Ogg’s Haulage Volvo FH12 waiting to collect packaged timber at New Holland Dock, England – Photo Courtesy: David Wright
When you are talking to your careers advisor, you will be flooded with suggestions of career ideas, but one that may not be so obvious is a job within the haulage and freight industry as an HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) driver.
It doesnâ€™t sound too glamorous, but there is plenty of work in the sector and it doesnâ€™t seem to have been affected by the economic problems like other industries have. So you are very likely to find work once you are trained in the right areas!
Youâ€™ll need to pass your test and learn how to drive a big lorry, but once you know your stuff youâ€™ll get plenty of work. Once youâ€™ve got a job, youâ€™ll be allocated a lorry and you will be in charge of delivering goods far and wide. You will spend the large majority of your career on the road, so you need to be the sort of person that likes travelling, as well as liking your own company!
Itâ€™s not a 9-5 job by any means â€“ you will be expected to drive through the night to meet deadlines (though you will be forced to stop for breaks along the way to protect your health). So shift work will be a continuous part of your job. If shift work sounds like a downside to you then itâ€™s probably not the best job for you â€“ most people choose HGV driving because the shift work fits in with their lifestyle.
So youâ€™re ok with shift work, you donâ€™t mind the hours and you donâ€™t mind your own company… what are the disadvantages then? Well, itâ€™s quite high-risk â€“ because youâ€™ll be on the road for long periods of time, you are at higher risk of accident or injury whilst driving. Although legalities insist that you must stop for regular breaks, a lot of lorry drivers still feel quite tired when they are driving because their body-clocks are out of sync.
What About The Upsides?
A long haul truck on a freeway overpass, looking east, shortly after Sunrise in Nar Nar Goon,Â Gippsland, Victoria, Australia – Photo Courtesy: Simon Yeo
If you love travelling then this is a great way to see loads of new places by road. You may well get international work that will take you to loads of exciting new countries. Many drivers are keen travellers too and they use their long-haul trips as an excuse to find out about new places â€“ some even blog about them! Some drivers use their spare time on the road to post pictures and videos of their surroundings, and of course there is often the time between driving stints to go and visit some local attractions. Youâ€™ll also meet loads of other HGV drivers â€“ they all look out for each other so if you break down or come unstuck it wonâ€™t be long before a trucker stops to help you out.
If you think you can handle being an HGV driver then the first step is to look into how to go about training for it. Have a look online and see where the nearest course is being run to you, and make initial contact to see if you can go along and speak to someone about it.
Liz Powers, theÂ author of this article, works inÂ GKR Transport, a well-known transport, storage and distribution services provider company in Western Australia. She’s a tech enthusiast andÂ enjoys reading various tech magazines in her spare time. Â