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10 things you didn’t know about driving an HGV

Posted on 29th May, 2020 10 things you didn’t know about driving an HGV

The pandemic has drawn unusual attention to many key worker roles, including that of the HGV driver. In spite of the health crisis, our drivers have continued to keep the population supplied with food by continuing to transport it across the country, from suppliers and warehouses to supermarkets. Of course, we are all aware of HGVs, some of the biggest vehicles on our roads, driven by some of the most skilled and experienced drivers. However, there’s probably a lot about the skilled job of driving an HGV that you don’t know. For example, did you know the following facts?

1.       There’s a surprising amount of paperwork. Drivers have to log detailed information about their trips and deliveries.

2.       Drivers have to inspect their vehicle to make sure it complies with national safety regulations and all legal requirements.

3.       If a driver notices a maintenance issue, it is his or her responsibility to make sure it gets put right.

4.       HGV drivers aren’t allowed to drive for more than 56 hours per week…

5.       ...And they have to rest for 45 minutes for every 4.5 hours of driving.

6.       In order to qualify for an HGV licence, you need to be over 18 years of age and have a full car licence.

You need to get a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), which is a professional driving qualification requiring you to pass four tests before you can drive an HGV. The four parts of the test are theory, case studies, driving ability and practical. 

Once you\'ve passed the CPC, you\'ll get a CPC card which you must carry with you when you are driving. You need to take another 35 hours of training every five years to retain your CPC.

7.       With additional training, you can get an Advisory Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) Certificate, which means you can move hazardous materials and drive a tanker.

8.       Effective stress management for an HGV driver is almost as important as driving skills. Poor weather, busy roads, a tight schedule and challenging manoeuvres can all combine to create a stressful situation. As an HGV driver, it’s important that the stress doesn’t negatively impact driving performance and overall mental health.

9.       Even for an experienced driver, it can be very hard to judge where the back of your very long vehicle is, when it’s many metres behind you. This is why you often see other HGV drivers signalling to each other when it’s safe to pull back in after overtaking.

10.   Despite all the wide-angle mirrors to help you, being seated ten feet above road level makes it very hard to see what’s right in front of you. But being so much higher than everyone else means you look further ahead, anticipating what is going to happen and reacting much sooner than an average car driver.

To find out more about driving one of our high spec Mercedes Actros trucks, go to https://jobs.boughey.co.uk/jobs/driver-jobs/. Newly qualified drivers are welcome and in-house training is provided.

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