The 7 Signs You Are Working for the Wrong HGV Agency
With even the biggest supermarkets having HGV driver recruitment problems, there’s possibly never been a better time for experienced drivers.
It means that if you’re an HGV driver with a few years out on the roads and feeling uninspired these days, it could be time to think about pastures new.
But how do you tell when it’s time to move on?
With that question in mind, we’ve put together a little list of seven signs that you might be working for the wrong HGV Driving agency.
Let’s get started.
Sign 1: Are you always dealing with new faces?
Let’s face it, driving can be stressful way to make a living.
Anti-social hours, time away from home, endless CPC, and clogged roads are just some of the things we have to contend with on a daily basis.
But it’s all much harder when you constantly have to manage new working relationships and deal with people who are still learning the ropes all the time.
That’s why you need an agency with a good staff retention record.
If the team around you is happy then most other aspects of the job are easier (although, there isn’t much we can do about the clogged roads!).
If less than 10% of the staff at your agency have been around for 5 years or more, take a look for a team with more of a family feel.
As an example:
Here at Backline Logistics we’re proud to report that we currently enjoy a service record of 34% of our staff with 5 years or more!
Sign 2: Does each working day feels the same as the last?
Sitting in the same old cab every day, working the same old routes, it’s hardly the best way to spice up your career.
The fact is most people just don’t enjoy doing the same thing every day.
Studies show that employees who have a small range of repetitive tasks to do every day are the most likely to become bored and disengaged from the workplace.
Variety motivates you to get creative, solve problems and learn more, resulting in a much healthier, happier, and energetic you.
If that sounds like something you’ve been missing, then maybe it’s time to see what other agencies have to offer.
An agency with a large and varied client base, including both blue chip companies and smaller SMEs will be able to offer you more of a variety of work.
For example, our focus on the Transport & Logistics sector means we cover over 15 core disciplines plus a number of specialist jobs.
It means you’ll always keep progressing (if that’s what you want).
On that note:
Sign 3: Does your agency ever mention career development?
If no one ever talks to you about progressing your career, then it is definitely time to go.
Good driving agencies recognise the importance of staff to their business, so they make sure that they do things a little differently.
They might employ a dedicated team to provide you with career development opportunities in the transport & logistics industry.
They should make time for listening to and understanding staff and put effort into establishing long-term relationships.
We have a team of elite drivers who are some of the best professional drivers in the U.K. and we treat them with all the respect they deserve.
When experienced HGV drivers join our elite team, they don’t just access great employee benefits, they also get incredible training and development opportunities, and the chance to be part of the U.K.’s No1 driving force.
Sign 4: Do you feel like you’re working alone, really alone?
On top of the strict regulations that we have to understand and abide by, there’s an increasing pressure to get the job done with demanding time constraints.
This is especially difficult nowadays, where internet shopping has put even more pressure on drivers to make sure all products and goods get delivered quickly and efficiently.
However, as with almost anything, an increase in demand leads to an increase in value. And in this scenario, it’s the value of the drivers that has increased.
As a valued team member, do you always feel that there’s a human voice at the end of the phone to support you 24/7?
Can you access a range of different branches and outbases across the country to give you the support where and when you need it most?
If you don’t, then take action.
Sign 5: Are you spending money on your own driver CPC?
Over the years, regulation and red tape have been slowly introduced into the HGV driving sphere.
This means that there are more driving qualifications, and they are harder to get and maintain.
Ongoing Driver CPC training, strict regulations on driving hours, and an increased number of hoops to jump through if you desire to drive specialised vehicles all add to our workload.
These regulations, whilst undeniably complicating drivers’ lives, are actually aimed at making sure they don’t get taken advantage of, don’t work too long, and as a result maintain high driving safety standards at all times.
They makes the roads and HGV drivers safer; they also protect drivers from being exploited by unscrupulous employers.
To abide by current laws and keep your Driver CPC, you must complete 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years. Not doing so means you will no longer be able to drive professionally whether that’s lorries, buses, or coaches.
If you fail to complete 35 hours of mandatory training, and still drive professionally, you could be fined up to £1,000.
(To check how many hours of training you’ve done in the current 5-year period follow this link.)
Finding and setting aside those 35 hours has always been a pain for drivers (although at least you can now access online driver CPC courses so it is less time-consuming and more accessible).
But it gets worse.
Unfortunately, most HGV drivers have to pay for all this themselves.
To ensure that we have the best HGV drivers on the road, we decided to provide this free of charge for all our Elite Drivers.
Is your agency doing this for you?
Sign 6: Permanent Employment Opportunities
Whatever work suits you, whether its artic or rigid, national or local, getting steady, ongoing, full-time, guaranteed income and hours to suit you is key to being happy and content in your job.
So why do so many agencies continue to try and palm drivers off with insecure hours and short-term contracts?
If you are feeling undervalued, then maybe it’s time to take a look at something like our Platinum Drivers Scheme?
Ok, we know we’re going to be biased here but we really have designed it to be one of the best packages in the industry.
We think that it’s a pretty unique proposition, combining contracted employment with enhanced employee control & benefits.
We also offer guaranteed weekly hours (min. criteria applies) so you never have to worry about going short.
Sign 7: Money, it’s a gas!
Okay so it isn’t always the be-all-and-end-all but when it comes to driving money is a (ahem) driver.
It seems crazy that with such a driver shortage there are still companies out there that don’t pay their drivers very well, but there we have it.
If you’re unsure what good rates of pay look like, a typical starting salary should be up to 24k for an HGV driver.
Yet the most experienced drivers, such as those on our Platinum Drivers Scheme, can earn in excess of £40k a year.
HGV driving is a serious career and for all the hard work you put in you should find that it rewards you in turn.
Truckers are dedicated professionals and some of the most hard-working, reliable and committed people you’ll ever meet.
We hope this list has helped you decide that it’s time to expect more and look for an agency that values your hard work and professionalism as much as you do.
If you want to find out more about joining our Platinum Driver Scheme for experienced HGV drivers, make sure you talk to us here at Backline.
Because we understand the importance of the role of drivers we are committed to fair pay, steady hours, benefits and opportunities for advancement, promotion and personal development.
To find out more about becoming an Elite Driver with Backline, apply now.