For most people getting an HGV driving job after passing the HGV driving test can be a veritable nightmare.
The majority of employers and agencies want experienced drivers over the age of 25. This can quickly close the door of opportunity for many younger HGV drivers.
A lot of insurance companies are reluctant to insure drivers under the age of 25 unless the companies agree to pay a larger premium or take on a bigger excess and (frankly) companies are reluctant to take that risk.
Those over the age of 25 will have the experience issue to overcome especially when they may be competing against out of work drivers who have that experience. Currently in the HGV jobs market it is a buyers market (employers can pick and choose). Put it this way, if you were an employer would you choose a Driver who has many years driving experience compared to one who does not?
It is not all doom and gloom however. To begin with it’s a numbers game. The more HGV job vacancies you apply for the more chance you have of getting an HGV job. Remember all HGV drivers start off at the same point, i.e. have a licence but no experience.
Also, there are some employers who like to train and mould a newly qualified driver to their way of doing things. These tend to be the larger employers who have their own training sections. When desperate for a driver the agencies will usually get the first driver who says yes to the job offered so be prepared at all times providing you can safely drive and are legally able. There is no limit to the number of agencies that you can sign up to so go for as many as possible in your area.
Many experienced drivers do not relish doing certain shifts such as nights or nights out so the more flexible you are then there is the likelihood of more work being offered to you. Please be aware that not all people are able to sleep properly when doing shift or night work so the priority should be on safety – Do not drive if tired.
Taking copies of your CV to various companies may pay off especially if you can have a quick chat with the person who does the hiring. Be prepared to start immediately so take all your gear, including night out gear, with you as well as both parts of your licence, digicard and DQC if you have one. Your CV should include things like driving experience whether that be in your own vehicle or perhaps van work as it might just give you the edge over another applicant.
Smart but casual seems to be what most recommend when meeting those who might be able to offer you employment but always carry your working gear in the boot, just in case. Gaining the C+E or perhaps a HIAB may open up more opportunities in your area so have a good look through the jobsites so you know what sort of work is being advertised near you. There is no point in paying for something like the ADR if there are not any ADR jobs being advertised within your selected commuting distance.
Commuting time should be taken into account when accepting a position as this will reduce the amount of time you have for rest and sleep.
Don’t give up. There is only a very tiny minority who never get that first foot on the ladder.
For more information on a career as an HGV driver visit www.nolgvbrokers.co.uk today.
This post has been written by Roger Ewens. Roger is an approved HGV Assessor and an authorative figure at giving good HGV training and career advice.