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TIME TO REST

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every night thousands of people go to sleep in random places along the narrow roads of Norway.

Because that’s what the government told them to do.

 

 

Time to rest is an online documentary-project about resting truckdrivers in Norwegian landscapes.

 

 

 

 

With strict time regulations and few designated resting spots, truckers are forced to stop wherever they are located when their driving time is up. Winding up sleeping at assorted locations in the many corners of Norway.
Never before have the Norwegian trucker spent so much time not moving.
Never before have they been in more of an hurry.

 

 

 

Hviletid,HansPetter-2

WHO : Hans-Petter Nykaas (50) WHERE : Seljestad control-point, Odda DRIVEN : 30 years TRUCK : Scania

HANS-PETTER NYKAAS

59º54´18´´N 6º37´6´´E | 0º | SELJESTAD CONTROL STATION, ODDA

– If I had been a pilot, I would probably be playing truck-simulators in my spare time.
But it didn’t end up like that. And that’s why Hans Petter Nykaas is sitting in a vehicle priced at 40.000 dollars outside a checkpoint not far away from the hamlet of Haukeli. Snow is falling outside the truck. Inside, the radio purrs faintly in the background. Hans Petter talks with eagerness in his voice, waving his arms. It’s called being upset, when you’re angry at the government. And this evening, he is. He thinks the regulations are a goddamn mess.
– They are the results of accommodations in EU, that’s why we have to deal with all this nonsense.

 

 


 

385200

SQUARE KILOMETERS

30000

TRUCKS

15

RESTING SPOTS

 


 

 

 

Hans Petter Nykaas is one of about 30 000 truck drivers in Norway.
Over the course of 24 hours, according to the regulations, truckers shall have two 45 minute breaks, and one 9 or 11 hour rest. But then again; there are only fifteen designated resting spots in the country, with room for a total of 174 cars. That’s why truckers sleep in their vehicles at picnic areas and parking spots by the highways. Often they won’t make it to their planned destination on time, where the incessant loneliness in the compartment could be interrupted by a coffee break with their colleagues. If they don’t make it on time they’ll hear the counter beep. And if the counter beeps they will have to pay a fine.
– And they’re not trivial!
He sighs and shakes his head. If they would only listen to him; if they made regulations that would fit the driver. The biological clock is something else than a yellow screen with flashing digits.
– We’re humans, not machines.

Hviletid,HansPetter-1

 

The door at the checkpoint locks.
As the dark hides his truck from the surroundings Hans Petter Nykaas finishes the last cigarette of the day.

The only sound left in the little hut is the humming of the heater. It keeps the Norwegian winter out for the night. He sits on his bed for a minute in silence before he crawls under the sheets. It’s dark in the cabin, the nightlight’s faint light sheds a golden stripe of light across his face.
He doesn’t talk with the same eagerness anymore, there is a different peace in the tiny trucker-cabin. It´s like something happens when the day says its goodbyes, when the traffic dies down and the darkness of the night settles over Norway’s rough and winding roads.
In the shimmer of small-scale lamps and glowing cigarettes the conversation changes, the daily challenges shift into metaphors for something bigger.

 

Hviletid,HansPetter-3

 

– I loved a woman once. But one day she left.
I never understood what went wrong, if she met someone else or just got bored with me.
Maybe she loved me too much to disappoint me. I believe thats what it must have been.
That she made a poor choice and would rather leave than tell me. But…

He pauses…

…I would have forgiven her, If she would’ve let me.

 


 

Drivers

Joakim Lauby

Joakim Lauby

59º36´14´´N 5º48´2´´E | 3º | ØLEN, ROGALAND

– We’re fucking nuts, all of us. We have to be, sacrificing everything else to sit here behind the wheel for the better part of our lives.”
The day Joakim Lauby quit driving thermo trucks he never got any sleep anymore. The humming stuck to him. And now it was missing. He needed the humming, so he drove around trying to find thermo cars he could park next to, so he could lie down in his bunk and listen to the neighbour. Because that’s how it is with this job. You and the car become one. It’s your job, your home, your identity.
It’s your work and your home. Your cabin, living room, house, apartment.
Tonight Joakim is situated on the lot of the firm he drives for. In Ølen. He’s on his twentieth cigarette; the sound of a bottle of carbonated water opening interrupts the silence in the dark. A bunk bed full of empty bottles from the past month. He counts over fifty bottles of coke.
– I drink a lot of it. Surely not that healthy.
The little hut is getting cloudy. The cigarette smoke dances around his face. Ready for bed, resting his elbows on his knees. It’s in those moments, in the minutes before the drowsiness takes over, that he feels the sacrifices he has made to be in this line of work.
– It’s obvious that it gets lonely, all these hours alone. The nights. But you get to think a lot though.
– About what?
– Well, what is it that we’re all concerned with? Love of course, happiness… that whole future deal.

 

 

Einar Egge

Einar Egge

59º48´29´´ N 5º15´6´´ E | 6º | DL 46420 | BØMLO, HORDALAND

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Hviletid_filosofi-2
 

 
– It’s Jo Nesbø’s fault.
From time to time Einar Egge forgets to pull over at suitable restingspots because the universe of the audio books disconnects him from time and place. And then, he ends up in the middle of nowhere, pissing on the wheel. Because he just had to hear it to the end.
Einar is a man who laughs with the whole of his body. The laugh begins in his gut before it works its way upwards and spreads out across his face. He’s been driving since ’94. Now he’s stuck with his life’s choice. Should he continue driving like this, or should he slow down?
But Einar is the wolf. He feels an itch in his fingers when he’s at home, he just wants to leave the minute he parks the truck. Leave the big farm with seventeen rooms. Where it may be haunted in some of them. Back on the road, in eternal transit.
 
It’s night now, and the humming from the heating system is mixing with the slight drumming on the roof from that winter-rain coming in from the coast. The coffee machine simmers in rhythm. Einar sleeps approximately one night at home during the week, the rest of it he spends here in his truck. But then again, it’s here he sleeps the best, when the wind grabs hold of the 40 tonne heavy vehicle and rocks it back and forth. The murmur, the sounds. No matter if he’s located on an construction site by the shore or in the middle of the pedestrian street in Stockholm. Fighting to abide by the regulations, he ends up the strangest places when the counter beeps. – One time I had a full week left to rest at the pier where the boat departs from Sweden to Finland. There´s really nothing there, just a big fucking square space with asphalt. And I have to stay with the truck. Watch the goods. In a situation like that you check off absolutely everything on your task list. Slow down the pace. But still, at some point you have read what you brought of books, so in the end you find yourself reading on the back of the juice cartons to pass time.

 

Christian Svensson

Christian Svensson

58º34´25´´ N 8º50´29´´ E | 0º | OLW 691 | PARKERINGSPLASS ÅSULDTJØNN, ARENDAL

The parking spot at Åsuldtjønn is like a big empty spot in the middle of nowhere. Two lampposts. A house that is supposed to have a working toilet. But doesn’t. Christian Svensson parked here 18 minutes over time. Because there wasn´t any another alternative if he wanted to park properly.
There are more people that has parked here tonight to sleep, but it’s dark in most of the compartments, the curtains drawn. Foreign license plates on some. Two Norwegian, and one Swedish one; Svensson. The blue light is persistently blinking from the PC monitor resting on the steering wheel.
Hviletid,Christian-3

– I watch a lot of shows.
Pulpy south-swedish accent. To the sound of the power unit’s buzzing he talks about the profession he loves, about his father and brothers; every one of them a trucker. About a life attached to the road, the truck, and chasing the minutes. He spends his time behind the wheel thinking. He thinks about the future of his profession a lot, the development in the road transportation industry. With metaphors of the road such as “steep uphills” and “I hope it goes the way” he ponders the state of affairs.

Anita “Dolly” Handeland

Anita “Dolly” Handeland

59º6´7´´ N 9º46´5´´ E  | -2º | CV 63286 | BREVIK, TELEMARK

Dolly and Candy.
A blonde and a chihuahua
In a truck weighing fifty tonnes.

Hviletid,Anita-3
Hviletid,Anita-4
 
Pink curtains, pink cellphone cover, pink crocs. Reflective jacket, chains, oilspill and horsepower. Multivitamins, tampons and hairspray. A sign that reads “Scania queen”, playboy sheets in the bunk bed.
– I need to, like, bring everything I might find myself needing. You never know where you’ll end up.
Anita “Dolly” Handeland puts down her box of necessities into the microwave. And then she flumps down in the seat, places a cigarette in her mouth, and grabs a lighter from the collection by the dashboard. In the bed behind her rests Candy, a Chihuahua that can endure most things. They’re alike in that regard, Dolly and Candy. Tiny but robust.
And restless.
“You’re supposed to use medications to be able to live with ADD nowadays. But I can’t do that, I wouldn’t be able to drive on those and my drivers license is my entire life. So then I find a way to control it. My ADD is all about my head, my thoughts and feelings. I feel everything very intensely”
And as her emotions take her across high mountains and deep valleys the fifty kg. girl takes fifty tons of car across iced mountain roads.
“It takes so much focus, concentrating on something so concrete. It helps me deal with my emotions.”
Only when night time comes, and she crawls under her playboy-branded sheets – trying to sleep under the lights of her “Dolly” sign – is there room for her emotions again.
“When it’s like that, it’s livable.”

 

Hviletid,Anita-1

Svein Homme

Svein Homme

59º36´49´´ N 8º56´48 ´´E  | -2º | SD 67387 | HJARTDAL, TELEMARK

Red velour walls, countrymusic playing on the stereo. Soon it´s all gonna be over. His car will park for good. «It´s sad. We´ve been through a lot, the two of us.» Svein Homme, 43 years. Truckdriver for half his life. The family man, with four kids at home with his wife. If he got to decide, all of them would’ve been named Dennis. The girl too.
Hviletid,Svein-4
 
Svein is one of the few Norwegian drivers that still drive cross the borders. Deliveries in southern Europe were more frequent in «the golden days» . When you had the time to live a little along the way
– The Norwegian driver has a good reputation throughout Europe, we can thank the sailors for that. If they wrecked a bar, they at least paid for their mess afterwards.
He laughs. Talks of all the places he has slept at. All the people he has met. About this family that lived under a bridge. About those who lives out their lives in the roadside. And that as a driver you had time to talk to people. Become acquainted. And when you drove past the second time around, you’ll have a friend there, under that bridge.
– You have those that live and breathe this job, and on the other hand you have those we call “wheel grippers”. In their eyes it’s just a job. To me… I don’t want to call it a lifestyle, I call it life.
When you live out your life on the road you’ll miss out on a lot of your children’s upbringing. But then again he also had a father that was never home.
– And it almost makes you think it’s supposed to be like that. And the kids, they’re not used something else either.
But he brings them along from time to time. And then there’s just them, together in life, on those winding roads through Norway.
On those multi-lane roads in Germany.
And when he and the nine year old were stuck in Italy, the wife drove herself to the hospital when she were to give birth to their youngest child.
– At that point we were in a real hurry to get home.
He glides his fingers through his short hair, lets his arm rest on the windowsill.
– But I would’ve either way refused to be there for the delivery. To watch the one you love be in so much pain… that’s too messed up. I couldn’t deal with that.

Hviletid,Svein-2

Stefan Steindor Sigursson

Stefan Steindor Sigursson

62º0´44´´ N 9º12´30 ´´ E  | -7º | PA 18563 | DOVRE

Stefan is a newly showered Icelander driving around on a tank filled with liquid oxygen. He’s born in the middle of the century and according to himself, is one of “those old geezers” behind the wheel.
– There are two types of chauffeurs today; the youth with caps and us geezers without caps. Some have moustaches though, but not all of us.

Hviletid,Stefan-2


Hviletid,Stefan-3

It’s a soft voice with a distinct Icelandic accent that presents him as a part of the generation that’s on its way out of the profession. And that the younglings who enter it give up when they get women and kids, when they realise they don’t make enough money and quit.
– There’s old people and there’s young people. There’s no middle ground. But when us old folk disappear, then the Latvian and Polish will probably take over. With completely different conditions.
He pauses for a second. Puts a tablecloth over the steering wheel for scratch protection, picks up his laptop with pictures of the Cadillac waiting at home.
– Well, maybe it isn’t that bad to grow old the way this profession is evolving.
Stefan Steindor Sigursson has been a truck driver for so long he can feel the development in his bones. The development refers to the stricter regulations to adhere to, much more pressure with time and economy, and an extreme increase of traffic.
– But the roads aren’t being maintained after it, we’re driving on pretty second-rate conditions in this country.
The topography and the climate of Norway demands completely different requirements, knowledge and equipment, than the rest of Europe. This can come as quite a shock to many of the drivers with foreign-licensed truck driving on Norwegian winter roads.
– I’ve seen grown men cry when they’re standing there at the bottom of the hill with neither vehicle nor equipment in good order, terrified to call the boss. Then and there it’s not easy being them.

 

Hviletid,Stefan-1

Fredrik Sigvartsen

Fredrik Sigvartsen

59º53´40´´ N 10º45´33 ´´E  | -1º | ZT 48142 | KONGSHAVN, OSLO

Hviletid,Fredrik-2
Hviletid,Fredrik-4
 
Fredrik is from Fredrikstad. He’s 19 years old and has been driving a truck for two months. A novice. And loving it.
It’s afternoon in Oslo. The commuter traffic from the city center reduces, people have made their way home from work. To the family. To dinner. But among the containers in the harbour, Fredrik calls his sweetheart. He didn’t make it in time to unload before they closed for the day. Now he has to sleep here, the sweetheart will have to wait.
Fredrik Sigvartsen is one of the few younger people who enters the profession. The recruiting is bad, the industry is under pressure. But even though Fredrik won’t make it home to his sweetheart this afternoon, it’s still the dream job.
– The day I stood there at Hamar with the license in hand… I did it. That feeling of dominion I felt, yeah it was big.
Outside the window soft, wet snow flakes are falling. That kind that doesn’t land, but disappears when they reach their destination. Fredrik has until now only been driving on winter roads, it can be a rough start. He looks at the mirror for a second, defeated. The bullbar is missing on the front of the truck.
– I swayed too far out to the right, then toppled over into the ditch. I don’t know how much time I spent there before I came to, but when I climbed out of the truck and sat there in the ditch waiting for help, no one stopped. Everyone just drove by… trucks too. I didn’t get into the warmth before the snow plough vehicle picked me up.
The event has been a source of distress for him. But he climbed up behind the wheel, drove the same route, again and again. Slowly but surely the fright lets go. Soon enough he’ll be able to drive past the place it happened and not feel that scare in his gut anymore.
 
 
Hviletid,Fredrik-1

Cosma Cristian

Cosma Cristian

60º12´26´´ N 10º18´52 ´´E  | -1º | LS 78969 | SKEDSMO, AKERSHUS

– We’re all the same, we all have the same problems everywhere.
Cosma Cristian has been driving a truck for over 20 years. In Spain, Italy… and now in Norway.

 

Håkon stålesen

Håkon stålesen

60º52´46´´ N 6º50´40 ´´E  | -2º | LS 31414 | AURLAND, SOGN OG FJORDANE

– What does it take to bee able to say you’ve been leading a happy life?
The son of a priest puts his arm on the steering wheel, leans in towards the window.
– Is it success, money, kids?
He’s had this discussion with his father, the priest, one day they were driving. He wondered if a completely ordinary couple, a cleaning lady and a mechanic, that has had their routines, lived out their lives with certain restrictions. Can they decide that they’ve been happy? The father’s answer was simple; it’s up to oneselfs definition whether or not one has been leading a happy life. Håkon nods.
It’s freezing cold on the Hemsedal mountain and the cars have to drive in convoys tonight, it’s often like that on this time of year. Håkon Stålesen has to go outside to put chains on his wheels. If he’s stuck, the twenty others behind him will also be stuck. He doesn’t want to take that chance.
And soon enough he’s made his way over the mountain, found a safe spot to park for the night. And then he’s sitting there, ready to rest these obligated eleven hours.

Hviletid,Håkon-1

Hviletid,Håkon-4

– You do contemplate things when you’re sitting here like this. What’s the meaning of life? Is that stockbroker any happier than I am? He made a shitload of money, but on the other hand his mother wasn’t present… A gaze into the dark, thoughtful eyes wandered over the reflections of distant lights. – When it comes to the meaning of life and being happy, I think that education, money, and expectations fall short. In the end you’re alone in saying “I’m good, I’ve enjoyed myself.” Exactly what you do is hardly that significant. Then he smiles, leans back in his seat and concludes; – No, I’d rather have a simple and good life than an economically big, complex, and bad life.

Hviletid-Hakon-3

Dag Jensen

Dag Jensen

61º32´58´´ N 10º2´44 ´´ E  | -7º | NF 64571 | FRIARTUN TRUCKSTOP, OPPLAND

 

Hviletid,Dag-1

There was never a discussion if Dag was gonna be a truckdriver or not. His dad drove, his three older brothers drove. There was no other type of work.
A year driving a local bus was the only other attempt he ever made at a different lifestyle. It only made him miserable. And when he recently suggested to his wife that he could start working in a warehouse not far away she told him she didn’t think it was a good idea. She didn’t want him home at four every day, he’s annoying enough in the weekends.
But Dag Jensen likes to drive far. To see what he has seen before, he always longs back. And to see new places he hasn’t been to yet, but then again there’s not a lot of them left. He’s been driving since ’79.
– There’s this certain amount of restlessness. You have to be going somewhere, there’s something about that.

Hviletid,Dag-3

Dag has short hair, pink polo shirt, and stonewashed jeans. At home he has a jack-russell mix that likes to sleep in the bed. Here, at the truck-stop in Friartun he has sandwiches with cheese and jam. And then there’s the serenity, peacefulness. He’s proud to be a trucker, very proud. But he feels this line of work has fallen from grace with the years.
– In the old days this was a profession with status, but now… the salary doesn’t match up with the work hours, I feel chased and persecuted. Dag speaks with a thick dialect, slowly, pensively. Then he furrowed his brows, emphasizes that his vocation, it is one of the most important vocations in the country. That society wouldn’t survive without it.
– People won’t get their products, they won’t get anything. Stores will real fast go empty, and the hospitals… Everything’s travelled with a truck at some point. There will be immense consequences if we stop.

Hviletid,Dag-4

Morten Hundhammer Seglem

Morten Hundhammer Seglem

60º44´14´´ N 10º36´47 ´´ E  | -2º | SD 62517 | RAUFOSS, OPPLAND

Morten drives around with 46 kilograms of Rottweiler in his truck.
46 kilos with reserved, though warm and appreciated company the many hours behind the wheel. And these 46 kilos with dog does get Morten out of the truck and up the mountain. He left 30 kilograms there, Morten that is, among the mountain tops surrounding Ølen.
Tonight, like so many others, he stands here on an industrial site at Raufoss. Loke, the 46 kilos of rottweiler, whimpers a little, is given pig’s tail, and the soundscape quickly turns into slurping, gnawing, groaning. The radio is playing Dwight Yoakam’s “Guitars Cadillac”.
Country.
Quintessential truckdriver…?
Hviletid,Morten-2

Hviletid,Morten-4

– It’s archetypal, the country music. But I also listen to lots of other stuff. It not everyone that’s like “that slob that buys sausages at the gasstation”. There´s this presumption that you always find truckers in a work coat and clogs, smoking, bearded and cowboy-ish. But most people wouldn’t recognise a trucker unless you already knew.
Loke crawls into the bottom bunk, the one with the good mattress. Morten climbs into the upper one. They sleep best like this. And soon enough both of them are asleep.

Hviletid,Morten-3

Kim Kloster Bjerge

Kim Kloster Bjerge

63º19´54´´ N 10º21´22 ´´ E  | -2º | ZA 13446 | VOLVO, TRONDHEIM

When Kim just got his liscense they had a delivery addressed to a countryside location in Estonia. He encountered people that bowed to him when he arrived, that they looked up to him.
– It was a good feeling, to be appreciated for the work you do. Your assignment. People look down on you here, as if you, like, couldn’t do any better. But it’s a complicated profession, really. It’s not all about driving.
Kim Kloster Bjerge parkes outside Volvo in Trondheim with a truck that’s usually full of fish from the north. The Dane, that lived in Norway since he was ten, fell in love with Norway’s north during his first military service. Then he just decided to move there. He’s been driving a truck for 12 years now.
It’s a warm and welcoming man that chuckles when he talks of how he always loved cars and motors and big things. The best thing he knows is getting to drive specialized transport with yellow blinking lamps, the wide cargo signal. Then he´s the king of the road.
– Everyone’s probably had a cowboy period in the beginning – when you drive on the barring and act a little tough. But with a little experience you’ll soon enough see how you should act. What’s best for yourself and others.[/ut_one_half]

Hviletid,Kim-3

And after twelve years on the road he’s been through a lot. The heaviest part of it was getting up after a frontal collision with a car. A collision the girl in the other car chose.
– To pick an individual to become your own murder weapon, that’s pretty horrible. No matter how done you are with your own life.

Hviletid,Kim-2

 

Øyvind Kolstad

Øyvind Kolstad

58º49´19´´ N 9º4´28´´ E | 1º |  RA 43614 | STATOIL, BROKELANDSHEIA

The whole thing started with garbage. Today, Øyvind Kolstad drives offal between Hamar and Jæren and is one of few who are excluded in the regulations for resting. Offal is organised under animal transport, it’s all about getting there as fast as possible. 28 years, 7 behind the wheel, 180 travel days. Kolstad is a guy with a dark and calm voice, contemplative eyes, and slow wording. The boy that’s carrying tonnes of intestines on slippery February-roads can’t handle the smell of cured mutton. He chuckles again, sees the irony in it, and pours himself a cup of coffee.

 

Jan Egil Jamtfall

Jan Egil Jamtfall

60º23´11´´N 5º20´8´´E  | 4º | KH 78371 | BYSTASJONEN BERGEN

A 204cm man sits in a small cabin underneath a bridge.
He sits there with flowers behind his back and plans motorbikerides whilst the Bergen-rain drums on the roof. Jan Egil Jamtfall laughs and tells stories about old times. About a collegue who had a small book with telephonenumbers, organized after the cities the ladyowner of these numbers lived in.
The one day the book was gone, and the collegue was frightened that he had left it.
At home. With the wife. (…) A smile. Yes, the idea about the truckdriver being the modern sailor is known.
-But it is not as much of this any longer, most o fus are decent familymen who merely has different jobs.
Hviletid,JanEgil-3

He tells about a branch charactherized by schedule regulations and greater stress of deadlines.
About a work athmosphere more social the times one could decide and align collegual breaks.
Now it is just to drive on for 4 and a half hours and see where you end up, that is how square it has become. And then you are stuck there, in the mountains, on your own.

 

Hviletid,JanEgil-2

Odd-Arne Knudsen

Odd-Arne Knudsen

61º10´5´´ N 11º20´35 ´´ E  | -2º | VH 45435 | RENA, ØSTERDALEN

Hviletid,OddArne-2

-Worst is Oslo, it is a different attitude there, as well there is more of them.
Odd-Arne Knudsen talks about the distressed regular cardrivers in traffic. He does not beleive people in general thinks about the actual breaking range a car loaded to 65 tons needs. Or how large blindzone the driver has, seated several meters above the road. When cars swishes in front of the truck, he sometimes does not see the car before it is already there.
– It ought to be mandatory to ride on a truck before obtaining your driving licence for regular cars. So people would get an understanding for the fact that one almost has to stand in the seat to be able to see the guy who swishes past you on the right.

When they were constructing a new tunnel next to an elementary school in Sjødalen, Odd-Arne drove around with NAF showing the children when the driver could see them in the road and when no. – We have mirrors and other aid, but it is still limited. If you should have a small kid coming out from the right, is a frightening thought.

Hviletid,OddArne-3

Odd-Arne has been driving since seventy-eight, with a break at a point, to find out if he did choose rightly. He did, and now he does special transportation on norwegian roads.
Special transportation, when it comes to broad carriage and heavy machinery, blinking yellow lights and when they come extra wide, escort cars. If you reach 4 m width one needs to be escorted by police as well. But, tonight Odd-Arne has parked on Rena with large stones to Bjørn Kjos and Norwegian. He is neither so heavy nor so wide that he needs an escort this time. So, now he sits here, with the cowboy hat hanging over the back of the seat and Lasse Stefans on the loudspeakers.
– One needs a profession. And I sure tried some throughout the years, but his….You get to see some of the world and meet people.

Hviletid,OddArne-1

Landscapes

Find the truck.

Norway

A country of high mountains and deep valleys. A country where we choose to build our houses and live our lives on the tops and in the bottoms of these. Where we want to eat, to dress, to tank up our cars, we want schoolbooks for our children and plasticpockets for archiving our accounts.
And this is why we need the truck. Because no boats or trains will get there. And regardless if we had such transportation better developed, there is still a family in the bottom of a valley or on a mountain somewhere were no one else would have reached. This is why we have these large and dangerous machines on the road. Those who can give us a shiver when we are either behind, in front of or next to. They are there because we could not have done without them.

 

 

Hviletid,BBI-1

The year is 2012. Norwegian trucks drives the norwegian roads a distance equivalent of 126 thousand times around the globe. The same year they carry almost 250 million tons. That is a weight that equals the weight of half the population of Norway should they be loaded on hangers and transported crisscrossing the norwegian landscape. It is far and it is a lot. And it increases even more. When Kjell Johansen, who leads a project for the Transportation Authority, currently analyzes the Norway roadtransportation ahead, he is very clear that the economical growth will increase road transportations accordingly. Due to previous topography and the lack of alternatives it all will happen on the roads. With Trucks.
Increase of demand. The truck and its driver will be more and more indispensable. But the majority of Norwegian transportationers park their cars for good. Many experienced drivers withdraw from the business. Of the younger people who does training to become drivers, there are only half who finishes and even less of them are actually in the job after a year. Why?
The Transport Economical Institute have raised the quiestiona and done an interview survey on the topic.
– Stronger enforcement of regulations gives an increase of stress., says ONE
– Competition from foreign companies is too hard, says ANOTHER
– Slow development of salarylevel and low social position, says A THIRD

 

 

 

They are not really three, but it is a good way of expressing the narration.

THE FIRST

The first regulations on resting time was introduced in 1993, and further enforced in 2006 with the new digital tachograf. From that moment on, there was a clock to tell the professional driver when to stop, not leaving the judgement to himself or the conditions. Dag Rykje, an inspector at the Transportation Authority understand what ONE means.
– The resting time was introduced in order to secure the drivers rights, so that drivers with a tight schedule actually does allow himself to rest and sleep. But the tachographs are not allways in tune with the driver and can feel more of a nuisance rather than an advantage.
And it is the the lack of flexibilty of the system that makes so many feel obliged to hault in so many non-fit places. And when one speaks of regulations, – according to the law an approved daily resting place is to be equipped with good sanitary conditions, catering and secure sleeping areas for the driver and his cargo. But with only 15 excisting plasces like this, he or she almost has to return to where he came from in order to find such a resting place. So it will be the road pocket, the forest, the gravel pits , industrial sites.
In 2013 four out of ten truckdrivers experienced criminal acts in such insecure resting spots.

 

THE SECOND

Competition. Parallell with the need of a wellfunctioning transportation industry on the road, there is a development where more and more companies uses the service of foreign transportation-companies.
They drive cabotage with foreign drivers driving for their local salary. This is actually prohibited in Norway, but made possible through the EU economical agreement.
The EU commission are about to revise cabotage-regulations in order to liberalize the ones from 2014, hence making it easier for foreign transportation-companies to carry cargo in Norway. This means the end of it for even more Norwegian companies. Dag Rykje has some thoughts about this. He was himself a driver before changing to the inspection side. He also fly a home-made propeller to and from his work across Hardangervidda, but that is another story
– We can´t cover all transportational needs of Norway only with Norwegian transporters, like in many other trades there is also a need of foreign workers, The challenge is the competition on price as well as the accompanying social dumping. Foreign drivers drive for minimal wages for Norwegian companies. In poorly equipped truck without being trained for winter-conditions. This we cant have.
According to technical controls by the Transportation Authority will such economic competition have a negative effect on road safety on several layers. Also Norwegian drivers will be pushed on driving- and resting schedules in order to increase efficiency and the profit. Maintenance of vehicles will also suffer when the owners try to survive in a tight market. Svein Furøy in the Professional Drivers Union? Claims that 60 % of accidents where heavier vehicles are involved are off-the-road-accidents caused by drivers fatigue. Accidents…..Unlucky. Un-lucky ? Which brings us to;

THE THIRD

What words comes to mind with the word truckdriver? Google says un-accommodating, un-secured, un-wanted. Not much pride in that. And this is what most of the truckers says. They feel suspect, criminalized and not appreciated by society in general.They love their job and the freedom and the unprediction the days on the move gives them, but they are more afraid on the roads, afraid to wether they have any future behind the stearingwheel. Håkon Stålesen leans onto his stearingwheel in between two mountains somewhere on the westcoast.
– We are actually quite invisible compared to the space we takes on the road. The job we do….The politician get himself a paperclip in the storage, he does not reflect about the driver that brought it at dawn.
Invisible. Un-visible.
he long haul chauffeur works for fifteen hours a day, the remaining hours he spends sleeping in a truck far away from family and friends. He departs from home a Sunday and returns a Friday night. If you count the hours, or compare with other shift-jobs it’s a low wage profession. Longdistance truckdriver has a 15 hour day, the remaining hours he sleep in a car far away from family and friends. He leaves home sundays and returns fridays. If one should count hours, or compare with other shift workers it is a low-payment.

 


The year is 2014. Bård Hoksrud (FRP) opens a new secured resting-spot at Minnesund. They cut the ribbon and eat the cake. But with a 40 dollar nightly fee, nobody feel they can afford to use it.
In the years to come we need more goods transported, there will be an increase in traffic, the prices will be lower, less drivers will be educated and the ones that are left will be working under an increasing time-pressure. At the same time, the drivers are supposed to rest more, on places that don´t yet exist.

 


 

85000

Trucks in Norway

30000

Used for transport 

5041

Million km on Norwegian roads pr. year

247

Million tonnes of cargo a year


 

The need for road transport

Fewer get an education

More are quitting

Workforce

More companies uses foreign labour and thus pushing prices downwards.

Increasing competition

Norwegian transportation companies has to give in for the competition from abroad.

EU comission

Will make it more simple for the foreign companies to (establish)drive cargo in Norway.

 

SSB, Statens vegvesen, Transportøkonomisk institutt, Norges lastebileierforbund
 

Landscapes

Places we rest

 

 

 

It is a matter of minutes only.
A few minutes when the sky suddenly changes from blue to pink.
As if it loads and calibrates the colour balance before it really begins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ATLE JOHANNESSEN

59º36´14´´ N 9º25´8 ´´E | -4,5º | RV7258 | MEHEIA, NOTODDEN

This light is what Atle Johannessen will awake to, on the roadside small parking in Meheia.
He will pull the curtain aside, see the pink sky blend with the yellow light from the lampposts. He will sigh and then exclaim;
–Shit, this is nice.

But firstly, who is Atle?

 

 

Hviletid,Atle-1

 

 

Atle has yoghurt and carrots for breakfast.
Atle prepares for half marathon.
Atle has skies in the upper bunk, just in case.
Atle has a truck-cabin tidied with military precision.
Immaculate dashbord, wallet, mobile telephone.
Tightly made up bed.
Two childrens faces above the windscreen.

He holds keenly onto all of this, even after all these years.
Atle is a former military employee and served in the Légion Étrangère for a number of years.
At a point he had achieved most of the non-written bucket list.
Except love. Marriage, children, family life.
Something he did not see how he could achieve where he was at the time.
He got his truck drivers license and began truck-driving in France.
Fell in love with the receptionist in the company, changed company, got two great children and a lovely house in the French countryside.
He continued to drive the truck for a number of years.
Up to the point where the competition from foreign companies increased and prices became too high. He then packed wife and kids and moved to Norway, and have been driving here since.
Or rather, meanwhile, as he puts it. Because the way he sees it, the exact same thing happens with the transportation industry in Norway at the moment.
Same thing is happening….

 
Hviletid,Atle-3

But, for the time being, Atle is still driving the truck.
A truckdriver who takes his compulsory rest at Meheia next to Notodden. And who in this very moment pulls his curtain aside and observes a pink sky mix with the yellow light from the lampposts and sighs.
–Shit, this is nice.
He then rolls over on his back, puts his hands behind his neck, his eyes observing the ceiling, smiling.

I have had that true feeling of happiness once, when I just had moved back to Norway; I had got job, house, and the wife and kids were to follow.
Then I drove the snow covered high mountain planes at nights and the snow was whirling around the truck?. It was truly magical, a sort of euphoric feeling of happiness. It was as if it all fell into place.

But it did not last.. Whilst he was longing home to her, she was missing France.

 

 

If Atle encounters Einar the Wolf on one of these scheduled rests along the Norwegian roads somewhere, they will most certainly discuss topics of life: On all that went well and the things that didn´t. And everything in between.
There are tons of metaphors when talking of life. This is Einar’s:
– One shall live with a large windscreen and a small rear mirror. Look mostly ahead and throw a tiny glance backwards. Because if you spend too much time to look in the rear mirror you might risk to crash into your own future.

 

 

Sleeping among strangers

Hviletid,Sove med fremmede-1

 

The author Per Petterson has worded one of my favorite sentences:

– They could talk like this now because it was night and the light was different.
During this project I spent the night with strangers along Norwegian roads. And I experienced how something changes when you call it the day, when the traffic seizes and darkness hides us from the surroundings. As fifty ton of machinery haults to the side of the road and the only thing left of sound is a slight humming from the heating system. The conversation changes in the lights from small lamps and cigarette glows. The details, the daily challenges achieves the role for something larger, something different. And the way of being together, lying like this, each in our bunk merely half a meter apart, waiting for the sleep. How it´s almost sad the following morning when one departs for separate routes. To let go of the moments that I would like to have dwelled within. These weeks have been loaded with this sort of moments. I have met people and learnt some of lifestyles that I elsewhise maybe never would have understood. Getting some insight in their ideas and thoughts about being just the person that they are. And about being human in general.
I must praise the night.
Because – They could talk like this now because it was night and the light was different.

– Line

About

 

Time to rest is an ongoing documentary project on some of the people that keep the machinery of society going.

With the States regulated time to rest as a framework Line Ørnes Søndergaard portrays resting truck-drivers in Norwegian landscapes. The project is a condition report of individuals in a trade that is in danger of extinction in its present form, and about people who has room to reflect on thought about loneliness, love and happiness..

This publication will continue to grow.
For every kilometer we drive.
For every conversation we have.

Produced with support from :
Karina Jensens Memorial fund and Fritt Ord Foundation.

2014 – Picture Of the Year International / Online Feature Story Editing – Magazine / Honorable Merit
2014 – NPPA : Best of Photojournalism / Feature Multimedia Story / Honorable Mention
2014 – College Photographer Of the Year / Multimedia Project / Silver
2014 – Picture Of the Year Norway / Domestic Picture Story / 2nd

Behind the project;

Line Ørnes Søndergaard, is a 28 year old freelance photographer based in Oslo, Norway. She studied BA in Photojournalism at The Norwegian University College and graduated summer 2015.

Mail: line.sondergaard@gmail.com