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The Best Ways To Prepare For A Long-Haul Journey

You have done your training, passed all the tests, and are now ready to roll. As you start planning your first long-haul, expect to get loads of advice from drivers who have been doing the job a while. These are often helpful, but the advice can be a hit and miss! There are two parts to preparing for your work journey, your vehicle and yourself. This blog focuses on your vehicle—tramping—the process of preparing the driver for the long-haul in another.

It cannot be stressed how necessary preparation is. When you travel long distances, often alone and possibly in another country—who might or might not speak English— it’s a lot on your plate. 

Being an HGV driver is interesting work, but like any profession, it has rules and regulations. It is also a big responsibility transporting goods from one place to another. Being prepared for any eventuality will ensure your journey is safe and efficient.

Ensuring Your HGV Is Ready For The Road

It is your responsibility that your vehicle is safe to be on the road. Remember, the police and DVSA can stop you and examine your vehicle. Unfortunately, you could receive a fine if the vehicle is not up to standards. If there are any faults on your vehicle, report them to your service manager if driving for a company. Take quick action on them if it is your vehicle. You can check out the Driver and Vehicle Standards for an HGV daily walkaround. If you are a new HGV driver, keeping a copy in your cab would be simple until it becomes second nature to you to check daily.

Being Prepared For Long-Haul

Preparation is the key to success in any business, and taking shortcuts with your safety and your load is unacceptable. There are several things you need tothink about, make a plan for and then have a backup plan!

You need to consider rest and refuelling stops and the possibility of alternative routes, for any number of reasons, like accidents, road works, low bridges, flooding and other unknown events. Most HGV drivers these days use an HGV-specific sat nav. They are a practical tool that can quickly assist with road blockages and finding an alternative route. 

In addition, HGV sat navs can calculate routes based on a series of factors, including the vehicle’s height, weight, width, length and load variables.

However, experienced a long-distance driver, you cannot expect to hold all the routes and alternatives in your head. Having paper maps of the area you are covering could be a good backup. Although using them, unless you keep stopping, is a driving hazard. Keep stopping adds further delays to your delivery time – a definite no-no!

Vehicle Height & Rest Stops

You do not want to be the driver that blocks the bridge as you didn’t realise you were too high or wide for it, especially if you drive different vehicles. So take the measurements, and put them on your dash. Don’t forget to check your route maps for any potential hazards.

While checking your route maps or Sat Nav, you can also schedule any rest stops, Remember, however fast your want to get to where you are going, it is mandatory to stop and rest. Maybe chat to other drivers about the best stops.

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Formed in 1986 and a family owned and operated business, L&T provides instruction for anyone wishing to drive a vehicle from C1 (7.5T) to CE (artic) and D1 (Minibus) to D (Coach).

We also train drivers in the transportation of dangerous goods (ADR) and the operation of HIAB plant, Forklift and we are a JAUPT Approved Centre for Driver CPC Periodic Training.

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