Newark tanker driver says the current fuel supply crisis could be sorted in seven days
A Newark tanker driver says the current fuel supply crisis could be sorted within a week.
Dave Cox is licensed to haul non-hazardous loads, such as food and liquid, but said he and other such drivers could be trained to carry fuel loads in just seven days.
He said the government could put liquid tanker drivers through ADR training (hazardous goods certificate) to carry fuel, instead of importing foreign hauliers who will need all relevant vetting.
“Liquid and petrol tankers all tip the same, we just need additional paperwork for the ADR,” said Mr Cox.
“We could be trained within a week.
“I can’t see the DVLA being the cause of a backlog, I renewed my digital tachograph card last Monday online and had it in the post by Wednesday.
“The problem is no one is coming into trucking as it’s unsociable hours — we can do 15-hour days legally.
“The average trucker is 52, it’s £5,000 for your licences then it’s a minimum wage job with somewhere like Stobarts for two years to gain experience.
“Old hands are retiring or leaving through ill health and failing medicals etc.”
Asked if there was a fuel and food crisis, Mr Cox said: “There are none. Warehouses are full of food.
“The mainstream media scare people with agendas — like claiming there’s a fuel shortage when there isn’t.
“They mention the word shortage and people panic — as is the government’s plan — and instead of filling up £20 a week everyone fills up £60 to £100, so three to five times the amount everyone takes then does create a shortage.
“Also during the pandemic notice fuel was £1 a litre. Suddenly, when it shoots up to nearly £1.50 a litre there’s a shortage and loads buy more than they normally would.
“That earns more in VAT and fuel tax for the government.”
Mr Cox added there was, however, a driver shortage nationally.
“Most truckers won’t get out of bed for less than £13 an hour. So if you’re paying minimum wage, say £9 an hour, no decent trucker will work for you — so companies claim they can’t get drivers,” he said.
“Cheap drivers aren’t good, good drivers aren’t cheap.
“An artic (lorry) can cost £200,000 and carry £500,000 worth of goods. Would you trust an amateur with that?”