5 reasons to become an LGV Driver
It may sound like a simple job, but drivers of Large Goods Vehicles (or Heavy Goods Vehicles) play an important role in the UK’s supply chain by transporting goods between distributors, suppliers and customers. Without these key workers moving goods and supplies around the country, the UK would come to a standstill. And since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, these professionals have continued to go to work and keep the country and the economy moving.
There are an abundance of reasons why becoming an LGV driver can be a great career choice – here are our top 5:
Life on the road
While a 9-5 office job may suit many people, for others there is nothing better than being out on the open road. A career in driving offers the opportunity to travel the length and breadth of the country and even beyond, whilst being paid, visiting places you might otherwise never see and meeting new people every day.
“It’s the most diverse career in the world,” says Driver Development Manager Mick Skerrett. “You get the chance to meet so many different characters from different backgrounds, and many friendships I formed 30+ years ago still stand today.”
Not only that, but driving also offers a great deal of independence and a level of freedom that few other jobs provide. Many drivers value the time spent on the road to be alone with their thoughts, or to listen to their own music or audiobooks whilst driving.
The world will always need drivers – that’s a fact. And thanks to a rapid increase in online shopping, and evolving customer expectations whereby deliveries are expected with more convenience and at greater speed than ever before, drivers are in huge demand on a global scale. The current driver shortage in the UK stands at around 59,000 workers, so there is no shortage of jobs available.
And being a qualified driver can also be a solid skill to fall back on. Many seasonal workers go back into driving in between their other jobs. An LGV qualification means you need never be out of work.
The role also offers a good salary and earning potential. Typical starting salaries for newly qualified drivers range from £19-24K, but more experienced drivers can earn over £40K per year.
A valuable role
As mentioned before, the role that driving and logistics plays in the economy – and society as a whole – is enormous. Think about the role of drivers as key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic – keeping our supermarkets stocked and our vaccine supplies moving.
Or consider the impact of the Ever Given shipping vessel becoming stranded in the Suez Canal earlier this year. The week-long blockage held up an estimated £7bn of goods each day. The impact of the backlog on supply chains is likely to be felt for months, according to experts. This shows the vital importance of our delicately balanced supply chains for fuelling global trade. The trucking sector is just as crucial. Were truck drivers to stop, businesses would crumble and the economy would grind to a halt. Being a lorry driver offers the satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to that vital ecosystem, and delivering goods that we all need to eat, drink, build, work and survive.
A career in driving is a great way to be your own boss and manage your own schedule, offering a sense of entrepreneurship. A key benefit of driving as a job is the flexibility of hours. With a choice of shifts available around the clock, it’s possible to select hours that fit around your other commitments and create a healthy work-life balance.
Michael Wright, a previous graduate of the Manpower Driver Academy, says: “The main benefit has been the flexibility – it’s been great to be able to have more time to spend with friends and family. I have much more free time than in my previous roles.”
Logistics can be a great place for the ambitious. The sector as a whole is short of talent, meaning that with a willingness to learn and a good work ethic, even the board of companies is within reach. Many senior logistics professionals started out their careers as drivers.
Of course, being a board director is not for everyone – but there are many other avenues that driving can open up: training, fleet procurement, transport planning, traffic control, freight forwarding and logistics management. The opportunities within the industry are far greater than you may have imagined.
With the right skills and training, drivers can build a truly rewarding career in logistics. Our recent Driver Academy graduate Chloe Kendrick says: “Almost two months down the line, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve experienced the highs and lows, travelled most of the UK and I love it!”
If you’re thinking of training to become a professional LGV driver, find out more about how our Driver Academy can help you with the necessary training, support and guidance to launch your career.
We always have a large number of driving jobs available across the UK – check out our latest vacancies here.