The haulage industry’s reputation is obviously in need of a makeover, based on recent Facebook explorations. Despite a recent survey claiming that over half of participants view lorry drivers as unsung heroes of their community, the large number of groups created to disparage the profession and express personal dislikes makes me slightly doubt that attitudes are changing. The survey was conducted by Clearstone, a haulage recruitment company.

No, I’ve witnessed these prejudices and stereotypes firsthand. As with most situations of this nature, a few bad actors tarnish the reputations of the majority. Of course, some people are worse than others, and while road users can be rightfully annoyed at a lorry driver cutting them off, they should be glad that the majority of truck drivers don’t have the same ethics as the following lorry driving scoundrels:

3. Robert Raison – Love Rat

A man who had repeatedly followed the same life trajectory was profiled in the Daily Express in 2004. Once he met a woman, he would have a child with her before moving on to another. Due to his unusual working hours as a long-distance lorry driver, he was able to get away with living an outrageous double life while creating his own special brand of domestic bliss with three different partners.

2. Steven Lee Olsen – Art Thief

Steven Lee Olsen admitted guilt to the charge of conspiring to steal a piece of cultural heritage just before Christmas of last year, crossing over from the world of unscrupulous ethics into the world of crime. The 54 year old lorry driver, with the help of Roman Szurko – a restaurant worker – broke into a truck carrying Francisco de Goya’s “Children with a Cart” from The Guggenheim is in Ohio. The painting was insured for $1,000,000, and the men later attempted to return it while claiming the $50,000 reward that was offered. The two are scheduled to be sentenced on March 24th, 2008, and could each receive a maximum of five years in prison.

1. Peter Sutcliffe – Serial Killer

Mass murder is unquestionably more evil than theft, conspiracy, and other offenses, and that is what this truck driver was found to have committed. Between 1975 and 1981, Peter Sutcliffe, better known as the Yorkshire Ripper, attacked and killed a total of 7 more women in addition to the 13 women he killed. It wasn’t until he left a traceable £5 note on the body of his final victim that he was finally apprehended. Sutcliffe worked as a grave digger when he claimed to have heard God telling him to kill prostitutes, but by the time of his first murder, he had landed a job driving a lorry for T & WH Clark. In his lorry, police found an epitaph written by him said to prove his schizophrenic mindset, which read: “A man whose untapped potential would rock the country and whose magnetic energy would overwhelm those around him is in this truck. Better let him sleep?”

Therefore, keep in mind that there are much worse things than being cut off by a truck driver the next time you curse them for it.

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