As I reported in my previous article, ‘World’s Top 10 Silly Lorry Stories’, lorries and lorry drivers seem to have a habit of being involved in some of the world’s quirkiest news stories. Well, with a little delving, I’ve discovered many more ridiculous lorry stories. Here is my second top 10!
A lorry driver made a 100-mile trip with a live chicken under his bonnet. The truck driver only heard the hen clucking when he arrived at an Asda depot near Chepstow, Monmouthshire. Transport clerk Alex Viljoen said: ‘The lorry driver was afraid to pick the bird up. She was a bit warm and there was oil on her feathers, but she seemed quite happy.’ The chicken was taken to vet Caroline Marlow and given a clean bill of health – then laid an egg. Caroline said: ‘We think she was copying Chicken Run and trying to escape.’
A German lorry driver caused a crash on a busy autobahn after biting into an apple and swallowing his false teeth. Peter Seiler, 57, was driving on the A3 motorway near Wuerzburg when he decided to tuck into the apple. But he chocked on a piece of the apple and as he coughed he ended up swallowing his false teeth. As he struggled for air he lost control and crashed his haulage vehicle into another car. No one was hurt in the incident.
A retired lorry driver and his wife halted a packed jet just before take-off – after seeing their dog bounding alongside on the runway. Terry and Susan Smith, both 58, were set to fly to a new life in Lanzarote when they spotted spaniel Poppy, who is believed to have chewed her way out of her crate as the plane was about to taxi to the runway. Terry said: ‘we were in our seats ready for take-off when we suddenly saw Poppy on the runway. I was really worried about her.’ Pet transport firm Animal Airlines said it was the first time a dog had escaped in their 40 years of business.
Road signs in Polish have been put up in Cheshire to stop Polish-speaking lorry drivers getting confused. One sign reads ‘Do A 49 Whitchurch skrec w nastepna droge w prawo’ which means ‘For A49 to Whitchurch turn right at next junction’. The council said there was a significant Polish population in the Crewe area, thought to be about 3,000, and a number made their living as commercial truck drivers. Cheshire County Council’s county engineer, Steve Kent, said: ‘Polish people are part of the community and we need to cater for their needs.’
A lorry driver who stopped for a toilet break in a lay-by got a shock when he discovered he was being watched by an 8ft python. The snake weaved its way toward his feet as he stopped his haulage vehicle for the break on the A59, near York. He called police who alerted RSPCA staff, reports the York Press. Animal collection officer Helen Martindale said: ‘The lorry driver said he got the shock of his life when he saw it crawling out of the bushes.’ The snake was put in a box and taken to a sanctuary in Knaresborough.
A former long-distance lorry driver is preparing to sue the previous owners of their house for not telling them it was haunted. Gaetano Bastianelli, 57, and his wife Stefania bought the home in the Umbrian town of Spoleto in 2005. ‘The ghosts started their haunting on the first night,’ said Mr Bastianelli. He claimed that malevolent spirits had left ‘luminous green mould all over the walls’, and that the lawnmower and his wife’s car had spontaneously combusted. A local historian, Sergio Grifoni, confirmed that an exorcism had been performed on a girl in the house in 1977.
Lorry driver lockout
A lorry driver got home to find himself locked out and his clothes dumped in the street – after a bank repossessed the wrong house. Robin Naylor, 57, said: ‘I tried to open the door and found the locks had been changed.’ Mr Booth finally got to the bottom of the mystery when he discovered that bailiffs had been sent to the wrong address by Halifax Bank after ‘an administrative error’. Angry Robin said: ‘I can’t believe how they can get it wrong with something so important.’ The Halifax said: ‘we are very sorry. It was a human error.’
Look – no hands!
Police who pulled up an overloaded haulage vehicle in China were amazed to find the lorry driver had no hands. The lorry was stopped for carrying five times its permitted load of six tonnes. ‘When we came to the cab window, we were surprised to see the driver was handless,’ said a Jimo city traffic police spokesman. The driver, Zhang, was handling the unadapted lorry with the stumps on his wrists – and didn’t even have a driving licence. Police gave Zhang, whose hands were blown off by firecrackers when he was 12, a £15 ticket and he promised never to drive again.
A Chinese truck driver whose vehicle was wrecked in a smash bought a crash helmet and carried on his journey. Officers could not believe their eyes when they saw the driver wearing his crash helmet in the crushed shell of his cab. A police spokesman said: ‘We signalled the driver to stop immediately, and he told us he had to continue, since he was under contract and had a very tight schedule.’ The driver, Mr Zhao, of Wuhan city, told them he had an accident delivering vegetables to Hunan province. ‘I found the truck was still functional, so I bought myself a helmet and continued,’ he said. Police forced Zhao to get the truck fixed before driving it again.
The one about the 55 anteaters
Police in Thailand have arrested a man on suspicion of trying to smuggle 55 anteaters out of the country in a lorry. The man claimed he had been employed to deliver the anteaters, a protected species in Thailand, to Nong Khai province where a smuggler planned to take them across the border to Laos, The Bangkok Post reports. He told police the animals would have continued their journey to China, where they would eventually have been killed and eaten.
Lyall Cresswell is the Managing Director for the Transport Exchange Group. Haulage Exchange, their freight exchange for the 7.5 tonne and above market, offers an independent environment for its members to swap haulage loads.