Back in the Saddle
Truck & Driver|September 2020
Back in the Saddle
At the beginning of the year, almost nobody had heard the word ‘furlough’ but since spring it has effected almost all of us, including Graham who was glad to be back on the road
GRAHAM FLEMINGTON

Day One

I can’t wait to get back into the Daf XF I’d been given just before lockdown. Today was a steady start, into the yard for seven o’clock to run down to Exeter to tip the cars that I had loaded the previous Friday for Devon and Cornwall Police.

Tipping was nice and straight forward and they seemed happy with their new CID cars. My reload was over in Pembrokeshire for three drops in Germany and I wasn’t needed until half nine in the morning. As I had all afternoon to get there I called in to see the lads at UK Truck Clean in Taunton Dean Services. The truck was well overdue a wash; they do it all by hand and they do a pretty good job.

Our customer builds replica 1930s Bentleys in a fairly remote location, but there is a lay-by a mile or two away. I stopped there for a quiet night and to give myself a full clear shift for tomorrow.

Day Two

Another steady start and I was waiting outside the Bentley boy’s workshop bang on time. Loading takes a while because each car has to be meticulously inspected, photographed and vehicle condition reports filled out. With the two cars loaded I ran deeper into Pembrokeshire to another workshop to collect a third car which wasn’t quite ready so it was time to put the kettle on.

It’s lunch time when I pull out of the gates and make my way to the M4. I want to be on a boat and over the channel this evening. Dover is very busy but I nip to DFDS and make the next Dunkirk boat by the skin of my teeth.

I’m already in the shower as we slip past the Dover Harbour wall and into the inky blackness of the channel. Two hours later we’re in the berth at Dunkirk and greeted by a downpour. Time is getting on so I slot into one of the last spaces at the DK Truck park at Loon Plage just outside the port. I wouldn’t normally stop anywhere near one of the channel ports but this place has proper security, guards, cameras, floodlights, the works. It looks a bit like an open prison but the facilities are pretty good and there are no unwanted visitors during the night.

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September 2020