You have come to this website, and this post, because you want to become a lorry driver. Congratulations! Being an HGV driver is an exceptional career that will let you earn an excellent living and provide for your family for years to come. HGV drivers are always in demand and we can’t wait to help you on your journey. But before you click that contact button and book in your training, ask yourself, do you have what it takes?
Becoming an HGV driver is not an overnight process. Many think that because ‘it’s just driving’, all they need is a driver’s license to do it. But having your standard license is just the start. There are many steps you need to take before you can even step into a HGV. The first is to take your Driver CPC (certificate of professional competence), which is made up of 4 parts. You will then need to undergo intensive training and testing to gain the appropriate license for the type of vehicle you want to drive. You then need to keep up with the training and medical exams every 5 years to keep your license. Unless you are determined that this is the career for you, it is unlikely you will make it through the rigorous training, testing and standards required. You can find out more about the ins and outs of becoming an HGV driver here.
Ability To Cope With Isolation
While HGV driving can be an incredibly rewarding career, it can also be incredibly lonely. HGV drivers spend long stretches of time on the road, away from their family and friends. On long hauls you will be expected to sleep in your cab before moving on the next day, and international shipping trips cab sometimes take weeks. Both yourself and your family need to be prepared for the time apart, with only phone calls and FaceTime to connect you in the downtime. You must also be comfortable in your own company, as HGV drivers spend a lot of time alone. If you are happy just driving around on your own with the radio on, this is the perfect career for you.
Good Spatial Awareness
Heavy Goods Vehicles are named such because they are large, heavy vehicles. Driving one will be unlike anything else you have ever driven. While you can be trained and taught the mechanics and manoeuvres, all HGV drivers need to possess a good sense of spatial awareness. On a daily basis you will be required to manoeuvre a 54ft vehicle through busy town centres, down narrow side streets and turn around in tight corners, without causing chaos to the roads. If you don’t have a good grasp on your environment, the size of your vehicle and a good gauge for spaces, this will be an incredibly challenging part of your job.
Good Mechanical Skills
We’re not saying you have to be a fully trained mechanic, but a basic knowledge of how your vehicle operates is essential. You must be able to perform simple repairs on your own vehicle, such as changing a fuse, lightbulb or tire. You need to be able to maintain your vehicle so that it complies with health and safety standards as well as emission guidelines. It also cuts down on your costs, reducing the amount of times your vehicle needs to be seen by a mechanic or work done.
Stress Management Skills
Driving for 10 hours a day is not a relaxing job. It can be irritating and incredibly stressful at times. A good HGV driver needs to be able to manage their stress levels on the road. Learning now to succumb to road rage and deal with other drivers on the road is essential. Good lorry drivers take setbacks in their stride and don’t let them ruin their day or life. They are sensitive to their presence for other drivers on the road, as well as the pressures their career puts on their family and themselves.
Still think you’ve got what it takes? Great! At HGV Training Cost we help drivers at all levels, whether you’re just starting out on your HGV journey or just want to requalify for a new category of license. For more information on starting the road to HGV driver status, get in touch with our team today and book your training!