Top 10 Qualities of a Great Lorry Driver
What are the key traits that turn a good lorry driver into a great one – and how many of them do you already have? Read on to find out...
1. Education and Training
Starting with the basics, every lorry driver needs to pass the four Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) tests, complete 35 hours of CPC training every five years, and pass a medical fitness test.
But in many companies, your education won’t stop there. If there are driver training programmes where you work, it’s vital to take them seriously and take full advantage of them to learn as much as you can about the company and the work.
There’s a lot of sitting around in this job. You’ll often find yourself stuck in traffic, delayed by a customer taking longer than usual, or unable to get a break at your usual truck stop because it’s full. You can find yourself with a puncture or a mechanical issue. You have to be able to keep your cool – rushing on the road makes you a danger to yourself and others.
3. Stress-Management Skills
Truckers have a reputation for being tough, but a great trucker knows real resilience under stress takes more than just gritting your teeth. When things get difficult with your coworkers, your customers, your home life or your life on the road, you need some stress-management skills up your sleeve.
Find out what works for you, whether it’s exercise, meditation, healthy eating, listening to your favourite music, talking to your family, or even just thinking about them.
4. Alertness & Awareness
If you snooze on the road, you could lose your life – and so could others. Train yourself to be alert and aware of the traffic around you, the weather conditions, road quality, and the state of your truck and trailer. Use all of your senses – an unusual sound, smell, or vibration could be a vital warning sign.
5. Time-Management Skills
Tracking your time efficiently will enable you to get orders delivered on time, take your breaks when you need them, and get home to your family. Make sure you pre-plan your routes and when you’ll make stops.
As a lorry driver, you’re being trusted with a lot of responsibility. Make sure you step up and demonstrate your reliability by getting work done on time, asking for help when needed, understanding safety requirements, and making sure your deliveries arrive in the best possible shape.
7. Customer Service
While lorry driving is a great career for introverts, it’s still a people-facing role. Providing cheerful, friendly and helpful service to your customers when you deliver their goods will make you a great driver.
8. Communication Skills
When things go wrong, being able to communicate calmly, clearly and professionally with dispatch, your boss, your customers and your colleagues – not to mention your family – will go a long way.
9. Mechanical Knowledge
Sometimes the thing that goes wrong is your truck. Being able to do minor maintenance yourself can save you a lot of time and stress. It’ll also help you stay compliant with safety standards.
Most of your time on the road will be spent on your own, with nobody else to rely on. Great truck drivers have a sense of independence that enables them to solve problems on their own.