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5 Issues LGV Face This Christmas

December can be one of the most stressful months of the year for drivers and those travelling. Christmas brings with it busy roads, long delays and taught nerves. For LGV drivers there’s plenty to deal with around Christmas too, as deliveries continue at pace, up to and through the holiday season. Here are 5 issues that many LGV drivers will have to deal with this Christmas.

1. Shift Work Pressures

Many drivers work on a shift basis, which will often include night shifts and unsociable hours. Depending on their shift pattern, a driver may be required to work on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. For drivers with families, trying to schedule important time with loved ones and friends is not easy and can cause considerable stress. As most shift working drivers are based in industries that do not shut down over the Christmas season, their services are often required throughout the period. Goods need to be transferred across the country and delivered to shops ready for the Boxing Day or New Year Sales, which means that many professional drivers will be missing out on a Christmas break this year.

2. Bad Weather and Road Delays

Quite often, Christmas is anything but white. This year, we have already seen freezing temperatures, foggy conditions and heavy snow affecting the transport network. For drivers, these can add delays to an already tight schedule, as well as the risk of accidents and breakdowns. Professional drivers know to take even more care during periods of bad weather, but with increased seasonal traffic and pressure on all road users to reach locations on time or get home quickly, accidents often occur.

3. Equipment Failures and Breakdowns

Mechanical issues crop up with any vehicle. However, breakdowns at Christmas are rarely fixed quickly. For the delivery driver, this can become quite a headache. What might usually be a two to four hour wait for a tow-truck or support vehicle can easily be doubled or tripled because of delays. All of it adding to the time pressure on drivers.

4. Finding The Time for Christmas Shopping

Cramming the annual present shopping into limited time space does not make for a fun Christmas shopping experience. For drivers, finding the time to buy those all-important gifts for loved ones can be a difficult ask. Even though motorway services offer more purchasing options than ever, they are not the ideal Christmas gift shopping environment. Thankfully, online shopping now allows many drivers to browse their phones to purchase the gifts they need.

5. Continued Shortage of Drivers

According to the Freight Transport Association, the current shortage of drivers is suspected to be around 52,000. Although this means that some drivers are receiving higher wages for their time, it also means that there is more pressure on drivers to fill shifts, when previously they might have enjoyed family or social time.

Look After Your Drivers This Christmas

There is no doubt that pressure on LGV drivers over this season is high, which is why it is vital that the haulage industry to takes care of its professionals, looks after their needs and makes sure they are fully equipped and trained to deal with all the situations that will be thrown their way.

At TTA we ensure that every driver who passes through any of our LGV training programmes is supported and given the best driving education they can be. That way, they are able to cope with all the possible issues they may have to deal with.

Whether you are driving or not this season, the team at TTA wish you all a safe and happy Christmas, and a secure and prosperous New Year.

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