After taking your HGV licence tests and passing, you can become a professional HGV driver. However, it does not end there. As a professional HGV driver, you need to realise that being a professional HGV driver is just like any other job out there and there will be a learning curve. You will be a better driver as time goes by. The good thing is that even as a first time HGV driver, you can benefit from all the wisdom that has come before you. In this article, we are going to share the top 4 tips for first time c1 licence HGV drivers. These tips include:
- Be Prepared
Proper and thorough planning will increase your chances of becoming a successful HGV driver. Keep in mind that being a professional HGV driver is not all about driving from one place to another. Many things can go wrong, cause issues or change at the last minutes. However, if a professional HGV driver thoroughly plans for every journey, he or she is less likely to be caught out. So, as a professional HGV driver, look at your journey and don’t see it as an origin point and a destination. Consider rest stops, refuelling, alternative routes in case you run into bad traffic or an accident and any stops you need to make along the way. Apps can help you plan your journeys and help you avoid getting caught out.
2. Stay Hydrated
I know that this may seem a little odd but bear with us. To be a successful HGV driver, you need to take good care of yourself by looking out for your health. Water is essential for human life and you need it to survive. Dehydration can lead to problems like dizziness, tiredness, and loss of alertness all of which are bad for an HGV driver on the road.
3. Check the Height of Your Vehicle
Taking a vehicle through a gap that is too small for it is one of the biggest mistakes first time HGV drivers make. This often happens at bridges and has been the cause of many photos online and annoys community members working around a crunched HGV blocking a bridge. As an HGV driver, it is your responsibility to prevent accidents and damage to your vehicle and other people’s property including council property. As such, ensure that you know the height and weight of the vehicle you are driving to make wise decisions. If you think that a gap is too tight, do not try taking your vehicle through it.
4. Take Breaks
Your employer will often remind you that you need to take a certain amount of breaks every shift and those breaks have to be a set length of time. These breaks are very important. Ensure that you take them. We know that it can be tempting to work during breaks especially when you are running late or on a tight deadline. However, the problem is that without breaks you will not be able to do your job properly as you will get tired and suffer from fatigue. Besides, when you do not take breaks, you may be opening up yourself and your employer to legal action as those breaks are legal requirements. As such, it is good to take breaks when it is time to do so. When it is time for your break, stop your vehicle and walk around, stretch your legs and take a cup of coffee. Also, if you start feeling drowsy while driving, take a break.