Across the United Kingdom, there are HGV drivers heading across its roads at all stages of their careers. While some of the drivers are only beginning with their first driving job, some of the HGV experts have gained more experience than the younger drivers have been drawing breath. However, all of these people have one thing in common – the further they progress in their career, the more they understand what it takes to be a professional and successful HGV driver.
While this may sound rather odd, bear with us. As one gains more experience driving larger vehicles as a living, one realises that are certain qualities and skills that need to be mastered. By mastering these skills, your workday becomes safer, smoother and more efficient whether you’re training to be an HGV fleet driver in Dover or taking LGV C1 ambulance lessons in Berkshire. It is these skills that employers search for when hiring a fleet of drivers, so it is worth learning them in the beginning to ensure you can take advantage of them.
1. Taking Responsibility
When loading an HGV, most drivers do not consider what is going inside the vehicle. After all, the job is merely to drive the goods from point A to point B – that’s it, right? Of course, it is also your job to ensure the load arrives at point B safely, in one piece and without any damage to the goods. While certain HGVs are transporting fabrics are food, others may be transporting more valuable or delicate items such as chinaware or antique furniture. To ensure the cargo remains safe, it is recommended you take responsibility for the contents of the vehicle; therefore, considering yourself the guardian of the goods and not only a driver. If you are able to adopt this perspective, you are more likely to keep an eye out for all safety issues and drive more carefully to reduce damage. Successful HGV drivers are ones that will take responsibility for their loads on all journeys.
2. Effective Organisation
Organisation is considered a core skill in many areas of work and HGV driving is not an exception. While you may consider organisation an unnecessary skill when a person is merely following a route, you would be incorrect. To be a successful HGV driver is to be an organised HGV driver. From knowing what is in the back of the vehicle to preparing the route you will be following; knowing the roadworks on your route to ensuring all the paperwork is in order before you leave with the load. All of these factors require a good eye for detail and organisation. A person can always tell if a driver is successful because successful drivers know their routes, along with alternative routes in case there is traffic or unexpected roadworks.
3. Ways to Manage Stress
Needless to say, driving HGVs can be a stressful task and there are no two ways about this. Even when you are sitting behind the wheel of the HGV, getting stuck in traffic, having difficulty with navigation, dealing with other drivers or managing narrow roads – it all takes its toll in time. This is before you reach the longer periods away from home, along with the manual loading and unloading of cargo, and the pressure to meet deadlines. Good HGV drivers are aware of the causes and symptoms of stress and have certain techniques to deal with the issues. This could be anything from using the time to listen to relaxing music, taking regular breaks or spending more time planning for potential problems. Be aware of what works for you and be sure to work it into the routine!
4. In-Depth Vehicle Knowledge
A successful HGV driver has an understanding of how to drive the HGV safely, as well as knowing how the mechanics of the vehicle operate. It is recommended that you have some basic tools in the vehicle’s cab with an understanding of how the vehicle operates – just in case you need to repair problems on the road. This makes a driver’s life smoother, more manageable and reduces stress. Moreover, being able to perform routine maintenance independently reduces expenditure, avoids any breakdowns and avoids other mechanical issues during your drives.
5. A Professional Attitude
Finally, a successful HGV driver understands road etiquette. This individual knows all the roads of the road and has the correct attitude towards other HGV drivers. They will prepare for long drives and will operate the HGV using a professional approach.