If you have passed your C+E licence tests and would like to become a professional HGV driver, you need to learn as much as you can to become a great driver. Being an HGV driver is a learning curve and you will pick up a lot of experience along the way. This article will help you benefit from the wisdom of experienced drivers by giving you tips on how to become a great HGV driver.
Tips to Become a Good HGV Driver
Have a Plan For Each and Every Journey
Journey planning is very important when it comes to HGV driving. Therefore, if you would like to become a good HGV driver, you need to properly and thoroughly plan for every journey. Keep in mind that HGV driving is not only about driving from one place to another.
Many things can go wrong, change at the last minute or cause problems. Planning for a journey can help prevent some of the problems associated with HGV driving. It can also help you deal with some problems that come with being an HGV driver.
When looking at your journey, you should not just think about the origin point and a destination. You should also think about refuelling, rest stops, stops you may make along the way and alternative routes in case you run into bad traffic or an accident.
Always Stay Hydrated When Traveling
Staying hydrated is one of the ways to take good care of yourself as an HGV driver. Water is very important to every HGV driver considering the fact that dehydration can lead to problems such as dizziness, tiredness and loss of alertness. As such, it is important for you to look for a big, refillable water bottle that you will carry whenever you travel.
Fill your bottle when necessary and sip at it even when you don’t feel thirsty. Keep in mind that feeling thirsty means that you are already dehydrated, so don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water. Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Ensure You Know the Height of Your HGV before Travelling
Many new HGV drivers make the mistake of taking their vehicles through gaps that are too small for their vehicles. This often occurs at bridges and has been the cause of many photographs online and annoyed community members trying their best to work around your crunched vehicle.
As an HGV driver, you need to ensure that your HGV does not cause accidents or damage other people’s property (including council property). You should also prevent your vehicle from damage. The best way to prevent accidents and damages is to check the height and weight of your HGV before driving and make wise decisions. If you suspect that a certain gap is too small for your vehicle, avoid it. Don’t try it.
Your employer will frequently remind you to take breaks between shifts for a set amount of time. Ensure that you take these breaks as they are for your benefit. You may be tempted to avoid taking breaks especially when you are on a tight deadline or when you are running late.
However, it may be good to remind yourself of the importance of taking breaks and stop your HGV at the allotted time. Stretch your legs, walk around, and grab a cup of coffee. You should also take a break when you feel drowsy while driving.
Keep in Touch with Someone from Time to Time
Keeping in touch with someone is very important considering the fact that HGV driving can be lonely. Touch base with loved-ones during your breaks. You can communicate with your end clients, the traffic office, and those organising your pick-ups and drop-offs. Building a good relationship with others will help you work more efficiently.