Every now and then I do get to keep my hand in. As it was my Saturday to work and we had no trucks to load, it made sense for me to tip a local load of fertiliser to a farm about 5 miles away. Can’t be that hard can it?! I rang the phone number just to check directions and off I went in the big DAF. Apparently they have big trucks at this farm all the time….
Anyway into Kersey village (this is sort of deepest Suffolk village type roads!) turn right follow it along to the old white rose pub, turn left. Down the hill up the other side then take the first Tarmac road to the left, follow it along for 1/2 a mile and the farm is on the left. Easy peasy. Well if only it was as easy as that. It was ok upto the pub and turning left. Just after the left turn was a parked car outside a house and a very full ditch. I eased along side the car, keeping closer to the car than the ditch due to the amount of rain we’ve had. It might be that the rear marker light stalk on the trailer touched the car but I like to think it was well planned!
This is the entrance to the farm as I was driving out. I approached the farm from the road to the right. It was a narrow single track with the trailer wheels brushing the banks of the lane as I came up to the farm. I stopped in the lane as the left turn into the farm was slightly back on myself. As I hopped out the farm hand came out to tell me I was in the right place and also to see me in. I backed up slightly, pulled as far right and forward as I dare before jack-knifing round to the left. As I did so I had to make sure the left side trailer wheels didn’t catch on the large concrete block that had been put there to protect the grass, never mind the large vehicles you might expect on a farm! As I swung in I stopped and jumped out to move a tree stump protecting the grass on the right hand side, I hand to move this so I could get the bumper round as my steer wheels were just touching the seemingly precious grass. As I edged round the farm hand said nothing apart from ok as the trailer cleared the concrete block. Slowly forward past a barn and round into a large open farm yard. “Pull up any where and open 1 side”. That was all he said so I duely obliged and the 19 bags of fert soon started coming off the trailer.
It was about this point 2 dirty Jack Russell’s and a grumpy farmer appeared;
Farmer: “can you not drive over the grass on your way out again”
Me: “oh did I catch it on the way in? It was a bit tight”
Farmer: “yes you did, we have trucks in here all the time and they have no problem”
Me: “it is pretty tight….”
Farmer: “well your supposed to be qualified to drive this thing”
Me: “I am, but I’m happy if you want to drive it out onto the road so I don’t catch the grass again”
Farmer: “No that’s your job”
What can you say to that?? All in a days work, to expect some one not to understand. Once empty I asked the farm hand if I made a mess and he said “no not really the farmer just assumes that all trucks are the same size!” I asked if he wanted to see me out as I had to drive out the way I came. Turning right out the entrance back on myself with the concert block on the drivers side this time.
Crawling along I went as far forward as possible before going left into the entrance, again to avoid the trailer wheels catching on the grass on the left. I hung out my window to make sure the tyres were not touching the blooming grass. This time, before turning right out if the entrance and onto the lane, I went as far forward as possible before turning right, so I just edged over the road into the soft gateway on the other side of the lane, I then turned hard right, making sure the trailer wheels on the drivers side missed the concrete block while also making sure the front passenger side of the trailer swung back quick enough to miss the telegraph pole. Once back on the lane I jumped out the cab and replaced the tree stump I had moved on my way in. As I climbed back in the cab, pleased eased with myself for not touching anything, I noticed the farmer had been watching my exit from a hidden spot next to the barn, so just to make sure he knew I knew he was there, I gave him a honk and a wave as I drove off.
No matter how hard you try as a driver there will ways be those who you just can’t please. I don’t think I could have done much more on my way into the farm especially as the farm hand was helping me in. It didn’t bother me that the farmer had a moan, but it does make me wonder why they bother, especially as he declined my kind offer of driving the truck out onto the road for me! Funny old boy.
Anyway I always enjoy a farm delivery as It does usually provide some sort of a challenge. Next time I think the boss man, Big Dave, should take the challenge and make the next farm delivery. At this point I will just congratulate my bosses on reaching the 10 year anniversary of Kersey Freight Ltd. While I was messing about in the mud, 10 years earlier David and James were busy starting the company from a small room in Kersey Mill. Congratulations boys!!