Do you consider yourself a good driver, and are happy working on your own? Haulage is vital to the economy, and there is currently a huge demand in the UK for qualified HGV Drivers…so this could be an ideal time to consider a career in HGV driving.
HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) Drivers – also known as Large Goods Vehicle Drivers (LGV)- transport a range of cargo to different locations between various distributors, suppliers and customers.
They could drive large lorries, trucks, or other commercial vehicles and their typical duties include:
- Loading and unloading goods
- Making sure the cargo is safe and secure
- Planning routes
- Driving between destinations
- Taking payments for deliveries
- Completing paperwork
So, if you enjoy being out on the road and travelling to different places, this could be your perfect job.
Is it for me?
It takes a certain type of person to be an HGV Driver, and you will need skills and personal qualities including:
- Ability to focus and concentrate – you’ll be on the road for long periods of time
- Good people skills – you’ll often need to deal with customers when collecting/delivering
- Able to work anti-social hours including both day and night shifts
- Happy to work alone
- Basic maintenance and repair skills – to perform the necessary safety checks on your vehicle before heading out on the road
- Good understanding of road safety
- Basic health and safety training – to load/unload cargo safely
- Good eyesight, and a good level of strength and physical fitness
Being a Driver doesn’t just involve driving. You’ll also be responsible for the planning your route, supervising the loading and unloading of your vehicle and completing paperwork. You’ll also sometimes need to deal with bad weather conditions, roadworks, traffic accidents and road closures which can all make the role very unpredictable!
How do I get started?
To become an HGV Driver, you’ll need a valid HGV or LGV licence.
HGV training is available for anyone over the age of 18 who already has a full car driving licence. If you tick both these two boxes, you can start training for the required Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
You’ll get a CPC Card when you’ve completed 35 hours of periodic training and this card must be carried with you when you are driving.
What could I earn?
According to CV Library, on average HGV Drivers can earn between £18,500 to £35,000 per year.
Are there opportunities for career progression?
This role will allow you to develop a set of skills that can lead to plenty of career progression opportunities.
If you have been a qualified HGV/LGV Driver for at least three years, you could apply to become an HGV/LGV Instructor.
With experience, you can also consider moving into safety advisory roles, transport management roles or you could even set up your own fleet!
Why are HGV Drivers in such demand?
It has been reported that there is a shortage of licensed, qualified HGV drivers in the UK, and it is predicted that by 2020 there will be a shortfall of around 150,000 drivers.
So, why is this?
With the average age of HGV drivers being 53, and 13% being over 60, many drivers are coming up to retirement age and there are simply not enough younger drivers coming through to replace them.
Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of Road Haulage Association (RHA) said: “The UK haulage industry is currently facing a shortage of between 45k and 50k HGV drivers and we as an industry need to face this challenge head-on. And with a shortage of drivers across Europe, it’s vital that the sector does more to bring people into the industry.”
A career as an HGV Driver certainly may have its challenges, but the many positives including the chance to travel and a secure job that is in high demand makes it a very attractive option. There’s also a there’s a huge shortage of female drivers, so there’s a real opportunity for women to make their mark on a traditionally male-dominated industry.
Find out more about training courses at https://www.gov.uk/driver-cpc-training/finding-training-courses
Cheary, M. (2018). How to become a HGV driver. Available: https://www.reed.co.uk/career-advice/how-to-become-a-hgv-driver/. Last accessed 02/02/2018.
Sourced from http://www.cv-library.co.uk. (2017). How to become an HGV Driver. Available: https://www.cv-library.co.uk/career-advice/start/career-guides/how-to-become-hgv-driver/. Last accessed 02/02/2018.
Sourced from http://www.rha.uk.net. (2017). Driver shortage – RHA sets the record straight. Available: https://www.rha.uk.net/news/press-releases/2017-12-december/driver-shortage-rha-sets-the-record-straight. Last accessed 02/02/2018.