In 2007, the Guardian published a really great article profiling what it’s like to be an HGV driver. The article looked very specifically at a driver who was on the road 5 days a week, away from home, driving full time. Some really interesting things came out of this article, and combined with our own observations, we have pulled together 4 things all HGV drivers on the road wished ordinary motorists knew.
HGVs Are Difficult To Manoeuvre
While this might seem obvious, HGVs are big, lumbering vehicles that present quite a challenge to move around, especially in tight spots. And while this might not be a problem in shipyards or other deserted areas, in populated places and ordinary roads, it can sometimes cause traffic delays. Usually these only last a few minutes before ordinary service resumes. But these small delays spark a lot of irritation in other road users, who frequently try to wriggle past or honk their horns in frustration. Please remember we are trying to manoeuvre 18 foot long, 40-tonne vehicles around tight corners – so be patient.
They Need More Breaking Distance
Following on from the previous point, HGVs also need longer to break before they can come to a complete stop. While a standard car will only need say 100 feet, an HGV will need 3 times that on a good day, 5 times in bad weather. And while drivers are trained to understand this and leave enough room, other motorists braking suddenly causes a lot of problems for them.
Speed Is Regulated
One of the biggest concerns among HGV drivers is a belief that car and motorbike drivers don’t realise that the speed of their, larger vehicles are heavily regulated. The law restricts how fast HGVs are allowed to travel; some companies even enforce those regulations by installing an electronic device that won’t allow the vehicle to exceed the set speeds. So when we’re sitting in the left-hand lane, we’re not trying to be annoying, that’s just as fast as we can go!
Not Good Visibility
Because of the sheer size of lorries and other HGVs, drivers are limited in their field of vision. Unlike car drivers who have a large amount of visibility and glass, HGVs have around half that. Because of this HGV drivers do have to pay a lot of extra attention, but other motorists and pedestrians should also be aware of this.
The Road Belongs To All
The average UK HGV driver tends to get frustrated by non-commercial drivers who fail to understand that the road belongs to everyone. They are not concerned by other HGV drivers who all have the same basic training, instead, they worry about the car, motorbike and van drivers on the roads, who seem to believe that HGV drivers are more of an inconvenience.
To find out more about HGV driving, or start your journey to becoming an HGV driver, get in touch with us today.