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As a leading provider of HGV training, we know all too well how tiring it can be to spend 8 to 10 hours every day behind the wheel of a large commercial vehicle. So it’s not surprising to us that some industry experts are urging drivers to be cautious about accepting overtime hours during the next five or six weeks. Overtime is not abnormal in the lead up to Christmas, but the driver shortage this year is expected to result in more available hours compared to years past.

A number of prominent haulage companies are already saying the driver shortage will prevent them from keeping up with demand during the busy shopping season. They are hoping drivers are able to manage themselves and their time off in order to accommodate taking an extra shift or two.

As you know, the law prevents drivers from exceeding a certain amount of miles or time in any 24-hour period. There are also restrictions regarding how many total hours a driver can work in a seven-day stretch compared to the number of consecutive hours off and the amount of time dedicated to sleep. As HGV UK points out, some drivers may have trouble properly managing the schedules when they add overtime hours to a ‘four on, four off’ schedule.

truck driver training

Company owners and managers have a legal responsibility to ensure their drivers are not working more than they should. By the same token, drivers also are responsible for making sure they are physically fit to drive at the start of a shift. If they have not had enough sleep, they may have to inform employers they are unable to come to work.

A Balancing Act

The opportunity to earn extra money through overtime hours is tempting, especially at a time of year when all of us could use a little extra money to support our holiday plans. Professional drivers are free to take extra work hours within the framework of current regulations, but they have to be sure they are fit to drive. It is a balancing act for sure.

We agree with the experts in urging caution during the busy Christmas shopping season. A little caution in the short term may mean a happier holiday season for everyone involved.

As for new drivers, the current shortage means there is no lack of work out there. If you are interested in earning your licence through our training programmes, we can have you looking for work in a matter of weeks rather than months. We offer HGV training in Pembrokeshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and throughout the UK. We operate more than 45 facilities staffed by experienced drivers committed to helping you get to work as a professional driver.

Our training classes focus on technical driving skills as well as safety. We are committed to producing the best drivers in the business – drivers who will go on to enjoy long and productive careers in the haulage and transport industries.

Sources:

  1. HGV UK – http://www.hgvuk.com/?p=18198

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