You feel you are ready to join other professional HGV drivers since you took and passed HGV courses and license tested. However, you should appreciate the fact that you will have to contend with a few factors. Every job has a learning curve. You need to be familiar with different things that will make you better placed to take on every challenge that comes your way as a first time HGV driver. Below are five tips that will prove worthwhile is that regard.
1. Be Prepared
Every professional starting out in a new job knows and values the significance of thorough planning. As a newbie HGV driver, you may think that your work is all about driving a large vehicle from one destination to another. However, different things can go wrong, and changes can take place at the eleventh hour. If you make enough time to review schedule and plan your journey, you are less likely to be caught unawares by different incidents. Overall, the planning helps you know how to respond to different scenarios when on the roads so that you can get to your destination with your haul intact. That means you need to be well rested, alert on the roads, and accounting for refuelling, possible alternative routes, and rest stops.
2. Stay Hydrated
As a driver, you need to take care of yourself so that you are physically and mentally apt to be on the highways. You should do your best to care for your body and health. One of the essential things you need for this is to stay hydrated. Dehydration can be the cause of different problems that can range from fatigue, dizziness, and loss of focus and alertness. Such issues are never a good thing for any HGV drive to experience while on the road. Therefore, pack a bottle of drinking water and a few snacks. Ensure that you always have a water container in your cab and fill it up whenever it is empty. Do not wait to drink water when you feel thirsty; take a few sips throughout the day.
3. Check The Weight And Height Of Your Vehicle
As a novice HGV driver, you may be overconfident about your skills and try to take your vehicle through a small gap where it cannot fit. Bridges are an excellent example of such an instance. Many are the incidents where a driver tried taking the vehicle through a low bridge and got stuck while also destroying the infrastructure. As one of the active road users, you need to be aware of your responsibilities so that you prevent causing accidents by knowing the weight and height of your vehicle so that you know where it can and cannot fit when on the roads.
4. Take Breaks
If your employer sets regulations that define the number of breaks you need par shift, then you have to adhere to the set periods. Do not think that you know better, and you will save time when taking shorter breaks or work through your schedule. Such a thing is common more so when a driver is running late or is on a tight deadline. Therefore, take a break and rest when the appointed time reaches. Stop and park the vehicle where it is safe and take that time to stretch your legs as you walk around it and head to grab lunch or a cup of coffee. If you ever feel drowsy or losing your focus because you are tired, do not hesitate to stop driving and rest.
5. Communication Is Key
Your profession as an HGV driver can be a lonely life. As such, you should try and stay in touch with close friends and loved ones regularly. If they are far, then your next best option is to converse with your traffic office, clients, and those assigned at the pick-up and drop-off sites. Overall, do your best to establish solid relations, and you will discover how smooth your work and life will be.