7 Simple ways to Accelerate your HGV driving career
Looking for some easy ways to accelerate your HGV driving career? We’ve put together this quick list of seven tactics to focus on now, to get immediate and powerful results.
Need more advice? Make sure you speak to one of our team or check out some of the great HGV training packages we have available.
So without further ado, here are:
7 tactics to accelerate your HGV driving career
Pick a good company to work with
This is the first on our list for a couple of reasons. A good company will recognise your hard work and reward you accordingly.
More than that though they will offer you every opportunity to advance your career by doing things like paying for your training.
It benefits both parties when an employee is happy and well trained. A good employer then, should be doing their best to keep you happy.
The wrong company though could leave you feeling stuck and hating what you do.
At Backline we treat all our drivers with the respect they deserve, offering leading pay rates, career development options and even free training for our Elite Drivers.
Stay on top of your training
Nothing will slow your career down than forgetting to do crucial & mandatory training like Driver CPC.
You must do 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to keep your Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) to drive a lorry, bus or coach.
And, not only is it illegal to drive if you fail to complete your DCPC, you could be fined up to a 1000 pounds if do try to drive professionally.
You only need to complete one set of training every 5 years if you drive both lorries and buses professionally. Many companies offer programs to help make sure you complete yours on time, some will even pay for it fo you.
Practice being positive
Some days just won’t be your day. Things will go wrong, in fact everything might go wrong. But this happens to everyone in every career, try and remember why you chose this career and focus on the positives.
What you don’t want to happen is to let a few bad days affect the rest of your career. There are many ways to stay positive whilst you’re out on the road.
Don’t forget to exercise, talk to friends and family, and keep your mind occupied on those long distances.
Want more tips? Check out how to stay focused and positive on the road here
Level up your driver’s licence
If you want to take on more responsibilities, or drive larger vehicles, then getting more qualifications will give you more options.
Have a goal in mind though as it can be expensive.
- Category C1 – You can drive vehicles between 3,500 and 7,500kg MAM (with a trailer up to 750kg)
- Category C1E – You can drive C1 category vehicles with a trailer over 750kg. The combined MAM of both can’t exceed 12,000kg.
Note: if you haven’t got C1 on your licence, go straight for C as the test is the same but the 7,500kg limit won’t apply.
- Category C – You can drive vehicles over 3,500kg (with a trailer up to 750kg MAM).
- Category CE – You can drive category C vehicles with a trailer over 750kg.
- Category D1 – You can drive vehicles with:
- no more than 16 passenger seats
- a maximum length of 8 metres
- a trailer up to 750kg
- Category D1E – You can drive D1 category vehicles with a trailer over 750kg MAM. The combined MAM of both can’t exceed 12,000kg.
- Category D – You can drive any bus with more than 8 passenger seats (with a trailer up to 750kg MAM).
- Category DE – You can drive D category vehicles with a trailer over 750kg.
If you already have these categories on your licence, check for any information codes such as “101” (not for hire or reward) before getting behind the wheel.
Focus & Specialise
Focus on what you actually would prefer to do.
For example, would you rather take to the open road and drive all around Europe hauling cargo? This may sound exciting, but its not suited for everyone. Or would you rather be a city hauler?
A lot of driving around congested cities in local traffic. It takes a deft hand to get through the tight and constricting spaces in a city.
It has the benefit of more regular hours, meaning you’ll get to spend more time at home.
Another thing to think about is getting qualified to do specialised lorry driving. For example, you could get your HIAB qualification.
Operating a lorry mounted crane is an incredibly useful skill which makes you much more employable.
Or you could get an ADR training certificate which would allow you to transport dangerous goods.
Think Health & Safety
Employers recognise when a driver is safety conscious. Doing a first aid course is a great way to show that you take the safety of others and yourself on the road of high importance.
Finally, don’t imagine that you have to drive the same truck along the same routes for the rest of your life. Being ambitious is about having goals and focusing on being the best in your field.
You can work all of the previous 6 points in this article into getting promotions and higher paid work. With that spark of ambition you can gain valuable experience and apply that in various ways across the logistics sector, becoming an invaluable employee with unlimited potential.
To find out more about becoming an Elite Driver with Backline, apply now.
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