I don’t have any ambitions to be a lorry driver, but for years I wanted to learn and get the licence. Possibly from watching too many re-runs of Smokey and the Bandit, or maybe just from watching my late uncle Hugh drive past our house to collect cattle when we were small.

I eventually decided to get my act together about 12 months ago and started by passing a test in a mini-bus (D1) in January. No sooner had I done the test, I was using my newly acquired licence in support of the larger community where I live, nothing dramatic, but quite satisfying to give something back, and quite a different experience to anything I’d driven before.

With that under my belt, I got brave and started lessons in a rigid truck (C), passing that test in May.  I did not find it that much of a step up from the mini-bus, just a different focus to the driving, and a different way of “chucking it about” (and a very patient instructor).

Throwing caution to the wind, I applied for an Artic (CE) test. Green as grass, and with little or no “wheel time”, oh man, did I get a shock when the lessons started.

Volvo FM12, 03KK4350, 420HP, Box trailer, tri-axle super singles on air.

Thinking about it now, having passed the test this morning.  Various factors conspired against me the last few weeks and I probably should have cancelled the test, but this morning, even though I got mixed up in what order I should raise my legs and plug in my suzies, the driving gods smiled down on me. No cyclists swerved into my path without looking, no pedestrians walked out in front of me while chatting on their mobile phone (oblivious to 15,940kg rolling towards them), all drivers went where they were indicating, and I nailed my off-side reverse.  Boy am I smiling inside tonight!

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