Small Town Southern MAN

Once again our man Steve Marsh has been celebrating the seasons festivities with a run to the sun. I knew Marshy was heading south between Christmas and new year as most years the cheaper Eastern European competition goes home but the jobs still need doing. The destination was Marbella, Spain and the delivery date was December 29th. Honk honk lets go Christmas trucking! As ever, Steve Marsh or as I like to think of him, the original Logistical Magician, started the New Year run by reloading on December the 22nd in Deeside on his way back from Holyhead and a trip to Ireland. This gave Marshy the chance to enjoy some roast turkey with the family before setting off on Boxing Day (avoiding turkey overload) for Douvres and then southbound and down for Marbella.

Above, the number 1 member of the #littlebigcabclub is unloading in the glorious Spanish sunshine on Friday 29th December, the little MAN may only be a 12 tonner but she regularly clocks up the same miles as her bigger brothers. Having tipped the logistical magician loaded 1/3 of a load from Marbella itself before starting to head north. Being the new year weekend a driving ban was due to kick in in France at 10pm on the 30th for 48 hours, so having made good progress The Marsh MAN got all the way up to Haute-Garonne just south of Toulouse before running out of time. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day were spent in the services before running up to a small village 80 miles north of Toulouse to load two farm machines for Lydney in Gloucestershire, UK. I say this even though, Steve sent me the below photo asking “Notice anything slightly unusual about my reload?” I don’t think it’s worth me asking you to put your answers on a postcard, your right the reload dims were clearly lost in translation. Never mind, where there’s a Steve there’s a way! Loaded in Morlon-le-Haut on the 2nd January. Deliver first drop the farm machines to Lydney on Thursday 4th January. Back North on Friday to deliver 2nd drop to Warrington. Empty Warrington back home to……Warrington. Change of pants and socks, weekend at home, load at Bromborough Monday then onward to tip Amsterdam today (Tuesday 8th January). Who knows where the reload will be, but knowing Marshy it’s not likely to be any further from Amsterdam than Schipol!

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MAN in Madrid

It’s been a while since we had Steve Marsh gracing the pages of TB with his little MAN TGL 12 tonner. Last week was ideal for a little blog trip with the little MAN, saying that it actually started at the end of the week before last. As is the nature of international express light haulage, when done properly by a proper professional (that’s you Steve!), no job is ever the same. This time round it was UK – Spain Express. Ready? Set? Go! International light haulage is go…..

– 6 collections Thursday afternoon and Friday in the U.K. Also squeezed in a UK job on the way round. 

DFDS Sailing from Dover to Calais Friday night.

– Parked up just south of Bordeaux Sat night till Mon morning.

– Drove from Bordeaux to Madrid Monday. 

– Delivered to IFEMA exhibition centre in Madrid Tuesday.
– Loaded cardboard packaging near Le Mans, France on Wednesday afternoon.
– Spent Wednesday night fending off the migrants at Translay services on the A28 (even though its 1hr 40mins from Calais, don’t park there northbound!!).

– Delivered to Howden, Yorkshire on Friday morning. 

Having arrived in Madrid Marshy sent me the above photo of the number 1 member of the Little Big Cab Club. It had potential so I tweaked it a little and repaid his photos with a little Touch Note postcard! I’ll say it every time I blog about the little MAN but I love a little rigid truck, a 12 tonner is spot on. The blog tends to keep my urges to go back on the road and without the likes of Steve Marsh’s trips to write about I think I’d struggle to get through the working week tied to my desk. If any of you want to offer a long distance diary then please do email me. Photos and a description of what you got up to is all it takes. My email address is; ben@truckblog.co.uk 

Ibiza Weekender MAN??


Once again I got trumped on a bank holiday weekend by Mr Marsh! At the beginning of May Marshy spent the bank holiday on the delightful island of Guernsey In the English Channel and then last weekend for May’s 2nd bank holiday (UK bank holiday) he was back on the white isle in the Spanish Mediterranean…….Ibiza. 

As can often be the way with express work, the schedule was a tight one and relied heavily on catching the right ferries at the right time. If you need someone to meet such deadlines then Steve Marsh is your man, sorry MAN! Here’s the basic schedule;

– Load Sunday Evening Nr Spalding, GB.

– Catch the ferry Tuesday night from Barcelona to Ibiza. 

– Tip & ReLoad Ibiza Thursday. 

– Catch the ferry from Ibiza to Barcelona Friday daytime. 

– Deliver back to near Spalding, GB Sunday afternoon. 


Last August the little MAN delivered down in the south of Ibiza, This time around it was a tip and load in the North East of the island. Surely that is the mark of logistical excellence? Tip and load at the same place on a Mediterranean island? The stuff the romance of the road is made of! Although I have to say keeping an eye on Facebook there are a load of UK people out and about at the mo, Iceland, Ibiza and Sardinia to name a few destinations. Perhaps the UK transport scene is moving into the specialist market more and more, hence the more exotic locations?! 

I’m sure Marshy has definately spent nights in far less glamorous locations with far worse views! Oh life on the road, if ever a Destination Doha phrase should be applied it should be here; “The sun never sets on a long distance lorry driver” – Well if ever it did, that is the place for it. Look at me getting all romantic, hmmm more like missing life on the road to be fair. 8 years off the road and I still miss it, so please keep sending your pics and stories. If anyone else wants to write a diary piece or anything please feel free and then email me words and photos or like Marshy, you can send details and photos and I’ll do the words. My email; ben@truckblog.co.uk – come on get emailing you’ve all got a story to tell. 

Guernsey MAN 

  

I haven’t seen my old pal Steve Marsh for a while now, so as I had a spare ticket for Truckfest I thought I’d ask him the question, being the generous type that I am! Now usually when Marshy tells me where he’s off too I get a little envious, but he’s reason for not coming to Peterborough turned my envy into more of a feeling of the big green eyed monster.

 “Sorry but I’ll be on the boat to Guernsey on Sunday morning.”

I could just leave the blog there but I’m not sure that’s utterly fair so I’ll go on for you my dear readers sake. Firstly I’d love to go back to driving a little 12 ton rigid around Europe this is the reason I enjoy Marshys reports so much and secondly I spent an awful lot of my teenage summers in Guernsey and I can’t think of a nice place to be heading for on a bank holiday weekend, let alone getting paid for it. Some of you will understand that in the world of hot-shot and express work, sometimes reloads can be some distance from deliveries but as long as the miles are paid who cares?? Here is the itinerary for smex.eu starting from  the Wednesday before last (remember Monday this week was a bank holiday in the UK); 

Wednesday: Load Weymouth – A Printing machine.

 Thursday:  Deliver Zundert NL

 Friday: Load 20 miles south of Strasbourg – Security Doors

 Sunday:  Ferry from Portsmouth to Guernsey via Jersey (Condor Ferries)

 Mon: Lounge around in St Peter Port

Tue: Deliver to Guernsey Airport with motorcycle outrider escort. 

The original plan was to catch the boat from St Malo but the load wasn’t ready in time near Strasbourg. Even though it sailed 3pm Saturday you have to check in at 8am and Steve couldn’t get there till 10:30.

  

Nice work if you can get it! Being some what of a Guernsey fan I suggested that as it was bank holiday then there was bound to be some Motorsport event on the island and much to Marshys enjoyment they had a hill climb race going on out of St Peter Port. This whiles away a few hours on bank holiday Monday. On Tuesday morning Steve was collected from the Port by his motorcycle escort to drive the 4 miles upto the islands airport and to make his delivery. The escort is required due to the little MAN being 2.5m wide and the width limit on Guernsey is a narrow 2.3m wide. 

  

The boat back to England wasn’t until Tuesday night so Steve had the rest of the day to mooch about. I suggested the delightful Petit Bot Bay just outside of St Peter Port. Judging by the photo below he took my tourist advice and enjoyed  one of the best little beaches on the Island. Anyway back to work, but still it’s always nice to get a little treat I guess! Beats the Bruxelles ring road any day. 

  

Swedish SnowMAN – Days 3 & 4

  
Day 2 ended after a long wait for a ferry and a break, day three continued through yesterday (Monday) and into the evening. Rødbyhavn, DK upto the final destination at Lyeskil North West of Gothenburg is around 350 miles or so, a mere skip of a trip for the little SnowMAN. Without any drama and the clear roads of Scandinavia, Marshy reached his destination last night, parked up on the doorstep ready to unload this morning.  

Up this morning to a grey sky with a scattering of snow on the ground (no time for a proper Snowman!), a quick tip of the IBC load and another CMR signed and another happy customer, by all accounts from what I hear and have experienced very, very few Steve Marsh Express customers are dissatisfied with the service that is provided. It’s just a huge shame that even the world of hot shot light haulage is at the mercy of cheap Eastern European companies. Over Christmas there is a big need for UK operators like Steve Marsh as more often than not the cheap competition have gone home over the festive period so the original and the best get called in. Anyway I digress. If you were to look on the map at Lysekil you will see a little ferry from Finnsbo to Skår on the 161. There was me thinking this must be the way to go to and from Gothenburg when I get this picture from Marshy……  

“Pole position on the little ferry” he said! So now the long run back to Rotterdam to load on Thursday for the UK. The wonderful world of express light haulage means there is always a job, even if it’s a trek back to a reload, the beauty being that all miles are paid if your a decent (and business minded) owner driver and with Steve’s experience it’s fair to say he is both. Enough Marsh worship. I’m just jealous and forever bugged we (Steve & myself) only ever waved as we passed and never had the chance to meet in my former life! Hopefully we will get the chance to follow Marshy on some more trips through 2016.   

Swedish SnowMAN – Day 2

  

 

So day 2 ended up in the early hours of this morning at the Rødbyhavn ferry terminal in Denmark. Not too many miles due to the ferry, approx 380 miles by my reckoning. Having arrived at Puttgarden hoping to get the 0200hrs ferry, poor old Marshy had to to wait til 0545hrs this morning for the a crossing due to ADR restrictions. Hence the reason for no photo today as I’m guessing the pilot is catching up on his beauty sleep!