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9 Practical Tips to become the Best HGV Driver

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With a small amount of training and practice, the majority of people can drive a car; however, it takes a special kind of person to be able to drive an HGV. These people are more than just point A-B drivers. Think you’ve got what it takes to make it as an HGV driver? Check out these top tips on how you can be the best HGV driver:

1- Self-sufficient and the ability to work independently

Having personal freedom is part of the attraction to HGV driving, especially long-distance driving. The chance to be alone for the majority of your day, being in complete control over your own driving and your vehicle is something some other workers envy.  If you’re the type of person that needs flowing conversation and a busy workplace in order to get through the day, you may struggle with this kind of career. HGV drivers often spend long stretches of time driving alone and therefore must be able to handle being by themselves and having complete responsibility for the truck and the goods it transports.

young driver in a HGV lorry

2- Spatially aware

If you are naturally in tune with the world around you, maneuvering an HGV in tight spaces will be no problem for you. Whether it be finding your way along narrow streets or anticipating hazards such as street furniture or pedestrians, it helps to be spatially aware. Most drivers soon get the hang of knowing what’s going on around their vehicle.

HGV lorry stuck on a kerb

3- Technically literate

You don’t need to be a mechanic, but when the unexpected happens, it helps to have a reasonable understanding of your vehicle. Even more importantly, these skills can help you recognise problems before they occur, so you can take tactical action and save the time of a lengthy delay while repairs take place.

4- Cool-headed

If your blood pressure shoots to the sky every time another driver does something daft, a career on the road probably isn’t the best move for you. As well as not being good for your health, an HGV driver needs to be able to manage their anger. Expecting poor driving from others and giving them plenty of time and space, (especially learner, new and elderly drivers) has to be second nature.

5- Sense of responsibility

An HGV driver should have a good sense of responsibility. If goods were to be damaged due to the way the driver was driving and that was clear to anyone then you should take responsibility as this would look better than blatantly lying to someone’s face (especially an employer).

6- Alertness

An HGV driver must be alert at all times and able to be quick to respond to the road and driving conditions they are faced with. They must ensure they are well-rested and able to handle the task at hand. This is a huge potential hazard if not carried out due to the fact that if a driver is half asleep at the wheel then they can be causing danger to themselves and other road users.

7- Customer service skills

HGV drivers must have excellent customer service skills when dealing with clients who are either shipping or receiving goods carried in the vehicle. You are the face of the company so, therefore, you have to be on top of your game.

8- Stamina

As an HGV Driver, you should have good stamina for the loading and unloading of goods, some can be very heavy and therefore needs someone strong to be able to unload with no issues. Also, drivers need stamina for the long drives a trip involves, this means that they ideally should not have any back issues that could suddenly cause pain whilst driving and distract them.

man lifting a box correctly

9- Good time management

Drivers should always ensure they’re consistently making all pick-ups and deliveries on-time. This is essential because if they are late or don’t show then it can reflect badly on the company you are working for and therefore result in losing business and money.

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