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A day in the life of a HGV driver in the UK

Transportation. Since the dawn of human history, we as human beings have relied on the ability to move goods, food, merchandise and even ourselves from point A to point B.

Fast forward to today and HGVs of all shapes and sizes are abundant. With tens of thousands of vehicles traversing the globe 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

So, what does the average day for a HGV driver look like? Negative stereotypes of long hours and nights always have long been thought to be a necessity for any current or aspiring driver. However, the truth couldn’t be more different.

If we look at things realistically, with the average worker’s home, family or social commitments, long hours and nights away simply would not work.

The reality is the average shift for a UK HGV driver is of the standard 8 hours, with most shifts being ‘early start, early finish. An early start ensures getting ahead of road traffic and wait times, and subsequently ending in an early finish.

For most the start of a working day begins with vehicle checks. These checks are mandatory for any driver and can consist of:-

Looking for vehicle damage | Checking tyre pressure | Engine and fluid checks

Once the vehicle has passed its subsequent checks loading can begin, either by the driver or dedicated employees. Due to the current driver shortage more often than not drivers are foregoing the loading process and allowing loading staff or ‘picker packers’ to fill the vehicle. With a short supply of drivers, the last thing an employer needs is a loading-related injury to happen to their driver, especially with a short supply available to fill the deficit.

All drivers however will always be in receipt of full training on how to load and unload the vehicle as safely and efficiently as possible.

Once fully laden the driver can head out on the route.

As discussed, an average day for a driver is the standard 8 hours, with a mandatory 45-minute break every 4.5 hours.

Driving can take place on most types of roads, however, C+E vehicles will most commonly be seen on motorways while the C1 and C2 vehicles are found on almost any type of road.

The prime benefits for current HGV drivers and those looking at a potential career change are plenty. Many drivers enjoy the feeling of being their own boss, with life on the road being devoid of bureaucracy or any unwanted manager intervention.

HGV drivers also travel far and wide, meet new people and often every day is different.

In summary,​ HGV driving can be a demanding job but for those that enjoy their own company as well as a varied work week, life on the road can be as good as any.

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