Achieving A Successful Delivery of Goods: Our SAFETY Checklist!

Achieving A Successful Delivery of Goods: Our SAFETY Checklist!

If you work for a haulage company in Cambridgeshire, you could probably relate when we say it’s a busy environment and there is a lot of responsibility involved. With this in mind, it’s not only important but vital that all goods are stored, packaged and loaded securely in order for a safe delivery.

Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire
Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire – SAFETY

We are Swannells Transport, a top-quality haulage company in Cambridgeshire. We are a passionate team determined to ensure safe delivery to all packages and goods held within our responsibility. To prove our worth, we have created our very own SAFETY checklist that you can follow when transporting and warehousing goods.

Securely loaded

All of these points are highly important, but our ‘S’ point is easily the most obvious. Anyone that works within the haulage industry that deals with warehousing, packaging or driving should be aware of the loading and unloading protocols they learnt in their training. To elaborate, all goods that are packaged up ready for delivery need to be securely loaded in the correct and effective manner. This includes packaging materials, the correct transport equipment i.e. the vehicle it’s loaded onto and the forklifts that are used to assist with both loading and unloading, and the equipment used to keep these things in place during the journey. Failure to do this can result in significant damage to the goods and a bad impression on the company.

Here at Swannells Transport, we offer excellent services like any other general haulage company in Cambridgeshire, but our teams are fully trained and committed to ensuring loads are safely and securely loaded and delivered on time and with big smiles!

All parts of your vehicle is checked

Before you leave for your journey, a thorough inspection of your vehicle is required. This includes checking tyre pressure, fuel, water and oil levels and also that the load isn’t breaking weight limit laws. Failure to do this can actually cause significant issues – not only could it affect delivery time, but it can generally be quite dangerous to you and other vehicles around you. For instance, if you suddenly break down in your particularly larger-sized vehicle, it will essentially be harder to pull over which can cause traffic jams or even accidents if done unsafely.

Follow the laws

Regardless if you are driving in a HGV, Ford Fiesta or you’re even a bike, it’s 100% mandatory that you follow the road and general laws whilst making a delivery. As a professional haulage company AND a human being, you should be aware that your vehicle is much larger than the others around you, which means you are much more dangerous and should be completely focused during the journey. This includes:

  1. No usage of mobile phones during your journey.
  2. Both eyes on the road at all times.
  3. After 4 and a half hours of driving, it is a legal requirement that you stop in a safe place for resting. If you get tired before this, please stop in a safe place regardless.
  4. You have valid and legal documents/registration showing you are qualified and permitted to drive these vehicles and makes these deliveries.

There are so many other laws and regulations, but we don’t want to completely bore you with them. As a professional haulage company in Cambridgeshire, we understand how vital it is to follow these rules to prevent accidents and serious damage to our vehicles, brand and more importantly, ourselves and others.

Everything needs a logo

Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire
Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire – Logo

This isn’t necessarily a mandatory move to ensure a safe drive, but it’s part of the branding process. You see, we don’t always mean safe as in protected from danger, but you also need to protect your brand too. That’s why, during the production, storage, packing, loading, unloading and delivery of your goods, you need to ensure your logo pops up in the best places. As a business owner, we hope you have an effective marketing strategy that helps with brand awareness and customer experience, because it is the exact thing that earns you business in the first place.

As a result of this, to ensure you keep your brand safe, make your logo pop up everywhere for some returning customers.

Time

Back to the journey now – when you are running out of time, you tend to begin rushing, which doesn’t always get things done correctly, completely, or even safely. In terms of haulage, we would recommend you allow plenty of journey time to prevent any accidents or damage. This includes saving time for traffic, rest, any emergency route changes etc. It makes you much more relaxed and concentrated – so make sure you do it!

You have a trustworthy team

Finally, our ‘Y’ point! To finalise a safe delivery, make sure you have a trustworthy team. This involves experience, health both mentally and physically and passion. This can make your company not only look impressive and reliable but be impressive and reliable too!

Swannells Transport: Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire…

Here at Swannells Transport, we are a respectful, experienced team of individuals here to help with all things warehousing, transport and general haulage company in Cambridge.

For all enquiries or more information, contact us today or visit Swannells Transport’s Facebook Page.

Thanks for reading.

What Life-Saving Technology Can Your Vehicles Have?

What Life-Saving Technology Can Your Vehicles Have?

Due to the size and weight of an HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle), it would come as no surprise at the severe consequences it can cause if something goes wrong. That’s why, like most companies in most industries, haulage companies and departments have been integrating live-saving technology into these vehicles to assist drivers for about a decade now, and it has seriously changed the game for these qualified drivers.

We are Swannells Transport, a haulage company in Cambridgeshire, and we ensure our qualified drivers are healthy and safe to drive these large and heavy vehicles. Your safety is our main priority, so you can rely on us to have full concentration on the road and for any knowledge on how to keep the roads safe for you and me.

How to prevent accidents?

Before we get into the ground-breaking technology that has helped us save lives, let’s talk about the common and simple ways we can prevent accidents. Obviously, this will probably only concern you fellow HGV drivers, but it’s always interesting to know! A high percentage of HGV accidents are fatal, and this is because of its huge weight and potential. Furthermore, a lorry travelling just 50mph can tear straight through a house, so imagine what it could do to a car.

Although you should be medically checked during your training course, it is important to keep your company and the DVLA updated on your healthy self. Due to this profession, it is crucial you always check up on yourself, and genuinely look after yourself, to ensure you are fit to drive an HGV. Failure to do so can cause serious, life-changing accidents that probably won’t just affect the driver and the lorry itself.

Another thing to reconsider is road rage. Sure, you have a deadline, the vehicle you have is large and slowly responsive, and the car tail-gating you are probably getting on your last nerve. However, the thing you must remember is your actions can have serious consequences, and the safety of yourself and others should be your main priority, NOT the deadline. Think about this – which sounds less harmful? “You caused a pile-up because to try and be on time, but didn’t make it anyway” or “He was late because he was driving legally and safely”? Safety is key. As a result of this, get plenty of sleep, have a healthy meal before you leave and allow plenty of time for your journey.

Finally, just remember the basics – stay legal. Keep to the speed limits, check your mirrors and just take your time. You can really save lives.

Vehicle Technology

Now… let’s talk about vehicle technology. HGV Safety Technology has helped and will continue to help make roads safer for drivers and nearby pedestrians. After all, Heavy Goods Vehicles are incredibly useful and saves huge amounts of time, despite their risks, so it’s not like they are going to be taken off of the roads anytime soon. According to a 2017 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Study, many of these technology breakthroughs could help prevent 63,000 lorry crashes a year. This includes:

Video-Based Safety Monitoring Systems

This technology is like a CCTV surveillance system for HGV drivers. Where cameras, sensors and other recording devices that allow the monitoring of a driver’s behaviour. Like a black box, the devices detect when a person is driving carelessly, whether it is speeding, not keeping within the lanes or just generally increasing the risk of an accident. The haulage company is then contacted, and the consequences are then dealt with. AAA estimated that this system can help prevent up to 293 deaths a year.

Lane Departure Systems

A mechanism designed to keep the vehicle in the lane, and to warn the driver vividly if the vehicle sets off course. Using a series of cameras and sensors, the device monitors the position of the vehicle in the road and if it suddenly goes off course, it has the intelligence to alert the driver via noise or sign etc. It’s incredibly clever and is predicted (by the AAA) to prevent up to 115 deaths a year.

GPS Monitoring

Special GPS monitoring devices allow companies to check in on their driver before, during and after their journey. It detects their journeys and also alerts companies if their driver is speeding or driving carelessly, like a video-based safety monitoring system. With the added pressure, it’s much less likely an HGV driver would have the guts to drive in such a careless manner and will get the job done.

Self-driving Lorries

We know what you are thinking – this sounds a lot more dangerous than a person driving HGVs, however, they have turned out to be pretty successful. The process involves up to 3 lorries where they travel in a particular formation, where acceleration and braking will be controlled by the leading vehicle, whilst steering is controlled by the human driver. This highly-intelligent system will stop careless drivers on the road and will hopefully make people more alert when being around these type of vehicles.

Automatic Brake Systems

Also found in cars, these systems consist of highly-alert sensors that warn drivers of an impending collision. Whether it is occurring from the front, behind or side of the HGV, the device immediately and obviously alerts the driver to help prevent the collision. If the system doesn’t detect a response from the driver, it will automatically apply the vehicle’s brakes.

Air Disc Brakes

Brakes with air pressure and mechanical systems that help reduce a vehicle’s stopping distance. Although it is very vital that the driver is aware and responsive at all times, these brakes will take some pressure off of the driver, making them more relaxed knowing there is a back-up plan if something goes wrong.

There are so many more awesome, life-impacting technology that can help keep the roads much safer with HGV’s on their journeys. However, we felt that these past six devices were the most exciting and ground-breaking for the industry. To read more, you can check out our blog, “How New Haulage Safety Technology Has Saved Lives”.

Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire

Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire

As a haulage company in Cambridgeshire…

Here at Swannells Transport, whilst we have a passion for haulage and it’s tech, we are also a dedicated team of professionals offering a range of helpful haulage services. Let us help you! Contact us today or visit our Facebook page for more information about us!

Thanks for reading.

Our Daily Responsibilities When Working For a Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire

Our Daily Responsibilities When Working For a Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire

Looking at the job description, being an HGV driver looks simple as all you have to do is drive and deliver… right? Well there is much more to it than that!

As a Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire, we can assure you that working in the haulage industry is no piece of cake – it requires organisation, concentration, safety, reliability and accuracy.

Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire

Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire

Whether you are just trying to understand or training to become an official HGV driver, we have gathered a few daily responsibilities and factors we have to consider before going on one of our journeys.

Basic Responsibilities

As a basic job template, your daily responsibilities working for a Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire would probably include:

  • Transporting finished, raw, important and fragile goods from point A to point B, to and from manufacturers or retail and distribution centres.
  • Inspecting your vehicle regularly to ensure safe delivery and the prevention of any harm.
  • Absolute safe and legal driving when operating the Heavy Good Vehicles, ensuring no harm comes to the loaded materials, surrounding vehicles and people including yourself.
  • Planning delivery routes and following the schedule accurately.
  • Ensuring all deliveries are made on time, respectfully and professionally – treating our customers with the best customer service possible.

These are just your basic responsibilities as an HGV driver, but there are also a lot of more in-depth responsibilities we need to consider before going on our journeys or even starting our day.

How To Join A Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire

Obviously, every professional job requires some sort of training and practice, so especially due to the risks and responsibilities of operating an HGV, loading and unloading goods and interacting with customers, you need to be properly acknowledged and experienced. We will just go over the bare minimum for this one, however, if you would like more information on how to join the Haulage industry, check out one of our recent blogs, “Becoming an Official HGV Driver For a Haulage Company”.

Firstly, employers must be able to evidently prove they are over 18 years of age, own a full valid driving license and a Certificate of Professional Competence. These are three incredibly important things to have (apart from experience) when applying for an HGV driver position, as they are legal requirements.

You also need to be skilful for the job, such as responsibility, good time management, respectful, problem-solving, driving skills, the ability to focus for a long amount of time, great judgement etc. Skills are required for any job, they look impressive on your application and they help get the job done significantly.

Finally, and probably most importantly, you need to understand the full risks and responsibilities of your designated job, and how you can manage them. For instance, you need to know how to check your vehicle, your mental and physical state, how to plan and organise a route and delivery etc. put your problem-solving skills to the test.

Checking Your Vehicle

Your HGV should be regularly checked by yourself and a professional – Ideally by an expert on a weekly/monthly basis whereas you should be checking the basics before leaving for a journey. This includes things like tyre pressure, lights, petrol, oil levels etc. just in case of an emergency. After all, your job is running on time quite crucially and running late can affect your clients’ impression on the company quite dramatically, depending on the level of your tardiness.

When working for a Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire, the majority of the time your designated vehicle is your responsibility, so you need to check your vehicle regularly and organise an expert inspection etc. whilst your company just covers insurance, damages or other factors. Again, it all depends on your contract and the organisation you work for.

Failing to check your vehicle at these times can increase the risk of any unexpecting breakdowns or vehicle emergencies. It just wastes time, creates stress and can cause the company to look unprofessional.

Planning Your Journey

Organisation is the true key to a stress-free drive. Being prepared hours before a journey creates relaxation and a happy driver ready for the day ahead. Want to know how you can achieve this, here are just a few ways:

  • Check the weather the night before and when you wake up. This way you can prepare for any dangerous conditions you are going to be driving in.
  • Have a nutritional, delicious meal about an hour before you leave – This way you have the right energy levels and it has time to settle before you leave.
  • What about time management? Work out how long it will take to get there, plan your route and then consider adding extra time to your journey duration in case of any emergencies or traffic that could arrive.
  • Will you need anything for the journey ahead? For example, water? snacks? entertainment (things that aren’t too distracting) such as podcasts or CDs etc.

This might be your job, but it is your journey, so make yourself safe, organised and comfortable ready for the delivery ahead.

Taking Care of Yourself

A huge responsibility you should be doing even if you aren’t an HGV driver is taking care of your physical and mental state. This includes eating properly, sleeping regularly, keeping yourself active and regularly exercising etc. Not being in a fit state can really affect your journeys and personal reliability, causing you to not only NOT enjoy the journeys but also potentially become an unsafe driver.

If this is quite a difficult challenge to you, ensure that you at least do it the night before i.e. have a healthy meal, a relaxing evening, a night of great sleep and an energetic breakfast ready for your journey.

As a Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire, where there are a variety of villages, towns and cities full of busy roads and construction, we understand the risks and responsibilities of loading, unloading and transporting goods to and from relevant locations. We are an excellent, experienced team of individuals that obey these daily responsibilities we have just listed above. If you are looking for a high-quality haulage and transportation service, contact us today!

Thank you for reading.

How To Enjoy A Long Journey

How To Enjoy A Long Journey

Warehousing Companies in Cambridgeshire

Warehousing Companies in Cambridgeshire

As a part of Haulage and Warehousing Companies in Cambridgeshire, experienced and reliable individuals are tasked with long journeys almost every day, with the responsibility of delivering potentially fragile and/or dangerous goods to a client. Due to the weight and the size of the vehicle, and the conditions you have to drive in, allocating the right driver for the job can be a difficult situation because they have to be properly trained and experienced as well as know how to be safe driving a Heavy Goods Vehicle.

For example, your mental health is extremely important to us, and it is essential that you have the right trust in yourself and are in an exceptional state to drive these huge vehicles a long distance. Not only will this build a trusty relationship between manager and worker, but will prevent more accidents involving HGV’s.

At Swannells Transport, we want our trained drivers to enjoy the journey, rather than tolerate it. There can be a real pleasure in driving long distances – despite the potential bad weather, congested roads and the risk of damaging the loaded goods, a healthy state will enjoy the freedom, the scenery etc.

We want to help out our fellow drivers who have to face long journeys daily, here are our top tips on how to enjoy a long journey when working for warehousing companies in Cambridgeshire:

Keep Yourself in Check

You can’t enjoy a journey if you are hungry or tired, it’s also really unsafe! Make sure you have a good nights sleep the night before and a good old breakfast in the morning. The energy will keep you going and focused on your long journey. Also, it might be a good idea to allow extra journey time, in case of an emergency or you need to stop!

Prepare Well!

To make the journey as enjoyable as possible you should have your vehicle checked over before leaving for your long journey, and if you do. You can do this by:

    • Having your vehicle regularly checked.
    • Making sure you have enough petrol, and that you take a route with a petrol station nearby.
    • Making sure your seatbelt works and you wear it at ALL TIMES.
    • Adjusting your head restraint so it is the right height for you – the widest part of the restraint should be in line with the top of your ears. Doing so can help prevent neck injuries in case of an accident.
    • The load is properly secure and spread in your vehicle.
    • You have checked the weight limitations of your vehicle and made sure the load you will be carrying is obeying those limitations.

Warehousing Companies in Cambridgeshire

Warehousing Companies in Cambridgeshire

Take Advantage of Your Radio

Depending on what vehicle you have can depend on the features provided for you. You can enjoy some musical entertainment by putting on the radio, you could download a podcast on your phone then listen to it in your vehicle using an AUX cable (although you need to have an AUX plug) or you could even listen to an audiobook! When you are driving a large, heavy vehicle you need to keep focused at all times, and these three activities are easy to set up and will keep you entertained for a few hours.

Stop Regularly

Like I said earlier, you will have to allow extra time by leaving earlier, but making time to stop driving, whether it is just a stretch and a walk or enjoying some food in a cafe, can really make all of the difference. You might just be sitting down and moving your arms for a few hours, but everyone can understand the struggle of a long journey, especially as you are constantly focused on the road and not damaging the load inside.

Keep Hydrated

On top of all of that, you should also have plenty of water and snacks close by. Driving can not only be exhausting, but your constant focusing can cause you to become hungry and dehydrated, and not having food and drink with you can make you quite irritable, where you, therefore, can’t enjoy your long journey. Keep yourself refreshed and energised with some food and drinks in arms reach.

At Swannells Transport, we aren’t just one of those warehousing companies in Cambridgeshire, we are an experienced, leading team of individuals ready to deliver the highest standards of professional service we could possibly provide. Contact us today for more information

Thank you for reading, enjoy your journey!

Simple Ways You Can Help The Environment – Haulage Companies in Cambridgeshire

Simple Ways You Can Help The Environment – Haulage Companies in Cambridgeshire

If you work somewhere in the haulage industry, you should know the dangers and risk of driving in and nearby HGV’s (Heavy Goods Vehicles). Furthermore, not only does the heaviness and size of the vehicle give smaller ones a potentially life-life-threatening risk, but it’s contribution to pollution levels aren’t exactly good to the environment, either.

HGV’s are incredibly useful and beneficial to organisations, especially those that make frequent deliveries. Because of this, we highly doubt we will see the number of large vehicles on the road decrease because of the environmental issues it causes. It is easy to forget how some of the little things can have a major impact on the environment – and there are many small effortless actions you can take to help the environment. Regarding haulage companies, here are a few things you can do that can be more environmentally friendly as a professional driver:

Haulage Companies in Cambridgeshire

Haulage Companies in Cambridgeshire

Plan Your Route – Planning your journey route before you leave will ensure you make the delivery on time and improve the efficiency of the company you are representing. By using the right technology (if you have access to it) such as a Sat Nav, the right journey route can be made for you, by avoiding bad weather or trafficking that will add driving time. This will help improve the environment because less mileage is being driven due to the awkward directing, so less petrol is used and pollution levels aren’t as increased.

Reduce Idling Time – If you aren’t planning on moving, turn your engine off! Same goes lights, computers, TV’s and the radio; it saves money and energy dramatically. Take advantage of places such as truck stops to save you on petrol and emitting greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere pointlessly.

Make Several Distributions – If you have more than one delivery to make, and you have enough room to merge the loads, then it only makes sense to make all the deliveries in one stop, right? This maximises trucking efficiency and saves petrol, further reducing vehicle emissions. In addition to this, ensure that the extra load you take doesn’t go over the weight limit of your HGV, is organised into the correct deliveries and isn’t filled up to cause damage to the load.

Relocate – If you have the money for it, and are really looking to reduce your carbon footprint, owning one central distribution centre could have a less environmental impact than a dispersed distribution system. This point mainly goes for companies that make and receive deliveries to and from warehouses.

Reduce Your Speed – Driving at 50mph uses 25% less fuel than 70mph, so slowing down will not only make your journey safer but will keep the air cleaner too.

Thank you for reading, be safe!

Becoming an official HGV driver for a haulage company

Becoming an official HGV driver for a haulage company

HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) drivers are responsible for the transportation of goods between suppliers and customers. It is a significant job that requires a wide amount of knowledge and awareness. You probably pass these huge vehicles every day but have you ever considered what it takes to be qualified to be behind the wheel of one? If so, that is precisely what we are talking about today.

HGV Drivers

Haulage Company in Cambridgeshire

Before you become an official HGV driver…

Employees must provide valid evidence that they:

  • Are 18 years old or more.
  • Have a full driving license.
  • Have a Certificate of Professional Competence.
  • Have completed a training course/apprenticeship relevant to the job (this only applies to some jobs.

Failure to provide this will result in your application being rejected. Not only do you need these significant requirements, but you need to be well informed on the job you are applying for, especially for this industry. This meaning, you need to understand the dangers and benefits of entering the profession. For example, balance the facts that although you will become acquainted with different parts of the country, whilst meeting new people, representing the brand AND getting paid simultaneously, you will also be driving a huge vehicle containing important, fragile goods, all in various weather conditions and surrounded by pedestrians and other much smaller vehicles.

The whole team at Swannells Transport are fully educated and qualified to drive our heavy goods vehicles and are fully aware of both the benefits and dangers of this profession.

Responsibilities of an HGV driver:

According to The Telegraph, the daily responsibilities HGV driver’s may have to face every day are:

  1. Plan and take delivery routes that provide the best journey productivity.
  2. Coordinate and organise drop-offs and pick-ups with customers.
  3. Supervise the loading and unloading of deliveries.
  4. Ensure products are safe and secure in the vehicle.
  5. Check routes for alterations i.e. traffic, accidents, roadworks.
  6. Inspect lorries thoroughly before leaving for journeys.
  7. Logging hours and filling in delivery forms.
  8. Responsible for any maintenance of the vehicle.
  9. Reports any accidents or issues with the company dispatcher.
  10. Be polite and respectful to all customers, represent the brand.

Skills of an HGV driver:

For any job in any industry it’s important you have some sort of skills to expose in your application or portfolios. For an HGV driver, some of the typical (and obvious) skills you may need are:

  • Excellent driving skills.
  • Road safety knowledge
  • Independent work.
  • Concentration/alertness.
  • Customer service skills.
  • Manners and politeness.
  • The ability to complete paperwork on time and accurately.
  • Good physical stamina.
  • Time management.

After you have become an official HGV driver…

So we have discussed what you need to do before you become an official HGV driver, but what about after you have become qualified?

Well, HGV drivers can continue training to obtain qualifications such as an Advisory Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) Certificate – meaning that they can handle more hazardous materials and drive a tanker.

You can also work your way up the career ladder, upgrading to higher paying positions such as an LGV instructor or maybe even the manager of an HGV company.

Here at Swannells, we are a group of confident, educated and qualified drivers, contact us today or visit our careers page to find out more!

Thanks for reading.

How New Haulage Safety Technology Has Saved Lives…

How New Haulage Safety Technology Has Saved Lives…

In 2015, HGV’s were involved in more than 400,000 accidents, that resulted in 4,000 deaths and 116,000 injuries. As devastating as that sounds, Lorries and large transportation vehicles are highly significant to companies and the distribution industry, and as the numbers continued to rise as the years have gone by, the safety standards have risen as well.

Well, companies and organisations, over the past few years have been developed, or have developed, amazing new technology that has been proven to make driving HGV’s easier and even save thousands of lives. I mean, these numbers above were unacceptable, and whilst these new devices aren’t going to completely stop fatalities or serious injuries caused by large vehicles, decreasing the numbers is a good start.

Some of these new advanced technologies include:

  • Lane Departure Warning Systems – a Mechanism designed to keep the vehicle in the lane, and preventing it from drifting out in harsh weather conditions or by mistake. There are lots of different levels of this technology; ranging from a noise as an alert to get you back in the lane to steering the car back into position automatically, it’s incredibly clever. Analytics has shown that installing these systems on all large vehicles can prevent 6,372 crashes, 1,342 injuries and 115 deaths each year.
  • Video-based Safety Monitoring Systems – cameras and sensors that help monitor the driver’s performance, and can give feedback to the driver to suggest actions for a safer, easier drive. Analytics has shown that installing these systems on all large vehicles can prevent 63,000 crashes, 17,733 injuries and 293 deaths each year.
  • Volvo Trucks New System – Volvo Trucks have developed a new system that does a 360-degree scan around the vehicle to monitor anything happening around it. It will then suggest actions or alert the driver to avoid any incidents and make the journey safer for everyone. This was mostly created to protect pedestrians and cyclists, so hopefully, it’s enough to save more lives.
  • Self-Driving Lorries – This is the latest breakthrough in haulage technology, out of the 4. Furthermore, up to 3 lorries will travel in formation, as a test, where acceleration and braking will be controlled by the leading vehicle, whilst steering is controlled by the human driver.

These were just a few examples, as there is so much more technology that has been developed/is in development that has similar aims – to make the roads much safer for drivers.

technology

It is awfully scary driving next to an HGV, especially because the vehicle is more than triple the size of yours. However, driving the vehicle is just as scary as driving next to one, as it is the driver’s responsibility to be aware of his surroundings, and to distribute the delivery safely and on time.

What we are trying to say is, as dangerous as these vehicles are, you yourself should stay alert at all times and be aware that:

  • They have larger/more blind spots.
  • If you can’t see them, they can’t see you.
  • You should leave a safe distance.
  • You should watch out for indications.
  • Just because they have this safety technology, doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t be alert of these heavy vehicles.

Thank you for reading.

Being Smart and Safe on a Motorway

Being Smart and Safe on a Motorway

Every year, almost a quarter of injuries/accidents, caused by heavy goods vehicles, result in fatalities or serious injury – and given the nature of HGV crashes, it’s no wonder the government and the FTA (Freight Transport Association) have joined forces to offer efficient safety training for drivers who travel on smart motorways.

By ‘smart motorways’ we mean certain motorways that are designed to reduce congestion, by adding significant capacity to much-needed areas and improve the reliability of journey time. The 8 hour, single-day course covers both the history and future of smart motorways, including signals, driver behaviour, motorway laws and traffic officer roles etc. and as hauliers are the most frequent users of these types of motorways, and also one of the most dangerous vehicles on the road, this course would be ideal for any individual that works in the haulage industry.

Lorries and any other HGV’s are incredibly large and heavy, also making them incredibly dangerous – so it’s important you take precautions when driving them/close by one, for instance:

Driving an HGV:

  • Ensure you are healthy, both physically and mentally, enough to drive a large vehicle. Going onto the road in any vehicle unconfidently can potentially cause a major accident, so think about yourself in order to keep others safe.
  • Ensure you understand the laws of the road and haulage industry i.e. the highway code etc.
  • Inspect your vehicle before you leave. Make sure you have the right documents (and even your driving license), wheels are healthy, and that you have a spare one in case of an emergency, your vehicle isn’t breaking any weight restriction rules.
  • When on the road, you don’t attempt to overtake another vehicle, whether that is a haulage, commercial or basic vehicle, on the motorway. It can be highly dangerous and should only be done if completely necessary and observations are safe and clear in other directions.
  • When on the road, you don’t attempt to tailgate other vehicles, especially smaller ones. It can be rather intimidating for smaller vehicles to be closely followed by a much larger vehicle, decreasing their concentration and observation and thus increasing the chance of a severe accident caused.
  • Observe at all times! You need to constantly remind yourself that you are in a much bigger vehicle than others on these motorways, so you are therefore a lot more lethal. Observing everywhere ensures you are safe and decreases the chance of a potentially fatal accident.

Driving close to them:

  • Do not drive closely behind a large vehicle – if they have to break in case of an emergency it can cause very serious consequences for you and the passengers in your car, and they may not be able to see you.
  • If you plan on overtaking an HGV on a motorway, don’t mess about; stick to the speed limit but ensure the process is done quickly and safely, and avoid driving next to them for the longest time, as this can be quite intimidating.
  • Similar to the first rule, leave a time gap of a couple of seconds when driving behind an HGV, especially in particular weather conditions. This ensures you enough time to prepare in case of an emergency stop or action from the driver that causes you to react.
  • Be patient, it is a large, very heavy vehicle containing important goods… it’s their job, so think about each other’s safety, and don’t attempt to do anything that could possibly worry or confuse the driver.

motorways

Back to the topic of the available course, Malcolm Bingham, the Head of the Road Network Management Policy at the FTA believes that this course is ‘the right way forward’, that ‘providing drivers with true guidance on how to use the network and not adding confusion about which parts of the road they can use and when’. Any company or worker that wants their staff to sharpen up their skills on motorways or HGV’s, in general, should take this course into consideration, as the safety on the road is a huge problem that is overlooked.