close together so a rebuild was required. The rather unique engineering solution seen in the screenshot, was built between 1999 and 2003.

The last part of that 3-shift journey saw me making a brisk run down the eastern side of France from near Dijon on the A6 to Lyon…
…and continuing south on the A7 before picking up the A9 at Orange to park up at home just in time to turn out the lights and close up for the night ๐Ÿ™‚

This morning, before the start of the cycling, I did a rather nice ‘afternoon’ cross country run from Munich to Klagenfurt. This is a wonderful switch-back route through the Austrian Alps…

…That scenery is a great way to start the IRL day ๐Ÿ™‚ And here we are parked up in the maintenance facility at Klagenfurt…

Keep the shiny side up everyone ๐Ÿ™‚


The Auld Alliance?

As CEO of Transportes Martin based in Montpellier I would like to wish everyone a Happy Bastille Day with a few shots of the company’s Renault Magnum in a special paint-job. Vive la France!

Eastbound from Montpellier and about to pick up the autoroute towards Lyon and on to Dijon…

…risking the wrath of Les Gendarmes for having my main-beam lights on for the photo shoot…

From Dijon we took a tractor north-west to Le Havre…

…enjoying a glorious sunset as we crossed the Seine to complete a wonderful Bastille Day’s driving…

ps – as my regular readers know, I’m half Scot’s hence the reference to the Auld Alliance ๐Ÿ™‚

Now Where Was I…?

…Oh Yes – planning on buying another garage in Montpellier. The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley. I had the money in the bank and was sitting in Bourges after a pleasant trip across country from Dรผsseldorf with a load of Beverages. Pleasant run it might have been but being mostly on back roads it was bad for the fuel economy as was the previous run with a load of Vodka. The company accountant will be spitting feathers ๐Ÿ˜‰ So I’m looking to go and get that next garage before he notices and pretends that we can’t afford it! The trouble is that I can’t find a load from Bourges going to Montpellier nor are there any going to Marseilles or Toulouse.

What I can get is a load of boots going north to Paris. That’s Rubber Boots of the Michelin Tyre variety ๐Ÿ™‚ OK – looks like we’re going to be buying our next garage in Paris. We set off from Bourges in the early morning light……It’s lovely driving at that time of day ๐Ÿ™‚ The delivery went smoothly and I didn’t have far to drive from Geodis to the garage I was going to buy – it’s right next door ๐Ÿ™‚

Now we need to put together the money for another truck and to hire a driver. I picked a job to deliver a Digger 1000 from Paris down to Limoges. It was all the way round on the other side of town so a long deadhead run to the job. Then down to Limoges where we delivered to Hellmann opposite the local Volvo dealer. I wrote about the way that some low-loaders cut the corner behind you previously and maybe this shot illustrates the point……That’s why trucks have to go onto the wrong side of the road to make a turn! Something us ordinary motorists / cyclists need to bear in mind.

I camped out in the Volvo Dealer – slightly cheeky as I was in the MAN but I am a customer so no complaints ๐Ÿ˜‰ I still needed to get the money for a new truck for Paris so it was off to Le Havre the same evening with a load of transmissions. That was a long run and I probably should have taken a break part way but I decided to press on and get it done. As a result I picked up a couple of sleep avoidance fines. While I don’t view them as ‘driving errors’ in the same way as I would a collision or off-road excursion, I think I need to be a little harder on myself about these in future for the sake of realism.

From Le Havre it was a long cross-country with a load of Boric Acid into Germany – destination Stuttgart (I’m a sucker for Sunflowers ๐Ÿ˜‰ )……before heading back to Luxembourg with a Digger 500. With the help of Freja and Marcel’s work we had quickly amassed the necessary money to get the next Volvo for the fleet. Into the dealer at Luxembourg – Truck bought and delivered to Paris. I looked through the available drivers and a young lady called Marianne with an ADR qualification and distance skills caught my eye so I hired her.

Time to get back on the road and work towards that Montpellier garage. I’ll leave you with a shot of us running through the outskirts of Paris with our load of Michelin Tyres ๐Ÿ™‚