Behind the scenes: A day in the life of a haulage driver

haulage driver

Road haulage might not make the headlines, but it’s what keeps our nation moving. Think about it: the milk in your tea, the shoes on your feet, or the chair you’re sitting on – they all had to get to you somehow. And more often than not, it’s hardworking haulage drivers who make that happen.

These dedicated individuals play a pivotal role, in ensuring that businesses run smoothly and consumers receive their goods in a timely fashion. In today’s fast-paced economy, the importance of road freight transport cannot be overstated. It’s not just about moving items; it’s about fuelling industries, supporting communities, and driving the nation forward.

At Dyce Carriers, we’re immensely proud of our haulage drivers, who are out there every day, making sure the things we need get to where they’re supposed to be. Haulage drivers are the unsung heroes of the road.

Join us as we dive into a day in their life, from the early morning starts to the sunset finishes. It’s a journey of dedication, skill, and a whole lot of heart. So, buckle up, and let’s hit the road together to see what a day looks like for those behind the wheel at Dyce Carriers.

Gearing up for the day ahead

While most of the UK is still wrapped up in bed, the haulage driver’s day is already in motion, arriving at the depot, ready to take on the next job. But they don’t just hop into a truck and drive off right away. Upon arrival, our haulage drivers report to the Transport Manager at their base who assigns them their next delivery. Drivers are always thoroughly briefed about the cargo they’ll be handling to ensure they’re fully prepared for the journey ahead.

Once our drivers receive a comprehensive briefing from their transport manager about the job, they consult with our dedicated logistics team, who provide them with a complete route plan, detailing the most efficient paths, potential roadworks, and any other vital information that might affect their journey. Though drivers set off with all the information they need to ensure a successful delivery, often unexpected situations can arise throughout the journey, which is why problem-solving is a big part of the job of a haulage driver.

The job details and logistical information are uploaded to an app called eDriver which we use to manage all our driver assignments. This provides our drivers with a comprehensive overview of the cargo, its dimensions, where it needs to go, and the expected delivery time. It also makes managing and tracking our deliveries a lot easier, as drivers can have the client sign for the cargo when it is offloaded and can upload photographic evidence that the delivery was made.

Each of our drivers is issued a company phone so that they can access the app and contact our team at any of our bases around the UK. This ensures that our team works cohesively across all of our depots, from the North East of Scotland down to the sunny coasts of Dorset.

Safety first: A haulage driver’s top priority

Conducting pre-transportation checks

Before any of our vehicles hit the road, they undergo comprehensive pre-transportation checks. These include daily risk assessments, load check sheets, and loaded trailer sheets for every delivery as well as daily vehicle checks. Our meticulous approach ensures that everything from our brake pads to our headlights are in perfect working condition, guaranteeing the safety and reliability of our fleet on every trip.

This thorough approach to preparation is what sets the best haulage companies apart, and at the heart of it all is the haulage driver, ensuring that every journey, no matter how routine, is carried out with the utmost care and professionalism.

Driving with distinction

During the pandemic, Dyce Carriers took the initiative to assign each driver their own vehicle, ensuring their safety while supporting the economy during challenging times. Though this was a practice already in place for the most part prior to the pandemic, it became a defining part of our operations when social distancing was introduced. This move was so well-received that we decided to make it a permanent feature. Now, our drivers take pride in maintaining their individual trucks and often personalise their cabs with cherished items, making it a homey space for those extended, overnight trips. This approach not only fosters a sense of ownership but also deepens their connection and commitment to their dedicated vehicles.

What’s more, this approach enhances safety on the road as our drivers become intimately familiar with the nuances and quirks of their own vehicle and can quickly identify if something feels off or if a particular component isn’t functioning as it should. This deep understanding allows for prompt attention to potential issues before they escalate, ensuring that the vehicle remains in optimal condition. In essence, when a driver knows their truck inside out, they’re better equipped to anticipate and address challenges.

In-house maintenance

Our commitment to vehicle maintenance goes beyond routine checks. At our base in Aberdeen, we’ve established an in-house garage, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and a team of skilled mechanics. This ensures that every vehicle in our fleet receives regular, top-tier servicing. It’s this proactive approach that ensures the longevity of our fleet and reduces the risk of on-road issues. In the event that one of our fleet is in need of some TLC, our vehicles are safely transported to our Aberdeen base to be serviced by our talented team.

Behind the wheel: Insights of a haulage driver

The dual responsibility of a haulage driver

Every time a haulage driver starts the engine, they’re not just setting a massive vehicle in motion; they’re taking on the hefty responsibility of transporting a client’s precious cargo safely to its destination. It’s not merely about driving; it’s about understanding the value and significance of the load they’re carrying. Whether it’s a shipment of fragile goods or a consignment that’s taken months to prepare, the haulage driver becomes the guardian of that cargo, ensuring it reaches its destination in the same condition it was loaded.

While the primary task of a haulage driver is to ensure the cargo reaches its destination intact, the safety of other road users and the driver themself is paramount. The open road is unpredictable, with changing weather conditions, varying traffic patterns, and unexpected obstacles. A haulage driver must always be on high alert, with their senses sharpened and their mind focused on the task at hand.

Every decision made behind the wheel impacts not just the cargo but everyone sharing the road. Whether it’s giving way to a cyclist on a narrow lane, slowing down in school zones, or navigating around a sudden roadblock, the haulage driver’s vigilance ensures the safety of all.

Furthermore, being prepared for road emergencies is a crucial aspect of their training. Whether it’s a tyre blowout, a sudden brake failure, or an unforeseen road obstruction, a haulage driver is trained to respond swiftly and efficiently, minimising risks and ensuring the safety of all involved.

No two jobs are ever the same

A haulage driver’s day is never monotonous. One day, they might be providing groupage services, transporting various smaller shipments on a single flatbed, and delivering them to a range of clients along a carefully planned route. On another day, the task could be entirely different, focusing on the delivery of heavy, oversized, or unusual cargo.

Transporting oversized loads is a task that comes with its own set of unique challenges. Under these circumstances a haulage driver is required to coordinate with escort vehicles that help navigate the route, ensuring the safety of the cargo, the driver, and other road users. In some cases, especially when the cargo is exceptionally large or poses potential risks, the coordination and support of blue light services become essential. These operations are meticulously planned, with routes being pre-checked for potential obstacles, and timings often set to minimise disruption. It’s a dance of precision, where every move counts and the haulage driver is at the centre of it all.

Breaks, rest, and refuelling

Hitting the breaks

Every haulage driver knows the importance of taking regular breaks. Stretching their legs, filling up on something nutritious, and staying hydrated all help to improve a haulage driver’s focus and reaction time on the road. Fatigue can be a silent enemy for drivers, especially on long hauls. By adhering to regulated rest periods, haulage drivers ensure not only their own safety but also the safety of other road users and the precious cargo they’re transporting.

Overnight hauls: Finding rest on the road

For those extended journeys that stretch into the night, finding a safe and comfortable place to rest is paramount. Every haulage driver has their preference but we always recommend that our drivers stop for the night at a well-lit lorry park or a trusted service station. These locations offer both a place to sleep as well as essential facilities and a chance to refuel. Ensuring our drivers’ safety during these overnight stops is crucial.


For a haulage driver, refuelling stops are about more than just topping up the diesel. It’s a chance to check in with the base, review the route ahead, and mentally prepare for the next leg of the journey. It’s these moments of pause, combined with the discipline of regular rest breaks, that ensure our haulage drivers at Dyce Carriers continue to operate at the peak of their profession, delivering goods safely and efficiently across the UK.

The art of cargo handling: Loading and unloading

For a haulage driver, the journey doesn’t just begin when the engine starts or end when they reach their destination. Before setting off, there’s the intricate process of loading the cargo. This isn’t a simple task. Drivers must consider weight distribution, have strong special awareness skills, and the ability to problem solve. All cargo must be strapped down and secured tightly before setting off. Similarly, upon reaching the destination, unloading requires precision and care, ensuring that the client’s goods are delivered in the same condition they were loaded.

The benefit of using a HIAB

Within our fleet is a range of self-loading vehicles, or HIABs as they are commonly known. These lorries are fitted with a hydraulic crane that can be operated by the driver, eliminating the need for external crane hire upon delivery of the cargo. The mounted crane can stretch across into tricky-to-reach places, making it the ideal solution for sites with limited access.

Logistics and the importance of teamwork

Behind every successful haulage driver is a dedicated logistics team, ensuring that the loading and unloading processes run smoothly. From determining the order of cargo for multi-drop deliveries to coordinating with warehouse staff or clients at the drop-off point, logistics and teamwork are integral to the success of a drop.

The haulage driver and logistics team work hand in hand, sharing information, and making real-time decisions to ensure that every delivery is executed seamlessly. At Dyce Carriers, this collaboration is a key component of our ethos, ensuring that we not only meet but exceed our clients’ expectations.

HGV drivers: The unsung heroes of haulage

Navigating the highs and lows of life on the road

Being a haulage driver is no ordinary job. Every day presents its own set of unique challenges, from navigating the UK’s diverse roadways to contending with unpredictable weather and traffic.

Working as a haulier is often a thankless job. This can take its toll on a driver’s mental health. During the pandemic, haulage drivers played a vital role in keeping our economy moving, but it meant that they spent a lot of time on the road, isolated from their team and overlooked for their hard work. Being left alone for long periods can often cause people to overthink and stress.

Having completed a number of mental health training and suicide prevention training courses with the NHS, our Aberdeen Yard Manager, Gary Kinnell, introduced a support program for our drivers, holding mental health awareness presentations and providing support materials to staff. We implement an open-door policy so our team always feels supported. After all, at Dyce Carriers our team is our family.

Despite these challenges, life as a haulage driver can be immensely rewarding. There’s the satisfaction of a job well done, the camaraderie with fellow drivers, and the sheer joy of being on the open road, witnessing the changing landscapes and the ebb and flow of life across the country. At the heart of it all, there’s a deep sense of pride in knowing that they’re the cogs keeping the wheels of commerce turning, ensuring that businesses thrive and households get what they need.

In the cab with a Dyce Carriers haulage driver

To truly understand the life of a haulage driver, you need to hear their stories first-hand. Take our seasoned haulage driver Piotr for example. He fondly recalls several harrowing journeys to and from Poland over the last year and a half delivering critical humanitarian aid to refugees fleeing war-torn Ukraine. Though the journey was long, it couldn’t have been more rewarding. Personal tales such as this offer a glimpse into the dedication, resilience, and passion of our drivers. They’re not just drivers, they are proof that not all heroes wear capes.


It’s easy to overlook the significance of the journey when we’re focused on the destination. But behind every delivery is a story of dedication, skill, and resilience.

Every item on a shop shelf, every piece of machinery in a factory, and even the food on our tables – behind each of these is the relentless effort of a haulage driver. They’re the backbone of our commerce, ensuring that goods move seamlessly from one point to another, bridging distances and overcoming challenges. Their role is pivotal in keeping the wheels of our economy turning, often working long hours and navigating through unpredictable conditions to ensure timely deliveries.

Every item on a shop shelf, every piece of machinery in a factory, and even the food on our tables – behind each of these is the relentless effort of a haulage driver. They keep the wheels of our economy turning, often working long hours and navigating through unpredictable conditions without recognition for the vital work they do.

At Dyce Carriers, we pride ourselves on being more than just a UK haulage company. We’re a family in which every member, from the driver to the logistics planner, plays a pivotal role in fuelling our success. Every day is a new challenge for our team, which for many of our drivers is their favourite thing about working in the haulage industry.

If you’re keen to delve deeper into our world and understand our ethos, we invite you to learn more about us. Join our community, be a part of our story, and let’s continue to honour every hardworking haulage driver.

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