ABAM ABAM: Singapore’s Young Heavy Vehicle Drivers

ABAM ABAM: Singapore’s Young Heavy Vehicle Drivers

Normally, when the public hears the word ‘truckers’ their immediate mindset would be that we are road hoggers and road hooligans who always cause accidents. The public will always complain (about us). They will say, “What are you doing here?” “Why did you park here, your vehicle cannot be parked here” “You know that”. “I don’t care, you get out”. Sometimes I feel angry, but I need to control myself. We are not causing trouble we have our own goals, our own hobbies we are just normal truck drivers we are not criminals. My name is Teddy Tora. I work as a prime mover driver and I am the club president of ‘Abam Abam Trailer SG’. For today’s event, we have organized a mega-truck meet up where we gather all the truckers from different clubs and teams at Changi Aviation Park. It’s very hard to gather all these trucks for a meet-up because these are all illegal modifications. Singapore has laws and since this is the only time where it’s legal to do such things this is the time where all the truckers gather. I feel happy. In Japan, truck decorations are considered art so, this is the same as them a trucker expresses himself through his decorations. This is considered a hobby to them, this is their interest. So, this is my truck. Basically, I added some rubber bumpers below lighting black shade and some decorations on top. I designed this myself with my name, Teddy Tora and a few stickers in front which shows off my alliance, my team, and my name. For us truck drivers, we drive till late and we decorate our trucks to make us feel at home. I added this modification too. If there is dust, all I have to do is this. On normal days, we are not so crazy we take down our illegal decorations because we want to work in peace (with the law) so that we can engage in our hobby in a safe manner. It’s like give and take. Whenever the public says that we, truck drivers, always cause accidents you can really feel our anger. What are you talking about? We don’t want to get into an accident, because after an accident we have to pay the insurance money which is deducted from our salary every month. Who would want to go through that? [In Malay] Your last job before you’re done? Friend: Yes. See you! That is how we say ‘hi’ and ‘bye’. This is what we do whenever we see each other (truckers). Producer: Is there a minimum set of working hours? Teddy: For us, there is no such thing. Sometimes jobs can drag until 10 to 11pm and sometimes even 1 am. Which would be a 15 hour day, or more. Sometimes, we don’t even go back (home) we begin the next day’s job straightaway. Last time, I had no place to park so I had to park illegally. If my house were at Yishun, I’d have to park at Sembawang. If I end work at 10 or 11pm then how would I go back home? I still have to work the next day. The MP (Member of Parliament) told me to use a bicycle. The main thing is my wife if my wife says no it means no. My wife has been supporting me since day one until what I have become today. It’s very important to have that (family) bond especially with my kids and my wife that is a very important thing to have. We collect a monthly fee of $10 per member and we use that money for our anniversary event and for our charity events. We helped a charity called ‘Project Goodwill’. Some people saw it through a Facebook post and messaged us about a particular case. We are now headed to Bedok to the flat that got burned. Just now, we gathered at ‘Giant’ in Tampines to buy groceries. We divide the money used for charity into two one half is used for groceries and the other half goes to the family (in need). My family taught me “Look after your friends, treasure your friends”. “Whenever your friends need help, you must help them”. So maybe that is how I guide them I do the same thing. My friends learn from me and everyone helps each other. This is where the fire started. I think this is where he charged his PMD (Personal Mobility Device). Some mothers will tell their child “Don’t work as a truck driver. Being a truck driver is dangerous.” But with us because we provide this charity service maybe they will tell their child, “Yes, you can be a truck driver. There’s a community called Abam Abam Trailer that supports the community”. That’s what we want to change the name of truckers. You know what I want? For Singaporean truckers to decorate our trucks in a way that represents ourselves so that truckers from other countries will come to Singapore to see our trucks. That’s what I want for us to connect with truckers from around the world. I’m proud to be a truck driver, yes. Very proud.

37 Replies to “ABAM ABAM: Singapore’s Young Heavy Vehicle Drivers”

  1. Apparently a lot of those "Art Trucks " In Japan are called "Dekotora"
    Let's just say Japan is a little bit more hardcore with decorating their trucks and spending on the decorations could be equivalent to the price of a house in Japan
    But the trucks drivers have no regret and are satisfied
    A vid about those art Trucks

  2. Did you guys get picked up by HBO? Good job if so, you guys deserve recognition for all the amazing videos you put up on YouTube.

  3. Is cool, car deco as hobby I think we need to change our persective, just don't create trouble, don't be discourage OK

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