To be perfectly honest, unless you have personally been behind the wheel of an HGV, you don’t really have any idea what it entails. UK drivers are complaining about us all the time and there’s a steady stream of many news articles that don’t make us look great. Yet, we have challenges that average drivers simply don’t comprehend. So, we’re here to share with you 5 things that we HGV drivers want average drivers to know:
1) An HGV Is Hard to Manoeuvre
It should be obvious, but apparently, it’s not. Many UK drivers still get very upset when traffic is blocked for a few moments while an HGV driver manoeuvres the trailer they are driving. We drive cars when we’re at home, so we understand your frustration, but when we’re professionally moving a vehicle that’s 18 metres long and weighing nearly 40 tonnes with limited visibility and tight corners, we’re going to take our time and do it right. Despite thorough training we get, from training providers like The LGV Training Company, we can never foretell what to expect on the road. Experienced drivers get a bit better at this over time, but it still takes them a few minutes. Your trust and space are appreciated.
2) An HGV Takes Longer to Brake Than a Car Does
It should be obvious, but it still has to be considered when you’re driving behind or in front of us, especially on a motorway. Your car might have the power to stop fast, often within 100 feet. However, an HGV with a full load needs 300 feet, and sometimes 500. If you drive in front of an HGV without paying attention and stop suddenly, you might get creamed. Give us room to stop or slow down, especially near intersections and roundabouts.
3) Regulations Govern Our Speed
Ever notice the back of certain HGVs, especially the little signs saying ‘speed regulated at 70’? Those signs are there to indicate that our vehicle can not possibly go more than 70mph due to electronic limiters. That’s why you often see us in a far left lane on motorways. Still, you’d be shocked how many drivers get upset when they follow our HGV. We’re not trying to keep traffic slow; we simply can’t drive any faster than this.
4) Our Visibility Is Not What You Think It Is
Given the size of lorries, as well as other big vehicles, those that drive them have a rather limited field of vision. HGV drivers must constantly pay attention and watch out for others all the time. On the other hand, other drivers and pedestrians to need to be sure that they are easily seen and stay out of the way of an HGV that has limited visibility.
5) The Road Belongs to Everyone
A few years back, an average driver profile was compiled. From its results, it seemed that the typical commercial UK driver was definitely frustrated by the fact that non-commercial drivers fail to understand that roads belong to everyone. As per the research, typical UK road users exhibit better patience with one another than they do with HGVs. However, HGV drivers are simply doing their work and we are certainly not trying to create inconveniences for folks or impede their lives.
Now that you know these 5 things about driving HGVs, hopefully you can minimise your stress and increase your safety when you encounter us on the roads and motorways.