In 2007, the Guardian published an excellent piece profiling what it is like to be an HGV driver. The article looked specifically at one driver whose job had him on the road, away from home, five days per week. It was an excellent article that gave readers a little bit of insight into the types of things HGV drivers face every day. Based on the Guardian article and our own experience, here are the top five things HGV drivers wish the rest of us knew:
Our Vehicles Are Harder To Move
HGVs vary wildly in size and weight, but the maximum they can be in the UK is 18-foot-long and 40 tonnes in weight when fully loaded. Compared to the 4.5 metres and 2 tonnes of the average car, that’s a big difference. Unsurprisingly, these heavy, unwieldy vehicles are difficult to manoeuvre, and it takes years to get the technique right. It also takes a lot of focus to make sure these moves are done safely, which is difficult when other road users are getting irritated that you are blocking the road for 3 minutes.
We Take Longer To Slow Down
Bearing that last point in mind, it takes a vehicle that big a long time to slow down. The average car can come to a complete stop from 60 MPH in around 100 foot, but for an HGV that would take 300 foot. That distance can go up to 5 times if the weather is bad. So when you’re driving in front of an HGV on the motorway, bear this in mind before you slam on the brakes – it could save lives.
We Can’t See As Much As You
Big, bulky vehicles with only 3 panes of glass mean very limited visibility – something HGV drivers are very aware of. HGV drivers have to focus on everything around them at all times, but the fact is they just can’t see as much as you. Motorists and pedestrians alike should try to make sure they can be seen when moving around an HGV to make sure there are no unfortunate accidents.
The Roads Belong To Everyone
The driver profiled by the Guardian in 2007 was noticeably frustrated by non-commercial drivers who seem to fail to understand the road belongs to everyone. He told the paper he didn’t worry much about other HGV drivers, but he did worry a lot about those operating cars, vans, and motorbikes. He further told the Guardian that he wished other drivers would understand lorry operators are just doing their jobs. They are not purposely trying to inconvenience people or get in the way.
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