Are you familiar with all of the challenges your HGV drivers face on a day-to-day basis? Some are so intrinsic to LGV driving that even your drivers take them for granted as ‘just part of the job’. Here are just five examples of the challenges HGV drivers face, and some advice you could share with your drivers to help them overcome these difficulties.
Challenge 1: Deviating from the planned route
Planning the best route is vital to the delivery fulfilment process, as it impacts on time, cost, safety, and customer relations, amongst other things. There is complexity involved in route planning itself, with many factors to consider, including load type, delivery type, vehicle weight, customer site, time of day, distance, rest requirements, and low emissions zones. However, even the best-laid plans can go awry on the roads.
Top Tip: When it’s not possible to follow the planned route, make sure drivers know to look up the proposed alternative in an LGV-specific road atlas (not a car atlas) and check how it will impact fuel usage and drivers’ hours compliance.
Challenge 2: Information from the sat-nav route LGV-friendly?
Sat-nav is a useful tool, but can you be confident that the route it is providing is LGV-friendly? There have been too many news stories about HGV’s getting into tight spots, striking bridges, or causing damage on rural roads not built to support their size or weight as a result of following sat nav systems programmed for cars, or with outdated maps.
Top Tip: Supply your drivers with a dedicated HGV device, ideally one that is integrated with route planning software used at the transport office. Ensure that they do not use their own. Moreover, ensure drivers are correctly trained so they do not need to rely 100% on sat-nav systems anyway.
Challenge 3: Avoiding bridge strikes
As mentioned above, bridge strikes remain a significant problem across the rail network, and incidents can cause death or serious injury to road and rail users, as well as having serious financial implications. In the unfortunate event of a bridge strike, your driver should be aware of the correct procedure to follow, including reporting the incident to all relevant authorities, not attempting to move their vehicle, and ensuring the public are kept at a distance.
Top Tip: The best cure in this case is prevention. With correct route planning, road sign knowledge and certainty of their vehicle height, drivers can avoid bridge strikes. All of these areas can be covered in Driver CPC training. Remember, there may be instances where bridge height information is inaccurate, so drivers should also be trained to assess the situation, reducing the risks of blindly following the signs.
Challenge 4: Knowing the highway code
Every highway user, from LGV drivers to cyclists and even pedestrians, should know and follow the highway code, but many are not as familiar as they should be. The consequences of disobeying rules can be fines, disqualification, and even prison, while failure to follow advice can be used as evidence against you in court proceedings to establish liability. Do your drivers know what parts of the Highway Code are rules and which are guidance only?
Top Tip: Make sure drivers know it is their personal responsibility to keep their knowledge of the highway code up to date. However, support them by giving them a reminder. Where relevant, discuss the rules, guidance, and any changes during training. You could also periodically message them links to the Highway Code website and social media channels to help them keep up with changes.
Challenge 5: Minimise risks to those working roadside
An alarming number of road users, LGV drivers included, admit to not being safety-conscious enough when negotiating roadworks, or recovery operations. Many confess to exceeding speed limits set to protect roadworkers, or not paying any attention to workers at all. Professional LGV drivers have an important part to play in protecting and reducing the risk to roadside workers.
Top Tip: When driving past roadworks or recovery sites, LGV drivers should remember to be aware, keep their distance, slow down, look out for the roadworkers and consider the weather conditions (for visibility and stopping distances). To give drivers a refresher on best practice in this area, you could use Driver CPC Periodic Training hours.
More help and advice for LGV drivers
These are just a few examples of the challenges LGV drivers face on a daily basis. For more advice to help your LGV drivers, why not incorporate the our Driver CPC Periodic Training module, titled “Overcoming Daily Driving Challenges” into your training?
This Driver CPC Periodic training module is broken down into four clear topics:
• Route Planning
• Highway code
• Bridge strikes
• Roadworks and Traffic
Available now to RTITB Master Driver CPC Consortium members, via our Driver CPC Periodic training portal, this module is designed to help Professional LGV drivers to identify and overcome challenges and avoid risks, helping them feel supported and confident in their roles.
Driver CPC Periodic Training is a requirement for your LGV drivers, but our Driver CPC modules are developed to ensure that they feel engaged, and benefit as much as possible.
If you’re not yet a member of the RTITB Driver CPC Consortium, try a free 30-day demo to see if it’s right for you and your business.
Struggling to arrange training for multiple depots?
At RTITB, we can now arrange for all of an organisation’s Driver CPC Periodic Training to be delivered across the UK within one service.
Our new nationwide service will help businesses with multiple depots and transport hubs save hours spent managing training time, without compromising quality.
So don’t delay! Make your Driver CPC count today!