Horn Please – Trucking in India

If you have ever been to India you must know what ‘Horn Please’ means as it is carefully written on the back of all the trucks in the subcontinent as an advice for the driver who intends to go past them. We thought this would make the perfect name for a book about Indian trucks.

‘Horn Please – Trucking in India’ is a new upcoming book on trucking and the life and realities of truck drivers in India that will come out in December 2009. I was originally supposed to be the book’s photo editor but when I had a day off between two assignments in Kolkata a few months ago, I went to the fruit market to see what it is like, and shot a few images there. It was so much fun and so colorful that I then decided the book will have to be shot from scratch and not bought from stock, as was the original intention.

The majority of the images in the book will be mine while the rest by some other great photographers like Zackary Canepary, Thomas Pickard and Claude Barutel that have done some incredible work. The book is fully sponsored by a leading trucking and transportation company in India with a network form Kashmir to Kanyakumary.

Here are a few of my images from the upcoming book.

A truck driver having his first morning chai on a foggy winter day in Punjab

A truck driver having his first morning chai on a foggy winter day in Punjab

Drivers go about their morning duties in a Kolkata market

Drivers go about their morning duties in a Kolkata market

Kashmiri truck drivers in the cabin of their truck. Drivers spend weeks at a time on the road and deck the truck as fully as they can to make the journy as comfortable as possible

Kashmiri truck drivers in the cabin of their truck. Drivers spend weeks at a time on the road and deck the truck as fully as they can to make the time away from home as comfortable as possible

A decorated cabin of a truck in Kerala

A decorated cabin of a truck in Kerala

A long line of trucks wait their turn for checking at the notorious Walayar check post between Tamil Nadu and Kerala in south India

A long line of trucks wait their turn for checking at the notorious Walayar check post between Tamil Nadu and Kerala in south India

A driver about to start making dinner in the cabin of his truck. Punjab

A driver about to start making dinner in the cabin of his truck. Punjab

A makeshift restaurant at a truck depot outside of Delhi

A makeshift restaurant at a truck depot outside of Delhi

Half built trucks are common view on Indian roads. The chassis is manufactured by the truck manufacturer but the rest of the truck is made of wood and will be built and decorated individually

An open-chassis truck seen through the front window of a taxi on the Agra-Delhi road. Half built trucks are a common view on Indian roads. The chassis is manufactured by the truck manufacturer but the rest of the truck is made of wood and will be built and decorated individually

A truck comes down a hill road undergoing maintenance near Wayanad, Kerala

A truck comes down a hill road undergoing maintenance near Wayanad, Kerala

Trucks at the fruit market in Kolkata, west Bengal

Trucks at the fruit market in Kolkata, west Bengal

A decorated truck loaded with timber near Munar, Kerala

A decorated truck loaded with timber near Munar, Kerala

Toy trucks for sale in a roadside stall near Bathinda, Punjab

Toy trucks for sale in a roadside stall near Bathinda, Punjab

  • Great photos and an interesting topic. So did you travel around with the Truckwalas?

  • Great photos and an interesting topic. So did you travel around with the Truckwalas?

  • Excellent images. It’s been a few years since I was last in India, so I’m glad I found your site (via Twitter) so I can take a virtual journey.

  • Excellent images. It’s been a few years since I was last in India, so I’m glad I found your site (via Twitter) so I can take a virtual journey.

  • The Indian Trucks need to showcased to more worldwide audience. They deserve it.
    Unfortunately trucks in Bangalore lacks sheen and look pale in comparison to ones in found in north.

  • The Indian Trucks need to showcased to more worldwide audience. They deserve it.
    Unfortunately trucks in Bangalore lacks sheen and look pale in comparison to ones in found in north.

  • the images in the Flickr set are stunning. I see these trucks everyday,never thought of doing a photo-story. Really wonderfully executed. showing all sides of the spectrum. from the toll booths to the chai and shawls!

  • the images in the Flickr set are stunning. I see these trucks everyday,never thought of doing a photo-story. Really wonderfully executed. showing all sides of the spectrum. from the toll booths to the chai and shawls!

  • Bravo!
    The images looks awesome, and you sure know how to make your viewers to ‘itch’ with desire for a short (or long) trip to India. Maybe soon 😉
    Good luck with the book, sounds exciting!

  • Bravo!
    The images looks awesome, and you sure know how to make your viewers to ‘itch’ with desire for a short (or long) trip to India. Maybe soon 😉
    Good luck with the book, sounds exciting!

  • Very beautiful. Love your style.

  • Very beautiful. Love your style.

  • Devina

    Stunning!

  • Devina

    Stunning!

  • Crazy trucks, they make a very interesting subject indeed!

  • Crazy trucks, they make a very interesting subject indeed!

  • Mehdi

    Hi.
    I loved the photo of the Open chassis Truck. I worked in India for about 5.5 month on Fiber Optic build project
    and got to see the rural India first hand.

    One the scenes that struck me most was these brand new trucks out of the factory without any cabin. Drivers seating on a single seat and enjoying their 2-ton coupe.

    I’m looking from a face photo of those trucks cause my job is like building a cabin around an engine and the staff can get inspiration from the concept.

    Cheers

  • Mehdi

    Hi.
    I loved the photo of the Open chassis Truck. I worked in India for about 5.5 month on Fiber Optic build project
    and got to see the rural India first hand.

    One the scenes that struck me most was these brand new trucks out of the factory without any cabin. Drivers seating on a single seat and enjoying their 2-ton coupe.

    I’m looking from a face photo of those trucks cause my job is like building a cabin around an engine and the staff can get inspiration from the concept.

    Cheers

  • Utkarsh1978

    Very Nice,

  • Kaustub

    Absolutely amazing series & definitely an honour to the truck drivers of India.

    • Thank you Kaustubh. Unfortunately the client has frozen this project and I’m not sure when it will be published.
      Sephi

    • Thank you Kaustubh. Unfortunately the client has frozen this project and I’m not sure when it will be published.
      Sephi