Top Gear offers love letter to haulage sector

Top Gear offers love letter to haulage sector

21 Jun 2022 Posted By James Evison

The latest episode of BBC's Top Gear programme shone a light on the sector as the three presenters train to become HGV drivers before taking to the road.

Describing it as “a life-long ambition”, Paddy McGuinness and his co-hosts Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris undertook the process to become “fully-fledged HGV drivers”.

Freddie Flintoff said Great Britain was “in the midst of an HGV driver crisis to get the stuff we need to the places we need to go”.

Paddy McGuinness, who’s father was an HGV driver, admitted on the show he had previously driver a 22 tonne vehicle – and talked about the “romance” of the life on the road.

The big rigs are out tonight mother truckers! Top Gear @BBCOne 8PM and @BBCiPlayer That’s a big 10-4 y’all. #TopGear #sunday #hgv #rubberduck

— Paddy McGuinness 💙 (@PaddyMcGuinness) June 19, 2022

The presenters began by trialling the vehicles on an airfield and attempting a drag race in classic Top Gear fashion.

They then attempted to reverse into a series of coned bays before undertaking an intensive training course to get their licences, which after “many months” found the presenters on the road.

The presenters discussed their training experience, and only received a few minors on the main test amongst the three of them. Paddy McGuinness passing the theory first time, Freddie Flintoff the second time, and Chris Harris had to re-sit the test as he had forgotten his licence.

Harris described driving an HGV as “a more grown-up world of driving than cars”.

The presenters had to deliver goods to the south-coast of Wales and took the opportunity to stop at Chippenham Truck Stop where they spoke with drivers and ate at the cafe.

And it was at this point that Paddy started to realise that ‘trucking’ attire is less ‘wild west’, more ‘hi-vis’.

— Top Gear (@BBC_TopGear) June 19, 2022

They then stopped at an RAF base where they tested their skills on a slalom course while carrying two helicopters.

Really ought to be industry-standard, the Top Gear Overhanging Helicopter Slalom Test. But who’s going to be quickest?

— Top Gear (@BBC_TopGear) June 19, 2022

The presenters then crossed the Severn Bridge, where they got “blown around a bit”, and highlighted the “amazing” views that truckers had. They went through the town of Abergavenny to illustrate the big issues for truck drivers including cars parked on double yellow lines and obstructing junctions and roads.

“Your life is ruled by the tacho”, Paddy McGuiness also said, as he explained the rules to the general public.

Speaking about the role of an HGV driver, especially in challenging conditions, Freddie Flintoff said: “So much responsibility, you’ve got to be on it all the time. This is hard graft.

“Truckers watching this will know what I’m on about. I’m not sure if I’ve got it in me, to be honest.”

Watch the show here on BBC iPlayer

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