It takes a special type of person (and training) to drive an LGV or HGV.
There’s more to getting behind the wheel of an articulated lorry than just driving from A to B. It can be a demanding job that requires planning, skill and a good dose of patience. And there are always going to be times when things don’t go according to plan.
Here we take a look at six essential skills you need to drive an LGV or HGV– and how to be the best driver you can possibly be.
1 Time-keeping skills
Who knows what could be in the back of your trailer? You could be transporting highly valuable items, so responsibility, honesty and integrity are all key attributes to have. Safety skills when behind the wheel of a lorry or truck and at both ends of your journey is crucial – as is punctuality and turning up when you say you will and doing the best job you can.
2 Organisational skills
HGV and LGV drivers also need to be excellent organisers. As well as needing to plan the best route, you may need to organise loading and unloading your trailer, manage projects and ensure that all the necessary paperwork has been completed. Time management is another good skill to have, so you’ll need to do your best to stick to deadlines (although this can be easier said than done).
3 Motivational skills
A key benefit of driving an LGV or HGV for a living is the freedom it gives you. You’re in control of your driving and pretty much your own boss most of the time. Of course, working independently in this way might not be an ideal scenario for everyone. But if you enjoy your own company and like interacting with colleagues and other drivers on your own terms, this could be the role for you.
4 Anger management skills
As with any job, things won’t always go to plan when you’re in charge of a truck. Other drivers, heavy congestion, tight deadlines are all going to test your patience from time to time, so it’s important to stay level-headed. As well as being good for your health and wellbeing, keeping anger levels to a minimum is also good for other road users.
5 Communication skills
Working as a truck driver might mean you get to spend a lot of time alone, but that doesn’t mean you won’t meet other people during your shift. Whether you’re dealing with customers who are shipping or receiving goods or chatting with colleagues, you need to have stirling interpersonal skills. After all, you’re the face of the company.
6 Attention skills
Last but not least is being vigilant. As an HGV or LGV driver, you’ll need to respond quickly to situations and be ready to drive in all conditions. This means getting enough rest before driving and making sure you never pose a risk to yourself or other road users.
So, there you have it. Six skills to make you the very best HGV or LGV driver out there. Do you have what it takes?