Looking to Be an HGV Driver? This Is What You Can Expect

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In haulage, jobs are not exactly thin on the ground; in the UK, it’s estimated that there is a current shortage of around 60,000 HGV drivers, and this could be as high as 150,000 by 2020. Those are some staggering figures that will have a heavy impact on the industry’s ability to deliver top-quality services, but most staggering of all is why there are so few people keen to take up jobs in this sector. Being an HGV driver carries a hefty load of perks and benefits, and the government is doing more to promote this…

Considering making a move to a different wheel? If not, maybe you should!

Why So Few Drivers?

First, let’s take a look at the reasons why there are so many haulage jobs going spare. A major factor is that there is an ageing workforce, and among younger UK workers there has been a lot of competition in recent years from workers across Europe which has led to a lowering of wages. Drivers have also had to increasingly undergo higher levels of training as a result of new EU directives and regulations, such as the Drivers CPC, which also carries an added cost for new drivers before they can qualify and start gaining an income.

However, one of the central reasons is that the haulage industry is performing well above its weight and producing high demand, which means it’s taking time for many of the newly opened up gaps to be filled. There are some big opportunities available for those ready to step up to the plate. The job certainly involves its fair share of long hours, which are off-putting to some, but it carries just as many benefits as there are drawbacks.

Why You Should Consider Becoming an HGV Driver

For new, young drivers, the first hurdle is getting through training and keeping up with the costs this incurs, but this is becoming less and less of an obstacle. The Government is introducing funding to firms to support new entrants (similar to student loan funding) to help overcome the initial costs of training and qualifying as a driver. They are also increasing training and promotional programmes to give even better support and guidance to new drivers.

Once you’re behind the wheel, you can expect great salary progression to drive you forward: starters can typically expect an initial salary of between £18-22,000, before moving up to bands of £23-28,000. The most experienced drivers, meanwhile, are able to take home pay-packets of up to £35,000. These jobs come with many opportunities for overtime, and earnings are on the rise: in April 2017, there was an average salary increase of £201 a year, or 8% of earnings. This looks set to only get better as time goes on.

As for the hours you work, on average these are between 37 and 42 a week, but these will often be balanced differently across each week, giving drivers a good degree of variety. Longer hours spread over only a couple of days means the chance of having more days off work each week, and being able to structure your time in a way that better suits you and your family.

Becoming One of the Hauliers

Still not sure whether switching to haulage jobs is best for you? Joining a freight exchange like Haulage Exchange is great for seeking out further advice from other professionals in the industry. Becoming part of a 15,000 member-strong network is perfect for any new haulier looking to start out and grow their business. Why not take a look today – maybe you’ll see where your next job is!
About author: Desiree Michels

Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage jobs with available drivers. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.

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