This week I’ve been allocated a double run to York - first one goes out at about six pm and the second one is supposed to go out at ten pm but I’m buggered if I know how you can make it back for that time.
I arrive on Monday to find the York trailer already hitched up and waiting so all i have to do is jump in and go - nice! The York run is a doddle, all major roads with a huge yard to spin the wagon around in and unload into. The warehouse staff are friendly and despite a malfunctioning tail-lift the drop goes to plan.
I get back to base and find out that there’s no last run to York so i’m off to Leeds city centre instead. I get to the location but miss the turning into the Leeds drop - it’s a very non-descript alley up to some shutter doors and easy to miss as there’s so many other turnings there. As i’m almost on my four and a half hours I park up for a break and phone the shop to tell them i’m sat outside. After my break I turn into a dead-end street to reverse around but this turns out to be a bit tricky with a 45ft trailer…but luckily a nice man helps me reverse out onto the street and I don’t take any shops or street furniture out.
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Through the massive roller shutter doors to the drop and back onto a tiny little bay. I unload and pick up a few empties and all is fine until i have to exit the place. It’s a weird place, all underground with bays for about five firms spread out along a tunnel that only has enough room for one artic at a time. This is guarded by a very bored looking security guard and a traffic light. “Is the turning area obvious to find?” I ask him. “Yes, but you have get it perfect” he replies. I don’t like the sound of this. Sure enough the turning area is tiny and constricted and it takes me about 25 minutes of shunting back and forth, jumping in and out of the cab and generally swearing until finally i get turned around and escape. I’m learning that set up is half of the reverse solved - if you get your initial position right then the whole thing will flow. The tricky thing is judging that initial position correctly which is something that will only come with experience.
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The Leeds drop:
Tuesday gives me two runs to York and a back load from Excel at Blyth. All uneventful although finding Excel was made a little tricky by the fact that it’s now actually called DHL. I feel stupid asking a Polish driver if he knows where Excel is; he gives me a strange look then spins about and points to the massive floodlit DHL depot
A quick trailer swap and I’m on my way home.
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