If you want to become an HGV driver it helps if you’re good at driving, however, there is a lot more to the job than meets the eye. There are various skills and characteristics that can make you a great fit for the role. We’ve assembled a list of five key skills that we believe are fundamental to become a high-quality HGV driver.
HGV drivers must be well organised as their job involves much more than just driving. When you receive your schedule each day you are responsible for planning the best route to get to your destination on time. As an HGV driver, you have to factor in your legally required number of breaks, ensuring you can stop in a safe place whilst taking into consideration any delays you might face. You will also be involved in safely loading and unloading the shipment you are carrying, which requires planning and organisation skills too.
As an HGV driver you’re in charge of operating a very dangerous machine. This requires a high degree of responsibility. Failure to act responsibly can cause serious danger to you and other road users. You must follow the highway code and keep up to date with any changes to driving laws. You’re also going to be carrying valuable merchandise across a great distance, which you’re responsible for delivering intact and undamaged.
It’s no secret that being an HGV driver can be an exceptionally stressful job. Long journeys can be physically exhausting as well as stressful if you’re working against the clock. The best HGV drivers have excellent stamina plus the ability to work alone and concentrate for long hours under pressure without giving in to stress. You will need to effectively deal with traffic, irresponsible drivers, and driving along difficult routes. You may also have to spend a lot of time away from home, family, and friends. This can be extremely testing.
HGV drivers aren’t typically required to have mechanical experience, but you will likely be asked to carry out some routine maintenance from time to time. If you have some mechanical knowledge, you will be able to keep your lorry in good working order, easily identify any mechanical problems, and capably resolve minor issues. Having some mechanical knowledge can make your job easier and safer when you’re driving.
Last but not least, great HGV drivers have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. You will need to liaise with transport managers, warehouse staff and customers. If you’re facing any delays or problems, you’ll need to interact effectively with relevant people to keep them updated.
If you’re thinking about becoming an HGV driver, we hope you found this information helpful, and it’s given you a little insight into what’s required in the role. If you’re already an HGV driver looking for a new challenge, take a look at our latest vacancies.