In 2007, the Guardian published an excellent piece profiling what it is like to be an HGV driver. The article looked specifically at one driver whose job had him on the road, away from home, five days per week. It was an excellent article that gave readers a little bit of insight into the types of things HGV drivers face every day. Based on the Guardian article and our own experience, here are the top five things HGV drivers wish the rest of us knew:
Due to their size and weight, HGVs are the hardest vehicles to move around. Turning, reversing and generally anything that isn’t a straight line is much more challenging in a HGV, and the drivers spend months learning how to perform these manoeuvres correctly. But they take time, even for the most experienced driver. Yet other road users become increasingly irate with HGV drivers when they have to block traffic for a few minutes to move around a tight space.
Again, due to their size and weight, a fully loaded HGV required 3 times the braking distance of a car. This can increase to 5 times the distance in bad weather, but most motorists aren’t aware of this. Particularly on motorways, knowing that the HGV behind you needs more warning to slow down could save lives.
One of the biggest concerns among HGV drivers is the belief that car and motorbike operators do not realise the speed of their larger vehicles is regulated. The law restricts how fast lorries and other HGVs can travel; some companies even enforce those regulations by installing an electronic device that will not allow the vehicle to exceed the speed.
Thanks to the size and bulk of their vehicles, HGV drivers are driving with severely reduced visibility compared to a car driver. HGV drivers are constantly on high alert for things around them, but they can’t see everything. Other motorists hovering in blind spots and even pedestrians crossing roads need to exercise caution and make sure they are visible at all times.
Finally, HGV drivers would like to remind road users that the roads are for everyone. We all know how frustrating it can be to be stuck behind a HGV for part of your journey, but the fact is that these drivers are doing their job, doing it safely and keeping a vital part of the economy afloat, which is worth a slight delay to your journey time. They aren’t trying to be difficult or get in the way, they’re just trying to get by.
To find out more about HGV driving, or to start your journey to becoming a driver, get in touch with us today.