Up to the early 1970s (if I remember correctly), all lorries above a certain net tonnage were required by law to have an Attendant at the back. Apparently, it was to help the driver in front navigate safely through the streets, especially when going in reverse.
“Kelindan Lori” was not a glamorous job by any measure; rather, it was often fraught with danger, toils and snares. Be it rain or shine, the person had to sit or stand among the goods onboard, without any physical protection. On top of that, the attendant also had to double up as the primary loader and unloader for the goods.
But in those days, jobs were hard to come by, thus there was no lack of takers for this work.
By contrast, life for workers in the transport industry is so much better now.