HGV Driver Tips

Heavy Goods Vehicles

If you’ve just started out as an HGV (heavy goods vehicle) driver your first journey can be daunting. The first thing you need to do before setting off, just like with a car, is insure your truck with a reputable broker. Driving an HGV takes more skill and caution than driving a car though. You are going to be taking up a huge amount of space on the roads in a very heavy vehicle and you therefore need to be extra careful when it comes to other drivers. Here are some tips that will help make HGV driving that little bit easier for you.

Plan Your Journey

With such a tight schedule to stick to, a long journey ahead, and such a troublesome vehicle to drive it is crucial to thoroughly plan each journey before you undertake it. Firstly, take a look at travel news to plan a route that avoids current traffic build-ups. You want your journey to be as stress-free as possible so that you can focus on driving safely. For information on traffic cameras, toll cameras and vehicle height cameras take a look at this ALPR camera database. For the first time you’re going to have to start getting into the habit of considering the kinds of roads you can drive on. They will need to be nice and wide with even surfaces and no potential obstacles such as bridges, which could completely halt you in your tracks. In an HGV you’ll also struggle to make it around tight bends so bear this in mind too when you’re planning your route.

You will also need to schedule in regular fuel stops so that you don’t run out, as this could be disastrous. Rest stops are also important especially for an HGV driver who must be extra vigilant at all times, so make sure you factor in plenty of these too.

Your Load

Before setting off, make sure you do a thorough visual check of your vehicle to look out for any potential problems that could arise while you’re driving. Trying to fix a flat tyre on an HGV for example, is a much bigger task than on a car. It’s also really important to check that your load is firmly secured. Having a loose load can be incredibly dangerous for other drivers around you. If you pull up for a rest and your vehicle is empty, leave the doors open to show that there is nothing inside for opportunists to try to take.

Physical and Mental Health

Physical and mental health are a particular concern for HGV drivers. Your job is quite one-dimensional and you are sitting in one spot for hours on end day by day. In order to look after your health, try to make sure you exercise during your breaks by taking a stroll and keeping your circulation going. It can be tempting to eat convenience foods at service stations too, but this can lead to your diet becoming very unhealthy. Either make sure you choose healthy options or try to take pre-prepared meals with you. Keep your mind active while you’re driving as well in order to avoid depressive thoughts for example, listen to the radio, music, and podcasts.

There is more to HGV driving than simply hopping into the cab and setting off. It takes careful preparation of your vehicle, your route, and careful consideration of the potential effects on your physical and mental health.