Multiple Large Goods Vehicles in transit

Best HGV driver employers to work for

When it comes to knowing the best HGV driver employers to work for, you have your work cut out for you. The question in itself is a little ambiguous, what makes an employer the best for you doesn’t always make it the best for someone else.

It comes down to knowing what you are looking for and which HGV driver employers can offer you what you need.  With this in mind we have complied as much information into this article as possible to help you find and decide who you think are the best HGV companies to work for.

Who are the best HGV employers to work for?

General consensus across the internet, in forums, peer review sites and in statistical surveys all agree that the current top 5 best HGV driver employers are: 

This is made up of a combination of fleet size, turnover and employee review scores. While we agree that these are all excellent companies, but what makes them the best hgv driver employers for you? 

What makes a good company, good?

When job hunting, most people have similar things on their wish list, the main thing that tends to change is the priority and importance placed on each. An excellent company will provide all of the following:

  • Competitive pay
  • Various job opportunities
  • Job security
  • Flexibility and shift availability
  • Technological investment
  • Employee welfare programme
  • Career development opportunities
  • Positive and inspiring culture
  • Strong vision and values
  • Effective and consistent leadership
  • Employee perks and benefits
  • Incentive and bonus schemes
  • Pension scheme
  • Established systems and procedures
  • Multiple departments, branches and/or office locations
  • Long-standing employees
  • Excellent public standing (well-known respected brand)
  • Community and environmental awareness and policies

Finding many companies who successfully deliver all of the above every time is not going to be easy, most employers are working towards this exceptionally high standard so be prepared to be flexible.

Action 1

Using the list above, re-write the list in the order of priority for you. This will help you to narrow down your search a little and focus your job hunting efforts.

HGV Driver specific things to look out for

As a HGV driver there are other aspects of your job that you will need to consider when choosing who the best HGV driver employers for you are:

  • Working hours
  • Working conditions
  • Distance – long haul / short haul
  • Training opportunities
  • Temporary or Permanent positions
  • Type of vehicle (Tipper, Curtainsider, Mixer, Flatbed)
  • Daily duties (multidrop, shunting, customer facing)

Action 2

Using the list above write down what your preferences or requirements are.

The balance of reviews

Finding out what past and current employees have to say about the employer is important but do proceed with caution. No one is more vocal than a disgruntled employee, you will need to remember that there are a number of sides to every story. 

Online peer review sites are a good place to gain insights into a company. Look for peer review sites that collect genuine anonymous reviews and encourage honest balanced accounts containing both positives and negatives. We recommend WorkAdvisor and Glassdoor.

Action 3

The best reviews and testimonials will be those that come unscripted from a current employee. HGV drivers tend to spend long periods of time in and around service stations so where possible, and without causing inconvenience, take the time to approach drivers and ask what it is like to work for their employer.

Top 3 locations to be a HGV Driver

Where you live or are willing to relocate to is an important consideration when you are looking for the best HGV companies to work for. Not all places are equal, one location that may provide excellent pay rates such as central London will often have a downside such as cost of living and quality of life. 

  • North East 

With an extremely affordable cost of living, good job prospects and a reasonable median wage,3 the North East is an enticing region for HGV drivers.

  • East Midlands 

Drivers in the East Midlands can earn almost as much as they would in London with an average wage of £30,496 per year but the cost of living is substantially lower. It’s estimated that 9% of all East Midlands jobs are related to logistics and 140,000 HGV journeys are completed each day in this area alone.2

  • Yorkshire 

Yorkshire and the Humber has more Heavy Goods Vehicle job prospects per 1,000 of the working population than any other region of the UK4 due to the growing economic reliance in the Yorkshire and Humber region on industries that requires road transport. Commuting to work is not uncommon but you will need to find a good balance that works for you. Most people find a 45-minute commute tolerable, more than that may be too much. 55 miles in heavy traffic every day will get old pretty quickly, especially if you have been driving all day already.

Action 4

Using this map tool work out how many miles you are willing to commute each day to pick up your truck. This will give you an ideal area that your employer needs to be located within. If you find the perfect employer outside of this area you may need to consider relocating.

Top 3 biggest HGV companies

It could be argued that in order to ensure job security, career development opportunities, established systems and procedures and technological investments, you need to be looking at large, established companies with a high turnover. In 20171 the top 3 biggest HGV companies by turnover in the UK were:

It is no coincidence that these three companies also appear in the list of top 5 HGV companies to work for, their sheer size alone means they dominate most lists. It is important to understand that high turnover doesn’t always equal high profits or employee satisfaction so while it is good to consider turnover, basing your judgement on turnover alone could see you overlook some other smaller but excellent employers who can offer a great range of employee benefits.

Action 5

Using your list of priorities from action 1, combined with your requirements from action 2 ideal location from action 4, start to do your own research using a range of resources including:

Now you have selected the best hgv companies to work for all that is left to do is start applying for job opportunities. 

Action 6

Make sure your CV and personal statement are complete and up to date:

If your ideal employers are not yet recruiting, don’t panic you have a shortlist and you have done your research, so the next step is to start reaching out to them in preparation for an opportunity to come up.

Action 7

  • Email your CV and a covering letter requesting to be kept on file for future opportunities
  • Post your CV and a covering letter requesting to be kept on file for future opportunities
  • Telephone and ask if they are recruiting, you might just get lucky!
  • Go into the branch and ask to speak to whomever would be in charge of hiring, make a great impression and leave your contact details
  • See if the employer offers an apprenticeship
  • Find out if there is another vacancy that you can transfer from when your ideal role becomes available?
  • Search and apply for Driving jobs here

Where next?

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References

1 Motor Transport [Internet] 2018 https://motortransport.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/MotorTransportTop1002018.pdf

2 MDS Transmodal Ltd, Roger Tym & Parners and Savills East Midlands Strategic Distribution Study [LINK https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/30624542.pdf]

3 RHA [Internet] 2019  https://www.rha.uk.net/getmedia/ca07562d-0a0c-49f9-859b-d822a1b1f15b/RHA-Pay-Report-2019.pdf.aspx

4 NimbleFins [Internet] 18 December 2019 https://www.nimblefins.co.uk/best-places-hgv-drivers

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