Becoming a Lorry Driver
14/04/2016
Becoming a Lorry Driver

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Thinking About Becoming a Lorry Driver?

How do you know if becoming a lorry driver is the right choice for you? This is the question on the lips of anyone who is considering becoming a lorry driver. 
 
It is hard to know whether ‘trucking’ is for you, especially if you have never experienced travelling in a lorry.
 
A lorry driver isn’t one of those jobs that you can just give it a quick try and see if you like it. You need to be trained and qualified. 
 
The best way to find out if being a ‘trucker’ is right for you is to speak to someone who is a trucker, someone who has many years of experience on the road and can tell you exactly why they do it.  
 
Being a lorry driver is not for everyone, it is the kind of job that needs to suit both your personality and lifestyle, and it isn’t for the weak of heart that’s for sure.
 
If you want to be successful and make decent money driving a lorry be warned it is not an easy job. The hours are long, you will need to be self-motivated, and patient. You will also spend most of your time alone. If none of these things sound appealing to you then I would suggest that being a lorry driver isn’t the right job for you.
 
The most important thing to consider before choosing driving a lorry as a career is whether you love to drive? The job is a driving job after all, so if you love the road and love to drive then you could be on the right track.
 
As well as driving some of your other duties might involve:
 
planning delivery schedules and routes with your transport manager
supervising or assisting loading and unloading goods
checking that loads are secured safely
keeping up to date with traffic reports and changing routes if needed
completing delivery paperwork and log books
basic lorry maintenance (oil, tyre checks, brake checks etc..) 
 
Being a lorry driver can be very hard on family life so this needs to be considered. You could spend a lot of time away from your family especially if you are required to deliver goods throughout Europe. Some lorry drivers will be required to stay away from home for extended periods of time and as you can imagine this could affect family life especially if you have children. Finding the right balance between work and life is important when considering any career choice.
 
When on the road you are virtually on your own, of course you can stop at a truckstop for a chat or make a call but for the most part you are alone in your lorry. There isn’t anyone there to help comfort you if you are having a bad day but on the other hand there isn’t anyone there looking over your shoulder all the time either, so it is all about what your prefer. 
 
If you are an independent person who doesn’t like anyone looking over your shoulder then great, if you depend on other people to motivate you then the job is not for you.
 
Here are some of the skills, interests and qualities that you will need when becoming a lorry driver:
 
excellent driving skills
a passion for driving
the ability to work alone for long periods
patience for when waiting to load or unload
good people skills for when picking up or dropping off loads
safety oriented on the road and when loading and unloading
the ability to complete paperwork accurately
a decent level of fitness to work with loads
to be trustworthy and reliable
 
There are plenty of opportunities out there for people thinking about a career in lorry driving due to the lorry driver shortage. There is predicted to be a shortage of 45k – 60k of drivers by 2020.
You can work directly for a haulage operator, supermarket, manufacture etc. or through an agency or you can even become an owner driver and work for yourself.
 
There are lots of questions in the mind of anyone considering becoming a lorry driver but there are not many places to find these answers. Our advice is do your research before rushing in to get your licence.
Have a look at some of the industry forums and get a feel for the industry. Try and speak to a few people who are doing the job and see what they love and hate about it.

Trucker forum - TruckNet
Getting qualified - Licence requirements
What to expect as a lorry driver - Nation Career Service

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