British Trucking 10 Best Tips for HGV Drivers
Below are my 10 best tips for HGV Drivers, these tips will help you to have a much better day or night when you drive your HGV Truck, your daily duties can involve lots of different aspects try to remember these 10 best tips for HGV Drivers.
Tip one - Planning
Planning your trip is an essential part of your HGV Driving day some of you may remember if you have done a CPC Course the six P’s rule.
PROPER – PLANNING – PREVENTS – PI** – POOR – PERFORMANCE
Loading is an important part of planning your journey, especially if you have multidrop deliveries, ensuring that your first drop isn’t situated up against the bulkhead of your truck and jammed in by what is behind it!
Another aspect of loading is axel weights, ensuring that when you take your first delivery off you aren’t in a situation that puts too much weight over one axle.
Planning your route is important especially if you are carrying a wide load or a high load, Planning your entry route to a business destination, In many cases, a business may have their “goods in” located on a different road to their main business, this is important especially in large cities where it is likely that there is a one way road system.
Planning your Day also consists of Planning fuel stops and rest breaks, this can be important especially if you are entering a large city area where it is difficult to stop for a period of time, in which case you would need to stop and take a break before entering the City.
Tip Two - Height
Always check your height don’t always rely on the information in the cab, especially if you drive a flatbed vehicle as the height may have been changed by a previous driver carrying a different load.
Make sure if you are a tipper driver your body is always down and seated correctly before moving off, If you use a Hi-Ab or plant vehicle make sure the position is as low as possible making sure it’s secure, if in doubt double-check the height before moving off.
Never rely on your Sat Nav to accurately warn you of bridge heights always use your eyes to double-check any bridge height signs and be aware that curved bridges may be lower on either side so take into account the width of the load you are carrying also.
Tip Three - Always expect the unexpected
An experienced driver will know that the unexpected can happen at any time.
Other motorists will do the craziest of things on the road especially to try and get in front of you as you are a slower moving vehicle.
Always keep good checks on your mirrors especially at junctions as vehicles have a habit of speeding past you just to get in front.
Tip Four - Tiredness
You may have tight deadlines and busy schedules but if you are tired whilst driving you may never get there at all!
If you are feeling tired at the wheel always find somewhere to stop as soon as possible even if your not due a break, have a walk around get some fresh air take a drink of water, and do not have your heater too hot as this will make you more tired.
You can even take a power nap if needed set your alarm to get you back on your way once you have rested, keep your radio turned up, and open your window slightly this will help you to keep concentration for some time.
Tip Five - Security of Load
Always check the load of your vehicle especially if someone else loaded the vehicle. Check your straps are tight and everything is secure, check that any excess of your straps are tied up so they don’t work loose and start trailing off your vehicle.
Load security is the driver’s responsibility to make sure your load is safe, make it good practice to check the load occasionally during your working day to make sure nothing has changed or become loose, a quick walk around could save any problems that could occur further down the road.
Tip Six - Turning
Make sure when making a turn you have enough room to make that maneuver, the rear of your vehicle can swing out approximately two feet on the rear corner, there are many instances of hitting parked cars, gate posts, etc as you can see in the example video below.
So be aware of the space you need to make a turn, this can also apply to reversing don’t just look in your mirrors to complete a turn keep checking the front of your cab because it will swing across and possibly hit something.
Tip Seven - Vehicle Checks
Checking your vehicle every day is essential, you will probably have a checklist that you fill out or tick to say you have done it by using a defect book or phone app.
Don’t get into the habit of ticking all the boxes without physically walking around your vehicle and checking that everything is correct! if something falls off your vehicle like a wheel and kills somebody because you never checked them properly, it would be your responsibility, never take the word of somebody else that your vehicle has been checked.
Tip Eight - Exercise
Driving an HGV truck means you could be sat at the wheel of your truck for up to 10 hours a day! trust me for health you need to get out and have a walk around whenever possible.
When you stop for a break don’t just sit in the cab waiting for the clock to let you know you can start driving again, exercise is a very important part of taking a break, stretch your legs, get some fresh air, for any truck driver it will keep you fitter, more refreshed and keep you focused when you get back into the driver’s seat.
Tip Nine - Entertainment
HGV Driving can have moments where you have to wait for long periods of time, waiting to unload, waiting to drive again if on a night out, or waiting to be loaded.
Having some form of entertainment can help you enjoy your job and relieve boredom, some great ideas for entertainment in your truck are a portable truck TV, smartphone, tablet, or a truck CB radio, If using a smartphone I would recommend an unlimited data deal then you don’t need to worry about the cost of watching videos or playing games.
A CB Radio can give you plenty of entertainment if you are on a night out parked up in a layby in the middle of nowhere you will not feel like your all alone if talking to other drivers.
A portable TV is a great way to entertain yourself watch your favorite TV shows, soaps, or films.
Tip Ten - Ask Questions
Always ask questions about anything your not sure of, never try to do something unless your confident you’re doing it correctly.
If your unsure about anything at all in your depot yard or on-site always ASK the relevant question even if it seems like a small thing, it may turn out to be very important in some workplace circumstances.
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