The 3 Laws of Great HGV Driving
So, what are the 3 laws of great HGV driving? Well, being a great HGV driver is more than just being great at driving. Fundamentally, yes driving is the name of the game, but being an HGV driver requires self-discipline, great planning, and of course there is the customer-facing side too.
In this article, we explore the 3 facets, the underlying laws, that make the great HGV drivers the best at what they do, and subsequently how they get the best HGV driving jobs.
Being Customer Focussed
HGV drivers need to manage customer expectations. Often there are strict deadlines to a delivery, and these deadlines are for a very good reason.
Delayed deliveries can cause a huge amount of stress for customers, so being able to look at things from their point of view makes a big difference.
On top of this, drivers are the face of the company they represent. When dealing with customers, whether that’s delivering face-to-face to door, or to a larger client’s warehouse, it always pays to leave a positive impression behind.
Great HGV drivers know the power of a smile. They will always keep open communication lines with their depot and the customer to help manage expectations and deliver a powerfully positive customer experience.
Drivers often spend long periods working alone. The kind of driving you do will determine exactly how much independence you need to be comfortable with.
The personal freedom that comes with this independence, especially when thinking about long-distance driving, is actually one of the key features of the job for many HGV drivers. They embrace it.
The best HGV drivers will take control of their day, plan efficient routes, manage their own time, and perhaps most importantly, enjoy the freedom of the open road, away from a desk, and away from a boss and gossiping work colleagues peering over their shoulder.
This does come with a negative though. You often have to spend long periods driving alone, and therefore must be able to handle certain situations on your own. No boss peering over the shoulder also means you can’t just get up, walk to their office and ask for assistance if you’re not sure what to do. If you’re lucky, they’ll be on the end of the phone – but it’s not quite the same.
In addition, an HGV driver should have a good sense of responsibility. If goods are damaged or deliveries delayed, it can cause huge problems for everyone.
It’s important for employers to know that their drivers can and will take responsibility for their actions.
And don’t forget, knowing and being willing to admit when a mistake has been made is also a part of delivering great customer service. We’re not robots after all!
Being Someone Who Takes Care of Yourself
As an HGV driver, it’s really important that you know how to take care of yourself. And we don’t mean that in the Chuck Norris sense!
The third and final law of great HGV driving is that the driver is, well, fundamental.
HGV drivers need to make time for themselves. They need to exercise routinely, look after their health, eat properly and spend time with their friends and family. This can be especially challenging for long haul drivers.
The reason this is so important is two-fold. First, if a driver doesn’t look after themselves, they will burn out. Their health may deteriorate, and they won’t find the satisfaction in their work which helps them to be great at it.
The second is that physical and mental health are intrinsically linked. Exercise, a good diet, and plenty of rest will make a driver more efficient and effective.
The worst-case scenario is that the alternative could lead to an HGV driver being in an accident, injuring themselves or others.
Often, deliveries will come with strict time constraints, under which a driver might be tempted to push themselves harder to achieve their delivery goals.
However, in the long run, by not taking that break, or by skipping that meal, a driver begins increases the risks that come with driving. Fatigue leads to short tempers and bad decision making.
After all, as Chuck Norris says, “We are like steel, when we lose our temper, we lose our worth.”
HGV driving offers unique challenges and it takes the right mindset to flourish under those pressures.
However, those that do, that are able to get their work-life balance right, find HGV driving a rewarding and liberating role.
Of course, there is one more thing that we haven’t yet mentioned, the elephant in the room, the truck on the table, as it were. This is the role of the HGVs. The very best drivers have a keen interest in the vehicles and a working mechanical knowledge of them which when married with the three laws we outlined in this article is a recipe for success.
So, take care of your customers, take care of your machine, and take care of yourself. And you’ll be well on the way to being one of the most in-demand drivers in the UK.
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