If you’ve just passed your HGV license, a career on the open road could be a hugely exciting prospect. However, it isn’t without its stresses and pressures due to varying workloads and challenging driving conditions. Whatever part of the country you’re in, each has its share of testing issues even for the most experienced driver. So, how do you overcome these barriers to get into a job you love?
Check out some of these top tips to prepare you for your new driving career.
Preparation and planning
Depending on the type of role you take, planning routes and workloads are often completed by your transport manager. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do a little prep work yourself. If you’re new to a job, getting to know routes takes time, and in some cases, Sat Nav’s can take you down wrong roads and dead ends. By taking the time to check out the details of your route before you head out will help to relieve any stress or anxiety of your first trips. Plus, you’ll get where you need to be in plenty of time.
Check the height of your vehicle
Whatever the size of the vehicle you’re driving, it’s essential to know the height of it. Bridge collisions are a common occurrence with lorries and trailers, as drivers think they can squeeze through. If you’re unsure when you get to a bridge that you weren’t anticipating, it’s not a good idea to just go for it. Lorries that get stick under bridges can cause severe traffic disruption and will not make you popular with your organisation.
Take a break
It’s essential as an HGV driver to be alert at all times; however, you can’t do this if you push your body to the limits. A tachograph will monitor your driving times, and there are set rules that are essential to adhere to. These rules are set in place to help you avoid exhaustion and make the roads safe for everyone. If you’re unsure how the time limits work, ask your transport manager for details.
You wouldn’t drive a car that wasn’t fit for purpose, and the same goes for an HGV. Before you head out on any assignment, it’s vital to complete a full vehicle check to ensure it’s suitable to drive. It is your responsibility to do a physical examination and report anything back to management to ensure it is resolved before you head out.
When you start driving, you’ll be sitting for long periods, and this can take its toll on your body. When you get the chance, exercise a little. Go for a walk or do some stretching to get the blood flowing. Driving can also have effects on your mental health so ensure you’re taking time out to focus on self-care and fitness to keep on top of your overall health.
Driving is a rewarding experience and can be a great career choice. But if you’re ever in any doubt, it’s advisable to ask for help.