The curtainsiders originated in the UK when the supermarkets insisted .on all of their deliveries being delivered in permanently covered trailers to avoid damage and for hygene reasons . Curtainsiders offer all the advantages of flatbeds ie ease of loading and offloading with none of the delays in securing loads for safety and weather protection etc. As we usually do what the UK does we followed suit, it is now very rare to see flatbeds. Hope this not too longwinded
Any Irish Truckers here?
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Hi, I'm based in Co.Westmeath. Not a good time to be contemplating a move to Ireland. You'd be very welcome, no problem there, but there's no work. It's worse than I've ever known it including the recession of the late 70's and 80's.
As for pay you'd sure feel the difference comming from the States due to the huge difference in the cost of living. IRELAND IS THE 4th MOST EXPENSIVE PLACE TO LIVE IN THE WORLD. I wrote that big to make sure you didn't miss it not to 'shout'. Those are official stats and hide the real truth. I lived in south London for a good few years and that's not a cheap place to live but I know in reality it's more expensive to live where I do right in the middle of rural Ireland.
When I drove out in the USA it was some time ago and not for long. I was paid by the mile, does that still happen? In Ireland it's mostly monthly salary for company drivers and they make up the bulk of drivers on the road. Owner drivers work out their own rates but with the cost of fuel many are taking home less than company drivers.
You think you're paying a lot for fuel and you are but we are paying far, far, far more and it's crippling the industry.
What's pay like? ...you were asking about semi's which here is refered to as artic's (short for articulated truck) which means you'll need categories E+C on your licence and as a company driver expect between 19K and 31K per year (Euros). These salaries are dropping like a stone due to the very high numbers of eastern european drivers from Poland, Albania, Romania, Russia etc who have flooded the job market and will work for buttons.
A lot of these lads are causing big problems here because they'll work for less than the minimum wage, live in the cab full-time and often have bought their licences on the black market in the east. You can find their artics in hedges from Counties Kerry to Down.
Also don't underestimate the problem of finding drops in Ireland, we have no zip codes in the south to speak of outside of the Dubs (sorry Dublin) and I've honestly had addresses like "Pat, just of Rosscommon town" etc. There are also very few road signs, a left over relic feature of Irish road navigation from the war donkey's years ago when they were all taken down and many counties haven't bothered replacing them since or had the budget too.
The roads in the south are also a nightmare for the uninitiated. They are too narrow for modern trucks, potholed to blazes (you'll seriously spend a fortune on steering, suspension and transmission if you're an owner driver who likes to take care of their rig) and in a very, very dangerous state for heavy trucks in many, many places e.g. shoulders which WILL roll you over etc.
I think the best bet at the moment is head north. Good roads, decent pay, better trucks, economy not so shattered and the people are great whatever you might have heard to the contrary. I'm Irish with a name spelt in the Irish language and never had a problem up there, quite the opposite in fact, very friendly people indeed, I'd recommend that part of the world to anyone.
Don't get me wrong the south's a grand place too and there are some benefits such as the Guard's not having a clue how to read a tacho' or the slightest inclination to try If you head north or over the water to Wales, Scotland or England beware! The old bill in England are very good at reading tacho's and WILL do you for being over hours and /or for having a rig in bad shape, overloaded etc,etc,etc.
Most lads I know are thinking seriously about heading for Canada (1st choice), or the States or the UAE (United Arab Emirates) because of the state of the haulage industry here.
Hope that answers some of your questions, if you want to know more ask and I'll do my best.
Good luck to you and yours,
Dar.Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2009
Foxcover Thanks this.
I'm in London and have noticed more and more Irish trucks the past 6 months or so, guess its like you say, drivers are looking further afield for work.
But the Eastern European still outnumber them, there must be 10 of them for every irish truck.
And the 'big' UK companies are struggling. The only Stobart trucks left seem to be reefers, i don't honestly know when i last saw anything else from them, probably middle of last year.
(and btw, this is the A40 we are talking about, main route running into London from the Midlands and the West, so its a pretty good snapshot of the situation over all!)
And your comment about Ireland being expensive - the cost of diesel works about $8 a gallon for those in the US, try being an O/O with that sort of expense!!
I would stay where you are for the time being as things very quiet back home I'm afraid. Drove back there myself and must say I really enjoyed it but I came back here and its here I'll stay,besides all the stupid politic's and a few idiots still a good country full of good people,any questions feel free to ask.
WELL FOR A START CURTAINSIDERS ARE EASY TO LOAD AS IN MOST PLACES THERE IS NOT THE ROOM FOR LOADING BAYS.
YEARS AGO THE NORM WAS FLAT TRAILERS FOR DRY GOODS AS YOU COULD LEAVE YOUR OPTIONS OPEN AS FOR WHAT TO LOAD, IE STEEL, AGRI CHEMICALS ,PEAT ETC.
WITH THE ADVENT OF TAUTLINERS AS THEY ARE COMMONLY CALLED, RULED OUT THE TIME CONSUMING ROPING AND SHEETING WHICH COULD TAKE UP TO AN HOUR TO DO.
NOW ALL YOU DO IS UNDO A BUCKLE OR TO AND PULL BACK THE CURTAIN.
NOT BAD FROM A GUY WHO TRANSPORTS FLOWERS AND PLANTS EUROPE WIDE. LOL
As stated in my welcome post I used to be a trucker based in Co Louth making deliveries everywhere from Co Cork to Co Donegal and everywhere in between. Always had to be back in the yard by 5pm at the latest for the next days deliveries to be loaded.
I have to say I hated driving trucks in this country. Along with all the other problems listed above my biggest annoyance was the lack of ANY services along the roads. Your stuck with small petrol station and finding parking at these can be a major problem. And of course that means finding toilets can be impossible and I often found myself running behind a gate dodging bulls and cows
Seriously though. Its a gorgeous country full of very friendly people but the cost of living is through the roof here and the government needs a good kick up the ### (Which can be said for about 90% of countries at the minute)
If you want to come to Ireland do so but make it a holiday. Rent a car and drive around. The east coast isn't too bad for trucks and its getting better all the time but the west is just a joke for driving 40ft's. A lot of towns arn't even by-passed yet.
Thats some of the reasons why Im looking for a move out of here anyway.
Hi hope you enjoyed your holiday in ireland. Trucks in Ireland mainly tend to be cabover Scania Volvo Renault Man Mercedes and Daf. Curtainsiders are mainly locally built (sdc, montracon, dennison, toughline and kelly). They are built similar to a boxvan but have sliding curtains fastened at both ends and bottom rail with buckles. They are used for all types of transport for ease of use and security of load. Regards vintagetrucker.
Very good posts from the helpful truckers. I am not a trucker but looking to get goods from Italy to Ireland. I was at the Bologna Agri Fair last week and there were so many Italian made machines that just aren't here. Very few of the manufactures' that I talked to had agents in Irleand that would handle transport. Since I'm thinking of ag. machines here I'm wondering in those cattle trucks that bring all the Irish beef to Italy could return with something like ploughing attatchments...what about a tractor? (small one of course!) I'm also curious of which route you guys take to get to Italy and why? Thanks
Just want to get familiar with the transport business. I know of many products made in Italy that I could distribute over here but haven't a clue about transport. Some producers I talked to had transport agents. To start with I'm looking to get a machine that is similar in size to a garden lawnmower to Galway. Is it as easy as pick up and drop off, or is there tax, duty, declaration etc that needs sorting?
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