If you’re looking to become a professional HGV driver, then you probably know you have a long road ahead of you. As well as all of the specialist training, equipment and checks you will need to go through, there are also several tests you need to pass before you get your licence. In the past we’ve talked about the different aspects of both, and given you a lot of tips to help make the theory test go smoothly. So today, we have some tips for the next stage – the practical test.
Brush Up On The Basics
We know there’s a lot to remember when you’re first learning to drive an HGV. After a while a lot of it will become second nature, but while you’re still new to it all it can feel like a lot to take in. Your instructors will work with you to teach you everything you need to know, and towards the end a focus will be on the more complicated things you’re struggling with. But as the test gets nearer, make sure you’re brushing up on the basics and putting them into practice – you don’t want to fail the test because of a silly mistake!!
Get Some Rest
On test day you want to be sure you’re performing at your best. It’s really difficult to do that if you’re tired, hungry or a bit stressed. We have better memory and reflexes when we’re well-rested, well-nourished and in peak physical shape, so make sure you’re eating properly, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep in the build up to the big day. That way you’ll feel refreshed and ready to handle anything the tester throws at you.
Your HGV drivers licence test isn’t like a normal exam, or like a job interview. You don’t have to dress up smart and count on a great first impression. That’s not what the examiner is there for. At some point during your driver training you will have covered clothing and discussed what is appropriate to wear as an HGV driver. This is exactly the sort of thing you should wear to your test. The key is to make sure your comfortable and it’s practical, so you’re not distracted by stiff clothes or getting things caught on the vehicle.
Ditch The Distractions
The last thing you need when taking your practical test is to be distracted. In fact, it’s the last thing you need when driving in general. But for the test, make sure you’ve removed any and all things that could serve as a distraction. Turn the phone off and leave it behind, along with any smartwatches, Fitbits or other electronics. This way you will be 100% focussed on the test.
Preparation Is Key
Preparing thoroughly for your test will make you feel much more comfortable when you go in. But preparing doesn’t just mean revising everything you’ve learnt so far. It also means familiarising yourself with the test area so you know what to expect, practising braking distances and learning how much space your vehicle needs to turn around. If you can do this, as well as your standard revision, you will feel more familiar and comfortable with the test when it comes.
Practice Your Manoeuvres
And finally? Practice, practice, practice. Your training will have drummed how to do manoeuvres into you by now, but it doesn’t hurt to practice until you are completely confident. You will be tested on reversing, accelerating and parking, so make sure you get plenty of practice doing this is all sorts of environments so that you’re at your best
At The Surrey and Hampshire Training Centre, we work with aspiring drivers who want to take their HGV driver licence tests and come out the other side qualified HGV driver. Our team of experts are on hand to train you, help you revise and prepare you for your test, so you can be confident of your new career. To find out more, just get in touch with us today.
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