8 Key Skills You Need To Be an HGV Driver

Most people can drive a car with just a bit of experience and instruction, but it’s a whole different ballgame when it comes to HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) driving. HGV drivers are not merely point-A-to-point-B drivers. They’re clear-headed, vigilant, and adaptable.

Think you have what it takes to succeed as an HGV driver? Take a look at these top skills and characteristics that every HGV driver needs to have:

The Ability To Operate Alone and Be Self-sufficient

Part of the appeal of HGV driving, particularly long-distance travel, is the personal independence it provides. Some coworkers enviously wish they could spend most of their days alone, in complete control of their driving and vehicle.

HGV drivers often spend long periods alone behind the wheel, therefore they must be able to cope with being alone and being solely responsible for the truck and the items it conveys. If you’re the type of person who needs constant interaction and a bustling office to get through the day, you might struggle in this field. For readers in London check out London HGV training.


An HGV driver must remain vigilant at all times and be ready to react quickly to changing road and driving circumstances. They must make certain that they are well-rested and capable of doing the task at hand. This is a significant concern because drivers who are half asleep or simply careless while behind the wheel can cause serious fatal accidents; that are a danger to other road users and even to themselves.

Geographical Awareness

If you’re naturally will all that’s happening around you, then you will have no trouble operating an HGV in confined spaces. HGVs are big trucks; you need to be spatially aware when navigating tight roadways. Moreover, you have to always be alert, anticipating risks such as street furniture or pedestrians. For most drivers, this skill is quickly acquired when learning how to drive an HGV.


If the sight of another motorist doing anything stupid makes your blood pressure rise, a career on the road is probably not for you. An HGV driver must be able to control his or her anger and this bottling up of issues can be bad for your health if you’re short-tempered.

If you think poor driving from others is annoying, try being an HGV driver. You always have to take the higher road and provide such drivers with lots of time and space (particularly learner, new, and elderly drivers). This will result in a safer driving environment and it has to be second nature.

Technically Savvy

You don’t have to be a mechanic, but it helps to have a basic understanding of your vehicle in case something goes wrong. You could be alone in the middle of nowhere! More crucially, these abilities can assist you in recognizing problems before they occur, allowing you to take tactical action and avoid the time spent waiting for fixes.

Excellent Customer Service Skills

When dealing with clients who are shipping or receiving items carried in the vehicle, HGV drivers must have outstanding customer service abilities. You are the company’s public face, therefore you must be on top of your game.

A Sense of Responsibility

A good sense of responsibility is required of an HGV driver. If items were destroyed as a result of the driver’s driving style, which was obvious to everyone, you should accept responsibility rather than brazenly lying to someone’s face (especially an employer).


You should be able to load and unload items with ease. Some of the commodities can be very heavy, requiring someone strong to handle them without difficulty. Drivers also require energy for the long travels that a vacation entails, which means they should preferably be free of any back problems that could cause pain and distract them while driving.

Bottom Line: Becoming a Great HGV Driver

HGV drivers must be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license, and have completed and passed their Driver CPC before becoming certified HGV Drivers. More than that, however, it has to come naturally to them and that involves being equipped with these vital skills and characteristics!