How to Become an HGV Driver
While thousands of people pass them every day on the motorway, not many stops to consider what it takes to become an HGV Driver. Simply put, Heavy Good Vehicle (HGV) Drivers are responsible for the transportation of goods between suppliers and customers.
Before becoming an official HGV Driver, employees must prove that they are over 18 years old, have a full car driving license, and have a Certificate of Professional Competence. Many companies also require that potential drivers go through a training course or apprenticeship. While these are only a handful of requirements, they are necessary to maintain the safety of both HGV Drivers and other motorists.
If you are considering entering the profession, you need to be well informed about the demands of the job. Those who are considering becoming an HGV Driver should weigh the positive aspects of HGV driving against the negative aspects before making their informed decision.
The benefits of becoming an HGV Driver include:
- The ability to climb the career ladder after gaining experience
- Becoming acquainted with different parts of the country and travelling
- Competitive pay and job stability
While there are many upsides to the job, there are also a few negative aspects that should be considered before committing to a position. These include:
- Having to deal with animosity from other drivers on the road
- The unsocial nature of the job
- Driving in hazardous weather conditions
With these aspects of the job in mind, the position of HGV Driver is ideal for individuals who love driving, enjoy alone time but also crave adventure, motivated individuals who seek job stability and those with the passion for climbing the career ladder.
Skills of an HGV Driver
To become an HGV Driver, you should possess a few essential skills…
- Driving Abilities: All HGV Drivers must have extensive knowledge about road safety and be able to practice safe driving effectively.
- Self Motivation: Because of the extensive driving and loneliness of the job, the profession requires drivers who are self-motivated and willing to work without a boss looking over their shoulder.
- Patience: Since other drivers on the road are not always patient with HGV Drivers, it is crucial for the HGV Driver to exercise patience with other vehicles to ensure everyone’s safety.
- Concentration: During adverse weather and heavy traffic, HGV Drivers need to be able to focus and concentrate on the road to avoid accidents.
- Paperwork: When not driving, drivers are responsible for logging information about trip details and deliveries.
Daily Responsibilities of an HGV Driver
While driving is the primary responsibility for HGV Drivers, many other tasks fall in their wheelhouse. 10 of these include:
- Delivery Routes: Drivers must plan delivery routes and ensure that routes maximise productivity.
- Coordinating Deliveries: For goods to be delivered, drivers must communicate with customers to coordinate drop-offs and pick-ups.
- Supervising the Loading of Goods: Drivers supervise the loading and unloading of goods.
- Securing Goods: To ensure the safety of the product, drivers check that all products are safely secured for transport.
- Checking Routes: Sometimes, routes must be altered if there are accidents or large amounts of traffic.
- Safety Regulations: Drivers inspect their lorry to be sure that it complies with national safety regulations and legal requirements.
- Filing Paperwork: Logging hours and filing delivery forms are the responsibility of the driver.
- Vehicle Maintenance: If a driver notices an issue with the lorry, it is the driver’s responsibility to see that it gets the proper maintenance.
- Communicate with Dispatchers: Drivers must report any accident or issue to the company dispatcher.
- Interact with Customers: To ensure customer satisfaction, drivers must interact with customers politely and address any concerns a customer may have.
HGV Driver Salary
One of the great benefits of entering this industry is that experience gives you a higher salary. The following is a guide for salary expectations:
- Starter: £18,000-£22,000 per annum
- Experienced: £23,000-£28,000 per annum
- Highly Experienced: £29,000-£35,000 per annum
Extra income can sometimes occur through un-social hours pay and shift covers.
The government heavily regulates the HGV driving industry. Drivers can expect to work around 48 hours a week, but daily driving times and legally required breaks typically determine a driver’s working hours.
HGV Driver Career Path
There are many opportunities for HGV Drivers to climb the career ladder.
Additional training allows HGV Drivers to obtain an Advisory Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) Certificate, meaning that drivers could move hazardous materials and drive a tanker.
Experience also allows drivers to move to higher paying positions, such as a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) instructor, freight transport planner, or even a manager for an HGV company.
There’s no doubt that the profession of HGV driving is hugely underrated. HGV Driving is not only lucrative, but it is also a lot of responsibility, so begin the process today to become an HGV Driver, and you are sure to embark on a journey that is both satisfying and professionally fulfilling.