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Old 21st August 2015, 15:32   #31
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Originally Posted by apachelongbow View Post
I have one question. Why a truck driver? Why not do long distance driving in a private car? What is so special about traveling across the country by truck? If it is the life of a trucker what you want to experience then it seems better if you try the same using a smaller vehicle first, say a pickup truck or a Tata ace.
As several members have written, the life of a trucker in India is no joy. Constantly being harassed by all and sundry, driving slow under powered vehicles with very low visibility, constant fear of accidents and breakdowns, no comfort, long queues at all toll nakas and checkposts, fear of robbery are some of the highlights. If most of the trucking companies are finding it extremely hard to recruit drivers, then all the people rejecting a job which pays 25/30000 per month must have a point...
Very valid points. I Agree. And I am sure this is all set to change soon. If not, People will opt out from taking driving as a profession and soon more trucks would lie idle because of lack of drivers. Forget India, Countries like UK, Aus and Canada are all short of drivers and are inviting international applicants to take up the profession in their countries. That's how bad it is.

Meanwhile, a few months back I had a chat with a driver who delivers Maruti vehicles form Gurgaon to Mangalore in a large trailer . These people come in a convoy of consisting 2 or more trailers. Since the Go-down is next to my office, I can see quite a few drivers sitting in the tea shop nearby and chilling.

After talking to him I got to know that, He takes a week to reach Mangalore from Gurgaon and requires 800 + Ltrs of diesel for a one way trip.

They drive 24 hours with two drivers onboard each taking turns every 6 hours during the journey.

In states like MH, MP, BR, RJ it is dangerous to travel after 9 PM. Because there is a risk of being looted and being murdered. Being murdered is fairly common and goes un-reported.

In states like MH and MP people will just stop their vehicles and come and beat the hell out of you for something as little as blowing the trucks horn. Its that pathetic.

For each trip the transport companies provide them 70,000 rupees, In which they have to manage their fuel costs, bribes, Their food and technical snags if any. If anything extra like a mechanical part is broken. They have to mend it themselves and if sufficient proof is provided the company reimburses it.

So, to save some money these guys cook their own food. We have all seen them preparing Chappatis next to their trucks.

They do miss their families, But this is the life they have chosen and they are happy and have gotten used to it.

I was really shocked listening to some of the incidences he narrated. I pity them, And my respects to them.

Its about time people know how they live and suffer, just so that you get your next meal on time. Such a shame that even in these so called civilized times, Hard working people like these live a life of people dwelling in slums just to get harassed, slapped and swindled.

One strike by these guys will actually show people the impact they would cause the nation.
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Old 21st August 2015, 17:12   #32
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

http://www.mrftyres.com/services/midd
I used to plan to visit these guys and get a HGV , but it's still part of the bucket list ;-)
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Old 21st August 2015, 18:04   #33
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

Amazing thread. Even I have been fantasizing about being a truck driver myself from early childhood when I used to travel with my family in our car. I used to and still use to notice every aspect of big trucks and vehicles starting from their engine notes, road tyre noise under heavy load, body tilting, horn tones and even I could makeout if anything wrong like axle mis-alignment due to eyebolt dislocation, broken spring leafs, under compression, misplaces FIP calibration and governor hunting, propellor shaft off centre etc. Not to mention the often funny and hilarious tag line at the back.
I have also had the priviledge of driving different categories of trucks from fixes chassis to articulated rigs both laden and unladen and can only says it tough.
It needs a nack to get moving in a loaded truck. Then maintain a balance between lugging and fuel consumption by toggling between acceleration, down shifting and cruising.
One of the difficult parts is the maintain course on banked roads at moderate to high speeds. Also braking modulation is very important.
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Old 22nd August 2015, 02:41   #34
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

I've driven a 9 speed truck recently (has a splitter on the transmission with high and low gears) and an engine retarder.

The moment I started driving I realized how NOT FUN it is.

From the moment I let go of the clutch to the moment the truck started rolling forward, the next 2 minutes that followed involved making so many gear shifts you wonder whether the transmission had an infinite number of gears. Not to mention the noise was annoying along with the rough jerks and generally sluggish movement .

It's also annoying how turning the steering a lot leads to very minimal turning movement.


It seems like you have a fantasy and that your road trip is an impulsive wish. I'd strongly suggest you find a way to drive a truck in a secluded area for a few miles first to understand if you really are serious.

I feel bad for suggesting as it is somewhat wrong but go to your local truck stop on the city outskirts where the major highway to another city is and approach a random truck driver and crew and try to see if you can buy yourself a 30 minute experience in a secluded area.

Driving a truck isn't much of a technical challenge. It's more to do with the mental fortitude. I now appreciate how drivers don't wantonly run over people and two wheelers that act carelessly in front of a truck. It's not easy stopping these things and the mere thought of slowing down and going through the gears again will make you lazy to the point where you want to use the brake pedal as little as possible.

Trust me, I don't think you really want to do it. If the urge is strong test drive one first.

Last edited by D33-PAC : 22nd August 2015 at 02:43.
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Old 22nd August 2015, 12:04   #35
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

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Originally Posted by avkurian View Post
Hello, this is targeted towards single or fleet truck owners. It has been a dream to do a long-distance journey by truck, as driver. The vision is to take a fully-loaded truck on a regular job, and bring back to city of origin with another load

Awesome dream, right up my alley, but my friend, driving a truck is a nightmare. In my day to day job at project sites and mines, i have driven everthing from TATA 1210 tippers to Volvo FH 520 hp puller. Even a P&H telescopic crane with a detroit diesel engine and a 22 speed box.

The tata Tippers don't come with AC cabins and the suspension is non existent. Gear shifts are smooth and throw is small. But its hot and humid and steering has lots of play. Interestingly almost all tatas has this problem.

The AMW tippers are miles ahead. much better nvh, small steering, ac cabin and it can pull. Much better handling on soft project surfaces.

The volvo puller is a different beast altogether. Cabin will shame many cars. GPS navigation and all. i just drove it a few kms inside plant premises on tarmac. No load, but trailer attached. Controlling the trailer is harder than it looks, and reversing needs superhuman skills. Really. my jaw was on the floor when the driver reversed it in place after i failed like a million times.

my two paise - A long trip in a normal TATA/AL truck needs much more than determination and will. its survival of the fittest. i myself want to embark on a journey like yours, but a fully loaded tata is NOT FUN. And a fully loaded volvo is definitely not fun, albeit you can sweat in ac in those

The thing is, i wouldnt want to do this even if someone paid me. Its a HUGE responsibility. It wont be a trip. Itll be a chore.

Please dont be offended by anything up here. I wrote what i felt. If anyday you do embark, id be more than willing to accompany.
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Old 22nd August 2015, 12:21   #36
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

Dear Kurian - good idea I say! Please keep me informed which manufacturers' truck you will drive! Its a different world out there, the 40 tons world! Best of luck, enjoy the "driving by sitting on the first floor" experience!

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 22nd August 2015, 12:42   #37
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

Never thought my thread would generate so much interest (and so few leads)

The general sentiment seems to be that I assume a truck to be slightly bigger than a Tata Sumo and comes standard with all features. I can assure you i'm not getting into this blind. Yes, I haven't done it, but more than 20yrs of highway experience across this great nation has given me some insight into trucking life. At least to the level that we all have observed and appreciated. Also, i'm not looking for a job, so recurring issues they face will not be so. The plan is to do one trip - being realistic that an urban yuppie with instagram/twitter cannot change the entire system in one BLR-DEL drive.

maybe what I need to do is cut a deal for a truck on self-drive hire, load it with stuff for anyone who is moving town, and just get going.

Would I entrust my truck/cargo to 'someone like me'? Yes, I would
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Old 22nd August 2015, 13:03   #38
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

Quote:
Originally Posted by racerdabba View Post

The thing is, i wouldnt want to do this even if someone paid me. Its a HUGE responsibility. It wont be a trip. Itll be a chore.

.
Bingo.

Another reason to avoid a truck altogether is because of the ridiculous ride quality.

Leaf spring suspension is just another name for spine breaker. I remember my first time, I hit a pothole which was covered by water and my head hit the roof, i jilted in the seat, the back of my leg got cut thanks to something sharp protruding from underneath the seat, and my phone fell out of my pocket.



One of few the great things about trucks though is you can shift gears without having to step on the clutch. This I found to be extremely convenient.
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Old 22nd August 2015, 13:41   #39
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

I'd say, go to some of the truck pit stops, get into some trucks. If possible, ride shot gun with them till the next town or something.

Then decide if you still want to do it.
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Old 23rd August 2015, 12:25   #40
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

If you're from Bangalore visit Hoskote. There are 4-5 Bharat Benz trucks doing the Blr-Chennai-Blr trip. They export roses.

I don't know what they bring back from Chennai though. Pretty sure they won't come back empty.

These trucks are quite powerful and being rose carriers don't have much issues with border officials.

Specifically Dasarahalli village in Hoskote.

They also have smaller 407 Tata trucks doing the carrots and vegetables run from Hoskote to Blr. You may begin with those.

Failing all that head to Mangalore. You will get a lot of trucks carrying the daily fish catch to Blr. Try Bunder port.
And of course be ready to go home smelling to high heaven!

Next option is Hosur town. There is huge demand from Ashok Leyland for drivers to drive bare engine and cowl bodies all over India. This is one way. You'll have fun driving in the rain.

Last edited by hangover : 23rd August 2015 at 12:31.
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Old 23rd August 2015, 13:23   #41
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

Reminds me of the TV series IRT deadliest roads Himalayas.
A bunch of American truck drivers compete to deliver cargo from Delhi to Himalayan region in Himachal.
Those guys had no experience of driving in India and yet they managed to navigate through some of the difficult terrain.


Even though they had years of truck experience it was no easy feat and of course they were helped by Indian codrivers.
There is a lady driver and throughout the series I was wondering if she choose the right profession, she could easily been a hot movie star in India.

Last edited by born_free : 23rd August 2015 at 13:29.
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Old 23rd August 2015, 13:30   #42
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

This is pretty interesting. It is every motoring enthusiasts long cherished hidden desire to lay his hands on a heavy vehicle. Driving a heavy vehicle can be fun but given the dynamic traffic conditions on the Indian roads, it is a big responsibility. One needs to be extra careful and judgemental while driving these behemoths but nonetheless the experience will be worth the wait.
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Old 23rd August 2015, 17:23   #43
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

If I were you, I would first get my commercial driver's license and then wear 'appropriate clothes' and hang around at Peenya where you have many 'Roadside transport agencies'

There are many trucks that are owned by 'clean' people who don't know anything about the trucking business and have 'managers' who help them make money out of the trucks.

There are 'local' drivers in every city, when there is a truck coming into Bangalore from say Amritsar, with the load to be delivered at Kalasipalya. Till Peenya it would be driven by its 'original' driver, then a 'local' driver would get to the wheel and guide the truck in and out of Kalasipalya

What you have in mind is very much doable, its much much easier than say a dream of climbing mount Everest, or running the triathlon. On difficulty level, I'll say it would be as difficult and time consuming as making a trip to Khardung-la, the highest motorable road on the world
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Old 24th August 2015, 07:37   #44
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

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Originally Posted by avkurian View Post
It has been a dream to do a long-distance journey by truck, as driver. The vision is to take a fully-loaded truck on a regular job, and bring back to city of origin with another load.
Good for you, all the best.

I can't really comment on what it takes to do this in India, but I can certainly relate to your dream.

When I got my regular driver license in the Netherlands in the mid 70's it was very easy to get a heavy goods vehicle license as well. These day there are many different categories, depending on size, cargo etc. But in those days there was only one type. So you take the driving test in what was then the smallest of the smallest Heavy Good Vehicle, in essence just a little van, and the next day hop on a 18 wheeler.

When I went through naval college a friends father owned a big trucking company. He help a couple of us get our HGV license and on Saturdays and during holidays we would help him out driving his trucks. He did a lot of export runs, flowers and vegetables. Meant up very early, loading at 0400-0500am at the auction and then head for Germany and Austria.

Great fun and we made a little money too. In Europe nobody looks down on anybody because of the job you hold. Being a truck driver has never been a particularly well paid job. These days the hours you are allowed to drive are strictly regulated and each truck has an onboard tachograph keeping track of times and speeds. Nobody messes with that as you will get caught with heavy fines and you could loose your license. Still, long hours, international truckers are away from their family for long periods. It is sort of a way of living, that isn't for everybody, but still even today has its charms.

Hope you get to live your dream! Go for it.

Jeroen
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Old 24th August 2015, 11:18   #45
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

My personal advice to you and all other wannabe truckies would be to approach the manufacturers with a road trip proposal. Roping in a good media partner for the trip would be even better. That way, should the manufacturer get interested, you can use their test facilities to get the feel of driving a truck in a controlled environment and I am pretty sure it will help you in the real drive scenario. Judging by the response of our own forum members, I could count at least ten people who wanted to join in. This is a tremendous opportunity if you could convince the manufacturer. Imagine the amount of interest it would generate in a marketting perspective.
The only problem with your proposal was to have an actual load and act as a commercial driver. Take that out of the equation and you have the potential to organize the road trip of a life time. Instead of the load, your fellow participants/ drivers can occupy the truck area.
P.S - Count me in too, if any manufacturer is willing to participate in this proposal and willing to train us drivers. Leyland, Tata, Eicher and Mahindra come to mind.
All the best.
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