Five Steps to Becoming a Great HGV Driver

If you enjoy the freedom of the open road and love working independently, an HGV driving career could be for you! Although most people can drive a car with only a small amount of practice, becoming a great HGV driver requires a very specific skillset that isn’t suited to everyone. Whether you’re looking to get your foot onto the career ladder, or are seeking to improve your HGV driving skills, check out these helpful tips.

Interpersonal Skills

Although HGV driving can mean long stretches of time spent alone, you are representing your company when interacting with customers during the course of your deliveries. Being personable, friendly, and helpful when arriving at a collection or drop-off point is vital, as an interaction with a disgruntled or rude driver could cause the customer to take their business elsewhere. Having great customer service skills and being able to efficiently communicate with in a friendly but professional way is a key skill as a HGV driver, and one that often gets overlooked.

Self Sufficiency

As an HGV driver, you will have great personal freedom, especially for long distance jobs. This aspect of the role is what draws many people to the career, but with great freedom comes great responsibility. Maintaining a professional attitude and being in complete control of your vehicle and its goods at all times is hugely important, as you are ultimately responsible for any damages or missed deliveries. If you are the kind of person who needs to be constantly told what to do to remain focused, HGV driving isn’t for you!

Physical and Mental Stamina

Being physically fit enough to load and unload goods efficiently from your truck is an important part of the job. Time is money, and if deliveries take longer to complete than planned it could throw your entire driving schedule off for the rest of the day.

Alongside physical stamina, driving for long stretches can be a huge mental strain, and drivers must be prepared to stay actively focused throughout the entire journey. Good eyesight and fast reactions are essential to become a great HGV driver, and could mean the difference between a successful delivery or thousands of pounds of damaged goods, physical injury, or even death.

Time Management

As a lorry driver, your entire day is planned out by timed collections and deliveries, and timeslots at RDCs. Preparing poorly could lead to missed deliveries and angry customers, which could cost the company money and their reputation. Being organised and an excellent timekeeper is a huge part of the driver role, and foreseeing any unexpected circumstances is a big part of this. Keep an eye on your vehicle maintenance and try to anticipate any delays like traffic or diversions to remain on track for the day.

Excellent Driving Skills

Finally, although it may seem obvious, to be an HGV driver means that you must possess great skills behind the wheel! HGV drivers should have a clean licence, and show excellent knowledge of the road to be able to do their job efficiently and safely. Having a strong awareness of other road users such as cyclists is also a key skill, as you must drive responsibly in order to keep yourself, your freight, and members of the public safe.

About Drive Personnel

Drive Personnel is a specialist driver recruitment agency based in Southampton. We support our drivers and help them maximise their earning potential by providing training and professional development including further HGV Driver Training, Driver CPC Training, ADR, Moffett, HIAB and other advanced training. The team at Drive Personnel are experts in placing drivers in a range of temporary and permanent roles throughout Eastleigh, Southampton, Portsmouth, Fareham and Winchester. If you’re a driver looking for work or a client looking for a driver agency that can provide top-quality logistics staff, contact us today