HGV driving is a profession that offers a number of advantages, including independence, travel and a competitive salary. Not to mention that there is currently a nationwide shortage of drivers and therefore a demand for new people to consider the career. Although there are permanent positions available, many HGV drivers choose to work via an agency. This allows workers to pick and choose the jobs that they want, allowing for much more freedom and the ability to make your own hours.
With this in mind, here are some top tips on how to be the best Agency HGV driver and stand out for all the right reasons.
It may seem obvious, but professionalism can make a huge difference in how you are seen and ultimately, how far you progress within your career. This means treating everyone around you with respect and being friendly and polite.
You can also showcase professionalism in how you deal with a problem. Whether it’s an issue with a customer, a fellow driver or even your boss, it should be discussed calmly and respectfully in private. Those that take these problems into the public sphere, for example, on social media, could very easily earn themselves a bad reputation.
As an agency driver, you will no doubt build a base of core customers who you will continually work for. Loyalty is a two-way street, if these customers are loyal to you, try and return the favour as and when you can. It can be easy to drop customers in favour of those who pay more, but this isn’t always the smartest move. Guaranteed, regular work from a trusted customer is always going to be more reliable than a higher paid job that could be temporary.
Good organisation and record-keeping are fantastic habits to get in to. Keep a diary and note down key information such as start and end times, mileage and anything unusual that may happen during the working day. This will not only showcase you as a proactive and reliable employee, but it will also provide evidence should any dispute come about. It’s also recommended that you regularly download your digi-cards as this is concrete evidence of the work you’ve done.
Staying informed on all aspects of HGV driving will not only make you better at your job, it will also illustrate a dedication to the profession and help you to stand out from the pack. When it comes to the highway code and Croner’s, it’s important to have a decent working knowledge so you can drive safely in accordance with the law. Obviously, the more you study these materials, the more comprehensive your knowledge will become.
When it comes to expanding your skills, the CPC courses are ideal. They may seem like a chore, but they can be incredibly useful.
Within a working environment, reliable employees are worth their weight in gold. In the case of HGV driving, reliable means consistent, proactive, and basically being the driver everyone can count on. So, for example, being open to extra work or agreeing to take over shifts from other drivers. Obviously, this doesn’t mean being a pushover but striking that balance between independence and being a team-player.
When it comes to remaining compliant with all the relevant rules and regulation of HGV driving, there’s no wiggle room. This means acquiring and regularly updating your HGV Operators License. It also means registering with HMRC and keeping up to date with self-assessment and tax payments. The vast majority of employers do not want to work with drivers who aren’t fully compliant with the law.
Taxes, particularly self-assessment, can be complicated and time-consuming. If you’re having any issues with this aspect of self-employment or you’d just like to someone to help speed up the process and take some of the workload, it may be beneficial to work with an accountant. Accountants are well versed in this area and provide peace of mind that your taxes are in the right hands.