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Career Advice

A Career In The Front Seat: Is Commercial Driving For You?

Faced with a 45-50k shortage of HGV drivers, the Government and Road Haulage Association are encouraging and supporting employers to train up new talent from all walks of life.  Their aim is to appeal to and recruit from a broader pool of candidates than ever. If life on the open road appeals to you, commercial driving might be just the ticket. Perhaps you’ve spruced up your CV and started applying for positions already, or perhaps you’re just getting started with your job search; either way, arming yourself with the facts is the best way to make a great impression.

What are the practicalities of commercial driving?

Commercial drivers work either on a self employed basis, or for an employer.  Both routes require that you have a full driving licence, a LGV (also known as HGV) licence and a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence.  Good practical vehicle maintenance skills are also useful in case of breakdowns.  If you choose the self employed route, you will need to be able to purchase your own lorry, as well as source the right insurance.  You will also need to be motivated and organised with your paperwork, marketing and pursuing new leads.

What sort of person suits commercial driving?

Aside from being self-motivated and able to organise your time, particularly if you’re self employed, you will also need to be resourceful and able to roll with changes.  Sometimes routes will be closed, or clients’ needs change, and you will need to be flexible enough to accommodate these factors. On a similar note, patience is key! Sitting in traffic is no fun at the best of times, let alone when you have an urgent delivery deadline to meet.  You will need to be fairly fit and active and able to complete regular loading, unloading and safety checks. You’ll be spending large amounts of time in your own company, so being comfortable with that and with being away from home potentially for long periods are also key.

If you enjoy driving and would rather avoid the 9-5 desk job, commercial driving could be the perfect career for you.  Don’t assume it’s just for men either; following a Freight Transport Association survey, there has been a real push to challenge HGV driver stereotypes and encourage women and BAME candidates to train up.  As with everything, do your research and step out in confidence. A flexible, rewarding career could be yours for the taking.

Details only correct to the best of our knowledge at time of publication.


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