I always keep an eye out for a good truck. I’ve got a limited knowledge of them but I knew when I rounded the corner Park bound that The Field themed lorry facing me had a story.
Shades of glossy green with pictures from that movie all over it and the words: ‘This is my field’ on the side, this bounteous lorry – was it an arctic? – laying patiently waiting unloading steel for the massive building site behind it.
A man sat at the wheel, dust cloth in hand continuously polishing the already gleaming surface, framed in the windscreen, topped and tailed by huge spotlights that indicated star quality.
A few photos later, I wandered over. “Hi there” I said to the neon orange wearing driver. “This vehicle is something else! Where does it come from? What’s the story?”
He filled me in: “There’s a couple of them – the other one’s ‘Johnny Cash.’ It’s a Scania. You can go on Facebook and read all about them. They’re owned by an Irish man from Tipperary who moved here a couple of years ago to work with Midland Steel.”
I told him I had a family member in the business and noted down what this uniquely decorated beast was: A Daf. Will would be proud of me I thought.
Sorin, from Romania gave me the lowdown. “We’re all over the internet, we do the truck shows – you know the ones I mean?” I sort of did. “I’ve been with the company for seven years now – it’s hard work, especially the multi-drops and unloading the pallets…but the boss, he’s alright.”
I know a fair bit about the truck business and I’ve heard about the hours, the clocking on and off, the nights spent sleeping in the cab, the horrendous early starts wreaking havoc with your body clock and family life. And, of course the driving – up and down the length and breadth of the British Isles with last minute requests from ‘the boss’ to get somewhere at a moment’s notice. It’s always seemed like a tough world to me and one that can be not entirely fair.
Seven years seemed like pretty good going.
He started the engine, ready to move off. I waved and walked on, past a crane dangling what looked like a picture frame high above me in the blue sky. My brothers’ saying popped into my head: “Without trucks, baby, you got nothin.’”