In this article, FleetWatch’s driver correspondent tells of the wisdom of considering the comfort and safety of your drivers before buying a particular make of truck. For obvious reasons, the driver’s identity is kept anonymous.
On my first day, my new company gave me an American truck. It was about 10 to 12 years ago that I last Things are already looking better for drove one of these models but the truck me and I did my first couple of loads they gave me is still new and clean with very little standing times. That’s with only 80 000km on the clock. much better than what I experienced at Not bad!
East London was my first trip with this American machine and I packed my stuff, did the safety checks, checked the oil and water and jumped in to start the beast and hit the road. To drive this truck for the first time in 12 years is a different feeling and things started running through my mind of the old days when I first drove this specific make.
The truck has not changed much in 12 years. Some of the changes I noticed were the grill, the lower centre floor in the cab, a bigger engine and no gear lever. I really thought this truck had become much better but I’m now really disappointed. Driving down to East London has become a nightmare for me. The truck shakes the living daylights out of me and I feel every small bump or hole in the road. It’s very bad. It really feels like an ox-wagon with absolutely no suspension travel. You must hear this cooling fan when it kicks in. It is a very loud noise, exactly like in the old days. The speakers right next to your head are still the same.
The clutch on this truck is very hard and the slower I tried to reverse, the more the truck started to ‘˜bokspring’. I was really peeved off just to think this truck was not only making things really difficult for me but was also making my name ‘˜gatas’. Empty at last and off to Port Elizabeth. I stopped in King William’s Town at Steers for a burger and a coke and then hit the road to PE. No time to sit down and eat. I decided to eat while driving like I always do.
As I’m driving out of King William’s Town on the N2 towards Grahamstown, I opened my coke and put it in the cup holder. I took my burger in my one hand and steered with my left hand. The road was bad and I’m taking it easy doing about 50kph. I started munching on my hammy and the next moment, I started bouncing again. My burger started to fall apart with the tomato landing on my lap, the burger patty on the floor and mustard sauce on the steering. I swore, opened the window and chucked my burger out. With no place to stop, I took a cloth from under my seat and started cleaning. After I wiped off the steering and got everything sorted, I then took my can of coke out the cup holder and, you guessed it, it was wet everywhere. I switched on the cab lights and that’s when I got real ‘˜de moer in’. The coke had spilled over my brand new laptop that was on the floor next to me.