Take Routine Breaks
One of the very first things you should be doing as an HGV driver is taking routine breaks. You don’t want to push yourself too hard. Taking routine breaks can be a good way to reenergize and recharge your batteries. It can also be a good way to avoid endangering yourself and others. When you are driving, the last thing you want is to feel tired. You need to be completely focused at all times while on the road. Even a moment of hesitation can result be devastating. The majority of HGV driving jobs will have you spending hours on the road at a time. This means that you need to plan to rest in specific places during your route.
While the optimal break time per job will vary based on your situation, you do want to try to take routine breaks every 3 to 4 hours. Giving yourself even a minimal 15-minute break between 3 to 4 hours of driving can help re-energise yourself. By taking the requisite breaks your body and mind need, you can keep yourself better focused and keep your reaction time up to where it needs to be.
Map Out Your Route
Everyone should be mapping out their routine before heading out on the road. You want to ensure that you are doing this before all of your long-haul journeys as much as possible. If you are going to be out on the road for long periods, you want to ensure you know where you are going and what you are doing. Set up your navigation app to ensure you leave with sufficient time to get to your destination.
You also want to plan for the current weather conditions. If there is bad weather on your route, it’s best to factor it into your journey and plans.
Secure Your Loads
You don’t want to head off until you have fully secured all of your loads. It doesn’t matter how good of a driver you think you are, you need to keep your loads fully secured at all times. An unsecured load is much more likely to get damaged or lost. You need it to be effectively secured. It should be strapped in and you also want to avoid overloading your truck. Overloading can put you in danger and it’s much more likely to cause issues than leaving too much space in it.
The HGV Training Centre offers one site, one number, and one place for everything you need to know about HGV training. They also have specialist advisors on hand to answer whatever questions you may have, and help you to get your new HGV driving career on the road.
Maintain Your Vehicle
You’ll want to ensure that you are doing routine checkups with your vehicle. You should be doing this daily. You want to keep your HGV running smooth and the best way to avoid issues is by doing preventative checkups and maintenance. You want to ensure everything fits right before heading out on any job. You want to check on everything from your tyres to your lights to your suspension. Have a checklist of things that you need to check off before you head out on every job. This checklist can be brief. You don’t need to take longer than 15 minutes with it. You need your truck to be road safe and if it isn’t, you’re likely to pay a big fine if the law catches up with you.
This is something that should apply to anyone that is on the road. However, anyone that is driving professionally will want to pay extra attention to this. After all, you have to react faster than someone with a larger vehicle. Unfortunately, there are so many different things that can distract you. You could easily be distracted by your phone ringing, getting a notification, or even changing the radio. These are things that you can easily avoid. To keep yourself and everyone around you safe, it’s best to avoid taking risks. Try to keep your electronics out of sight. If needed, you can use voice commands to control them.
Everyone that is a professional HGV driver should know and understand all of the codes of the road. This especially applies to the Highway Code. However, a lot of professional drivers do not follow them properly. A lot of them tailgate far too often. The fact is, you should not tailgate ever. You need to keep and maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the next. If the driver in front of you has to slam on their breaks for whatever reason, you don’t want to find yourself too close to their vehicle or else it could spell disaster.
Minimise Your Speed
Try to avoid speeding at all costs. You do want to reach your destination on time, but it doesn’t mean you have to speed to do it. If you did your part in the planning process, you should be able to figure out a departure time that gets you to your destination on time. You shouldn’t have to rush whatsoever while driving. Speeding is never an option and it’s to be avoided at all costs.