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Old 24th August 2015, 13:13   #46
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Thumbs up Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

Hey Kurian! Don't know much about you and WHY you want to drive a truck across India.

Great advice from people in general and those who have done this very thing in particular.

My questions
  1. Have you driven a car from wherever to wherever and back on a VERY LONG trip to begin with?
  2. Any camping experience?
  3. Traveled by unreserved coach on a train?
  4. How comfortable are you at liaisoning with the corrupt?

I've driven a U-Haul (small) van for a couple of days in the US and got bored very quickly. From the comments by those who have actually driven Indian trucks, my advice to you would be to heed what they've said and try it out for a few small trips before you take up the BIG TRIP.


I'm not sure whats driving you to do this, if it is just the experience of 'driving' the truck, it'll wear off quickly once you master the truck. If it is getting the experience of being a 'driver' of an Indian truck - that could take a lifetime and keep you going.



I'm sure you'll be a careful driver and pick up all the safety training needed to drive safe.



Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 24th August 2015, 14:25   #47
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Talking Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

And of course you need to link up with Stratos

Check:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/commer...e-truck-4.html
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Old 24th August 2015, 17:22   #48
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

Thanks for the interest, everyone.. Happy to have kick-started this debate

I really like the idea of talking to a truck manufacturer. Possibly with the 'corporate office' tie-in, there may be a better class of trucks available. That would take care of the 'driving a truck long-distance' part, but that's not entirely what this project about.

As you can imagine, there is a fairly selfish motive here, and that is to experience trucker life first-hand. Not romanticising it, but am keen on doing a 'genuine' trip. For this, I will take the dhabas, slow progress, utilitarian driving experience over the metallic paint and air conditioned cabin.

Of course, the cabin won't be so basic that it won't have space for a decent music system and a dash-cam.

There is lot of work to be done.. I will definitely keep you all posted on progress. Working in the MidEast is a dampener on getting things going real quick. I hope to do a Team-BHP-worthy travelogue of my experience.

Thanks again, and appreciate your taking the time to chime in on a dream.
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Old 25th August 2015, 04:58   #49
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

Wow! Interesting thread! I have been a passenger on a Kenworth T409 truck once (http://www.kenworth.com.au/trucks/t409/).
A good friend of mine drives a tanker, he delivers fuel to the cattle and sheep stations around a place called Quorn (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Qu...628ed940?hl=en).

He does this part-time, he has a full time job as a paramedic! I have always wanted to go in a truck and got the opportunity last year. I will try to upload the photos soon (they are in my old camera).

It was a very very interesting experience. The first thing you notice when you get in is the sheer size! Everything about a truck is big. Also, the response. With a full load, it responds much much slower than anything on the road.

Like others have already said, visibility and awareness of other road users is a big issue. Because the cab is so high off the road and the engine protrudes in the front, you can't see what is immediately in front of you, this can be a problem in India as there will always be lots of traffic (especially pedestrians). But then again I guess it depends on the type of truck you drive.

Stopping is also incredibly hard. Stopping from 100km/h takes almost a kilometer! You literally have to anticipate what someone in front/beside you is going to do, because as a truck driver you can't make any sudden moves, your rig simply won't respond.

I think you need to prepare yourself for this task well before you undertake it. Starting out as a passenger on a long run will give you some idea of what to expect. I would also suggest a 'test-drive' if possible. It will familiarize you with the aspects of truck driving, trust me, it is nothing like driving a car!

The ATA website has some great tips and hints. Most of these will also apply to Indian roads.
http://www.truck.net.au/public/ata-safety-truck

Good luck with your adventure and keep us posted!
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Old 25th August 2015, 09:34   #50
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

Changing the tire in the older trucks is quite an experience. You need tools to break the bead and prise it out of position.

This link shows some of the tools you need to get familiar with.

http://www.sarveshwari.com/wp-conten...ri/pdf/612.pdf


And driving an oil or petrol tanker is quite tricky. The moment of inertia of the liquid gives some heart stopping moments if you turn too sharply and while braking.

Last edited by hangover : 25th August 2015 at 09:36.
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Old 26th August 2015, 15:33   #51
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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
The vision is to take a fully-loaded truck on a regular job, and bring back to city of origin with another load.

I don't currently have a heavy vehicle licence, but this will be done well before the journey. I also don't expect any remuneration for this, and will also be open to funding my way during the journey, even taking care of fuel expenses if that can swing a decision in my favour


Look forward to all your thoughts.
After reading your post, I thought you were not serious. Why? Because one just cannot obtain a license and start driving a loaded truck on our highways. Every turn and every corner of the ghats will necessitate prior planning. There is no scope of "if I get stuck, will slightly reverse and move on"

Our passenger cars, will all goodies (yes I would call them goodies for the comparison) like seat reach adjustment, AC, nice cushy seats which many of us complain as "not good lumbar support, lacks thigh support, Seat cover Material is sweaty", "Suspension is stiff/too soft" are non existent in "most" of the trucks driven. And we complain of these in our cars which we get tired after a 6-8 hours drive.

Do not forget that most trucks have the famous "always open" window, and the Air will be continuously blowing on your face. We keep fidgeting our car AC every now and then - blower speed low, fast, etc.

Heck, a couple of hours in the Mumbai traffic makes me paranoid in my car.
Pune is a completely different ball game and me as a car driver is always worried/afraid of the two wheelers.
Doing that in a Truck in some of the cities that the trucks need to pass, hell no.

Maybe you should start with trying to change one of the tyre's of a loaded truck. This I am sure no truck company will refuse. That would be a glimpse of the trucker's life that you wish to live for a week or so.

My Advice - Please skip the urge to drive it long distance. A short distance drive (maybe 10-15kms on an empty stretch) on an unloaded truck should convince you that the urge is best buried, unless one is looking at it for a full time profession, which I am sure is not the case.
Please do understand that it is not a sport. For adventure purposes, sadly, there are no avenues to drive trucks on a race track that I am aware of at least.

There are some things money cannot buy, for everything else there is Mastercard. Unfortunately, here even mastercard cannot come to the rescue. Unless ofcourse, one buys off the truck just for the heck of the urge/vision of a once in a lifetime loaded truck trip.

I still wish you good luck for your venture, and even more luck to the other vehicles on road if you happen to get your license and directly hop on to a Loaded truck.

Please do not mind my not-so-polite response, but there are ways of doing things. One cannot obtain a learners licence and drive Activa's/ spendors/ Swifts, get a permanent licence and then directly hop on to the Hayabusa's/Ferraris. Yes, the results can be that devastating.

EDIT: Most truckers begin their careers as cleaners for a couple of years, obtain licences, spend a couple of years driving Medium commercial vehicles before hopping on to the big boys.

Last edited by vinit.merchant : 26th August 2015 at 15:53.
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Old 27th August 2015, 18:38   #52
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

I have only been inside the cabin of a commercial goods carrier (a Tata truck) once, in 1998. It was loaded with most of my family's worldly possessions, which it carried from Chandigarh to Delhi. The most vivid memory I have from the trip is that of the bone rattling ride, even on a 'normal' road. Apparently, the vehicle relied only on a pair of leaf springs and the pneumatic tyres to insulate the occupants of the cabin from the jolts resulting from the uneven surface of even the best of Indian roads.

I have no idea whether Tata have improved the ride quality significantly since then. I suppose it is reasonable to assume that if and when Mr. Kurian takes the trip, it is more likely than not going to be in a Tata/Leyland truck. So, he should be prepared for the rough ride.
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Old 28th August 2015, 00:12   #53
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

Actually I've got a great idea. Get 2 more guys interested in this. Buy a brand new truck. Tata trucks cost 6 lakhs to 12 lakhs depending on the size. I think they all have power steering and turbos now.

Or get those eicher trucks. They too cost almost the same but may be marginally more comfortable.

Decorate the truck nicely. Put up Man.Uni. stickers all round and the standard rakshasa on the rear axel. Fix a good music system with lots of bhojpuri and Bollywood songs. Don't forget to fix an extra loud musical horn. Or two.

Get 3 licenses. It's about 2500 legally and maybe double if you go via a driving school.

Get a national permit. It's 750.

Then, just drive around the country man. You 3 could take turns if you like. Sooner or later you will find someone who needs mousetraps moved from here to there. Figure out the documents needed for interstate mousetrap transport.

Keep posting daily updates here. Who knows? Maybe one of our bhpian's will have a Ferrari that needs to be moved someplace.

I wish I could join you all.

Once you get tired of it just sell the truck in whichever state you are in. Since you have a national permit, state of registration does not matter.

Come back as heroes.

Or make a movie and sell the rights to discovery channel. Retire as heroes.

Last edited by hangover : 28th August 2015 at 00:34.
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Old 28th August 2015, 01:05   #54
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

Quote:
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. It may seem like a case of taking an opportunity that could benefit a professional driver, but still wanted to put this out there to see if there is the opportunity. I am also open to having the regular driver on the trip as well, as long as there is considerable driving involved for myself.

I don't currently have a heavy vehicle licence, but this will be done well before the journey. I also don't expect any remuneration for this, and will also be open to funding my way during the journey, even taking care of fuel expenses if that can swing a decision in my favour

I have asked around through my personal network but no one was able to connect me with a truck owner or company, and so this public query. I look forward to hearing from this forum on what would be possible.

I'd love to start and end in Bangalore, but am open to other cities as well.

Hello avkurian,
Nice to know that you're ready and really interested to get the feel of being a real truck driver in India and to complete one whole journey.

My very close friend in Mumbai owns a big logistics company and he, himself is a adventure junkie. If you want, I can help you to get in touch with him regarding this matter and maybe he can help you in fulfilling your desire of driving a truck.

One thing is for sure, you really need to prepare yourself mentally and physically to undertake your desire.

All the best.

Last edited by embee : 28th August 2015 at 01:09.
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Old 30th August 2015, 11:23   #55
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

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Originally Posted by embee View Post
Hello avkurian,
Nice to know that you're ready and really interested to get the feel of being a real truck driver in India and to complete one whole journey.

My very close friend in Mumbai owns a big logistics company and he, himself is a adventure junkie. If you want, I can help you to get in touch with him regarding this matter and maybe he can help you in fulfilling your desire of driving a truck.

One thing is for sure, you really need to prepare yourself mentally and physically to undertake your desire.

All the best.
Hey Embee.. Thank you very much! I would really appreciate an intro to your friend. My email is (My TBHP handle) @gmail.com. Even if nothing comes of it, still happy to make a connection and learn more about what to expect. Thanks again!
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Old 1st September 2015, 14:00   #56
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

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Hey Embee.. Thank you very much! I would really appreciate an intro to your friend. My email is (My TBHP handle) @gmail.com. Even if nothing comes of it, still happy to make a connection and learn more about what to expect. Thanks again!
Hi Avkurian,

Let me touch base with my friend regarding this matter and will get back to you accordingly.
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Old 13th September 2015, 07:07   #57
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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.
This seems like a good option to get your hands dirty. Another option would be driving a 407 and painting it for camouflage . Religious tourism, wildlife, environment causes etc.
In fact I'm thinking this could be a serious option. Trucking all over India for a cause. You'd get some sponsorships too. An excellent one that comes to mind is AIDS Awareness among truckers . Or a safe truck driving campaign, holding workshops at major dhabas or something. I'd be willing to join you for 15 days if you can pull off something like that.

There's an ex - army couple that goes around India on a huge Eicher truck based caravan on Photography tours. It would be a good option to try and get attached to a niche outfit like that and drive around without the 'truck driver' hassles.

Last edited by drsingh : 13th September 2015 at 07:13.
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Old 13th September 2015, 09:31   #58
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

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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.
Ever tried driving one of those bare chassis? These chassis get all the monstrous torque available, in addition to the humongous braking force - it's not as easy as it looks like, because the dynamics are totally different from what a chassis with a body or a loaded truck has. And entirely different from the cars that most of us have driven. If I were the one in charge of allocating delivery drivers, I wouldn't trust a chassis worth lakhs in the hands of someone who hasn't ever driven a truck.
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Old 13th September 2015, 14:22   #59
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Default Re: Want to do one long round-trip as a Truck Driver!

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Ever tried driving one of those bare chassis? These chassis get all the monstrous torque available, in addition to the humongous braking force - it's not as easy as it looks like, because the dynamics are totally different from what a chassis with a body or a loaded truck has. And entirely different from the cars that most of us have driven. If I were the one in charge of allocating delivery drivers, I wouldn't trust a chassis worth lakhs in the hands of someone who hasn't ever driven a truck.

I haven't had that chance. Yet. In another lifetime I drove a lot of miles in Shaktiman 4wd trucks. This was in Ahmednagar, MH. Though sadly only inside the base. I couldn't convince them to let me take it on public roads. Mainly as I was only 17 and not even eligible to vote.

I have sat in 2 long drives as a passenger in a 709 movers truck while shifting my house. From that I can say the the main difference between cars and trucks is the braking system.

In modern cars it's near instantaneous. In trucks if you press the brakes air has to go from the compressors to another chamber and then the brakes chamber which then applies the brakes. This takes a second or two from the time you jam the brakes to when it starts slowing the truck. Hence if a truck is looming in your car's Rear view mirror add 2 seconds to his braking reaction time. Or let him pass.

The other difference is using the parking brake. Trucks don't have the usual lever between front seats.

When you switch off the engine you have to pull a yellow or sometimes blue valve to release all remaining air into the brakes. Inside there is a spring system that forces the brake shoes against the drums.

The spring will only get released when you switch on the engine, push the yellow valve and air pressure builds up to a particular level.

I don't remember this particular value. But normal running air pressure is 120 psi. At 150 psi a safety valve releases the excess air. This is the "pssst" sound you hear at times.

A side note - the number of trucks parked at a dhabha is not a measure of its quality. They only want good quantity and a charpoi to sleep on.

Last edited by hangover : 13th September 2015 at 14:35. Reason: Grammar
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Old 15th September 2015, 18:06   #60
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From what my friend who was in to logistics business said, it is difficult to find good truckers now days. Thanks to the work atmosphere and social status, it is very difficult to find a good truck driver even if they were ready to provide good pay.
I'd like to mention here that working conditions aside there are 2 other reasons for the shortage of good drivers.
One is a government rule that came out 4 years ago. A commercial driver has to have passed at least standard 10 in school.
At one shot tens of thousands of drivers were forced to take up other roles in the industry or find new jobs. If I recollect my statistics rightly the lorry business supports 10 million people directly and many more indirectly. You may check the latest stats. on the data.gov site.

This affected the transport and cab companies the most.

The other reason is that unemployed people get Rs. 300/- per day under various schemes. This hit farmers very badly. A field worker who would be happy with a daily wage of Rs 150-200 is now demanding Rs. 500.

Its unfeasible to run a farm at these rates. I know 2 relatives having fairly huge land holdings who stopped planting rice 2013 onwards. They are hard core farmers. Though very well off for a couple of generations these guys took real pleasure planting rice saplings and tilling the land. At any time there were 10 workers permanently doing something or the other on the fields.

I had spent many a summer playing in those fields. Now when I visit them I sit with my back to the fields. I know I'd cry if I see the barren dusty land it has become.
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