This blog contains material I wrote and posted on multiply.com between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).
Monday, 26 November 2012
For Whom The Trucks Roll
The greatest menaces on the Indian roads are trucks.
Unlike the trucks of Europe and the rest, Indian trucks are not just rigid-framed and primitive in every way, but the drivers...well, what shall I say about the drivers...let's just say they learn on the job and leave it at that, shall we?
And I am not even talking about the fact that they are (over)loaded completely haphazardly and break their chassis or topple over regularly - often on to cars passing by.
Anyway, here are a few photos of a fairly typical Indian truck (they are all either made by Tata Motors or Ashok Leyland, the latter being rather better but much rarer). They are all pretty over-decorated.
They either are models with the engines in front under canopies, like this:
Or the engine inside the cabin, like this:
In either case, the cabin is extremely primitive, with upright basic seats with no concession whatever to comfort, and no ergonomics:
And with this being pretty standard windscreen decoration, no wonder they keep running people over:
Can you imagine the driver being able to see anything at night on a bad road with poor lighting?
All those photos above were by me. The truck drivers, naturally, who drive these objects aren't too happy about the hours they keep or distances they drive, and they tend to hand over control to their "cleaners" during the night hours. These handymen therefore learn on-the-job. Since both the driver and his assistant are usually high on booze, and want to reach their destinations as fast as possible, and have no idea of laws (allied with the Indian contempt for laws) you can imagine the consequences.
Lest I forget - these guys also pick up hookers on the way from one pick-up point and drop them off at another. The significant part of the deed is done when the truck is driving along. The incidence of HIV is extremely high among this profession.
Someday we may have better trucks and well-trained drivers who observe the rules of the road. Someday pigs will sprout wings and fly.