Has the pandemic transformed the HGV driver role?

October 22nd, 2020

The COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our lives, and people’s work. Since the pandemic has started early this year we have been recognizing our hero workers. From NHS staff, through food chain workers, education and child care, to public safety and security staff and transport workers. They have been named our key workers, who have kept the UK going while putting their life at risk.

HGV drivers named ‘Road Heroes’

Rightly so. It seemed as their job was undervalued until the pandemic. Without them, we would have no food nor other essentials as 98% of all goods consumed in the UK are moved by truck. HGV drivers and those working in transport have worked tirelessly through the coronavirus pandemic to keep the UK moving.

It’s great to see HGV drivers have finally been recognised as key workers and Road Heroes. We feel it’s just a shame that the country needed a pandemic outbreak to acknowledge the vital role of lorry drivers in our lives.

Many businesses and individuals have been recognising their dedication and supporting the ‘Road Heroes’ in many ways. The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has launched the HGV HEROES programme. It highlights some of the fantastic work of the hauliers during the pandemic. They are also focusing on the employment sector in transport as part of their #NationalLorryWeek. This will run from 16-22 November 2020.

To show support to our key workers, many businesses have offered free drinks/ treats/meals to HGV drivers on their premises like truck wash or services. Great to see so many of them supporting lorry drivers.

Increase in demand for drivers

Due to the huge boom in internet ordering since the pandemic started, there has been a huge increase in demand for delivery drivers to move/deliver goods. People were stocking up on goods that ended with empty shop shelves. It just helped us all realise how dependent we all are on the delivery drivers, and how much we need them to move goods via road. It’s been quite challenging to fill those roles though, due to the UK drivers shortage – nearly 60 000, before the pandemic started. Delivery drivers and lorry drivers are in the top 5 industries hiring workers at the moment, according to BBC news.

Great to see that the RHA, as well as many businesses, have been promoting employment in transport, encouraging, and attracting new talent to join the industry.

However, we’ve heard of issues with drivers being denied toilet facilities, not being treated with respect, or being underpaid for their long hours. We hope this will improve soon. We believe HGV drivers deserve a bit more than just being recognised as ‘Road Heroes’.

Thank you HGV heroes

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