Team Drive in United Europe
Last weekend in one of the German hotels, I had the pleasure of meeting a group of drivers from double casts. What is this double-cast / team driving?
It's two drivers in one truck during one freight = truck team driving. The working time of a double cast is 21 hours of work (not driving), and the daily cycle is 30 hours, i.e., 21 hours of work time plus a minimum of 9 hour's break. The parking university consisted of one double cast from Poland, two from Romania, and one from the Netherlands.
WORKING AND DRIVING TIME, i.e., six days a week
There have been many changes in working time regulations in the last few years. A few years back in France, a mandatory break was introduced between driving periods, i.e., the first driver 4.5 hours of driving, a compulsory break of 45 minutes, then a second driver 4.5 hours of driving, again a mandatory break of 45 minutes and 4.5 driving and a break. The fines for not complying with compulsory breaks between driving periods were frighteningly high, which is why we observed breaks when driving through France. However, the rule with a mandatory break did not survive the test of time and is currently not respected by drivers. The Polish driver said that he drives presently in a three-hour system - the first driver: 3 hours, change of cards in the tachograph, the second driver: 3 hours of driving, change of cards in the tachograph and again the first 3 hours of driving...
The second driver's default 3 hours of availability read through the tachograph as removing 45 minutes of pause. Therefore, by using this system, we will bypass the credentials. I know drivers who got a fine of several thousand euros during transit through France. Their work system in a double cast was flexible, i.e., the first driver starts and when he tired, for example, after 2 hours of driving he changes with a colleague, etc. I have never used such a system, and I had no problems with working time during the inspection. The most important thing is for the second driver to have a MINIMUM of 3 hours of availability, preferably 3 hours and 3 minutes, then it can read as a 45-minute break. Exceeding the maximum working time of 21 hours results in additional fines for both drivers!
From A to Z - Team driving routes in Europe
1. Team driving (groupage)
- from Wrocław to Milano
- from Milano to Paris
- from Brussels to Barcelona
- from Vienna to Milano
- from Milano to Madrid
2. Double cast (2 cycles)
- from Scotland to Sicily
- from Rome to Norway
- from London to Konstanz
- from Copenhagen to Vienna
- from Athens to Bologna
3. Double cast (air shipments)
- Warsaw airport to Cologne airport
- Luxembourg airport to Milan airport
- Leipzig airport to Lyon airport
- Paris airport to Barcelona
The routes are very diverse, and there is plenty to choose from. Unfortunately, in congested Europe, even 21 hours of work time is sometimes not enough to deliver goods in one cycle of work time, which is why you can often see the pins of double team semi-trailers in parking lots.
My team drive experience
Many truck drivers begin their adventure with double-cast trucks. This is the best way to gain minimum experience. I started my career in a double cast - many truckers call it team driver. The trailers were filled with cosmetics on my first freight routes from the Warsaw area to Costa Blanca. A break of 9 hours on the Spanish coast, fast loading of fruit around Valencia, we traveled through Italy to Slovakia. In Slovakia, loading TV sets, and we traveled through the Czech Republic to the Frankfurt area. The worst memories I had when crossing Calais. We arrived late in the evening, and it was already dark; it congested the paid parking lots, our working time was running out, and we left Calais on the fumes of working time. Unfortunately, we have overworked 21 hours of work by groups of illegal immigrants/refugees.
Experiences of a colleague from Romania
The team drive is not fun. The driving schedule is tight. One advantage of working in a double cast is driving the best highways. Motorways in France are expensive, but their quality and bandwidth are worth it. My favorite route in dual models was a trip from the Netherlands to Alicante, Spain. To this day, I remember crossing the Millau Viaduct, which runs along the 75 motorway over the valley of the River Tam in southern France. When driving solo on the same route, employers did not want to pay about 40 euros for the journey because of work time. The double cast made it possible for me to pass through this phenomenal object, and this is just one of many.
Two windmills or Double of the Netherlands
Yes, yes, the windmill nodded. Once, when flying solo from Eindhoven to Padua, I didn't have permission to drive through France and the Mont Blanc / Monte Bianco tunnel. The only route available was via Stuttgart and Munich and then the Brenner Pass. Currently, he manages with a colleague in a double cast, and on the same line, we drive through France and expensive tunnels. The views are great, and the ride resembles a landscape trip. Our job is to collect flowers in northern Italy and then deliver them to a fair in the Netherlands.
We often use double casts for transporting medicines because of the considerable freight value. I transported drugs from northern Spain to Poland, halfway through Mulhouse. We had a passport; forwarding said that pausing with such a valuable product is dangerous. I've heard of a double cast from Europe to northern Africa near the port of Casablanca. Armed escorts then secure the transport of medicines.
From east to west
We also heard about a double crew on the Moscow Barcelona route! From around Moscow, parts were loaded into old Soviet cars, unloading was at the port of Barcelona, and then the goods were delivered to Cuba by ships.
West to East
Belarussian drivers from the team drive regularly load goods from South America in Spanish ports and deliver them to Russia.
Fast England, Fast Norway, such words often spoken by drivers who deliver fruit and vegetables from Spain, Italy, and Greece to the northern ends of Europe
Truck team driving is not for every professional driver.
This is not a job for lazy drivers. The cast crew is two drivers who must complement each other in times of doubt and fatigue.