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.   

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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!

Swedish SnowMAN – Day 1

  
Having caught up with Marshy last night on his way to Sweden here is the first update. Having left Warrington on Boxing Day morning (yesterday morning) Steve and the little MAN came down to Dover for a ferry and then plodded on northbound. After a quick crossing and clear roads Steve managed to make it as far as Utrecht before parking up in the early hours of this morning. Judinging by the photo of the motorway services there wasn’t many others out and about in Hollland and not many ADR trucks on the ferry either! More updates to follow. 

 

Swedish SnowMAN

  
HAPPY CHRISTMAS bloggers!! So here we are all eating and drinking (or eaten and drunk) all the products and presents you’ve spent the last few months delivering across the UK and Europe, but seeing as today is not the big day some of you are back at it. As you could probably have imagined one of those back at work is the one and only Steve Marsh and his gleaming 12 ton MAN TGL are loaded and in Douvres waiting for a boat. Quiet is the name of the game down there today, which makes a change I’m sure. If only the people of the U.K. could appreciate how much risk there is in you lot bringing in all our festive goodies this year. Marshy is loaded from Ellesmere Port with flammable IBC’s and heading for the little Swedish coastal town of Lyeskil about one and a half hours North West of Batmans home town…..oh no I mean Gothenburg! Only cracker-joke funny. A long coulple of days for the little MAN and his northern pilot but the plan is to keep you upto date with his progress North. 

All About Me

  

There’s been a lot of new recruits to the blog this year, on the www, Twitter and through the Facebook page so I thought I better tell you my credentials as I’m not just a wanna be trucker (although I do wanna be one again!), I have been there and done a bit. It goes something like this. Now this is a story all about how, my life got flipped-turned upside down, and I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, and I’ll tell you how I became trucking nerd…… Oh no hang on that doesn’t rhyme!!

At the beginning of 1997 I was tasked on a college course to formulate a business plan that would or could work. It turns out the plan worked and the bank were keen so before I finished college I got a DAF 45 on order and started looking for work. In October ’97 I started as a Subbie for DFDS distribution in Coggeshall, Essex. I was soon covering….. 

 On a daily basis with anything between 15-20 deliveries and collections. What a way to learn my way about (no Sat-Navs then younger readers just a box of maps!) maps I hear you say?? Yep read THIS BLOG.  I still use some of the short cuts now! A year or so later and DFDS moved to Purfleet and I didn’t follow. Local business soon started giving me work and I was soon UK wide with loads of virtually everything and anything. The poor little DAF couldn’t keep up and 2-3 years after getting her I traded her in for possibly my favourite truck from the BJS fleet, an MAN 8.163 with a Hatcher Space cab.  

 This little German served me very very well and in our prime we were doing Braintree, Essex to Larkhall, Scotland 3 times a week even now and again with a reload of lead rolls from David Park Transport in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 3 pallets just over 3 ton. From day one I had done the odd run to the Continent but never enough. I was so busy running round the UK that I only ever got to wave as we passed to Steve Marsh as he was also the owner of a smart Hatcher canned MAN. A massive if only, but I believe if only we had stopped for a cuppa I could have still been doing the Continental with a little Tonka you. Along with, tail lifts, computers, baseball hats, Chinese menu’s, supermarket light fittings, industrial door fixings and 50-75kg sacks of hand loaded hessian sacks of malt to name but a few commodities I took on a driver and put the real show truck of the fleet on the road and passed the MAN onto my only ever employee Steve Shackle.  

 The Atego was awesome and again worked hard across the length and breadth of mainland UK. She was well recognised and got in quite a few magazines. This lead to the start of some Mercedes-Benz friendships that continue to this day. A very big customer went pop with no warning and I was literally in the proverbial dirty river with no oars. So goodbye to the MAN, the Atego and Steve. At the same time I was offered traction work although I didn’t have a class one license at the time. I ordered a Mercedes-Benz Actros of the same man that sold me the MAN and the Atego and two weeks before it went on the road I passed my class one with no minor faults.

  
I can safely say that living in this Actros (Claudia), turned me from boy to man. I lived in her virtually for the three years I had her and the long distance lorry driver life was what I hoped it always would be. Bloody hard work, great friends, some crazy trucking about and much to my delight a lot more continental. Nothing silly by most of your standards but, Belgium Holland and just into Germany on a very regular basis. Amazing the things you see and the situations you can find yourself in, some good some bad, some exciting and some ‘kin scary and eye opening but none the less it was awesome! I bought and restored a Scania 141 the same age as me and had agreed with the people I was working for that they’d give me trailer with no more than 15 ton on so for odd weeks I could run the 141 on the continent. Sadly it never happened. The 141 did, the work didn’t and not long after I had to make the hardest decision I’ve ever made and had to give up BJS International. 

  
The 141 got me going and the pinnacle was taking her to the Truckstar Festival in Holland. In the real world I got a job with a local firm driving an 8 wheeler around Essex for GB Finch. A fun job and I’m told I still hold plenty of fleet records. Drifting an 8 wheel tipper in wet mud is always good for morale.  

 I landed a job at HC Wilson Transport in the office and this was close to being what I wanted to do. Great people, great job and a great fleet. Routing trucks and securing loads all over Europe, Scandinavia and where ever the customer would pay, there’s a lot to learn in the world of international abnormal loads but it was rewarding. Oh the romance of international trucking! 

Moving on from Wilson’s having sold the 141 to raise a family, I went to Kersey Freight as fleet manager and holiday relief driver! Long days and on call 24 hours a day was rewarded with the odd spell back on the road doing two trips to Paris a week. Good times although I have to say back then crossing the channel was a breeze. 

 
Once again I got itchy feet and have now changed to the other side of the desk if you like and I have great job, spending my time talking about trucks to hauliers. Although not long after starting this dream job I did get offered the chance of being an owner driver again with a mini artic moving flash cars all over europa but age brings a certain amount thought and reality over what your spontaneous side wants to do. Funny old game, but I am a firm believer that once you get diesel in your veins you can’t get rid of it, hence the reason I’m trying to encourage my son to continue with his love of the local zoo and animals, but that’s the start of another hot topic in the press this week #lovethelorry. I now have friends across the UK and a couple else where in the world  through the blog and I find myself taking a big interest in driver friends daily trucking exploits to satisfy my never ending urge to go back on the road. I’ve not been a truck owner for a few years now and I feel like I have to say that in an AA meeting style! Hopefully in the next year or so I can get another retro show truck to help my marriage and stop me annoying Mrs Blog every weekend!! 
Anyway that’s me. Happy to talk trucks with anyone and I always question those who spend every day and night involved with trucks but still say that hate them.

“Ever see a duck that couldn’t swim?!”

Six Million Dollar MAN

  

Just a couple of weeks back Steve Marsh and his little MAN were right down South West in Portugal, this week the complete opposite, right up North East in Finland.  How do you get a 1931, 4.5 litre supercharged Bentley blower from the UK to Russia for a car rally? I have no idea, but I know you get it as far as Helsinki from where it will be forwarded onto its final destination somewhere in Russia. I’m guessing that although Bentley GH6951 is a regular at all the big car rallies all over Europe, the owners didn’t fancy driving it all the way from Manchester. In true 1980’s fashion, “Who you gonna call??” – Steve Marsh Express!

   


Friday PM: Load ex Packers Warehouse, Manchester, GB

Friday Night: Ship P&O – Hull, GB to Europoort, NL

Saturday: Drive Europoort, NL to Travemunde, D

  
Early Sunday AM: Ship Finnlines – Travemunde, D to Helsinki, Fin (29 hour crossing) 

Monday AM: Deliver to DHL Terminal, Vaanta, Fin

   
 

   
 Wednesday AM: Load ex Rotterdam, NL

Thursday AM: Deliver London,  GB

  
Friday AM: Load Harwich, Essex, GB

Friday PM: Deliver Warrington, GB 

1,533 Miles / 2,467 KM

Not many miles condsidering the distance between the destinations if you know what I mean, but then again there was some 58ish hours on the Finnlines ferry. As always is the case when Marshy does a specialist job, back loads are always found even if there is a bit of empty running, but does that really matter if all miles are paid?? Not to you or I but there’s probably an Eco-warrior that would have something to say about it. Probably suggest we put Marshy on a non existent train! 

Where will the little MAN be off to next I wonder? I can only guess it will be somewhere in between Portugal and Finland, although when you look at a map, that’s not really narrowing it down. Where ever he goes I always hope he takes some photos, mainly because I love the little MAN and secondly because of you lot, Marshy now has some dedicatded followers that often ask after him when he doesn’t appear on the blog for a while. As you may appreciated Mr Marsh is a busy chap and doesn’t have time for a lot of social media (that’s where I come in!) but you can follow him and his adventures on;

Twitter – @SteveMarshExp

Website – www.stevemarshexpress.co.uk / www.smex.eu

Portugese-MAN-O-Light

  

Here’s a truck we’ve not seen much of recently, Steve Marsh and GB14 STE. I think things have been a little quiet for Marshy of late, with mainly local runs to the North of France, Ireland and the Benelux countries. These locals are not worthy of blogging Mr Marsh’s eyes (I disagree), so when I received a photo of an Um Bongo vehicle followed by “Guess where I am?” I instantly thought back to the last time I spoke of and saw anything to do with Um Bongo; Portugese-MAN-O-Juice

 

So how does the master of international express hot shot work carry out such a job and how does it pan out? I’ll tell you how, just read on. All KM’s paid too. 

Friday: Load ADR cargo from Runcorn, GB. 

Ship: Douvres to Calais (no Spanish boats available)

Tuesday: Deliver to Um Bongo, Carnaxide, Lisboa, P. 

Top Spotting: Activ Cars, Mini artic in Burgos, E. 

Thursday: Load aerosols in La Fleché, F. (1664KM North East of Carnaxide)

Ship: Calais to Douvres

Friday: Tip Newcastle Upon Tyne, GB

Saturday: Home for Nougat Chocolate pillows (breakfast!), Warrington, GB. 

Round Trip Approx 5,240KM.

 

  

The eagle eyed Marsh-MAN fans amoungst you, might have noticed a little bit of new bling on the still relatively new MAN. Marshy is a modest man when it comes to blinking up the hard working wagon, but after a little trip to Jimbars in Cumbria, a little light shine was added to GB14. A full front bumper and a very tidy little rear brake light bar, both fitted with additional LED’s. Very subtle but very smart during the hours or darkness I’m sure. Anyway, back to business, Destion Denmark.