When it comes to becoming an HGV driver, you might think that the only important skill would be driving, but there is actually much more to the role than this. If you are going to appeal to potential employers as well as learning to love the job that you do, there are other skills and characteristics that could be of benefit to you.
Here, FleetEx share their insight into what it takes to become an HGV driver by examining the skills that are so important, and see whether this is the perfect role for you.
It seems obvious, but your driving skills will be a must for an HGV driver. You will need a standard clean driving licence as well as specialist driver training which allows you to be in charge of a Heavy Goods Vehicle. There are different types of licences for different vehicles, so check which one is needed for the type of role that you are looking for. Ensuring that you are competent as a driver is vital for ensuring that your journeys will be completed safely and efficiently.
To be a rally good HGV driver, you shouldn’t just be a good driver, you should be an enthusiastic one. You will spend most of your working life behind the wheel, so it is very important that you love the process of driving and are happy to spend your time on the road, even if it means being sat in traffic jams.
Being in charge of an HGV doesn’t just mean driving it, you also need to look after it. Whilst no-one is going to ask you to perform an MOT, you will be required to check your vehicle before each journey ensure it is safe and roadworthy, so some mechanical knowledge can help. If you understand a little bit about what goes on under the bonnet, you will also be in a great position to address any minor faults that might occur while you are out and about, ensuring that you can still reach your destination on time.
Being organised is a key skill of any successful HGV driver. Whilst you might be told where you need to go, it is up to you to plan a route that takes into account traffic, the weather and any road works. If you have more than one stop in a day, these organisational skills will really be put to the test and can be the difference between a good HGV driver and a great one.
You will also be in charge of quite a bit of paperwork. You will be required to fill in papers when you collect your load as well as when you drop it off, and if you are travelling abroad, you may also need other permits and licences at the ready. Having everything organised and making sure it is correct is just as important as the journey.
It is easy to think of HGV driving as being a lonely job, but you will still need some important communication skills. Staying in touch with your team and giving them the correct feedback means that everyone knows where they stand and can work together to make sure that targets are met and customers are dealt with professionally.
Being an HGV driver is an important role which needs to be taken seriously. It requires a clear head and a good amount of mechanical and geographical knowledge to make you really successful. By combining these skills you will quickly become a safe, effective and reliable member of a driving team, and you will never look back.