If you’re a new HGV driver, you’re probably pretty focussed on learning the ropes, making sure you know your routes and getting used to how everything works. But once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll discover another element of the job you might not have expected – learning which truck stops are good, and which ones you should give a miss. In fact, service stations are a big part of an HGV driver’s daily life, and you’ll develop a list of your favourites pretty quickly. But to help you start that list, we have a few suggestions for you.
Leeming Bar is one of the most popular truck stops in the UK, so the odds are you’ve probably heard of it before, if not visited already. But just in case you haven’t, we wanted to include it here. Its popularity comes mainly from the homely feel it gives off – much more than you average service station! It’s perfect for the middle of those long-haul journeys when you miss home and just want a few creature comforts. The eating arrangements feel like you’re just popping to your local pub, with accommodations that feel like a country cottage, rather than a service station. It also boasts a range of famous fast food brands, reasonable prices and great overnight facilities.
The Hollies – Cannock
The Hollies has earnt its spot on this list because of a few things – the main one being that it’s one of the oldest truck stops in the UK! But don’t be fooled – it doesn’t feel old and outdated. It’s actually had a lot of renovation work done over the years, and while it has kept some of its charms, it still feels modern. They have most recently invested in a larger car parking area for HGVs, along with new, more comfortable beds, and a fresh new food menu. Not only that, but it’s services a number of famous names in the past, including Tom Jones and Bernard Manning, along with the thousands of HGV drivers who come through every month.
The Red Lion – Northampton
The Red Lion is ideal for those who want to feel like they’re spending the evening in their local pub and falling into their own bed at night. It’s the perfect mix of food, drink and modern conveniences, giving you everything you would need for a comfortable overnight stay. Your cargo will be secure with a 24-hour security team and infrared CCTV, you won’t have to shell out a lot on parking, and you can spend the evening in the full café/bar/lounge facilities. The menu is nice and varied too, with mixed grills, traditional pub food and healthy options to sate your appetite and keep you going on the next leg of your journey. If you’re staying longer than a single meal, you can also enjoy a full TV and drinks package including football, darts, pool and even horse racing.
Formula – Ellesmere Port
We’ve got to be honest – we’ve saved the best for last. Formula is one of those truck stops you never forget, and it’s a firm favourite among all HGV drivers. It’s often held up as an example of what a good HGV stop should be, and how drivers want to be treated everywhere. Needless to say, it’s our favourite too! The Formula boasts rich and decadent décor of black and red everywhere, and the service of a full 4 start hotel to match. Along with your basic necessities (food, accommodation etc), the Formula also provides complimentary shower and laundry facilities, multiple relaxation lounges, a free fitness centre and games room, so you will never be short of things to do. Honestly, you will never be counting the minutes until you’re back on the road here. Plus, with a fully-manned 24-hour security team and over 36 CCTV cameras for the car park alone, you can be sure your cargo is in safe hands as well.
Why are we telling you all of this? Because as a professional driver, breaks are a big part of your life. You have to take a certain amount, at certain intervals and times, otherwise, you will not only be tired and grouchy, but you will be in violation of your contract and of the law – and face some pretty steep fines. And the law is pretty specific about where you take your breaks. So no pulling over on the hard shoulder to take a nap also isn’t a good idea – as one unfortunate driver found out when he tried to sneakily prepare his lunch on the side of the M25!
If you would like to know more about starting your career as an HGV driver this year, just get in touch with the team today.
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