Overhauling Haulage: the 2022 U-turn for HGV drivers

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By Jeremy Sykes, freelance writer.

The haulage industry was in chaos in 2021 following Brexit, years of stagnation and pressures due to COVID-19. However, 2022 is showing a significant recovery with more than 26,000 lorry driving tests taking place between January and March.

This occupation is critical to Britain’s industries with around 89% of all goods in the UK being transported this way. With so much importance being placed on this job, HGV drivers now expect certain benefits that should be made part of the employment package you provide. If you fail to offer them, you’ll be an unattractive option for prospective drivers.

Read on to find out what benefits you should be giving your HGV drivers going forward.

Higher Salary

Wages in this industry had been low for years, which made driving long hours extremely unappealing for HGV drivers.

Many companies are now offering huge increases to retain staff and making sure long-term drivers in particular are rewarded for the difficult working conditions over the past few years. Starting salaries have increased too, which has helped entice more people into the industry.

Higher Standards

In addition to offering higher salary packages, businesses operating in the industry are taking steps to improve working conditions as well, such as ensuring quality transport insurance is in place which could give employees a sense of greater protection on the roads.

These non-financial improvements also include the likes of free training courses, the chance to specialise, and increased flexibility over shift patterns.

Stress Management

Being on the roads for so long can lead to some drivers becoming stressed. In these instances, even money and job perks might not prove a sufficient incentive for sticking with the role. This is when companies must show their support for mental health.

Providing HGV drivers with access to helplines, counselling and other forms of support can be invaluable for a role that can result in a large amount of isolation.

Having a proper HR manager to deal with such concerns is now imperative for this industry.

Quality Conditions

With so much of the workers’ time being spent on the roads, haulage companies must make sure vehicles are in top condition and promise essential safety checks. Any necessary protective clothing should be provided as well, like gloves and earplugs.

No driver can drive for hours on end and that shouldn’t be encouraged. That’s why routes should include the best possible facilities for stops to allow employees to rest and recuperate properly.  

Short-term Contracts

Companies can also consider offering short-term and well-paid contracts to licensed HGV drivers living abroad. This helps to fulfil seasonal spikes in demand at times like Christmas so the business can continue to maximise profits and avoid clients being left disappointed. All the key benefits above need to be guaranteed for these workers too.

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