If you’re considering transitioning into a career as an HGV driver, now is a good time. Even though testing procedures have been streamlined, there is still a shortage of available candidates – so qualified and licensed drivers are still very much in demand.
While there’s no doubt that your general driving ability is a crucial factor in securing work, there are other skills you need to develop to be successful.
Below is a list of some of the top skills employers are looking for in their future drivers.
Solid Vehicle Maintenance Skills (Including How to Carry Out Basic Repairs)
While you’re never expected to perform complex mechanical repairs on the vehicle you drive, it does help to have at least a basic understanding of what’s under the bonnet.
Being able to carry out simple tasks like checking tyre pressures and fluid levels will reduce the time spent stuck needing roadside assistance – which is good news for both you and your employer. If you know how to carry out basic repairs, even better.
Excellent Communication Skills
There’s no doubt you’ll be spending hours alone driving your vehicle, but it’s a common misconception that you’ll have very little interaction with others. From working as part of a team at the warehouse or depot to dealing with customers at the delivery point, good communication skills are essential.
When you’re on the road, you represent your company – so being able to communicate clearly, politely, and concisely with other drivers, pedestrians, and other road users is also vital.
Effective Time Management Skills
There’s no doubt that driving an HGV can be demanding – especially when you have a tight schedule to keep to. Being able to plan your route in advance and accurately estimate how long each job will take is an essential skill for any driver and something that applicants often overlook.
From scheduling your breaks in the most effective manner to allowing ample time for your paperwork duties, good time management is essential for HGV drivers.
Expert Problem Solving Skills
Once you become an HGV driver, you have to expect the unexpected. For instance, how would you react to a motorway crash causing miles-long traffic jams? What about a delay in your cargo preparation at the warehouse?
Thinking on your feet and coming up with a solution is essential for any driver and is something that employers never overlook. In fact, you may be asked several questions during the interview stage to assess your ability to solve problems under pressure.
All-Weather Driving Skills
One of the most significant challenges of driving an HGV is that you’ll be driving in all kinds of conditions – from icy roads to heavy rain and even snow. It’s one thing to pass your Class 1 exam and become qualified, but how comfortable are you driving in adverse conditions?
Employers always want their drivers to be safe – but being confident in your driving ability in all conditions is even better.
Train to Become an HGV Driver with TL Training
HGV and LGV driving is a highly rewarding job – and one that’s certainly in high demand at the moment. While it undoubtedly requires a broader skill set than many people realise, the rewards are certainly worth it.
If you are interested in pursuing a career as an HGV driver, contact TL Training on 0151 343 0588. We are one of the leading providers of HGV training courses in the UK, and we even offer a car to Class 1 course that bypasses the need to gain Class 2 certification before gaining a Class 1 licence – ideal for those who are starting their career in the industry.
Click here to browse our entire catalogue of HGV training courses, or fill out our online enquiry form for more information about any of our training programmes.