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Get a grip, rookie! If you’re new on the road with a HGV, odds are you have made a few mistakes here and there (as we all do), but here are some pro-tips to avoid making those kind of mistakes out on the road:
Forgetting non-slip boots – If you are constantly climbing up to your cabin and down from it, the last thing you want is to be wearing a pair of shoes that make slipping much easier, which can cause serious injury. You need a pair of boots ready to tackle any surface – rain or shine!
Not checking your lights – This is a mistake even the average driver can make, your lights go out once in a while and you haven’t checked the bulb… it happens! However, it can be a hazard and get you into trouble if it isn’t changed as soon as possible and with a truck being much bigger than your average car it’s much more noticeable on the larger vehicle!
The best way to avoid it: check your lights before you head out on your journey!
Not taking a drink – It doesn’t matter whether it’s a cup of tea/coffee or just a bottle of water, you need to take something to drink with you on the road for longer journeys. Otherwise you could find yourself incredibly dehydrated which can make you feel weary and exhausted which is the last thing you want to be while behind the wheel of a truck. Staying refreshed and aware of your surroundings is essential as a truck driver, so if you don’t have anything to drink make a pit-stop before your start or as soon as possible if your day has already started.
Forgetting to plan a route for your destination - As we see on a daily basis with the amount of truckers who unfortunately get their HGV stuck at a bridge because they either weren’t made aware of the height of the vehicle until it was too late or simply didn’t pay attention, you need to plan for your journey as much as possible. Even down to researching the towns you will be travelling through and what kind of maximum vehicle weights and lengths their roads can take. It might take even more time, but you can be certain repairs for your truck if damaged on the approach to a bridge would take even longer.
Hitting the road without a hands-free set – It’d be great if journeys could be completed without the use of electronic devices like phones and sat-navs, but as many of you are aware, that isn’t always possible. Sometimes routes change, or you need to speak to your transport manager and without a hands-free set and nowhere to park up your vehicle so you can use your device it can be complicated.
This can all be avoided if you have voice recognition on your phone and save your transport manager and other businesses as a contact, but the ideal solution would be a hands-free kit which latches perfectly to a vehicle. This doesn’t interfere with your driving and enables you to take calls as well as pause and play music. This is a very handy, essential piece of kit for your truck in this day and age.
With this knowledge, you won’t be a rookie for long! If you have any other tips please comment them below!
With up to 3,000 new loads per day, saving over 250 million miles per year, the impact for the UK's Carbon footprint alone is huge.