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Career change.. HGV driver?

Discussion in 'Careers, Employment and Professional Development' started by bainbridge, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. bainbridge

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 9, 2009

    Posts: 3,372

    Location: Bristol

    Hi all

    I'm getting tired of being stuck indoors doing an office job in the insurance industry and am considering training as an HGV driver. I originally trained as a bricklayer and after completing my apprenticeship worked as a builder for 5 years before deciding it wasn't for me and I sort of fell into insurance 15 years ago.

    The thing is I've never liked being in an office and although I get on with everyone I prefer my own space. There's 300 of us in a massive office, everyone seems to know what everyone else is doing but I'd rather just do my job well.

    I've always liked driving, I've done a couple of trips to Europe by car and quite enjoyed being on the road all day. Obviously as a job it'll be different but I think it'll tick a lot of boxes for me.

    Has anyone else decided to switch jobs and become an hgv driver?

    Any comments welcome.
     
  2. jsmoke

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 17, 2012

    Posts: 8,547

    I'm on my way. Cat C, then later on Cat CE. Don't know if I'm doing the right thing but apparently a shortage of jobs and quite well paid, or at least it can be. AMA.

    I haven't even driven a car for years also, so need to get back on the road. I'm hoping it all works out.

    I definately have my fears, driving through a built up area and making a mess of it etc, or reversing. Can you imagine crashing or getting stuck in a city centre or build up place, absolute nightmare. The embarrasment and shame would be overkill not to mention the possible criminal conviction, fine , ban from driving and loss of job.
     
  3. Jasoncmor

    Hitman

    Joined: Feb 13, 2010

    Posts: 539

    I've heard the horrors of lorry drivers going out to do a delivery and the customer has said there is access to the property, and when the lorry driver arrives, there is no access and he is basically stuck.

    The lorry drivers ive seen are very skillful at reversing, i assume its something they teach you while your doing the training?
     
  4. d_brennen

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 30, 2009

    Posts: 15,373

    Location: Aquilonem Londinensi

    Respect to the men and women who do it but I can't imagine anything worse than crawling up and down the motorways of the country day in day out. The sheer number of idiots on the road would give me an aneurysm
     
  5. jsmoke

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 17, 2012

    Posts: 8,547

    Well that's the thing, the training is only 20 hours and I think around 5 hours or thereabout is for reversing, do you think that's renough?
     
  6. davieg

    Hitman

    Joined: Apr 28, 2010

    Posts: 724

    I managed to block a big junction in middle of Manchester when my wagon decided to just die and everything lock up half way through turning right, was about my 3rd or 4th week on the job, was sat there a few hours with a pretty red face and folk asking why i wasnt moving... After a while doing it you dont seem to worry about this stuff anymore. Ignore folk moaning and take your time and youll be alright.
     
  7. Jonny ///M

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004

    Posts: 9,921

    Something I've been looking into at the moment too.

    Originally I was looking at an apprenticeship hgv mechanic role but I don't think I could get by on the £200 a week for two or three years now that I have bills and commitments.

    I know a few guys that do work delivering beer to pubs locally and another who does wetherspoons. Both are relatively normal hours, close to 9-5 which would suit me.

    I don't fancy doing overnights but could get along fine doing long trip down and back same day.

    No idea where to start though! Will keep an eye out in here.
     
  8. jsmoke

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 17, 2012

    Posts: 8,547

    Start of with a medical, get an eye test first then apply for provosional license.
     
  9. SixTwoSix

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 14, 2007

    Posts: 10,357

    Location: Rugby

    At least 8 people from my workplace have left to do HGV driving in the last 4 years and I know of two more trained without work yet.

    Maybe @Scania could offer some advice
     
  10. Scania

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 25, 2004

    Posts: 23,991

    Location: On the road....

    The training teaches you to pass the test, just that tbh, you only gain experience by getting into situations out on the road and then finding a way out of it again (if you can!)

    You take your time and keep calm, if it’s all going wrong just sit back, have a breather and go again, if you let it stress can overwhelm you in this job, I learned years back that your paid by the hour, so long as you start work on time the rest of the days delays are not your cause nor ultimately concern, if a delivery is going to be late for say a traffic delay you phone the office and let them deal with it.

    Never put your foot down to get the job done, it’s your license your risking and the faster you do things the more you’ll be expected to do, until the day you inevitably have an accident and once they realise you were speeding, it’s bye job, license and if you kill or injure someone, your liberty - why drivers do this (speed around given the risks) for ~ £10 per hour is beyond me!

    It’s a job you never stop learning in, anybody who thinks they know it all usually knows nothing, the day you stop learning is the day you stop driving (same can be said of many jobs tbh but driving especially)

    You’ll need to enjoy your own company, you’ll work long hours (I did 12hours yesterday and regarded it as an early finish!) the pay isn’t great per hour, you make it up by doing the hours.

    On the plus side, assuming you enjoy driving (many drivers don’t believe it or not!) your paid to spend the day in something like this (eventually) :D

    [​IMG]

    I’ve been an hgv driver for 22years, driven professionally for 28years, prior to that I had a brief career in retail and then car sales , wouldn’t go back.

    Your only generally viewed as a professional when you do something wrong, I’m the eyes of others be it your delivery points or other road users your just a knuckle dragger.


    If I’ve not put you off and you have any more questions,don’t hesitate to ask. :p
     
  11. Jonny ///M

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004

    Posts: 9,921

    I've applied for the two forms through the gov website and will get an eye test as the mrs needs one too.

    I just need a change so money isn't the main driver, I think I'm on about the same hourly but a chance of doing longer shifts or overtime won't go amiss.

    Having witnessed 4+ slow artic vs artic overtakes on a few miles of the M74 today I possibly hate my future self haha
     
  12. LeMson

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 21, 2012

    Posts: 2,825

  13. Quartz

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 1, 2014

    Posts: 10,021

    Location: Aberdeen

    Jeebus! Do you really earn that little? Or is that the starter rate?
     
  14. Jonny ///M

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004

    Posts: 9,921

    Is everyone meant to be on £500 a day in the UK or something?
     
  15. Scania

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 25, 2004

    Posts: 23,991

    Location: On the road....

    I’ve been driving artics since 2004,I’m on £10.50 p/hr.

    Eddie Stobart (who some think are the pinnacle) pay just under £8.70 p/hr which they bump up by a tax free daily meal allowance of £15 which is all well & good but you don’t get this when you get holiday or sick pay!

    The rate is generally crap, across the board, you make your money by doing between 60-70hrs per week.

    You can earn more pulling hazardous loads like chemicals / fuel etc or doing specialist haulage - oversized loads etc - but such jobs are usually dead mans shoes as such.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
  16. jsmoke

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 17, 2012

    Posts: 8,547

    What do you mean by dead man's shoes?
     
  17. Scania

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 25, 2004

    Posts: 23,991

    Location: On the road....

    It’s a term where a job is so popular / coveted that vacancies only crop up when an employee dies hence the term. :)
     
  18. jsmoke

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 17, 2012

    Posts: 8,547

    I pretty much got it just checking.
     
  19. inflames

    Hitman

    Joined: Oct 15, 2016

    Posts: 654

    My uncle has been an HGV driver for many years, he loves it. He told once that is his first year he screwed up a few times but you learn from your mistakes. For a long period he also done long haul driving across to main land Europe he loved that. I considered it a few years ago, but i didn't like the idea being away from my young kids so much.
     
  20. Lovely1093

    Associate

    Joined: May 15, 2019

    Posts: 1

    I’ve recently had a medical and applied for a provisional to begin my journey to become a HGV driver. End goal multi car transportation hopefully!

    Just curious as to people’s opinions on how Brexit will affect the industry?