On the road again

Large goods vehicle (LGV) and heavy goods vehicle (HGV) lorry drivers transport and deliver goods between suppliers and customers. They form a vital link in the supply chain and form part of the larger global industry of transport and logistics. If you’ve ever fancied a life on the road in one of huge lorries then you’ll need to be over 18 and hold a full car driving licence. To get in a lorry, you can either apply for a trainee position with a freight company or complete an LGV course with a private training provider. You’ll also need a Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC). You could also enter this career through an apprenticeship.

To be a successful lorry driver you’ll need the following skills:

  • excellent driving skills and strong road safety knowledge
  • the ability to work alone and concentrate for long periods
  • good customer service
  • the ability to complete record sheets and paperwork accurately

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The job entails driving commercial vehicles over 7.5 tonnes. This includes vehicles like tankers, transporters, articulated lorries and trailer wagons. You will be expected to drive all over the country carrying goods and possibly into Europe, working from warehouses and depots. You’ll certainly get used to the inside of warehouses. For Used Pallet racking, visit https://www.duffydiscount.com/racking.

Apart from driving, your duties may include:

  • planning delivery schedules and routes with transport managers
  • supervising or helping to load and unload goods
  • making sure loads are safely secured
  • following traffic reports and changing your route if necessary
  • completing delivery paperwork and log books

You may also deal with basic maintenance, like oil, tyre and brake checks before, during and after journeys.

Your working hours may vary depending upon delivery needs and how many hours you’ve driven that week. You could to work for up to 42 hours a week. Overtime may be available but there are strict laws about the amount of hours you can spend driving between rest breaks for your safety and the safety of other road users. You will most likely to spend a number of overnight stays during your travels and most of your time would be spent on the road, driving day and night in all weather conditions.

If you have a category C type of HGV licence then, you’ll be able to apply for class 2 type of HGV vacancies. This type of driving work allows you to drive rigid vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and trailers up to ¾ tonne and are usually boxed type wagons. If you’re fortunate enough to have a category C + E licence then, you’ll be able to drive wagons which are over 3.5 tonnes and trailers over ¾ tonne. With this type of licence you’ll be able to drive full sized trailer units with an independent cab.

If you’re worried about a lack of career progression then there are routes available once you have become an established and experienced HGV driver. You could take further training and gain an ADR (Advisory Dangerous Goods by Road) Certificate to drive hazardous goods like toxic chemicals by tanker. Or you could go on to train to become an HGV instructor, transport planner or move into a transport manager position.

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