Are you currently contemplating the idea of embarking on a fresh professional journey? It could be that you are seeking a shift from your monotonous office routine. Alternatively, you might be in search of enhanced employment stability amidst an impending economic downturn or desire a more substantial income to tackle the challenges posed by rising living expenses.
Becoming an HGV driver could offer the ideal solution for addressing the long-standing issue of the HGV driver shortage in the UK. Despite efforts to expedite learning opportunities through various initiatives, the country is currently experiencing a deficiency of approximately 70,000 to 100,000 certified professionals, as projected by the Road Haulage Association. This shortage has persisted for a number of years, making it a significant concern.
There is a wide range of excellent job prospects for individuals possessing the necessary skills and qualities to handle the operation of larger vehicles. Simultaneously, the average income for HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) drivers is on the rise. Even a beginner in this field has the potential to earn over £32,000 annually.
Puzzled on How to Begin?
Here’s a comprehensive roadmap to launching your successful HGV career.
To begin with, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of what a career as an HGV driver entails. Often, misconceptions surround this profession, such as the belief that it is exclusively for men or individuals who are willing to work extended hours. In actuality, HGV driving offers a distinctive and captivating work experience, accompanied by numerous advantages.
As an HGV driver, most of your time will be spent on the road, but you’ll also be interacting with clients and other team members. Your work transporting crucial equipment across the UK is key to contributing to the growth of the economy. However, with this responsibility, you’ll also be able to enjoy a significant degree of independence in your role. HGV drivers can benefit from:
- A generous income (with prospects for career advancement)
- There are abundant opportunities for both domestic and international travel.
- Excellent job stability and a strong market demand for your expertise.
- Flexible Working Hours and Schedules
- Regular on-the-job training and opportunities for career advancement
It is important to note that not everyone is suitable for a career in HGV driving. If you are not comfortable spending long hours behind the wheel and have a dislike for travelling long distances, then this might not be the ideal role for you.
Identifying the Right Career Path
Before you start applying for your HGV job, it is advisable to familiarise yourself with the industry. While having the necessary credentials is important, understanding the differences between the lives of Class 1 HGV drivers and those who transport heavy materials can provide valuable insights.
When conducting thorough research, dedicate a portion of your time to exploring the various possibilities present within your locality. As you delve into this process, make sure to pose relevant questions to yourself in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the available opportunities.
- What is the desired distance for driving? If you are open to spending extended periods of time away from home, you have the opportunity to become an international driver, transporting vehicles across borders. Alternatively, you can choose to focus on driving within a local area.
- The length of an HGV driver’s working hours is subject to regulations and guidelines that determine the maximum duration they can stay on the road before taking a break. These rules may vary depending on the specific job roles and shifts offered by different employers, so it is advisable to explore the available options from various companies.
- If you aspire to work at a higher level, such as by imparting training to fellow HGV drivers, it might be necessary for you to accumulate more experience. Typically, most professionals commence their careers with entry-level positions and gradually progress towards more advanced roles.
When considering the type of Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) you wish to handle, it is essential to take into account the specific licensing requirements that are associated with larger vehicles.
Acquire Appropriate Training and Credentials
Once you have determined if pursuing a career as an HGV driver aligns with your goals and interests, it is crucial to focus on attaining the necessary qualifications. The advantage is that becoming an HGV driver does not require extensive academic degrees or coursework. Instead, you simply need to meet the age requirement of being over 18 years old and possess a valid driver’s licence.
To acquire the necessary qualifications, certain skills need to be developed. Firstly, obtaining a provisional HGV driver’s licence is necessary. Additionally, the submission of a D4 medical form is required to ensure safety while driving. It’s important to note that there may be a fee involved, depending on whether the form is obtained from the NHS or through private means. HGV training courses will help you with proper skills and knowledge of how to become a qualified driver and increase your job opportunities.
To acquire your full HGV licence, it is necessary to successfully pass both a theoretical and practical driving ability test. Additionally, obtaining a professional driving qualification called the CPC is required. To expedite the training process, it is advisable to collaborate with a proficient HGV training specialist who can manage the entire procedure on your behalf and provide guidance throughout each stage.
Please keep in mind that there are various categories of licences for HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) drivers. The type of licence you obtain determines the maximum weight of the vehicle you are permitted to operate. Depending on your desired occupation, you may be required to apply for a specific licence category.
Seeking Opportunities as an HGV Driver
After completing your education, you will be prepared to embark on a career. Several HGV driving training organisations offer assistance in finding employment, including CV support and access to a specialised recruitment network. Consequently, you can expect to commence your new role promptly upon completing the training.
If you are actively seeking job opportunities, it is crucial to dedicate some time to investigating the top HGV employers in your area. In addition to considering the salary, it is essential to take into account the various benefits that they offer, such as on-the-job training, health insurance, and even additional paid time off.
When seeking employment as an HGV driver, it is important to be adequately prepared to highlight the necessary skills and attributes that employers seek. In addition to possessing a solid understanding of the local road network and required qualifications, it is crucial to exhibit exceptional focus, organisational proficiency, exemplary safety measures, effective communication abilities, and an ability to work autonomously.
Strategize Your Path Forward
Finally, it is essential to contemplate your future career strategy. Explore the advancement prospects presented by your employer and evaluate the possibilities of seeking promotions and taking on new responsibilities in the future. Additionally, once you have gained sufficient experience, you may contemplate becoming an HGV instructor yourself.
As you progress and enhance your expertise, an array of employment prospects should open up for you. You may also have the potential to pursue various certifications, enabling you to operate in the transportation of hazardous materials. Additionally, you might consider immersing yourself in the realms of strategizing and overseeing operations, assuming a role as a leader in freight transportation or logistics.