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Guide: Lorry Driving

04 February 2020
Zara Woodcock
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Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers, more commonly known as lorry drivers,  are responsible for transporting goods to and from supermarkets, restaurants, department stores and many more organisations. Without HGV drivers, supermarkets and stores could not operate. HGV drivers are expected to plan delivery routes and ensure those routes maximise productivity. Having good spatial awareness and communication skills is highly beneficial to the role as drivers will be reporting issues to dispatchers and communicate with customers to coordinate drop-offs. There are no shortages when it comes to job opportunities in the United Kingdom. The more experience employees have, the higher the chances of advancing onto a position with better pay and more responsibilities, such as becoming a fleet manager.

Before applying to become an HGV driver, have a read of the requirements, and what the job entails.

What does the job entail?

Working as a lorry driver, you will be responsible for the safe delivery of goods nationally and internationally, to put it simply.

Your duties will include:

  • Ensuring all goods and products are safely secured
  • Keeping your vehicle in good condition
  • Loading and unloading goods from the vehicle
  • Taking the quickest route to your destination.
  • Efficiency on the road

What about hours and pay?

As per usual, pay depends on the company and the location of your work. Newly-qualified drivers usually start off with a salary in the region of £14,000 per year. With time and experience, lorry drivers can earn up to £35,000 per year.

Most lorry drivers work for a manufacturer, distributor or road haulage firm and work an average of 48 hours per week. Drivers cannot spend more than nine hours per day on the road, for health and safety reasons, but they can work more hours if they’re engaged in non-driving duties.

If you’re a long-distance driver you may have to sleep in your lorry which will be equipped with a sleeping area so you can still get a decent night’s sleep.

HGV Jobs Requirements

There are no specific academic qualifications necessary when applying for HGV careers. Having a driving licence is the main factor of HGV driving jobs. Candidates must also be over 18 before applying for the role. Before starting an HGV career, getting a further professional driving qualification called the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) is required, no exceptions. Candidates will need to pass the 4 tests that makeup Driver CPC in order to qualify. Every 5 years, employees must take 35 hours of periodic training to stay qualified. This is to ensure drivers can still safely and efficiently drive HGVs.