Professional Driver Essentials

Professional Driver Essentials

A professional and experienced driver has probably mastered the driver essentials however, if you are new to professional driving then keep reading!

As a professional driver you cannot guarantee that you will be driving the same vehicle daily therefore, you’ll need a suitable portable bag to keep all your essentials in a safe place. You’ll want to choose the right size bag for the length of the shift that you are doing. Depending on how long you are out on the road for will mean that you might need to downsize your essentials bag.

What are some essentials that you might need?

  • Sat nav – if you are a HGV driver we recommend that you invest in a commercial sat nav device
  • Hi vis vest
  • First aid kit
  • Gloves
  • Bottled water
  • Pencil and/or pen
  • Paper
  • Depending on the length of your shift you might want a spare change of clothes
  • Driving licence and if applicable to your driving also, Digi Tacho, CPC and any qualification required for the job
  • Spare digital tacho paper
  • Spare pare of glasses if needed for driving
  • Safety boots
  • Exemption certificate if applicable (some people have these for not wearing a seatbelt for medical reasons)

How To: Stay Safe Behind the Wheel in Poor Weather Conditions

When we experience poor weather conditions it’s important to adapt your driving style. This type of weather brings poor visibility and reduced grip which can make your job extremely challenging. Good manoeuvring skills and skid control skills are essential. Here are some of our tips to stay safe behind the wheel in poor weather conditions.

Inspect the vehicle

Ensure that you have prepared your vehicle according to the weather to prevent any major problems. You should check the tire pressure, engine oil, wiper blades, fluids and lights before you set off for your journey.

Slow down

By driving at a slower speed, you have more time to react in the event that something happens. There is often risk of hydroplaning when driving at a higher speed. This can be due to loosing control of the vehicle due to slush in the road.

Keep a safe distance

Ensure that you keep a safe distance between you and the cars around you when possible. In the event of any unpredictable situations it’s always good to have extra room so you can move out of harm’s way. When driving in snowy and icy conditions more stop time is required.  This is due to reduced grip, visibility and the unpredictability of what could happen from the other drivers on the road.

FACT: The stopping distance on a wet road is twice the normal stopping distance. On an icy road it’s almost 10 times as much!

Turn on your headlights

Not only do you need to keep a safe distance from the other drivers, they need to keep a safe distance from you. Ensure that you have your headlights switched on so they can see you and maintain a safe distance.

Keep an eye out for black ice

Black ice is a thin transparent layer of ice that forms when the temperature is close to freezing. Black ice will make the road look slightly wet. How to spot black ice:

  • There might be a build-up of ice on the mirror arms, top corners of the windshield or antenna
  • There will be no spray back coming from the tyres of the vehicle in front of you

Pull over

If the weather condition become too severe and you’re nervous about driving, ensure you either stay parked at your location or pull over if you are driving. However, if you’re driving on a motorway do not pull over into the hard shoulder as other drivers may mistake you for a moving vehicle. Instead continue onto the next exit or services and come off safely there. Ensure that you listen to the weather reports and warnings so that you can react appropriately.

Be Prepared

Make sure you pack your essential bag and include a little bit extra! Ensure you have warm clothing and blankets with you. If you are going on a longer journey you might want to take other items such as a torch, windshield scraper, a bag of sand/salt and shovel.

Q&A - Drivers (Case 1)

We have asked our workers a few questions about the roles that they are in so you can hear their experiences and advice first-hand.


What is your job role?

HGV driver delivering & picking up goods.


What made you want to drive professionally?

To have the freedom to get out of a job indoors. 


How long have you been driving professionally?

About 30 years.


What skills have you learnt from being a driver?

To try to drive safe.


Do you drive locally or is it mostly long distance?

Mostly longer distance driving.


How do you combat tiredness?

Try to get enough rest the night before & if possible, stop for 30 mins to rest.


What are your driver essentials?

Essentials are phone & charger, driving glasses, truckers Road atlas, bottle of water & food.


What are the best parts about being a driver?

Being your own boss up to a point.


What advice would you give to someone who is looking at starting a career in driving?

Drive safe & expect the worst from other vehicles! 

Q&A - Drivers (Case 2)

We have asked our workers a few questions about the roles that they are in so you can hear their experiences and advice first-hand.


What is your job role?

My job role is HGV driver.


What made you want to drive professionally?

I wanted to drive professional initially to support my race mechanics job, though then found I liked the road trips more, this then followed on the general to general haulage.


How long have you been driving professionally?

I have held my class one 1st April 1991.


What skills have you learnt from being a driver?

Skills learnt have been route planning, maintenance checks, road awareness and consideration, legalities.


Do you drive locally or is it mostly long distance?

I drive the UK, local and longer distances, all over Europe with motor racing events.


How do you combat tiredness?

Tiredness is a continual problem for most drivers, it is most important to take regular breaks particularly daily rests and drink plenty of fluids, cold water helps.


What are your driver essentials?

Essentials apart from carrying your licence’s and PPE are’ clear clean mirrors, window screens and glasses/ sun glasses, (all about good vision).


What are the best parts about being a driver?

Being a driver means you have you own freedom without others looking over your shoulder.


What advice would you give to someone who is looking at starting a career in driving?

Don’t do it (ha ha). Go out with someone who’s been driving for a while and listen out for their experience’s, get proper training from a reputable company with lots of experience. Don’t take short cuts in procedures (stick to a regular pattern coupling).              

What you need to know about HGV Driving

HGV Drivers

At Igloo we specialise in the recruitment of professional drivers within the Transport and Logistics sector.

Apply for an HGV driving job today

Igloo supply Class 1 driver roles all across the UK

Predominately Igloo supply Class 1 drivers to customers across the country and although the driving aspect of the job remains the same, albeit the vehicles may differ a bit from customer to customer, other aspects of the job can be very different though from customer to customer, please see further details below.

Class 1 drivers typically earn

Class 1 drivers can typically earn anywhere between £500 and £1000 per week and are typically engaged with Igloo either as a traditional PAYE Agency Worker, or via an umbrella company or via their own limited company.

Class 1 drivers will need to have an excellent geographical knowledge of the UK road networks and as well as holding a valid C+E category on their driving license they must have a digital tachograph card and a driver qualification card. Majority of Igloos customers require that Class 1 drivers have completed 180 days of checkable driving on UK roads within the last 2 years. Usually a maximum of 6 points for minor offences is all that is allowed for class 1 drivers to be successful in their application for roles within the industry.

Igloo supply Class 1 Transporter driver roles

Igloo supply Class 1 Car Transporter drivers, within these roles drivers are often away from home all of their working week, known in the industry as “Tramping”, there are facilities within the cab for the drivers to sleep. As a car transporter driver is responsible for the loading and unloading of a range of vehicles, usually cars and vans. Drivers often receive a bonus for amount of runs they do within the week as well as a damage bonus, these are often included to encourage the driver to complete more drops whilst ensuring they do not simply neglect the loading and unloading of the vehicles that may cause damage to them.

Igloo also supply Class 1 drivers that are expected to offload goods that are in cages, usually referred to in the industry as “Hand-balling”, these roles are more likely to be where drivers are delivering to stores rather than warehouses or distribution centres.

A lot of the time Igloo’s Class 1 drivers are only expected to either back on to a loading bay or pull back the curtains on the side of their trailers and then the team of warehouse operatives would unload or load the trailer.
Class 1 drivers must follow the tachograph laws and take breaks at the designated times, once back to Igloo’s customers depot following their shift drivers must download their tachograph data onto a computer system, this data is analysed and drivers can be reprimanded should their be any infringements showing on this data.

Apply for an HGV driving job today

ADR lorry driver

What you need to know about Class 1 ADR

C+E (Class 1) ADR Driver

Typical pay for an Class 1 ADR driver is between £13.00 -£17.00

Due to the nature of this kind of work, hours will not be set, you would typically find drivers give a “start window” so they will say their start times are between the hours of 06:00hrs and 09:00hrs and the planners at the sites will schedule them for start times that fit their window. As with most transport and logistics many of the operations are 24/7.

Apply for an ADR driving job today

What is ADR?

The European agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road was created in Geneva on the 30th of September 1957 and came into force on the 29th of January 1958. ADR comes from the official French name for the agreement which is “Accord européen relatif au transport international des marchandises Dangereuses par Route”

ADR Training

From the 1st January 2007 it became mandatory for all drivers of any vehicle carrying dangerous goods to be trained by a department of transport approved training provider. The initial ADR course lasts 4 days in total including examinations however if the driver adds the tanker module this initial training will extend to 5 days.

Once the driver has successfully completed the course and the examinations, they will receive an ADR vocational training certificate (VTC), also known as an ADR licence, which is valid for 5 years and details all the ADR exam modules the driver has successfully completed. The ADR licence is recognised throughout Europe and gives the holder the authorisation to transport any dangerous substance which falls within a category listed on their licence.

Within 12 months of the expiry date listed on the ADR licence the holder may complete a shorter ADR refresher course in order to renew their licence for another 5 year period. This course may be taken anytime in the final year of validity and up to 5 weeks before the expiry date. Successful completion of the course and the exams will extend the ADR licence for an additional 5 years from the official expiry date.
One of Igloo’s clients requires drivers to be Hazard Aware, so if we have a class one driver that does not hold an ADR license then they can sit an online Dangerous Goods by Road Awareness course and pass the exam at the end, once they have done this we can use them on the contract. This client books drivers that need to transport items such as, motor oil, paints and lithium batteries, so although its not a legal requirement they need them to be aware of how to transport and handle these items safely.

ADR Drivers

The type of drivers Igloo provide will be doing deliveries to, Bristol, Huddersfield, Manchester, Derby, Lincoln, Birmingham, Tewkesbury, Dunstable, Canterbury and Slough.

A typical shift for an ADR driver working for Igloo:

  • Arrive at the trailer park and complete their vehicle checks.
  • The drivers are then given a load time and must drive to the depot to meet this load time.
  • Once loaded they must then travel to their delivery location, which is usually vehicle dealerships, the drivers are given a delivery time window of an hour to make the delivery in.
  • Drivers will be expected to do a maximum of 3 deliveries in a shift, depending on where the run is too.
  • Drivers need to download their driver (Digi) cards at the start and the end of their shifts.
  • Drivers must always comply with the tachograph laws.
  • Typically shifts will be between 7 and 12.5 hours.

Apply for an ADR driving job today

driver recruitment

How To: Become a HGV Driver

Are you looking for a career change? Why not try driving!

As a HGV driver you will not only need to be able to drive the vehicle, you will also be responsible for potentially planning your route (adjusting the route if necessary), supervising the loading and unloading of your truck, making sure everything is stored/strapped down safely and completing any required paperwork.

What are some required skills?

  • You will need to be confident working alone for long periods of time
  • Good concentration skills
  • Understanding of road safety and road signs
  • Good customer services skills as you may be dealing with customers and clients

How do I get qualified?

You will need different training and qualifications to drive different loads. You will need to ensure that you hold a full car licence and are over the age of 18.

The LGV/HGV licence is split into two categories (Category C1 and Category C). There is also an additional test for Category C+E.

During your test you will be covering:

  • Driving skills
  • Vehicle safety
  • Manoeuvres
  • How to load and secure loads
  • Basic mechanics
  • Theory test

You will also be required to also get a CPC. This is made up of fours tests. These fours tests include: a theory test, a case study test, a driving ability test and a practical demonstration. Once you have passed this you will need to update it every five years.

To transport hazardous goods, you will need your ADR licence (Advisory Dangerous Goods by Road Certificate). You can gain your ADR licence online.

After gaining my qualifications, what are my next steps?

Update your CV!

Ensure that you have updated your CV and include your new qualifications. To see our tips on how to write a good CV please CLICK HERE.

Landed your first interview? Congratulations! For our interview tips CLICK HERE.