If you’re considering a career as an HGV driver, you’re probably wondering what it’s like up in the cab – is it the right choice for you?
Is HGV driving a good career choice in 2021? You probably have many questions just like this, so we’ve put together our thoughts to help you determine whether a future in logistics is for you.
What does the job entail?
HGV stands for heavy goods vehicle; this transpires as any vehicle weighing over 3.5 tonnes (all the way up to 44 tonnes). As a driver you will be responsible for transporting goods from A to B. HGV drivers can work locally, nationally, or internationally depending on the company and/or the goods.
As you can imagine, lorry drivers spend a lot of time on the road and, depending on where they work, can spend a lot of time away from home. It’s common for a lot of HGV drivers to spend a night or two in the cab of their lorry and often they can be away for the whole working week. The hours of an HGV driver are long – typically between 45-50 hours each week.
Drivers are not just responsible for transport but also for the loading and unloading of goods as well as making sure you have all the correct documents you need on arrival and departure of your destination. HGV drivers often work alone, however this is frequently a positive for many people as they enjoy the freedom that this brings.
What qualifications do I need?
The most important thing you will need is obviously a valid UK driving license. You then need to acquire an HGV Class 1 and 2 training which will teach you how to drive any vehicle carrying goods of up to 44 tonnes. Training is a mixture of practical and theory followed by four final examinations.
Combined, preparations should cost around £3000 for a full licence and Driver CPC. Whilst this may seem a lot, when you compare it to the cost of many other vocational courses, including university degrees, it is definitely a more affordable road to go down!
Will I be able to get work easily?
There is no doubt that the UK is experiencing a driver shortage. The current lorry driver shortage is estimated at around 70,000 drivers and with demand consistently increasing this number is only going skywards. Companies are constantly on the lookout for newly qualified drivers meaning you are unlikely to struggle to find work. By training to become an HGV driver, your services and skills are likely to be in demand for some time.
What is the pay like?
With so much training to complete prior and the number of hours spent away from home, what’s the payoff?
Typically, an HGV driver’s starting wages are between £19-24k. The more training you receive and the more experience you have will see this number rise dramatically. The most experienced and qualified drivers can expect to earn over £40k per year.
Why should I become a haulier?
HGV driving is a valuable and rewarding career, and in the current climate, it is more important than ever. With a dramatic increase in e-commerce, especially over the past year, goods transportation is in high demand. Also, with the current shortage of drivers, you’re almost guaranteed a job with a reputable company and the chance to pursue a career that you want.