There’s a lot to learn when it comes to driving a goods vehicle, and not all of it comes from the instruction you get to pass the test. Here are some tips to help you in the real world.
1. Winter driving
Although we seldom suffer severe weather in the UK, driving in winter is still a challenge. You need to plan ahead, allow for longer stopping distances, and keep everything smooth.
2. Basic tools
It’s always a good idea to carry some tools, screwdrivers, spanners and pliers to allow you to make running repairs in the event of a problem.
Because driving a truck involves sitting down for most of the day, it’s easy to neglect your fitness levels. We’re not suggesting you spend all your free time at the gym, but going for a walk or a swim or getting out on your bike occasionally will help you stay trim.
4. Get a good satnav
A satnav is essential in modern driving, but make sure that you get one designed for HGV use. These take height and width restrictions into account and will help you avoid claiming on your HGV insurance.
5. Stay warm
If you’re sleeping in the cab on winter nights, it can get pretty chilly. Make sure you have a good, thick duvet to keep you warm.
6. Keep it clean
You are going to spend a lot of time in your cab, so keep it clean. Keep wet wipes and paper towels handy, mop up any spills quickly, and take the opportunity to hoover it out.
7. Sensible speed
Trucks are speed-limited so you can’t go too fast on the motorway, but you should always drive at a sensible speed for the conditions. Sometimes the speed limit is too fast.
8. Make sure you’re insured
If you are planning on being an owner-operator, you will be responsible for your own insurance. For HGV insurance quotes go to https://www.quotemetoday.co.uk/hgv-insurance.
9. Double check
Like any new job, there’s a lot to remember as a truck driver. Take your time to double check the security of your load to avoid problems.
10. Stay alert
It can be a lonely life on the road. Listen to the radio or have your favourite music available to keep you entertained and alert.