Things You Need to Know Before Starting a Career as an HGV Driver
If you're considering starting a career as an HGV driver, you're likely thinking about the excitement and challenge of being behind the wheel of a large vehicle. However, before you start your HGV training, there are some important things you need to know about the profession. In this post, we'll cover what you need to know before starting a career as an HGV driver.
Requirements for Becoming an HGV Driver
To become an HGV driver, you must have a few things in place. Firstly, you must have a full driving licence. You must also be 18 years old to drive an HGV and 21 years old if you want to drive a vehicle carrying hazardous goods. Another requirement is passing a medical examination to ensure you're fit to drive an HGV. You'll also need to have good eyesight and hearing and be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away. Finally, you'll need to understand written and spoken English.
HGV Driver Training and Licensing
To become an HGV driver, you must undergo an HGV training course in the UK and obtain the necessary licences. The training consists of both theoretical and practical components. The academic training covers topics such as the rules of the road, safe driving practices, and basic vehicle maintenance. The practical training includes learning how to operate an HGV, manoeuvre the vehicle, and drive in different conditions, such as on motorways, hills, and in adverse weather. Once you've completed your training, you must apply for an HGV licence from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Depending on the weight of the vehicle you'll be driving, there are different types of HGV licences.
Health and Safety Considerations for HGV Drivers
As an HGV driver, it's essential to prioritise your health and safety. Driving an HGV can be physically demanding. Hence, ensuring you're physically fit to handle the job's demands is important. Taking breaks during long hauls is also crucial to avoid fatigue and ensure you're alert on the road. Additionally, it's important to protect yourself from occupational hazards such as noise, vibrations, and exposure to hazardous substances.
Pros and Cons of Being an HGV Driver
As with any profession, there are both pros and cons to being an HGV driver. On the positive side, being an HGV driver can be a financially rewarding career, with the average salary for an HGV driver in the UK being around £30,000 per year. Additionally, HGV drivers can travel and see different parts of the country. However, the job can also be physically demanding, and long hours on the road can be isolating.
Job Prospects and Salaries for HGV Drivers
Despite the challenges, job prospects for HGV drivers are generally good. There is a high demand for HGV drivers in the UK, with the industry currently experiencing a shortage of skilled drivers. This demand means that salaries for HGV drivers are generally high, and there are often opportunities for overtime and bonuses.
Challenges Faced by HGV Drivers and How to Overcome Them
One of HGV drivers' biggest challenges is the long hours spent on the road. This can be physically and mentally demanding, with drivers often spending many hours alone. To overcome this challenge, taking regular breaks and finding ways to stay connected with family and friends while on the road is important. Another challenge HGV drivers face is navigating through traffic and dealing with other drivers on the road. To overcome this, it's important to prioritise safe driving practices and stay calm and composed in challenging situations.
Tips for Succeeding as an HGV Driver
To be a successful HGV driver, being organised and disciplined is important. This includes planning your routes and ensuring enough rest and breaks to stay alert on the road. It's also important to prioritise your health and safety, including protecting yourself from occupational hazards and prioritising your physical and mental well-being.
Becoming an HGV driver can be a rewarding and exciting career path, but it's important to understand the requirements and challenges of the job before embarking on this journey. By taking the time to understand the conditions for becoming an HGV driver, prioritising health and safety, and staying organised and disciplined on the road, you can succeed as an HGV driver and enjoy a fulfilling career behind the wheel of a large vehicle.