How do I go about becoming a long-distance lorry driver?

Because I think I might like it. I’d get to travel. I wouldn’t have my boss breathing down my neck the whole time. I’d be working alone so I wouldn’t have to put up with annoying co-workers. I’d get to sleep in one of those little cubby things and eat in greasy spoons all the time. I could wear demin dungarees and sing the theme tune to “the Littlest Hobo” as I’m motoring along. So how do I go about achieving my new-found ambition. Obviously, my first step would have to be to learn to drive, but what do I do after that?

I would also add that being a truck driver – at least in the U.S. – is rated as the most dangerous non-military/law enforcement profession you can get into.

Minuses:
Long hours spent behind the wheel + the high stakes (there’s more money for doing long hauls in the shortest amount of time possible) + having to drive all over the nation in all-weather conditions = A recipe for an accident.

Pluses:
There’s little in life that can quite compare to driving a 40-foot semi-trailer down an open road while gazing at a desert sunset, with a can of “Jolt” in one hand and singing along to “Trisha Yearwood” tunes on the stereo.

My brother-in-law’s a trucker and my sister rides with him, so I know a little bit about it.

First, what kmg365 said. Long-distance trucking is not the safest profession, especially if you are driving on isolated two-lane roads. Or in crowded city traffic.

I marvel at the skills truckers have of backing their trailers into place at the loading docks between other trailers.

I don’t know what it’s like in Europe, but, driving to the States, there’s all kinds of border formalities and inspections. It’s gotten more difficult and delay-filled in recent years. Many trucks are tracked and linked by satellite too. The days of privacy on the road are fading. I understand safety regulations and procedures, and paperwork, are non-trivial as well.

There are truck-driving schools around my city; some are private, and others are part of the Skills Training programs of community colleges.

Paging spoons; he’s actually driven an 18-wheeler and can tell you more.

I’m not sure how serious you are about this, but I had a job which involved dealing with long distance lorry drivers a lot, so here is my view, based entirely on anecdotal evidence. It’s very lonely work. Yes, you don’t have annoying co-workers, but you also don’t have any company for hours on end, unless you are doing the sort of work that requires having a driver’s mate. If that’s the case you may not get much say over who is your mate, possibly leading to hours in a confined space with someone you can’t stand. A lot of the work available is extremely physically demanding, so you’d need to either be pretty strong - the image of a fat, greasy lorry driver really isn’t that accurate, some of them may not look that fit, but there are generally some pretty huge muscles under a layer of fat - or have a limited range of work available. It also a job that seems to generally have very long hours and hellishly early starts - from what I remember starting work at 6 would have been a lie-in for many of them.

However, its a good skill to have, and I’d imagine there will always be a need for LGV drivers. You could also have the option of starting up your own business one day if you wanted to. If you really want to do it, learning to drive is a good starting point. I then suggest you find someone else to pay for you to learn to drive lorries and put you through your LGV licence. I’ve no idea how expensive lessons are, but they can’t come cheap, and I believe the test itself costs about 1500 of our english pounds. I don’t know how many companies are willing to do this for new recruits, but I have seen adverts for bus-drivers where training is provided, so that might be a means of getting the licence, then you could move sideways into LGVs.

Good luck with your new choicce of career - if I ever meet a lorry-driver singing the theme tune to "the Littlest Hobo"I’ll know it’s you!

If you do want to be a long distance lorry driver, first make sure you’re not a rain god.

Very important, trust me.

And watch out for the Danish thermostatic radiator controls. :slight_smile:

Don’t you live in England? You can’t be a long distance lorry driver. You’d run out of distance. Why, you’d drive right into the sea, you would! Right into the bloody, buggery, bollocksy sea!

** How do I go about becoming a long-distance lorry driver?**

Get a lorry.
Drive it a long distance.

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

cuauhtemoc funny!

As an alternative, I’ve heard it’s possible (I think I may have heard it here, actually) to get a job driving hire cars form place to place in the States. Anyone got any info on that?

There is a modern invention called a boat. It’s like a big fallen down tree. It’s so big, you can drive your lorry (truck, if you will) and be magically transported to a place where the sea ends and a new foreign land begins. You could drive all the way to China :smiley:

You could ask these guys for a quick spin.

Just popping back to say that if you do become a long distance lorry driver you really ought to sing Clara the long distance lorry driver’s song from Pigeon Street . I personally will be disappointed if you don’t. You can sing the Littlest Hobo theme as well though.

Start listening to C.W. McCall songs. Don’t stop for six months. By then you should be ready.

“…pulling lorry loads, full of petrol gas.”

Sorry, it’s the only line from a song with the word lorry in it. Redundant, but there it is.

You have to eat lots of Yorkies.

Unfortunately, they’re not for girls, so you’re instantly disqualified.

She likes trucking,
She likes trucking,
She likes trucking and she likes to truck.
She likes trucking,
She likes trucking,
If you don’t like trucking, tough luck!

(Anyone who gets that reference: I hope you realize that means you’re as old as I am … )

A ride for a ride :smiley:

OH WOW!!! This is so exciting! And it’s in my part of the world as well! Cancel my Christmas wish list, I feel a new request coming on!!!

To be a long distance lorry driver, don’t you have to get out of Britain to where there are long distances, first?

Long distance lorry drivers in the UK drive all over Europe. There are rail and ferry links across the narrow channel to France, and lorries can travel thousands of miles to destinations all over Europe.