Why become a lorry driver?
It may be more difficult than ever these days to find job security that also comes with an attractive pay packet. One of the welcome and appealing exceptions, therefore, might be a livelihood as a lorry driver.
The reason for this becoming a career of opportunities is because of the current shortage of HGV drivers in the UK.
The shortage is sufficiently marked that it has warranted a Parliamentary investigation which – according to The Loadstar – is particularly concerned about the apparent failure of the industry to attract new employees as drivers. Only 2% of today’s lorry drivers are under the age of 25 for example and 60% more than 45 years old.
According to the HGV Training Centre there is currently a shortage of 40,000 HGV drivers in this country, so you are practically guaranteed a warm welcome if you choose to join their ranks.
It is a welcome typically translated into rates of pay necessary to recruit and retainer the drivers who are so desperately needed and a secure livelihood likely to give every reason for becoming an HGV driver
What can you expect?
In order to become a qualified, professional lorry driver, of course, you need to demonstrate a basic proficiency by passing the tests to gain the relevant licence issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). And any attempt to drive without the necessary licence is going to invalidate the HGV insurance on the vehicle.
The driving tests comprise a series of theory and hazard perception, followed by a practical driving test.
When you have gained the licence and intend to work as a professional driver, you also need to get your Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC). In order to maintain the validity of your Driver CPC, you need to undertake a minimum of 35 hours ongoing training every 5 years.
What this helps to underline is that lorry driving tends to be a constant and ever-changing challenge – you might have the basic licence, together with the appropriate professional status, but there are still interesting and challenging days ahead, for probably the rest of your career.
With the additional skills you may be able to develop you might get to drive with hazardous goods or particularly fragile loads, for instance, and earn further bonuses on your regular salary.
At the heart of your job as an HGV driver is the knowledge that you are doing a job on which practically aspect of life in the UK depends – whether that is the direct demand for deliveries of the food we eat, the clothing we wear, the hospital supplies we need or the furniture, books and equipment needed by our schools; or the raw materials, plant and machinery necessary for manufacturing and packaging those goods.
With the knowledge that so many people are depending on you, it may be little surprised that you enjoy a heightened sense of self worth and a pride in the work that you do.
If the life of an HGV driver seems to be one for you, therefore, you might want to organise your training now.