HGV drivers are in high demand in the UK at the moment, following the shortages that resulted in part from the UK’s departure from the EU. Driving an HGV is a skilled job, and a well-remunerated one at that – but can also be a stressful line of work, between the long hours of driving and the logistics of managing your cargo. That said, if you do choose to become an HGV driver, there are some essential things you should prepare your cabin with to make your job easier, safer and more comfortable.
First and foremost, you should stock your cabin with some key items of safety equipment that can help you in the event of an emergency situation, whether a breakdown, accident or injury. A first aid kit is a must, to help you administer swift care in an accident; it is also helpful to have plasters on hand for any boo-boos you suffer when undertaking checks and maintenance.
PPE is also vital. For breakdowns especially, you will want to pack a hi-vis vest or jacket to ensure other road users can see you in low-light conditions. Other forms of helpful PPE include work gloves and a hard hat, which can both be important for keeping you safe when loading and unloading cargo.
It can also be helpful to keep a tool bag or box on board at all times, as a ‘just in case’ measure. With at least a passing knowledge of vehicle mechanics, you should be able to undertake basic repairs and maintenance work while on the move – and having your own tools can ensure you are able to complete your maintenance work.
Your toolkit should include socket wrenches, spanners, and screwdrivers, but also tools specific to vehicle maintenance such as tyre pressure gauges. Gaffer tape, HTPE and electrical tape can go a long way to helping with leaks and other quick fixes.
Life on the road as an HGV driver can be long and laborious – and can also be messy work, whether due to your cargo or emergency situations. As such, it would be prudent to take some spare outfits in your cabin with you wherever you go. If you get caught in the weather, you can change into warmer, dryer clothes quickly – and if you get messy fixing an engine complaint, you can change and still look presentable when you arrive.
Personal Hygiene and Toiletries
The long days on the road can also affect your personal hygiene. You should already have a toothbrush and toothpaste packed in your cabin in case of overnight stops, but bringing a shower bar and deodorant, as well as a spare towel, can enable you to use shower facilities at service stations and stay fresh while travelling. You should consider also bringing additional items like cologne, as a form of personal comfort.
Cabin Cleaning Items
Lastly, it is just as important to keep your cabin clean as it is to keep yourself clean. To that effect, your cabin should be stocked with simple travel-friendly cleaning products. Antibacterial wipes are useful for keeping your dash and seats clean in a pinch, and paper towels can be useful for mopping up spills quickly.