Qualities of a Successful HGV Driver

22-05-2019

If you love the open road and want to be a HGV driver, it’s a rewarding career that plays a vital role in the UK economy.

However, you will need certain qualities if you’re going to be a successful heavy goods vehicle driver. It’s not just about having the right qualification and a licence. You’ll need to be reliable, able to communicate well and work to tight deadlines for a start.

Here, we look at what makes a great driver and the qualities you’ll have to bring to the table.

1. You Need to be Reliable

This is probably a quality that all employers are looking for but in the heavy freight industry, it’s even more vital. If you don’t turn up to drive the truck, the load doesn’t get delivered and those supermarket shelves will stay empty. It’s as simple as that.

As a HGV driver, you will be working some long hours at unsociable times. You’ll also be under pressure to get your delivery to its destination within a certain period. That means you have to be ultra-reliable and always focused on the job.

2. You Need Good Communication Skills

Customer service has become increasingly important over the last decade or so, especially in the heavy freight sector. HGV drivers aren’t just getting their load from A to B. They have to be able to communicate well and keep customers informed about their delivery, especially if there are problems like heavy traffic. There may be issues when you make a delivery, requiring you to help solve additional problems in a calm, professional and efficient manner.

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3. You Need to be an Excellent Driver

Of course, driving well is on the list of qualities. To be a HGV driver you need to have the right qualifications but you should also have great driving skills. It’s not all heading out onto the motorway. You may have tight spaces to get into and country roads to navigate as you deliver your load.

You’ll have rules to follow. All large goods vehicles nowadays are fitted with tachographs and if you get stopped and have broken the law, you can end up getting a fine. Not only that, your employer might also be fined. With repeat transgressions, they could even lose their operator’s licence.

Most loads are highly valuable and putting your cargo at risk is simply not an option. While you may be under time pressure as a HGV driver, you still have a duty to get from the depot to your destination as safely as possible.

4. You’ll Need to Manage Stress Well

There’s nothing better than being out on the open road. That’s one of the reasons why people go into the profession in the first place. If you think sitting in a cab all day is not stressful, however, you’d be wrong. Things don’t always go to the plan and you’ll have to find solutions to problems while on the road, using your own initiative.

Operating to a tight deadline while you are stuck in heavy track can be extremely stressful. You also have the challenges of loading and unloading your cargo and unhappy customers. Being able to cope with stress in any job is important and has a major effect on health and wellbeing but it’s vital in the freight industry.

You’re likely to be away from home and loved ones for long periods and won’t have anyone to talk to as you drive along. Driving at odd times, especially in the early hours, can have an impact on your sleep patterns and cause problems. Understanding the stress challenges and using coping mechanisms for stress are a pretty important part of being a successful HGV driver.

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While you will need all of these qualities if you are going to become a good HGV driver, it’s really is a great life for those who enjoy being out on the open road. HGV drivers are always in demand and they play a pivotal role in the economy of the UK.

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