Despite the cost-of-living crisis, demand for next day delivery in the UK is on the rise. This has resulted in more freight drivers having to navigate busy UK cities than ever before, which is substantially different to open motorway driving.
Delivery driving experts, Driver Hire Training, discuss why training is so important for this sort of driving, as well as providing some top tips on how drivers can stay safe when facing congested cities on their routes.
Why should Commercial Drivers be Trained for City Driving?
Richard Owen Hughes, marketing Director at Driver Hire, explains why urban city training is so important:
“Urban area driving has its own unique challenges and requires the driver to be educated on many aspects not found when doing motorway driving. This includes everything from changing cityscapes – for example new road layouts and roadworks, to encountering vulnerable road users and different driving techniques”.
“This is not something which is covered in the standard HGV training, and especially when you are in a substantially large vehicle, it’s certainly something you have to be confident and comfortable with”, he adds.
“Training can be help these drivers approach the challenges of congested cities with confidence, allowing next day delivery and other such services to continue to thrive in the UK.”
5 Tips on How to Safely Navigate Cities as a Truck Driver
1. Research the Route before you Travel
Cities are constantly changing, so even if you have visited the city before, there may be roadworks or a new road layout since you have last driven there. For this reason, it’s always key to study the route well beforehand so you have an up to date understanding of what’s ahead.
2. Research Events in the Area
If you’re delivering in a big city with a football ground, stadium or one which hosts other large national events, make sure to tune into the calendar, dates and times of such events before you begin your route. This may drastically change the traffic and congestion levels, so knowing before you begin can help manage expectations for both yourself and the customer on arrival times.
3. Update Maps Data on Navigational Devices
Make sure any maps data you are using enroute is up to date and on the latest version before you go. Any changes to road structures or speed limit changes should be updated here, so give yourself the best chance of seeing these changes ahead of time with the latest update before travel.
4. Look After Yourself
Looking after yourself by staying hydrated, sleeping well in between shifts and eating nutritious food regularly will help you stay alert, which is important for all driving times, and incredibly important when traversing hazardous congested cities. Make sure to carry water and keep the cabin cool.
5. Attend a Safe Urban Driving Course
Though the tips above will help, when driving in urban city areas, you also have to be able to react to sudden changes and expect the unexpected. A Safe Urban Driving course will encompass all of these skills with both theory and practical aspects. By the end of the course, drivers will be better equipped to assess situations and avoid accidents.