A trailer driver shares the challenges faced in the industry, emphasizing the critical issue of maintenance. Due to financial constraints and the lack of government support, drivers often operate trucks with faulty brakes, putting their lives at risk. The driver highlights the pressure to accept low-paying jobs, as a significant portion of earnings goes to appease area boys and handle damages caused by vandalism. The plea is for assistance in addressing maintenance issues to ensure the safety of both drivers and the public on the road.
In a concerned driver’s words:
Number one, they should help us check maintenance. See this maintenance issue, even my own life isn’t safe. I drove one truck that had only the front tyre had break.
The government cannot give me a bob, so if I say I won’t work, I cannot steal, so I have to keep managing the trailer in that condition. So that I can get another offer, since I cannot feed without that trailer.
This container work isn’t my specialty, I just started driving it. My specialty is driving ‘body’. But there are no jobs so I have to drive the container, because I have no one to feed me. If I go to my friend to ask for money, he won’t give me, so I have to manage.
The trucks have faulty brakes, which is why when they encounter something suddenly and try to apply the brake, it usually ends in accidents. But if it’s a new truck, once you apply the brakes thrice, before you get to there, the truck will stop. So they should help us look into maintenance.
Side mirrors are the first things the area boys will break without even knowing its importance. They’ll throw stones at your windscreen, ready to damage the entire truck. If you sit in my truck and let me take you to ‘Iyana Oba’, your clothes will be stained with blood.
So tell me, you accept a job of 120,000 and pay 80,000 naira to area boys, how can one think of maintenance, knowing that I’ll still buy fuel and pay the driver?
So there’s no way to take care of the maintenance.
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