Best Practices and Safety Tips for HGV Drivers

Congratulations on getting your HGV licence and landing a job as a HGV driver. It is an exciting career and you need to be properly equipped with some crucial attributes to thrive in it. With the practical skills you have that earned you the licence, you might also be wondering, can I drive a bus on HGV licence? The following is a collection of tips on best practices that will enhance your safety as a HGV driver.

Planning Your Route

Any kind of job requires proper planning. As a HGV driver, you will probably be on the road for long hours, and mapping out your route ahead of your journey is a crucial task. Setting up navigation maps saves you time and fuel as it reduces the chances of missing exits for example. As you prep and plan, set aside time for rest tops to eat and rejuvenate as well as fuel your vehicle.

Take Breaks

Long-distance driving can be exhausting and tedious. Alertness is a necessity and as a HGV driver it cannot be achieved if you for long distances without taking regular breaks to rest. Exhaustion not only poses a health risk to you as a driver but you could also be endangering the lives of other road users. Some HGVs have a tachograph that monitors how you drive and not following stipulated driving rules could lead to you paying hefty fines. Enough rest helps you to remain attentive to your surroundings.

Ensure Your Loads are Secure

Perform a check on your HGV before commencing your journey to ensure that your loads are firmly secured. Not securing your loads can lead to your vehicle being unstable, and loss of goods among other worse eventualities. Be aware of the height of your trailer to prevent bridge collisions. Avoid squeezing into a bridge whose height you are not sure of to avoid getting stuck and disrupting traffic. Do not overload your vehicle as well.

Perform Vehicle Checks and Maintenance

Perform a full vehicle check of your HGV to be sure that it is fit for the road. This should be a daily affair before you begin your journey. Your tyres, lights, and mirrors among other vehicle parts should be perfectly working. This reduces your chances of being involved in an accident.

Be Careful of Your Tail Swing

At the same time, ensure that you do not navigate tight turns unless when it is absolutely necessary. Even so, be sure that your HGV’s tail has enough room to complete the action without snagging onto objects or hitting another vehicle.

Avoid Distractions

This calls for alertness. Your mind can be tempted to wander off especially if you are alone in the vehicle you are driving. Do not use your phone while driving and avoid loud music as this could easily distract you. Be conscious of other motorists and read their signals. This will help you anticipate and avoid accidents while driving your HGV.

Do Not Tailgate

Ensure there is a safe distance between your vehicle and the one that is in front of you. Although you may not be in a position to prevent the car behind you from tailgating your vehicle, doing your part reduces the chances of getting into an accident; should you need to hit your emergency brakes.

Do Not Over-Speed

Speed can be thrilling but it can also kill. Drive within the set speed limits to promote your safety and that of other road users.

Finally, if you experience any challenges while driving your HGV, be sure to ask those around you. If you missed your route, you should pull over at a designated area and politely ask for help from those around you. Remember to be mindful of other road users while at it.