At HGV Driver Training Centre we can tell you that there are so many great reasons to get into HGV driving as a career, so many in fact that it is hard to name them all! For Category C, also known as Class 2, licence holders alone there are amazing opportunities with great salaries available and when you get onto Category C+E, also known as Class 1, the choices around what you do and the benefits of the work only increase. With so much to look at and think about it can be hard to take it all in so we have compiled a list of what we think the 5 Top Benefits are for moving on to gain your Category C+E licence. Let’s take a look:
Ease of Training
When you move onto the Category C+E licence the training becomes a huge amount easier. We know that doesn’t sound right and we are not saying that Category C+E vehicles are easier to drive than Category C vehicles, after all, it is a larger vehicle and yet another learning curve to negotiate, but trust us you will be surprised how much easier the training process becomes.
Firstly, there is no extra Theory Test! Forget all those hours in front of the computer or with your head buried in a book, there’s no need for any of that because the Theory Tests that you took for your Category C licence are the only ones you need to do, so you can skip ahead straight to the practical training, what a result! Once you get to the practical training in the truck you have two choices, either you can learn in a fully articulated vehicle or a waggon and drag vehicle (sometimes referred to as a truck and trailer).
There are benefits to each type; the fully articulated lorry is the more common vehicle, it will be a steeper learning curve at training stage but it is the vehicle you are most likely to come across at work; the wagon and drag lorry is much easier to learn in as it is a Category C vehicle with a trailer connected, that means you will already be used to handling the main vehicle and will only have to learn to adjust for the trailer on the back.
Luckily, gone are the days where you had to choose one vehicle and stick to it, nowadays no matter which vehicle you train and test in you will have a licence which allows you to drive both! The training week itself usually goes a lot smoother as well, during Category C training it is not uncommon to feel like you’re not driving enough and that everything is taking ages to learn, with the Category C+E you already know how to
Luckily, gone are the days where you had to choose one vehicle and stick to it, nowadays no matter which vehicle you train and test in you will have a licence which allows you to drive both! The training week itself usually goes a lot smoother as well, during Category C training it is not uncommon to feel like you’re not driving enough and that everything is taking ages to learn, with the Category C+E you already know how to drive a bigger vehicle and handle the gears, all you are learning is to adjust your driving style and manoeuvring to allow for the extra length. Sounds much easier to us!
Getting into work
There are thousands upon thousands of vacancies currently in the HGV industry, across both Category types. Getting into work may seem easy but there are many barriers people commonly struggle to get passed; age, experience and drive. Gaining you category C+E licence can help you overcome these barriers and here’s why.
Some employers feel that the younger the driver the less cautious they are, although there are many drivers in the UK who prove this to be true, you need to show that you do not fall in line with this trend. By taking that extra step to gain your Category C+E licence you are showing that you are responsible and take your future in this industry seriously. For older
For older drivers, there can often be the challenge of employers thinking you have ‘passed your peak’. You know well enough that you are only as old as you feel, so show them. If you have been driving a Category C vehicle your whole career and then at 50 decide to take on the challenge of passing another test, you are showing determination and full ability.
This clearly doesn’t apply to those who have been using their Category C licence for years but for those who are new to the industry, it can be a tricky hurdle to overcome. Gaining your Category C+E licence will show employers that just because you haven’t been driving for years, doesn’t mean that you are not a cautious and responsible driver. To overcome this barrier you need to show that you are careful, sensible and dedicated, a key to this is having a great CV, being able to show that you have taken the time to take extra tests is a great way to do this. A brilliant way to get your foot on the ladder as a new driver is to apply for Category C work despite the fact that you have your Category C+E licence. The reason for this is that showing you have gained a licence in a larger vehicle will instil confidence in the employer that you can
A brilliant way to get your foot on the ladder as a new driver is to apply for Category C work despite the fact that you have your Category C+E licence. The reason for this is that showing you have gained a licence in a larger vehicle will instil confidence in the employer that you can drive the Category C without problems, you then are in a great position after gaining 6-month experience to jump straight up to a Category C+E job.
No employer wants a driver who is not going to give their whole selves to the job; a half-hearted approach does not make for good service. You need to show in your CV and interview that you are determined and serious about growing as a driver and making a real career for yourself out of driving. Gaining your Category C+E licence does this by showing that you have committed your finances and time to being the best you can as a driver.
If you really want to be a driver and make yourself a good career you need to give yourself the best opportunities and options, the Category C+E licence does this for you.
Choice of roles
There is such a large variety of work available in the HGV industry and the larger the licence you have, the larger the choice becomes. Have a think about the type of work you want to do, long haul, short haul, tramping, EU driving? Many of these are more widely available for those with a Category C+E licence because with larger vehicle companies can transport more goods in one load, which is why supermarket and warehouse deliveries tend to be made by Category C+E vehicles. You need to think carefully about the area that you are in and the kind of work you are most likely to come across.
If you are in the South East of England there is a large demand for Car Transporters and several top quality car production plants are in this area. Although car production is usually split between several factories and are being constantly transported in sections, once production is complete the cars need to be taken all around the country ready to be taken to individual showrooms.
Alternatively, if you are in the Yorkshire region the food and drink production industry are booming with companies such as Coca-Cola UK, Mr Kipling and Nestle having factories there. Again as these are main production plants all the goods need to be transported to storage warehouses up and down the country so they can be distributed locally at a later date.
Both of these are key examples of Category C+E vehicles being in demand, Category C vehicles are more likely to be used for home and shop front deliveries, however, long haul trips from production plants is an open road for Category C+E drivers!
From your starting point with a Category C+E licence you are already in a great position to start thinking about add-ons for your licence such as ADR, HiAb or Moffett. Although this means more training and added expense you have to way up the benefits, after all, the more add-ons you have the more opportunities that become available to you. Why not give one of our friendly team a call on 0808 168 5255 and discuss the options that are available.
Due to the more demanding and longer routes of a Category C+E driver, it will come as no surprise that the salaries for Category C+E drivers tend to be higher. Although they are of course dependent on the area, the average salary across the UK for a Category C+E driver is £30,000 compared to £24,000 for a Category C driver. This salary is reflective of the hard work involved if you want to earn the good pay you have to be a good worker.
There is nothing more satisfying than finally landing you dream job where you genuinely enjoy going to work each day, earning a decent salary is a fantastic bonus to this feeling. Obviously, these amounts are only averages; they depend on the area as well as the type of work so you will need to look at work in your own area to determine an exact figure. These high salaries are there for people who are prepared to work for them but you need to be prepared to do the tougher jobs.
Consider what you want to do each day before deciding on a licence type; if you want to complete multi-drop deliveries in your local town you would only really need a Category C licence and can probably expect to earn £21 – £23,000; if you are happy to stay overnight and transport productions elements hundreds of miles from the UK into France or Germany you will need a Category C+E licence and can expect to earn £32 – £35,000.
In most industries, the salaries increase as you climb the ladder and get some experience behind you, as a Category C+E driver you would be starting on a higher salary, one which a Category C driver would have to work for a few of years to get.
Highly regarded by your peers
There is a hierarchy in any industry of those who look up and those who are looked up to, in general, most people want to be the one who is looked up to and respected. This is a privilege which is reserved for those who are the best in their field, experienced and get to do the work which others would like the opportunity to do. With your Category C+E licence behind you, this is a much more reachable objective.
Having been through additional training and more tests you will have a better understanding of the mechanics of the vehicle and driving techniques, as you grow in your roles this knowledge will grow with you. As your knowledge and understanding grown your colleagues will start to come to you for advice and value your thoughts and opinions.
Due to your advantage of starting higher up the ladder than a Category C driver you will already be in a fantastic position to get the type of work you and others really want. Often it’s said that aspiring HGV drivers think it will all be open road and interesting loads but they are let down with the reality. That is not the case!!! As a Category C+E driver, you will be the story of the friend someone knows who got their dream driving job and gets to choose their hours, see the country and carry unusual and interesting loads. You will be the story that inspires other to become a Category C+E driver.
As you can see there are so many amazing advantages not only to gaining your HGV licence in the first place but for taking it all the way to a Category C+E licence. Being a driver is such a fulfilling and rewarding career. Why not call one of our Training Coordinators today and start to discuss your HGV career move, all our team are happy to help you along the way to your ideal career!