So, you have just got your HGV licence and passed with flying colours! A big ‘well done’ you are now ready to begin your career as a professional HGV driver. Of course, all jobs have their learning curve, and HGV training courses are no exception, as time goes by, your skills will improve. That being said, just because you are new to the profession does not mean that you cant benefit from the experience of those that go before you. Today, we are happy to share 5 top tips for people who are starting their HGV driving career.
The Importance Of Being Prepared
To be successful as a HGV driver you need to be thoroughly prepared. You may think that the job is simply about driving, however, there is so much that can go wrong, so many elements that can change at the least moment, and an abundance of other issues along the way. However, if you have taken the needed time to prepare yourself well for each journey there is much less chance that you will run into any significant bother. This means you need to lock carefully at your journey and not just view the task as a destination – think about rest stops, where to refuel, alternative routes if you run into a problem, and other stops you may need. There are various apps that can help you to plan your journey.
We know this may sound a little strange but give us a moment to explain. To be a good HFGV driver, you need to take good care of yourself. Not in a martial arts way, but in caring for your health. Water is an essential part of human survival and when a person gets dehydrated they can end up with all sorts of problems from tiredness and dizziness to lack of alertness. All of these things are not good if you are a HGV driver.
Check How High Your Vehicle Is
A big mistake that a lot of newbies make is trying to drive through a gap that is too small for the vehicle. Bridges are a typical place for this mistake and have resulted in embarrassing photographs on social media, as well as annoyed fellow drivers who are trying to use the bridge to get to work. You need to know the height of your HGV to prevent an accident or damage to the vehicle or other people’s vehicles for that matter, you could even cause damage to council property. Once you know the height and weight of your vehicle you will be able to make good decisions. If you think there is a chance a gap is too small – do not take the chance!
Have Plenty Of Breaks
Your employer will remind you on a regular basis that you need to take a specific number of breaks, as well as how long they should be. Make sure you take all of them. Of course, it is tempting to keep going, especially if you are running late or your deadline is already a tight one. However, without the right amount of breaks, you will get tired, feel fatigued and not be able to drive at your best. You also open yourself and your employer up to legal action as these specific breaks are a legal requirement of your job. So when your break time is coming up, make sure you stop and have a rest. Take a short walk and get yourself a coffee. If you do start to feel drowsy when driving, always pull in as soon as it is safe to do so.