This blog will be about the life and experiences of an active motorcycle courier in the UK who rides all over the UK and into western Europe. http://www.sdsamotorcyclecouriers.co.uk

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Short Notice Same Day to Paris

Yesterday we did a short notice same day delivery to Paris, quite simple you might think, a quick run down to the Channel Tunnel and then zip down to Paris, fine but let’s just take a step back for a moment and consider this weeks weather conditions, lot’s of high winds which do not make riding fun. We took a look at the weather in France and decided on safety grounds to travel by a different method.

So this is how we did it, took the bike to the pick up point for 08:30AM, then rode down to a secure car park on Pratt Street in London. At the car park I stowed the riding gear on the bike and got changed into different clothes. Next a short walk, about 15 minutes to the Eurostar station at St Pancras, hopped on the 11AM departure for Paris. At Paris we had prearranged a driver and car to take me to the delivery point, the package was delivered at 3PM local time and the client was chuffed.

The other good point about doing this trip in this manner was that I didn’t need to stay overnight in Paris, I took the 17:00 back to London and was home by 21:00.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Prospective Motorcycle Couriers

Over the last couple of years I have had many people contacting me to ask for employment as a motorcycle courier or to ask me how to become a motorcycle courier. Initially I was able to reply to everyone personally but as time has gone by I have become busier and am unable to do this on every occasion now. I am not happy about this because I am not an ignorant person so I have decided to put a few pointers together which might answer some of the more common questions. Not all active motorcycle couriers will agree with me but this is based on my own experiences in the business.

So first of all, do I have any jobs or vacancies for motorcycle couriers, sadly no I don’t because the flow of work is not steady enough to be able to guarantee employment for another courier. Some weeks are very busy, other are very quiet, it’s impossible to predict from one week to the next. Having said this, I do work with other motorcycle couriers by passing jobs on or recommending other couriers to clients who contact me. This can happen for any number of reasons for example, I may already be booked on another job, the geographic location of the pick up which may be so far away that my quote would not be competitive. However, I have my own standards and one of those states that any rider who I give work to must be properly insured and this must include goods in transit insurance to at least £10,000.

Our record over the three and half years of operation is 100%, no missed deadlines ever and we have never let a client down for any reason, we are proud of this and would not do anything to spoil it, reputation goes a long way in this business.

I get many request from guys telling me they have xyz bike and would like to earn some beer money at the weekends by doing courier work, I am sorry I won’t entertain this simply because there are many guys out there riding in all weathers at all times of the day and night trying to make a decent living. This is not a hobby or part time job, it requires a high level of dedication and commitment to do it properly. I would rather see the work go to these guys because it’s their full time occupation.

For those looking for part time work I would suggest you contact your local courier companies and investigate the prospects of them taking you on their books as a subbie.

I also hear from people who think this a very glamorous way to earn a living, yes it’s great doing what you enjoy, riding your bike but let’s take a reality check for a moment. If you are a pleasure rider you get to choose when you are going out on the bike and this may not involve getting up at 4AMfor a 5AM pick up or even riding 500 miles in freezing cold and pouring rain, well this is what full time couriers do on a regular basis dayin and day out and at times it’s not fun believe me!

For those who are really serious about making this their profession I wrote a couple posts a while ago on this blog which would be of interest:

You want to be a motorcycle courier

Being a subbie

I will help anyone I can as long as they are serious about making this their full time job, weekend warriors, sorry I can’t help you, go and check out the prospect of becoming a subbie.
Talk to any full time motorcycle courier, you will soon find they are passionate about what they do, yes we all love the riding aspect of the job but delve a little deeper and you will soon learn that there is a dedication to the client which is more important than just riding the bike on sunny summer’s day.

If I have offended anyone with what I have written here I am not sorry, I prefer to tell it as it is and not create illusions for anyone, this is hard work that demands a very high level of dedication and tenacity to see each and every job through to a successful conclusion.

Best regards

Dave