If you’re a frequent user of the UK roads, then you’re probably spent some time behind, next to or in front of an HGV of some shape or size. Let’s face it, there are enough of them on the road! And while they come in all shapes, sizes and colours, they are all united in one thing – to move things from A to B around the UK. But quite often, we take them for granted, and we don’t realise how important HGVs are, and what they do to keep our country going. So today, we’ve got 6 facts that might make you think twice about what you know of HGVs.
This is perhaps the most obvious fact, so we thought we would start here. While it might be obvious that a lot of goods are moved around the UK by road, it might surprise you to learn that 98% of all good consumed in the UK are moved by roads. That covers everything from your food and drink to the clothes you wear and even the furniture you buy. Almost all of it has been moved by road, in an HGV. This is one of the reasons HGV drivers really are the backbone of our economy.
The HGV industry is also one of the biggest job creators out there. Driving HGVs and transporting goods provides around 600,000 jobs for UK residents across the country. That’s a lot of people who have found employment by driving big vehicles. Staggeringly, only 1.2% of that number are female, which means there is definitely some equality work that needs to be done. But even with this number of people in employment, there is still a major drivers shortage in the UK at the moment. In fact, logistics businesses are estimating that they will have a long delay in filling 36% of their vacancies while they find the right candidates, while 15% of their current vacancies won’t be filled at all.
Given that so much of the UK economy lies in the trailers of HGV’s, it’s probably not that surprising to learn that the haulage industry is one of the biggest employers out there too. After all, when you think about it there are more people involved in the haulage process than just drivers. In order to get good from A to B, you need people to place orders, plan routes, load vehicles, drive HGVs, and process orders at the other end. So while HGV drivers do make up a big chunk of the haulage industry, in reality it’s actually the 5th largest employer in the UK – just behind organisations like the NHS.
So, we know that haulage is a big industry that employs a lot of people, but what exactly does that mean? If we were to put a monetary value on it, the best estimate is that the haulage industry is worth around £124 billion to the UK economy. Just let that sink in for a second. £124 billion. That’s why when we say haulage is the backbone of the UK economy – we really mean it! It’s also where there is so much worry around what Brexit will mean for the haulage industry.
You might have a few ideas in your head about what the average HGV driver look like, but you might be wrong. HGV drivers come from all walks of life, in all shapes and sizes, and with all sorts of skills and backgrounds. We have worked with drivers who were working behind a desk for 10 years, and young drivers who are learning the trade straight out of school. The average HGV driver tends to be 48 years old though, as it’s a good solid career for people around that age. On top of that, 13% of drivers currently working in this band are EU nationals, meaning their continued residency is not a guarantee after Brexit.
As you probably know by now, the phrase heavy good vehicle is sort of an umbrella term for bigger vehicles. But when it comes to the biggest of the big, it gets impressive. There is a class of HGV that weighs over 3.5 tonnes, which is around the same weight as an adolescent elephant. There are around 524,000 of this type of vehicle in the road right now, with 250,000 of them being driven by Road Haulage Association members. This means they are certified as great drivers who can drive safely and securely.
At The HGV Training Centre, we love everything to do with HGVs – which is why we train drivers from all over the country on how to drive them! Our training courses cover everything you need to know about being a HGV driver, from the theory, understanding safety checks, and being able to drive safely, all the way to getting your first job as an HGV driver. If you would like to know more about the HGV industry, or starting your journey to becoming an HGV driver, just get in touch with the team today.
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