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In 2007, the Guardian published an excellent piece profiling what it is like to be an HGV driver. The article looked specifically at one driver whose job had him on the road, away from home, five days per week. It was an excellent article that gave readers a little bit of insight into the types of things HGV drivers face every day.

Based on the Guardian article and our own experience, here are the top five things HGV drivers wish the rest of us knew:

5. Lorries Are Difficult to Manoeuvre – This may seem obvious, yet the average UK driver becomes very impatient when a lorry operator has to block traffic for a few minutes in order to manoeuvre a trailer. It’s understandable that car drivers can be impatient when traffic is blocked. Nonetheless, getting angry with the lorry driver will not help him manoeuvre his vehicle any faster.

4. Lorries Require Greater Braking Distance – When being followed by an HGV, car and motorbike drivers need to be aware of their own potentially dangerous actions. Where a typical car may only need 100 ft. or so to stop, a fully laden truck needs at least three times that distance. Also, be patient as HGV drivers slow down in their approach to intersections.

3. Speed is Regulated – One of the biggest concerns among HGV drivers is a belief that car and motorbike operators do not realise the speed of their larger vehicles is regulated. The law restricts how fast lorries and other HGVs can travel; some companies even enforce those regulations by installing an electronic device that will not allow the vehicle to exceed the speed.

2. Field of Vision Impairments – Because of the size of lorries and other large vehicles, drivers are somewhat limited in their field of vision. HGV drivers certainly have to pay attention and be on the lookout for others at all times. However, pedestrians and other drivers also need to make sure they can be easily seen.

1. The Road Belongs to All – The driver profiled by the Guardian in 2007 was noticeably frustrated by non-commercial drivers who seem to fail to understand the road belongs to everyone. He told the paper he didn’t worry much about other HGV drivers, but he did worry a lot about those operating cars, vans, and motorbikes. He further told the Guardian that he wished other drivers would understand lorry operators are just doing their jobs. They are not purposely trying to inconvenience people or get in the way.

Despite the things listed above, we do not want to give you the impression that being a commercial lorry driver is a bad job. It’s not. In fact, the driver interviewed by the Guardian made it clear that he loves his job. Commercial driving is an opportunity to enjoy being on the road, see new places, meet new people, and experience different things every day. And it’s a career choice with plenty of stability and opportunity.


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