Becoming a successful HGV driver isn’t all about passing your qualifications and getting yourself a job. As you work longer in the industry, you come to understand that there are certain qualities and skills that set the truly successful drivers apart from the mediocre. Luckily, if you know about these qualities in advance, you can work on developing them yourself, and becoming a successful HGV driver right from the word go. To help you on your way, we’re going to tell you 5 qualities that will make you a stand out driver.
Taking responsibility for the cargo you carry is a great way to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Many drivers take the view that their job is simply to get the vehicle from point A to point B with the cargo in it. But that can mean you develop a laissez-faire attitude to your role in the shipping process. So the first thing you can do to improve your career is take responsibility for the cargo you’re transporting. Try to see yourself as the ‘guardian’ of your deliveries, instead of just the driver. This means you will take more care in ensuring it is loaded and unloaded safely and will be more aware of the needs of the end client. This is the difference that makes clients see you as an exceptional driver.
A good HGV driver is organised at every level. Planning your journeys ahead of time means that you can see if you are likely to hit delays from roadworks or accidents, and work around them. Having a few alternate routes planned in case you run into problems, ensuring your lorry is loaded in good time and all of your paperwork is in order before you leave are all ways to become a successful HGV driver, without having to change too much of your daily routine. In an industry like this, it pays to be well organised.
Being an HGV driver can be a lot of fun, but it can be pretty stressful too. You end up spending a lot of time on the road, away from home and stuck behind the wheel, with not a lot of distractions. Add things like bad weather, traffic, other motorist and roadworks to the mix, and it’s no wonder so many HGV drivers get stressed. But learning how to manage that stress is what will set you apart. Understanding the triggers of stress, along with its symptoms, can help you manage it. For example, you might need to plan in extra breaks or prepare more thoroughly for each journey, You might need to spend your time in the cab listening to books or music, or learning a foreign language, Whatever your method is, the ability to manage stress is key.
If you’re a professional driver, then the odds are you’ll be driving the same vehicle every day. That means that, over time, you will get to know that vehicle, how it performs and all its little quirks. Learning how your vehicle operates can save you a lot of time and money, as well as aggravation down the line. But what separates a good driver from a great one is just some basic mechanical knowledge. A box of tools and some knowledge means you can do a lot of your own maintenance and can stop a little irritation from turning into a full-blown disaster.
And of course, you always get further in life with a little professionalism. In this case, we mean a core understanding of the principles of HGV driving, safety and etiquette. That means taking good care of your vehicle, driving it courteously on the roads, and treating other motorists fairly. It also means understanding things like rest area etiquette, and how to communicate with clients and your employer while on the road.
At The HGV Training Centre, we pride ourselves on helping aspiring drivers reach the level of success they strive for. We do that through extensive training and instruction, as well as ongoing support and top-up training for anyone who wants it. If you would like to know more about what it takes to be a successful HGV driver, please just get in touch with the team today.
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