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What Is HGV Tramping & HGV Trunking?

Welcome to this comprehensive guide on two essential aspects of Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) driving: HGV tramping and HGV trunking.

As one of the cornerstones of the British economy, HGVs play an indispensable role in supply chain logistics and the transportation of goods across the country.

Given the significance of the profession, it’s crucial to understand the different types of HGV driving roles available, as each offers its own set of benefits and challenges.

Whether you’re a seasoned HGV driver looking to change your career direction or someone considering entering this vital industry, you’ve likely come across the terms “Tramping” and “Trunking.”

These two styles of HGV driving are quite distinct in their job responsibilities, work schedules, and lifestyle implications.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the intricacies of both, aiming to equip you with the knowledge to make an informed career choice.

What is HGV Tramping?

HGV Tramping refers to a specific style of HGV driving that often involves long-haul deliveries across great distances, sometimes even spanning multiple countries.

Unlike more localised roles, tramping requires the driver to spend extended periods away from home, often staying overnight in their vehicle or in accommodation provided by the employer. This is done because of the rules regarding HGV driver hours.

In this role, drivers are responsible for transporting a variety of goods from one location to another, which could range from regional distribution centres to remote customer locations.

The nature of the job might also involve multi-drop deliveries, where drivers have to deliver goods to several locations during a single trip.

Given the long distances covered, journey planning, including rest breaks in line with legal requirements, becomes an integral part of the role.

HGV tramping offers a unique set of challenges and rewards, making it suited for those who enjoy a nomadic lifestyle and the open road. With a varied set of routes and destinations, each day can be quite different from the last, offering a sense of adventure that is often absent in more stationary roles.

What is HGV Trunking?

HGV Trunking is a type of heavy goods vehicle driving primarily focused on transporting goods between fixed points, such as warehouses, distribution centres, and depots.

Unlike tramping, where the driver often has to cover long distances and stay away from home for extended periods, trunking generally involves shorter routes and allows the driver to return home at the end of each shift.

In this role, the driver’s responsibilities include loading and unloading goods, ensuring that the cargo is secure, and delivering it to the specified location within a set timeframe.

While the routes are generally well-defined and repetitive, the task requires precision and timeliness, as any delay can have a domino effect on the supply chain.

Trunking often involves driving on motorways and dual carriageways, making it a different experience from the varied routes and road conditions associated with tramping. The focus is more on efficiency and speed rather than the complexity of long-haul multi-drop deliveries.

Comparing HGV Tramping and HGV Trunking

Understanding the distinctions between HGV Tramping and HGV Trunking is essential for those considering a career in the haulage industry.

While both roles involve driving heavy goods vehicles, the work environment, job responsibilities, lifestyle implications, and even earning potential can vary widely. Below, we offer a detailed comparison of these two distinct forms of HGV driving.

Work Schedule

HGV Tramping:

  • Extended periods away from home, often including overnights
  • More irregular hours, depending on the job
  • Flexibility in work schedule

HGV Trunking:

  • Predominantly day shifts, although night shifts may be available
  • More regular hours, often adhering to a fixed timetable
  • Likely to return home at the end of each shift

Job Responsibilities

HGV Tramping:

  • Long-haul deliveries
  • Multi-drop routes
  • Varied destinations, often requiring meticulous journey planning

HGV Trunking:

  • Shorter, more direct routes between fixed locations like warehouses
  • Single or fewer drops per journey
  • Focused on efficiency and timeliness

Lifestyle Implications

HGV Tramping:

  • Suitable for those who enjoy a nomadic lifestyle
  • Varied and often scenic routes
  • Greater sense of adventure

HGV Trunking:

  • Suited for those who prefer predictability and routine
  • Routes are generally well-defined and repetitive
  • Greater work-life balance due to more regular hours

Key Considerations Before Choosing Between HGV Tramping and Trunking

Before you take the leap into either HGV Tramping or HGV Trunking, it’s prudent to weigh various factors that can significantly impact your job satisfaction, lifestyle, and even your mental well-being. Below are some key considerations to keep in mind.

Personal Lifestyle Choices

HGV Tramping:

  • Are you comfortable with spending extended periods away from home?
  • Do you find long drives and varied scenery appealing?

HGV Trunking:

  • Do you prefer a more routine and predictable lifestyle?
  • Is being home at the end of each day important to you?

Family Commitments

HGV Tramping:

  • Can your family cope with your frequent absences?
  • Do you have dependents who require your regular presence?

HGV Trunking:

  • Are you looking for a job that allows for more family time?
  • Do you have commitments that require you to be home on a regular basis?


Choosing between HGV Tramping and HGV Trunking is no small feat, given that both roles come with their own unique sets of advantages and challenges.

The decision will significantly impact not just your working life but also your lifestyle, financial goals, and even family commitments. Therefore, a careful evaluation of your personal preferences, skills, and circumstances is essential.

We’ve examined the distinct characteristics of both HGV Tramping and HGV Trunking, from work schedules and job responsibilities to lifestyle implications and earning potential.

It’s evident that tramping offers more freedom and higher earning possibilities but requires extended periods away from home and a taste for the open road.

On the other hand, trunking offers more routine and the comfort of being home at the end of the day but may come with the trade-off of lower earnings and repetitive routes.

If you are looking for HGV Driver training, get in touch with us today for more information on our services.

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