5 Hacks to Fast Track your HGV Career
Depending on your skillsets and experience, HGV drivers in the UK can earn £40k or more a year. But that is not to say that every HGV driving job is created equal, or that every employer will offer such high wages for the same job.
So, how do you make sure you’re doing everything you can to fast track your HGV career and join the elite drivers?
To help you get there, we’ve put together 5 super relevant hacks for getting the best jobs and making more money as an HGV driver.
1: Never miss an opportunity to upskill
Your skillset is absolutely vital, which is why this makes it to number one on our list. When we talk about up-skilling, we aren’t talking about doing the bare minimum or compulsory training such as your Driver CPC.
This is about continuously learning new and more valuable skills to tag onto your CV. Not only do they qualify you for a broader range of HGV driving roles, giving you more options to choose from, but they show employers that you are dedicated to your role.
Routinely taking opportunities to gather more qualifications and skills, whether you have to pay for them yourself or your company offers to pay, should yield dividends down the road (pun intended!).
2: Always have a plan
Having a goal in mind – let’s call it a roadmap – of where you want to end up will help you understand what you need to focus on to get there. This should be second nature to a professional driver!
If you know where you want to be, then you’ll know what to focus on when it comes to up-skilling.
It’s worth noting that goals take time to achieve. So, set yourself a big target and break it down into smaller targets along the way.
The further ahead you plan, the more able you are to spread the cost of your time and training and the sooner you will be able to achieve that career goal.
When planning, a few things that you may want to keep in mind are average salaries for each role and potential employers. It’s well worth researching employers and using forums such as TruckNet UK to gain some valuable feedback from your peers.
And don’t forget to review our Platinum Drivers Scheme too. It’s one of the most generous packages for drivers anywhere in the UK.
3: Focus on yourself, not others
Drivers have to spend a fair amount of time alone in their cabs. Even on the best of days, it’s important to focus on the positives and look after yourself.
Planning out your breaks, exercising routinely, and eating healthily will yield positives across your driving career.
This keeps you happier and your positive attitude will make you a pleasure to work with, helping you perform well in your role, which in turn will inevitably help you find better and higher-paying roles.
Above all, avoid the temptation to focus on the negative. It’s easy to get bogged down in arguments and petty squabbles at work, but they never lead anywhere worthwhile.
Check out our article here for more tips on how to stay focused and positive on the road.
4: Get Specialised
We’ve talked about up-skilling already. Specialising is a little different though. When we are talking about specialising, we are talking about gaining the skills to operate specialised machinery which makes you an expert in your field.
For example, you might go out of your way to get your HIAB qualification which will allow you to operate a lorry mounted crane. Or you could get an ADR training certificate which would allow you to transport dangerous goods.
Just gaining the qualification isn’t always enough, it requires practice to master these specialised skills, so finding jobs that allow you to utilise these skills in addition to getting the applicable qualification will help you become a master in your field.
5: Find and work for the best
Last on our list is all about finding the right employer. It’s all very well putting in the hard work, the hours of training, and slogging it out to gain valuable experience, but if the company doesn’t recognise or reward your excellent attitude – well, what’s the point?
The wrong company can easily leave you feeling stuck, drained and hating what you do. Just remember that life is what we choose to settle for.
A good company will offer you every opportunity to advance your career. They will recognise your ambition and skill, and where possible work with you to keep you happy.
For example, as it benefits both parties to have well-trained staff, they might assist when it comes to doing routine training or up-skilling.
Driving doesn’t come with the daily support that you get from an office job. But people that are independent and goal-oriented thrive behind the wheel.
These individuals can, with the right attitude and right employer quickly find themselves advancing through their career to become an elite driver.
To find out more about how we treat all our drivers, offering the respect they deserve, leading pay rates, career development options and even free training – check out our Elite Drivers page.