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The driver of a Royal Mail lorry narrowly escaped problems when he stopped short of a disused railway bridge on Embankment Road in Plymouth. It turns out that the height clearance on the bridge was 16 feet while the lorry was 16 feet and 1 inch. Fortunately, the driver decided not to attempt to get under the bridge anyway.

Local police received a call from the driver at about 8:50 pm on 25 November. The responding officers blocked traffic in both directions, allowing the driver to reverse the lorry safely to a point where he could make a U-turn and drive off. The road was reopened shortly after 9.00 pm. Residents were thankful, as it could have been worse.

Several times every year lorry drivers become stuck under bridges after not paying attention to clearance signs. Experts say much of the problem is due to drivers paying attention to sat nav devices rather than signage. Unfortunately, such devices are not always accurate in terms of bridge clearance, weight restrictions, and other obstacles lorry drivers face.

In this case, traffic was interrupted for only a few minutes rather than the several hours it would have taken to clear had the truck been stuck under the bridge. Whether the Royal Mail driver stopped short as a result of his HGV driver training or just plain common sense, his wise decision averted a  much more serious situation.

Always Remain Alert

Our complements to the Royal Mail driver for remaining alert as he approached the bridge. That type of awareness is something we encourage in those drivers who take classes at the HGV Training Centre. We know that the driver who is alert and paying attention to things like signage and road conditions is a driver that will be safer in the long run. It’s drivers that behave carelessly behind the wheel that cause the majority of the problems.

At the HGV Training Centre, we pride ourselves in always providing thorough and comprehensive training to both commercial and private drivers. We train commercial drivers to operate a full range of vehicles including articulated lorries, box trucks, horseboxes and horsebox trailers, heavy construction equipment, coaches and buses, forklifts, and more. Private drivers use us for training with small trailers and caravans.

The key to our training lies in our fast-paced and intense approach. We believe this is the best way to teach students what they need to learn to pass their tests the first time, without burdening them with unnecessary information. Our 92% first-time pass rate for the PCV theory test shows our approach is successful.

We invite you to contact the HGV Training Centre for all of your commercial driving instruction needs. HGV driver training classes are available at more than 45 facilities around the UK. We make every effort to ensure the process is as easy and comfortable as possible for each student, including providing assistance with paperwork and sending one of our trainers to the practical skills test.


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