Night Shift

by Angelique

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I haul carfuells and that work goes on for 24 hours almost 7 days. The Netherlands is not that big and most of the work is in our own part of Holland. Mostly we have 3 trips per shift. And sometimes if you are lucky and drive for BP you have only one trip but to fill up several gas stations on the way from lets say the south of holland back to Amsterdam. Those take up to 11 or 12 hours. Normally you will be also busy about 10 till 11 hours with 3 trips from the Amsterdam Fuel Depot to wherever the dispatcher sends you. You always have some time extra as the company we haul for wishes for things to go right rather than fast! Putting gasoline into the diesel ground tank would not be a great idea, so we have to take real good care in order to do things right. I always find the first night the hardest. Because you really .. or I ... cannot sleep through a large part of the day in order to go to work around 17 o'clock (5 p.m.). So the first day is always a very long day and it get's hard between 03 and 04 (a.m.). Really it does. The rest of the week it's okay and you have sort of a rhythm. What is not nice at all is that my neighbour is trying to learn how to play the violin !!! It should be forbidden by law that if you are older than 8 years to start learning to play the violin. It just will not work. Believe me!!! Well back to my carfuells.

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Driving in the evening is good ... the later it gets the less traffic is on the road. And really deep at night the only traffic you see are almost other fuelldrivers. And a few other trucks, mostly hauling vegatables and other fresh stuff like newly baked bread to deliver to the bakery shops. The question I am frequently asked if it is dangerous for a female driver to drive at night and especially at the unloading site, as at night you usually are there alone. I never had problems with that and most people sleep at night and you are really on your own. I also believe that the dispatcher does not send me or my female coworkers to hazourdous places as there are a few in the Amsterdam area. Well I do not really mind. You should not seek out problems if you can. On one occassion a man asked me if he could buy diesel straight out of the tank. Well .. I thought he must be joking. But he really meant it ... as unloading goes at about 600 liters per minute (160 gallons) - it is not an option. And it is not an option in any way as the driver will loose his or her job for sure!!! I said to him that the diesel out of my tank was twice as expensive as at the gas station (they were still open) ... Why he asked? Well this is the fresh stuff ;) He gave somewhat of a smile and walked away ... :)

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

by Brett Aquila

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