You have passed your HGV license tests, congratulations. The next step is getting ready to go into the world and starting HGV training. There will be a learning curve, which is like any job. You are going to get better with time. Just because you are getting started with this new career, does not mean you cannot benefit from wisdom from those who have done it before. Below are 5 top tips for first time HGV drivers.
It is important to thoroughly plan because it is going to play a big part in your success. Many people think it is all about driving from point A to B, but there are a lot of things that can go wrong or change suddenly and cause issues. If you take your time and prepare well for each and every journey, you are more likely to avoid these challenges. You have to look at the entire journey and not just getting from one point to another – you have to consider refuelling, rest stops, and alternative routes in case there is bad traffic or an accident and any stops you might have to make during the journey. Apps can help when planning journeys. Doing this will ensure you never get caught out.
While this might seem a little odd, it is important. You need to take care of yourself because it is going to determine who you are as a driver. You should keep your health in mind. Water is very important when it comes to human survival. Getting dehydrated is not good because it can bring a lot of problems, like dizziness, tiredness, and loss of alertness. This is not something you want to deal with while on the road.
Checking the Height of Your Vehicle
A common mistake that new drivers make is taking the vehicle through a gap that is too small for the vehicle. This is the case for many drivers at bridges, and you can easily find many photos online of annoyed community members trying to find a way after the truck blocks the bridge. It is your responsibility to prevent such accidents from happening. You need to mind your vehicle and other people’s property. Make sure you know the height and weight of the vehicle before you drive it because you can make the right decisions. Don’t try it when you realize that the gap is too tight. When you approach a bridge, make sure you know the height and whether your vehicle can comfortably pass through.
Employers usually remind their drivers to take regular breaks during the journey. There is a certain number of breaks to take for each shift. This is in terms of hours. You should pay attention and take these breaks as recommended. Many drivers are tempted to ‘work through it’ but don’t fall for this temptation. Many do this when they are on a tight deadline or running late. When you don’t take breaks, you get tired and you don’t do your job properly. Failing to take breaks is also exposing you and your employer to legal action because the law has set those legal requirements. When it is time to take a break, make sure you do that. Look for something you can do to relax. Stretch your legs, walk around, and get a cup of coffee. If at any point you feel drowsy, take a break immediately. Don’t try to push through because you are going to make things worse.