If you think that service life is hard, being away from your family for long periods, starting work at short notice and at inconvenient times and generally crapped upon by all and sundry, you ain't seen nothing yet! Try a new career as a truck driver in good old Blighty! First bit, pay a bloody King's Ransome for all the training to learn to drive an overgrown pick-up truck, no shiny new Swedish ERF (sorry, I meant Scania!) Artic right from day one, you have gain experience in a rigid vehicle first.You will hit your first hurdle,no experience no job. Next move, sign on with a Driver Agency who may or may not throw you a few morsels now and again. In time,after driving some right crappy old motors, you might impress a haulier and you are offered a full time job, success! WRONG! Bottom of the heap again, oldest dog in the yard becomes your pride and joy and you're rewarded with all the shite loads to 'see if you're made of the right stuff'. In time you climb the ladder, you now know your way about, Learn which rat infested lay by's are the best to park up in on a night away, which forklift drivers are right ********* and which weighbridge operator is the most miserable. The urge to drive Artics becomes irresistable. So you take further training at more great expense, pass the test and are now the holder of the fabled Class One licence. You've made it! Wrong again! Back to the bottom of the pile, crap old motors again until you're experienced, same shit different day, bigger loads more hassle. Looked down upon by other road users, musn't park in our town, but don't dare be late with your delivery in the morning, driver, or some poxy jumped up traffic clerk will crap on you from a great height, your boss will give you a huge bollocking and you will think that your world has turned to shit. (which it has.) It's the only job I know of where you will be fined (by the courts) for working overtime or taking insufficient breaks and you may become overweight, diabetic or suffer a heart attack as a reward for your efforts. You might strike it lucky as I did and drop on a brilliant job driving on the Continent for a really good firm, but you've probably got more chance of winning the Lottery. Eventually through no fault of your own a contract is lost and your dream job is gone and it's back to being a second class citizen in the U.K. again. By this time you're too old to get out and retrain and that's you sorted until you retire. Sorry to disillusion any prospective 'King of the Road', but I've just told it how it is. Bitter? Me? Dammned right I am, 36 years in the job and counting, I wish I'd followed my first instinct and become a Fireman!