Jockeys, Not of Horse But Truck Chassis
For a long, I have been fascinated with these men moving in a convoy on long journeys, never alone. Unlike their highly decorated peers rubbing shoulders with moneybags at stud farms and racecourses and riding astride equally well-looked after, four-legged million-dollar worth Arabic species, truck chassis jockey drivers’ living is pitiable. Neither money nor respect. Yet the truck makers owe their very existence and prosperity in a large measure to this underprivileged lot.
The study of the welfare of long-haul truck drivers has been under my radar for more than a decade.
Yet, I have rarely touched upon the subject of jockey drivers, who also belong to the same long haul truck driver category.
Not that I am unaware of their existence. I still long for a chassis ride to get a close-up of their lives. (Anyone out there ready to accommodate me for a long ride?)
Jockey drivers life is equally pathetic. Uncared for as much as their peers moving trucks with a load.
Occasionally, my conscience pricks for neglecting them, and I try to redress that lapse.
In such tumultuous moments, I reach out to one person always: the young, energetic, and enthusiastic Jaiveer Johal.
This London School of Economics alumni, settled in my hometown, viz., Chennai, and a dependable, knowledgeable, and hailing from Punjab with half a century jockey driver supply exposure to leading HCV OEMs, has never refused to sate my hunger for happenings in the jockey driver vertical.
If Jaiveer were to be believed, close to 90% of new truck chassis move on the road by jockeys. The rest of the claims of the success of the Truck on Truck (ToT) model, a pet project of former Leyland boss Vinod Dasari, should be discounted.
What about the chassis movement by rail? Nothing to write home about.
After a long gap, I buttonholed Jaiveer disrupting his breakfast recently, to engage him asking: Wassup? Kollu tamam? (Arabic! After all, it's them who supplied horses to the world hugely) What’s the future of the jockey mode? Pandemic and currently. Riveting and revealing was the engagement.
Articulate and assertive. No bullshitting. Fact-based information. That’s Jaiveer Johal.