Have you ever had a female LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) driver picking up your pallet? No? It’s not surprising as only 1.2% of all UK drivers are female. In the US it’s slightly higher with 5.8%, but all over the world lorry driving is a man-dominated occupation. It requires quite a bit of confidence to start out a career driving lorries, but once you do many say it’s addictive. Currently there is a major shortage of drivers, so right now is an excellent time to get into the industry of pallet deliveries.
To become a lorry driver, you'll need to meet a few technical requirements:
- Be competent in English and basic maths
- Be 18 years old (or over)
- Have a car driver's licence with a good record
- Have good eyesight
- Pass the LGV test
On top of that there are certain social skills and abilities needed. For a start, due to the occupation mainly being a man-dominated one, a thick skin and some attitude will come in handy. You also need to be comfortable being alone, as the majority of time is spent driving from location to location.
Unfortunately, there are some safety issues for women that most men don’t need to worry about. One of these regards when stopping for the night on a long haul. Most stops lack safety basics with dim lights and remote locations par of the course. As a woman driver this may have to be managed by making early stops (to get a good spot) or to always travel in convoys. Even if the safety aspects are improving, there is still risk involved.
One common misconception is that lorry driving requires a lot of physical strength. This may have been the case in the past, but now technology in lifts and other tools have improved to the point of anyone being able to load and unload goods.
So while attitudes and stereotypes may still be a little backward, and although safety is a natural concern depending on the routes that you may be taking once out of the country, there is in fact very little to stop women from taking the test and getting their LGV licence.
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