Being a delivery driver might seem like an easy job, but there’s often much more to a driving role than meets the eye. In most cases, driving is only one part of it. Delivery driver jobs usually mean that the driver has to handle goods at some stage in the process and, for some items, this might be quite an undertaking. For instance, some goods might be bulky or heavy requiring more than one person, or the use of specialised equipment. Other goods, such as food items, may be subject to legal requirements, such as health and safety handling rules.
Getting on the road to a driving job
While you’ll obviously need to be able to drive (unless you’re a cycle courier), delivery drivers will need a good range of soft skills. You’ll be able to communicate effectively with customers and delivery coordinators. You may also have to troubleshoot customer issues. Organisational skills will be essential for managing your workload and for planning the optimal routes for pickups and deliveries, especially if there are a number of daily deliveries across various locations.
Depending on the role, some administration may be involved. Many driving jobs require workers to record mileage and expenses. As delivery drivers are increasingly becoming the face of online shopping, customer service experience will be a bonus. Most roles now use technology for various purposes, such as recording orders, sending notifications for delivery times and confirming pick-ups/deliveries – so a head for gadgets may be useful.
Qualifications for driving jobs
While delivery drivers don’t require academic qualifications, you will have to meet the UK legal licensing requirements. If you operate a motorised vehicle, you’ll need the appropriate licence. The type of licence will depend on the type of vehicle you’re driving. Driving jobs requiring larger vans and trucks will typically require more experience and expertise in those types of vehicles. If you passed your driving test before 1st January 1997, you can drive vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes with a standard car licence, but if you received your licence after that date, you can only drive a vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes. Fork lifts and heavy plant equipment may require specialised qualifications although many employers provide training.
In addition, employers may require you to demonstrate that you’re a safe driver. Most will expect you to be trustworthy and reliable with basic English/Maths skills and good eyesight. Physically, for some roles you’ll need to be in good shape, if heavy lifting is involved. Patience is often a virtue for delivery jobs, especially for driving jobs in London where you may spend a lot of time in traffic jams.
Driving your career forward
Salaries can vary hugely for delivery drivers. The average UK wage for drivers throughout the UK is £8.26 per hour, but some gig economy workers, such as those working for Uber or Deliveroo may not make minimum wage. Tips can make up some of the difference. Driving jobs in London tend to have higher rate of pay due to a lack of experienced drivers. Senior HGV drivers can earn upwards of £32,500.
For the widest range of driving job and delivery driver jobs, start with a search on Zoek UK.
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