I’m, guessing that you’ve found your way to this website, and in particular to this post because you are interested in a career as an HGV driver. That’s fantastic! Driving HGV’s for a living is an incredibly rewarding and vital career – it’s what keeps our economy thriving. But it takes a very special kind of person to do well in the HGV industry – do you have the right stuff?
While driving for a living can be great, it can also be quite lonely at times. HGV drivers spend hours out on the road alone, so to cope in this industry you need to be comfortable in your own company. On long haul drives you will be expected to sleep in your cab and drive all day, so you may go days without seeing anyone – including your family. Both you and your family need to be prepared for time apart, and you need to be able to spend time in isolation without going crazy.
If you’re driving along and suddenly get a flat tyre – what do you do? While there are rescue services and the AA for HGV’s, good mechanical skills are essential to keeping costs down and your vehicle on the road. You will be expected to have a basic knowledge of mechanics and vehicle maintenance, and to be able to perform these tasks on the road. So you need to be able to perform simple repairs or preventative maintenance on your vehicle – things like changing bulbs, fuses or tyres – so that it complies with health and safety and stays on the road as long as possible.
Becoming an HGV driver is not an overnight process, even if you already hold a UK driver’s license. It takes a significant amount of time and monetary investment to get set up, and there are several steps and tests to take before you can get even your basic Driver CPC license, let along specialise with other licenses. You need to undergo extensive training and be willing to learn a whole new way of driving a completely different vehicle. Once you have passed you will need to take a basic medical exam every 5 years to keep your license. So unless you are determined that this is the career for you, it’s unlikely you’ll finish the process.
Driving for 10 hours a day is by no means a relaxing job. If you’ve ever gone on a long drive before, you know how other drivers, road conditions or accidents can add to the stress of getting to your destination on time. That goes double for HGV drivers, who are often tracked and on tight schedules. To be a professional HGV driver, you need to know how to not succumb to road rage and keep your stress levels in check. Good stress management skills are essential for any professional driver, especially one in charge of a several thousand tonne vehicles.
On your deliveries, you will need to get into some difficult spaces. You will be required to reverse out of pedestrianised streets into busy roads, drive down delivery alleys with inches to spare on either side and navigate narrow village roads. So a good sense of spatial awareness is absolutely essential. You can’t get away with the odd bump or knock in an HGV, it’s always much worse than in a car, and getting stuck is a much bigger problem!
So, how do you measure up against an HGV driver? If you think you’ve got what it takes, then we’d love to hear from you. HGV driving can be an incredibly rewarding job, perfect for those who love time alone on the road, with only their tunes or their podcasts for the company. To find out more about becoming an HGV driver in 2017, get in touch with us today or register your interest.