The road is an inexhaustible source of anecdotes. Hauliers know this, because they have experienced many first hand. The least desirable include various setbacks, which crop up every once in a while.
Hauliers vs. adversity
Unfavorable weather conditions
Strong wind, rain, hail and snow have an impact on driving and may even force hauliers to stop for hours at a time. Although they are well trained to drive in such conditions to mitigate any risks, given the choice, very few would turn down a clear, calm day. Unfavourable weather conditions result in increased vibrations and prolong stopping distance on wet ground. Visibility worsens as the risk of accidents increases.
A transport truck is subjected to strenuous effort for long hours throughout much of the year. Breaking down on the road is one of hauliers’ greatest fears, as it means that the work of hours or days to deliver a good on time was for nothing. The best way to prevent such situations is to strictly honour the maintenance dates indicated by manufacturers and regularly carry out basic preventive maintenance on trucks used for pallet transport. Fluid levels, transmission and suspension are critical areas.
Unfortunately, the rise of thefts committed against parked trucks has not abated in recent years. Worse still, there are now new theft techniques against moving trucks: perpetrators force the truck to slow down so they can jump from a moving car to the tailgate of the trailer, break through the doors and transfer the cargo to various vehicles. In any event, most thefts occur at night, when thieves take advantage of sleeping hauliers.
Prolonged loading times are a real setback for hauliers. In theory and by law, hauliers should be entitled to compensation if they cannot resume their journey within two hours. Financial compensation covers the hypothetical costs incurred when they cannot make their next scheduled delivery. The fact is that excessive loading and unloading times are one of the common grievances put forward by hauliers’ associations. In their view, these grievances are actually underestimated, as hauliers often fear to bother loaders, which puts them under additional pressure to make the next pick-up or delivery on time.
Malfunction of the air conditioning in summer… or the heating in winter
The cabs of modern transport trucks are equipped with autonomous air-conditioning and heating systems so hauliers can use them during the journey, as well as while they sleep, when temperatures are either very high or very low. The malfunction of either of these systems during a journey is a serious setback, because as well as affecting driving conditions, it disturbs the rest and sleep hauliers need to work long hours. One solution is to find accommodation offering these services, with the subsequent extra cost. Until the truck has reached its starting point, there is no way to find the cause of the malfunction and repair it, as that could mean a few days’ wait if the haulier is far from home.