HGV Driving Tips for Beginners

So, you have undergone your HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) training, passed the tests and got your licence. Congratulations! You are now ready to go out there and become a professional HGV driver. As with any other profession, there will be a learning curve and you’ll become better as you gain more experience. However, because you are new it is important that you take heed of the wisdom of those who have been on the road for longer. In this post, we are going to give you a few tips that you can utilise while driving an HGV for the first time.

Be Prepared

If you want to succeed as a heavy goods vehicle driver, it is important that you do thorough planning and be prepared. You may think that your job is to drive from one destination to another, but in reality, there are many things that can go wrong and even change at the last minute. However, if you have taken the time properly plan for every trip, you are less likely to be caught off guard. This implies that you have to assess the entire journey and not just view it as driving from point A to point B. It is important that you consider refuelling, rest stops, alternative routes just in case you run into bad traffic or an accident, and any other stops you need to make during your journey.

Stay Hydrated

This seems obvious, but it’s so important we decided to include it in this read. If you want to be successful in HGV driving, you need to know how to take care of your body. Water is key to human survival and dehydration is the last thing you want while on the road. That’s because it causes dizziness, loss of alertness and fatigue. All these are bad news when driving an HGV. As such, ensure that you have adequate drinking water in your cab at all times. Also, rather than waiting until you are thirsty, consider sipping it throughout the whole journey.

Take Breaks

Your employer will constantly remind you that you need to take a particular number of breaks and they have to be a set length of time. Pay close attention to this aspect and ensure you adhere to the guidelines. It can be tempting to work through, especially if you are on a tight deadline and/or are running late. So, when it’s time to take a break, ensure you actually stop the HGV and rest. Stretch your legs by taking a walk, grab a cup of coffee and if you begin feeling sleepy at any point while on the road, do not hesitate to stop and take a break.

Check the Height of Your HGV

One of the most common mistakes that new HGV drivers make is attempting to drive their vehicle through a section that is too small for it. This often happens at bridges and we have all seen photos and videos on the internet of stuck HGVs and even some that get destroyed due to the attempt. As an HGV driver, it is your role to prevent damage and accidents by ensuring you know the height as well as the weight of your vehicle and make decisions accordingly. Also, if you think that a gap is too tight, don’t attempt to drive through it.

Communication Is Essential

Being a heavy goods vehicle driver can be lonely. As such, it is advisable to stay in touch with someone close to your life. Profession-wise, it is important that you communicate with your end clients, traffic officers, and the individuals arranging your pickups as well as drop-offs. By taking the effort to create good relationships, you’ll find that your job will be way easier.

These tips may seem simple and obvious, but it is important to keep them in mind, particularly if you are a first-time HGV driver. You can get further advice from Surrey and Hampshire HGV Training.

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