It can be a challenging job with irregular hours and weeks away from home but those who love it know that long distance lorry driving gives you the freedom of the road and the chance to see some truly spectacular sights. |
Here is my selection of the five most beautiful long distance lorry driving routes through Europe. See if you agree.
1. Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, Austria I couldn’t do a run down of the most beautiful roads in Europe without kicking off with one of the most scenic Alpine passes I’ve ever driven through. Anyone who has been lucky enough to drive this route through the Hohe Tauern National Park will know that the scenery is quite literally jaw-dropping. The landscape changes from green meadows and lakes at its lower altitudes to craggy rock faces and glaciers at its 2,504m height. Those who crave something more challenging than long stretches of straight motorway will relish its 36 hairpin bends. Of course, being in the Alps this is one only to undertake in the summer months as it closes during the winter due to dangerous weather conditions.
2. Route One, Iceland If you’ve ever felt the lure of Iceland’s beautiful countryside, then travelling its Route One is a great way to see a lot of it. The road circumnavigates the entire island (more than 800 miles) and takes in much of its glorious geology including ash fields, hot springs and one of the most stunning coastlines I have ever seen. While you may be unlikely to get a long distance lorry driving job that will take you all the way round Route One (part of it is still only a gravel track) it is well worth making a detour to see as much as you can.
3. Ring of Kerry, Ireland For those driving HGVs through Ireland, the Ring of Kerry is a favourite route – so much so that truck manufacturer Scania sponsor a major fund-raising event called the Ring of Kerry Truck Run. The road encompasses a loop around County Kerry and is renowned as one of the most scenic routes in Ireland. It begins and ends (hence the name) in Killarney, passing through Killarney National Park and some spectacular Atlantic coastal stretches.
4. Nürburgring, Germany Okay so it’s not strictly a public road and you’ll have to pay to drive it rather than the other way round but it is still one of the most breath-taking roads in Europe in terms of the challenges it sets drivers. If you’re on a long distance lorry driving job close to the track (70km from Cologne, 120km from Frankfurt) then it’s well worth taking the detour to test your driving skills on the Grand Prix circuit.
5. The Transfagarasan, Romania Love him or hate him most people will agree that Jeremy Clarkson knows a thing or two about roads and he once described this one, running through the Southern Carpathians, as the “world’s best driving road”. The 71-mile road will challenge even the most experienced drivers with its range of hairpins, tunnels, bridges and viaducts. The Transfagarasan runs right through the middle of the country, linking Transylvania with the rest of the country and, as rail transport is quite poor in the region, the majority of freight needs to come by road. Chances are if you get a long distance lorry driving job to Romania you'll get to experience it for yourself – so take care and enjoy the ride!
So next time you find yourself driving through Europe take a look at the map and see if you don’t have an excuse for a detour to one of these splendid roads, they’re guaranteed to brighten up your journey. (Note: some European countries have bans on lorries on certain routes on weekends or Sundays, and on maximum HGV dimensions, so make sure you do your research.)
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange is the leading service for matching haulage jobs with available vehicles. They also provide expert articles on long distance lorry driving and other issues in the freight industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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