Tips for new LGV Drivers

Driving a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) is certainly a lot different than driving a car.  The size of the Lorry alone is very intimidating to the new LGV driver.  Once you are in the cab of the vehicle, you will notice the vast number of controls at your fingertips as well as you will be sitting up higher then you were when you were driving a car.  The following are some basic general tips that you should use to avoid the great intimidation when you start out as an LGV driver.  Following these tips may also prevent any unwanted accidents while on the road.

The very first thing you should be aware of when you are driving a Lorry is that you will need to break earlier and more often then you would while driving a car.  The LGV that you are driving is well over two times the weight of a car that you normally drive, so your stopping distance in the Lorry will be longer, especially when you are carrying a full load.    The same adjustments will also apply when you need to turn.  The Lorry is longer than your car, so you will need to adjust your times accordingly to turn to avoid possibly clipping a vehicle or running over the curb.

The next tip that the beginning driver should be aware of is the acceleration of the Lorry.   The acceleration on the Lorry is far slower than the acceleration for a car.  Initially starting out, the Lorry is slower than most of the cars out on the road.  Remember, cars are built for speed, and the Lorry is built for transporting heavy materials over the road.

The third thing that you need to be made aware of while driving a large goods vehicle is that you need to be absolutely aware of the overall dimensions of your Lorry.  Pay close special attention to the height and weight of your vehicle, as many underpasses and bridges may not accommodate the weight and height of the Lorry.   You will need to plan your route ahead of time to avoid a potential accident.  Also, many vehicles have a trailer that is wider than the cab.  You will need to consistently drive towards the center lane than you would when you drive a car.  By doing this will ensure that your trailer is in a good safe position while driving to your destination.

Finally, take great care in securing your load as well as placing the load in your trailer.  An unsecure load may break loose and fall out of the trailer causing a possible accident with the driver or drivers behind you.  Driver’s should get into the habit of always checking the status of the load after each stop—even when you stop to get something to eat.

By following these basic tips, a beginning LGV driver will gain the confidence that he or she needs to become a successful driver.  Many careers as an LGV driver have been cut short due to negligence by the driver.

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J. Mikula is a business professional, consultant, and author.

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