One of the most daunting tasks for any new truck driver is how to get truck driving experience now you have your license. Many new truck drivers face difficulties when it comes to acquiring the experience necessary for a professional career. In this article, I will cover three ways you can acquire your first truck driving job now that you have obtained your license and are ready to work professionally as a driver!
An Employers Point Of View
I am sure most new truck drivers have come up against a brick wall when looking for job vacancies, all the driving jobs available often state “minimum of 2 years experience” or words to that effect!
Let’s look into the view of an employer when they advertise for a new driver.
Employers who have a vacancy for a truck driver will be looking at at least 3 factors before considering employing a new driver.
- Risk Factor
Training costs companies thousands of pounds, so it makes sense to advertise for a driver who already has experience within the job role they are offering, if a new driver approaches an employer there is a good chance they will not have experience in fully understanding the process of driving their particular vehicle. Trucks are set up for many different operations from a tipper truck, concrete mixer, or curtainsider to a crane, grab or skeleton, and so on.
So experience is obviously important for any employer.
An employer has a duty of care for their employees so employing a new driver without any time-served driving experience would be a high-risk option, there is more likelihood that a new driver may have an accident or make a mistake that could cause them personal injury or others around them. Employers will look for a low-risk option first before considering a driver that could be costly to them.
I am sure many new drivers will be looking at the job sites straight away after obtaining an HGV License, this of course is understandable. An employer will be reluctant to consider a driver who passed their test say a week ago compared to an experienced driver.
The reason for this is employers know you are simply looking to get out on the road and you will take almost anything to achieve that goal, from the employer’s point of view they would need to be sure you are going to be able to fit into their company, they may have shift patterns, nights out, early mornings, late evenings as part of their business model. In many cases, new drivers haven’t had time to think about all these scenarios and may not be available to work some shifts, they may have children, a wife, husband, or partner that works or other commitments in their life.
This is why availability is an important factor for employers.
What Can I do To Get Truck Driving Experience?
After passing your test and obtaining your driver’s card it makes sense to get a job as soon as you can, the longer you are not behind the wheel of a truck the scarier it will be to do so if you leave it too long.
Advanced training will certainly benefit you if you have the budget, training such as ADR, Moffett, Crane, forklift, these types of training will be a benefit to you and your CV which an employer will take into consideration when making a choice for his or her next driver.
Tips For Getting Your First Truck Driving Job
1. Apply For Local Truck Driving Jobs
By applying for jobs locally will help you with your application, we already established that availability is a concern for employers so living close to a company ticks that box to a large degree, an employer will look seriously at a driver who lives 3 miles away compared to an application from a driver who lives 25 miles away (after all even professional driver’s oversleep sometimes!) it is important that you do not apply for any jobs that are not suitable for you, for example, if you cannot do nights out and the job description states some nights out may be required, that usually means you will be out most of the week!
Ensure you have a CV with any relevant experience you may have that an employer might find useful, a good example of this is you may have done a first aid course with a previous employer, you may have had experience driving large vans or tractors, this could help an employer reconsider the risks or decide that you could be an asset to the company.
2. Consider Agency Driving
Should you have no joy with applying for local jobs, register with a driving agency, not all will accept new drivers but some will, and is worth considering to obtain the driving experience you need to apply for jobs.
There are many drivers that have driven for an agency and achieved a full-time job position as an HGV driver for companies they have been sent to.
Things you should consider with agency work is the companies might be some distance from your location so travelling will be necessary while you gain experience.
3. Knock on Doors
Go and visit local companies that you would like to work for, ask to see the transport manager and introduce yourself, let them know that you really want to work for their company and if they would consider giving you a trial period if a vacancy should arise.
Transport managers will take your details and take you seriously because you have put in the effort, knock on enough doors and you could drop lucky and be given a chance.
With holidays and sick days, managers are always under pressure. Take advantage of driver shortages to get a foot in the door which could lead to full-time employment!
When You Get Your First Truck Driving Job
Life as a trucker is one of the most rewarding careers out there. The hard work starts when you get your first job, but it’s worth it in order to gain experience and knowledge. This will make you an invaluable asset for years to come!
You’ll be able to learn from already experienced HGV drivers and make some great friends in the industry. Along with visiting many places, you can work on your own initiative to become a professional truck driver that will lead to earning higher levels of income as your career moves forward.
When looking for a job as a new truck driver, consider what an employer is looking for and what type of job would suit you best.
If possible do some further training to obtain relevant licenses which could help with your CV and job search.
If you are not getting any response from local employers try signing up with a driving agency to gain some experience.
Knock on local company doors and introduce yourself leave details with the transport manager and let him or her know you are available for work.
I hope this beginner’s guide “how to get truck driving experience?” was useful, it is never easy to land your first truck driving job but with perseverance, it will be a great career when you do.