Here at Boughey Distribution, we have a full-time staff of highly-trained, fully-qualified drivers operating our vehicles. But if you’re just starting out, what are the qualities and qualifications needed to set you on the road to a new career as a HGV driver.
Large Goods Vehicles (LGV) and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) are a vital part of our economy, transporting and delivering goods between suppliers, manufacturers and warehouses to distribution centres, shops and customers. Drivers can expect to work long hours, often with days away on the road and overnight stays, with an average working week consisting of approximately 37 to 42 hours. All-weather conditions and night driving will be required too, but the rewards can be considerable, with salaries ranging from £18,500, rising to £35,000 for experienced, senior drivers.
Initial applicants need to be over 18 years old and have a full driving licence. As part of the training, you can apply for a job as a trainee with a freight company such as Boughey Distribution, or complete an LGV course at an approved centre. You’ll also need to acquire a Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC). This is a practical test that will last approximately 90 minutes and include such criteria as vehicle safety questions, practical road driving and off-road exercises. The practical driving will allow you to demonstrate how well you use the controls, manoeuvre the vehicle, use the mirrors and controls, and general situational awareness with regards to other road users, hazards and event scenarios as they unfold. Everyone who drives a lorry, bus or coach as the main part of their job must have the full Driver CPC. Every five years, drivers must undertake 35 hours of training to stay qualified.
Once you’re qualified, your job will entail driving commercial vehicles over 7.5 tonnes, such as articulated lorries and rigid axle vehicles which carry freight. You’ll be working primarily between depots, distribution centres, warehouses and stores. Other tasks you may need to carry out include planning deliveries, scheduling, supervising and helping to load and unload cargo, and basic vehicle maintenance. There will also be a degree of completing paperwork and log books. Working hours can be up to 42 hours a week, but although overtime may be available, there are strict time limits on the amount of time that can be spent behind the wheel of a vehicle. If you enjoy travelling and think a life on the road is for you, then perhaps a career as a HGV driver is an option.