It takes a bit of time and practice to learn how to drive a car. But it takes a lot of skill and effort to become a truck driver. And if you want to be the best truck driver, you need to hone those skills to perfection.
Reckon you’ve got what it takes to become the best truck driver? Here are six skills you’ll need to make it to the top of the HGV driver stack.
1 Working independently
Working as an HGV driver means being alone for long periods of time. Having this level of independence and control over your working day can make other workers green with envy. But if you enjoy a bit of banter or a busy workplace, then life as a truck driver may not be right for you. To do well in this job, you need to be happy in your own company and comfortable taking responsibility for the truck and its contents.
2 Spatial awareness
How would you rate your spatial awareness? If it’s anything less than good, you might need to put some extra work in. Working as an HGV driver, means knowing where your truck is in relation to objects and people around you. Whether you’re manoeuvring into a tight space, navigating narrow streets or anticipating potential hazards, the best truck drivers are fully aware of what’s going on around their vehicle at all times.
3 Staying calm under pressure
Anyone prone to a spot of road rage might want to rethink a career as a truck driver. You’ll be spending a long time behind the wheel and need to understand that other drivers are going to do daft things. The best truck drivers are fully aware that other drivers make mistakes, and give them plenty of time and space. Being patient and staying cool-headed is the name of the game in trucking.
4 Good time management
As with many jobs, working as an HGV driver means meeting deadlines. You need to be able to multitask without getting distracted and recognise when you could be doing something more productive with your time. Deadlines are going to be missed sometimes, but good time management will mean you’ve done what you can to be the best truck driver and get where you need to be.
5 Excellent people skills
Yes, a lot of time working as a truck driver is spent alone, but you do have to deal with clients as well. Essentially, you are the face of the company, so good customer service skills are a must. You also need to be able to listen to others and ask questions when you don’t understand something. Having good communication skills will always stand you in good stead as a truck driver (and life in general!)
6 Remaining alert
Another skill that all HGV drivers should have is being alert and ready to respond to potential hazards. Roads can be dangerous places. From other drivers to severe weather conditions, it’s essential you’re able to handle the job at hand. That means not only getting enough sleep (and consuming lots of coffee when required!), but also having quick responses and the ability to think on your feet.
No one said driving a truck was easy, but with the right skills you’re already on the road to becoming the best truck driver possible.