While there are companies that offer transport services with autonomous vehicles, i.e., that do not require a driver to move from one point to another
Many still retain the old pattern of hiring people to take on this role, who are still an important part of the business dynamics related to the transportation of goods and passengers.
In that sense, many companies offer people the opportunity to become their designated drivers, offering a competitive salary and benefits to make their work experience more gratifying.
If you are interested in knowing all about working as a driver then continue reading this post.
What is a driver
A driver is a person who drives a vehicle and assumes or is assigned the responsibility of transporting people, goods or cargo from one point to another in an efficient, safe and punctual manner.
In addition, as a driver, the person may have the freedom to plan routes according to road conditions.
Depending on the functions and the sector, the person will be responsible for driving a bus, a truck or a car.
When the driver sets the vehicle in motion, it must remain attentive to the roads it is driving on, as well as to the signs along the route.
Another factor to be taken into account by the driver is the weather conditions that may occur during the journey, so that he can take the necessary measures to avoid any risk that could compromise his integrity or that of the vehicle as a consequence of events generated by bad weather.
The driver will also be responsible for maintaining the vehicle in perfect condition while in charge.
Role of the driver
Considering aspects such as training and certification, a driver can take on different roles within the sector where he works:
- As a bus driver on an urban or suburban route
- As a truck driver in charge of light or heavy transport
- As a driver in the delivery of commercial goods, food, supermarket, etc.
The average salary of a driver will depend on the sector in which he performs this job. However, according to the Totaljobs site this stands at an average of £26,406 per year.
Types of drivers
When it comes to drivers, there are different types depending on the vehicle they are assigned to drive to do their job:
This refers to the person who drives vehicles for public or private transport companies, as well as for educational institutes.
For this type of driver, the main priority will be to transport people from one point to another within an established route, for which he will need a type D driver’s licence.
This refers to a person who drives vehicles to carry out the transport and delivery of goods and products from the commercial sector.
To be a delivery driver, in most cases you will only need a type B driving licence, as well as knowledge in the use of navigators with GPS positioning.
This refers to the person who drives vehicles for the transport of light or heavy loads, such as construction materials, perishable goods, foodstuffs, among others.
This type of driver is required to have a C+E driving licence. In the case of applying for a job transporting hazardous industrial products and waste, the person must meet a series of additional requirements.
Duties and responsibilities of a driver
Once you have been assigned a truck, bus or car, it means that you are able to drive it and transport people, goods or cargo, depending on the sector in which you have been hired to do this work.
In addition, you will have the responsibility to carry out technical, administrative and commercial actions, which you will learn next:
- Carry out the corresponding vehicle inspection.
- Apply the protocols corresponding to preventive maintenance on the vehicle, as well as report any faults it may have.
- Verify the goods both during loading and unloading and report any damage it may have.
- Follow the safety rules, as well as the company’s accident prevention rules.
- Keep up to date with personal and vehicle documentation.
- Report any incidents that occur on the road during the transport of goods or persons.
- Demonstrate punctuality and cover the route at the scheduled times.
- Provide information of commercial interest, as well as respond to queries and questions that customers may have.
Working hours of a driver
When it comes to hauliers and lorry drivers, they find complicated the regulations concerning the working hours of HGV drivers and tachographs.
It is sometimes difficult to establish how many hours a person is allowed to drive when working as a lorry driver in the UK.
In addition to this, there is confusion about breaks and rest periods. If you plan to work as a HGV driver you should consider the following:
- There will be a daily limit of 9 hours to which you can add an additional hour twice a week.
- You must not exceed 56 hours of driving time per week.
- You must not exceed 90 driving hours per fortnight.
Driving hours breaks
After 4.5 hours of driving, you must take a 45-minute break. It is worth mentioning that this rule can be applied within a continuous driving period or in short driving periods, as long as they do not exceed 4.5 hours.
There is also the possibility to split the rest period in two, i.e., a first break of 15 minutes and a second break of 30 minutes.
Requirements for working as a driver
If you plan to work as a driver in a specific sector you will need to go through a formal training process and obtain the basic certifications to become a driver.
So, when applying for a job as a driver you will need to meet the following requirements:
- Have passed the driver training course
- Have an ID card
- You must have obtained at least a secondary school degree.
- Have a valid driving licence
Skills and competences to work as a driver
In the same way as with other occupations, being a driver requires that the person possesses a series of basic skills and physical abilities that make it apt to take on each of the tasks involved in this job.
In addition, as a driver, the person must follow the safety protocols established by the company and adhere to the rules that govern the driving of the vehicle in charge.
Among the skills and qualities required by the companies to be hired as a driver, in addition to knowing how to drive, are the following:
- Basic knowledge of mechanics, as well as the ability to carry out basic repairs.
- Being able to deal with any eventualities that may arise during the working day.
- Being in good physical condition to withstand long journeys, as well as having good eyesight to be aware of signs or potential obstacles on the road.
- Have an emotional intelligence that allows you to deal with and overcome any incidents that may arise on the road.
- If you are looking to work as a driver in passenger transport you should have good social skills.
- Be responsible, organised and able to manage your time well.