Nikola Kostovski

    

Hello,I saw your blog..its was fantastic, many good articles to read. (Of course, thanks! – TB).

By the way,my name is Nikola .I come From Macedonia,I’m 21 years old and my hobby and job is 3D Creator/Artist.

When I was kid…I love when i was in truck… how I grow up my passion became bigger and bigger… Last year after my good result in 3D models creating, I meet one man,his name is Kjell Faber and he is from Belgium. We meet in 3D model and ETS2 community..after a few months work with 3D models..finally we meet in Belgium. In that time he was driving MAN TGX 26.440.

It was good experience to meet somebody that you don’t know,but you share same passion. After a good cooperation, we meet up again in Belgium. He was driving a Scania 164L 580 V8. It was very interesting,a open pipe V8..fantastic expirience. I was in Belgium 1 month,In that time Kjell was transporting containers from Antwerp terminal to benelux countries,France and Germany. Also that was very very big and important experience for me,I learned many new stuffs,meet very nice people,and saw very good showtrucks like Weeda, S.D.G, Ceusters, Vogel etc. In 2014 I was at Lopik Truck Festival…It was first big truckshow for me… First i saw that much good trucks around Europe in one place.

  
 After finishing my University for this year.. in holidays, on 25.06.2015,Im going on 15 days holiday to Kjell,again to have good time again with trucks …

I’m glad that i meet one more truck enthusiast which i can share the good moment of life,my stories,my bad moment,my experience.

Nikola Kostovski.

  
 

Silver Dream Machine

  

Hopefully most of you will know that I used to be an owner driver myself a good few years back now. Quite often on social media I end up meeting and talking too other owner drivers. I think if you’ve done it you can easily relate to the hardships and pleasures of running your own motor. Mark “Choppy” Steward is one such Owner Driver that I have a few messages with now and again, I can’t tell you how it started but we keep in contact now and again. So I couldn’t help but notice the ordering and arrival of a stunning DAF XF106 Super Space Cab. An owner drivers truck really is the be all and end all, it’s got to be everything a fleet truck is and more, usually a lot smarter as its a representation of yourself and also how people you may be working for see you as a company. If you like the truck is the ambassador to your name if that makes sense. As you will see Marks choice of new truck is a fine one, we all know the big DAF is a great truck to live in and work with and the new Euro VI front end with metallic paint just looks awesome. Over to Mark for full details………

  

Its a Euro VI, XF Super Space Cab, FTP (baby midlift axle), complete with full SB Components side skirts & chassis infill. It has the 510 engine with auto gear box & intarder. It’s also one of the first DAF’s in the UK with the new leather interior. 

   

The truck also has Alcoa Durabright wheels, 850 litre fuel tanks, built in sat nav, roof top air conditioning unit, fitted flat screen tv and a microwave. The paint work was done by Kirk Coachworks from Wisbech & PD Stevens of Market Drayton. All the electrical work was done by Martin Moore from Kings Lynn. The truck itself was supplied by Greenhous Commercials of Shrewsbury.

  

I (Mark!) was lucky enough to watch the vehicle being made at the DAF factory in Leyland, Lancashire, where it started as just two chassis beams. It took just over two hours to complete the build and the cab was fitted in just 11 minutes! I purchased the vehicle as a 10th Anniversary vehicle although originally I had a 750hp Volvo FH4 but it had to go as it was too thirsty!

   

 
The truck will be pulling a fridge trailer running in both the UK and Europe, averaging 140,000km a year. In the past I have run a DAF 95, 95XF and XF105 Super Space Cabs. 
  

Awesome. I think you’ll agree that Mark should be pleased with the result. It once again seems that less is more, the subtle approach is the best way in my opinion. Also I’m glad to see that so far there are no light bars, Mark has opted for four spots mounted in the sun visor. As an owner driver you’ve got to have the truck that makes you happy as much as anything else. We all know what it’s like when your driving something you don’t enjoy, you end up frustrated and constantly fighting against it. So all I can hope is that it’s a reliable truck and it keeps Mark on the road. Without Owner drivers (and small hauliers) we could end up with nothing but white fleet trucks on the road then what we all be secretly spotting?? If anyone gets the work and the chance, I’d strongly reccomend giving being an Owner Driver ago, just be prepared not to have many holidays and days off! Thanks for the photos and info Mark. 

  

Foreign Lorry Accidents – The Facts & Figures

  

This blog isn’t written by Truckblog but I thought it was worth publishing;

The Number Of Foreign Lorry Accidents Increases On UK Motorways.  

A new report from the accident exchange has revealed that the number of foreign lorries involved in accidents on UK motorways has increased 14% when compared to figures from 2012. It also highlighted how Polish, German and Spanish HGVs are the most common nationalities caught in accidents, and that 1 out of every 3 foreign lorry collisions happen on motorways.

Polish lorries were found to be involved in the highest number of accidents, representing almost 16% of accidents, with German vehicles coming in second place with 13.1%. Spanish HGVs came third, being involved in nearly 8.5% of collisions.
It also revealed, although it may not come as a surprise to some, that the M25 saw the most foreign lorry accidents, followed by the M6 and M1. Accidents in city and town locations accounted for a third of incidents.
The figures state that there was almost 1,100 crashes taking place that involved foreign lorries on the motorway network of the UK during 2014, marking an increase of 14.3% when compared to 2012. Looking at all road types in the country, estimates suggest foreign lorry incidents stood at 3,100 over the course of the year, which equates to nearly 9 per day.
Although motorways are normally deemed to be one of the safest types of roads to travel on in the country by car, the stats show that a third of foreign lorry collisions in 2014 occurred here. Normally, there are just 4.3% of accidents that happen on motorways in the United Kingdom.

Accident Exchange was responsible for handling 110,000 accidents and incidents between 2012 and 2014. From this experience, they were able to record the statistics that the number of lorries involved in accidents on motorway was growing.

The Director of Sales Development at Accident Exchange, Liz Fisher, said: “This worrying statistic shows that a collision with a foreign lorry is an increasingly real possibility. A heavy goods vehicle in unfamiliar territory can be a danger. Common types of accidents that might involve trucks are cars getting caught in the blind spot of a lorry that is changing lanes or cars being rear-ended by a much bigger, heavier vehicle.”

There are a variety of reasons for foreign lorries being involved in a higher number of accidents on UK motorways, with the most obvious being that the rules of the road are different to other EU countries. There are also some differences in the visual requirements for HGV drivers in other countries when compared to the standards required in the UK.

  

Pull Up a Sandbag & I’ll Tell You a Story

  

There is still a huge interest in the golden years of trucking. The 70’s and 80’s for me conjure up endless images of trucks crossing the deserts to far flung destinations, such as Riyadh, Baghdad, Islamabad and even Destination Doha. It’s not often that people like myself (yes truck geeks!) get to meet our heroes as there really aren’t many to meet. I have strong connections to these golden days and recollect one day last year at the Retro Truck Show at Gaydon when during a Middle East day I got the chance to meet the men who pioneered the routes to the East. Everyone of them a hero and everyone with more than a few stories and knowledge they could share to a thousand modern day drivers. I could have stood their and listened to these drivers for hours probably even days. One of the men I met was more of a name I had heard of rather than a face I recognised but even so meeting Robert Hackford was a very enjoyable experience. Here was a man that to most would probably look like just another retired man enjoying his well deserved rest after a busy working life. Well dressed, well spoken, well educated and I’m sure most would never think him to be a lorry driver. For me quite the contrary, one of the old school knights of the road, travelling across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. No hassle, no fuss, no ego, just get loaded, get on with it and help who ever needs it on the way. I spoke with Robert for a while as he shared a few stories and as you could probably predict, he was full of knowledge and clearly had lived every minute of his time on the dusty open road. 


Now when I think of the Middle East run, I think I’ve been misinformed a little as I thought it was dominated by the new Swedes on the block, one from Gothenburg and one from Södertälje. But perhaps it was very British to learn that there was another marque that made a no fuss no hassle big impression and conquered the run to the East, the very British ERF. 
ERF NGC – Lorries of Arabia by Robert Hackford. My first thoughts on being sent this book to review was that it has every possibility to become way to geeky even for me, with to many chassis and reg numbers. There are other books about specific fleets or marque of truck that are just dull and over the top with to much info no one really wants to read about. I can safely say this is not one of those books. Yes it’s about a mere 70 odd trucks from one particular series, manufactured by one particular manufacturer but I can assure you,  you won’t glaze over and you won’t find it heavy going. Mr Hackford has a very easy to read style of writing that makes the information that is included relatively easy to digest. At some points there is a touch of repetitiveness but not without reason as its all relavant to each chapter. The book runs through how the ERF NGC came about and how and why the range became such a hit, bearing in mind, until the point the NGC was unveiled, ERF hadn’t been considered an Intercontinental Cruiser perhaps more intercounty cruiser. You will also find out that it wasn’t just a hit with UK operators but our European cousins were also won over by the NGC’s charm and driver appeal. The book contains plenty of anecdotes from Roberts time on the road and his passion and enjoyment of his time driving trucks is clearly reflected by the way he describes the life of a long distance lorry driver. The romance of the open road is clearly apparent from Mr Hackfords excellent descriptive writing. Having finally driven an NGC while researching this book, Robert had a moment sitting behind the wheel of possibly the only restored NGC in the UK. I quote;

“I closed my eyes to rekindle that wonderful, ‘heading south’ feeling that explodes in the pit of the stomach when you fire up a lorry bound for the orient”

That dear of readers is the definition of the romance of the road! All the way through the book I found myself wanting to read the next page, despite the fact that there is some technical talk, which as I said earlier had the potential to get a little to geeky for want of a better word, it really doesn’t and I just wanted to keep reading. I was fascinated that the ERF was such a hit and such a great truck and that I had no idea of its success. If you are a fan of the Middle East days, a fan of ERF or just a fan of trucks in general I do highly reccomend you read this book. I’m sure it’s not a proper book reviewers term and Robert won’t particularly thank me for it, but in its purest form, the phrase “thoroughly enjoyable” seems highly appropriate! 

If you want to order the book, please do so from the only publisher that supports our industry, Old Pond Publishing. CLICK HERE to go straight to the Old Pond website and order your copy. 

I’ll leave you with one final passage from pages 64 and 65. I need a time machine and I need to go back to the 70’s, if your a true Long Haul Pioneer you’ll feel the same as I do…..it’s all about the romance of the road!!;

“The evening is hot and fragmentary fragrances of roadside herbs drift through his open window to mingle with the faint smell of warm diesel. In perfect harmony with his ERF, the driver powers into the evening and onward into the cool, gathering mists of night until the moon rises above the trees to burnish the road ahead with silver. The ceaseless rumble of the powerful engine beneath him will reassure him till dawn. He trusts this machine implicitly to bear him safely to the Arabian Gulf where, having unloaded, he will park under dusty palms and recline on his bunk in the soporific heat of noon, half listening to the sound of bleating goats, midday call to prayer and the lazy slap of loose tilt sheets against the sideboards drifting through his open cab doors.”Edit