So you’ve chosen to take the leap – you want to become an HGV driver. Now that you’ve done the difficult bit (deciding to switch careers), now all you’ve got to do is get yourself qualified. But as soon as you start looking into that, you realise it’s a complete minefield. Working out what qualification to do, where to do it and which options to choose can be confusing but don’t worry – we’re here to help. Today, we’ve got a walkthrough of what becoming a HGV driver might look like if you chose to do your standard Cat C licence. So without further ado, let’s dive in!
First things first, you need to do a bit of prep work. That includes:
CPC, Or Full Qualification: Do you want to drive a HGV for pleasure, or professionally? If it’s just for pleasure, then you will only need a basic CPC licence, which means you will only need to complete modules 1 and 3. But if you want to drive professionally, you will need all 4 modules.
Medical: One of the things you will need to do is prove that you are medically fit to drive an HGV. That means booking in for a medical check-up with your doctor. Make sure you have a copy of the DVLA D4 form with you, as your doctor will need to fill it in and sign it.
Paperwork: Once you have the D4 form signed and filled in by a doctor, you also need to fill in a D2 form and send them both to the DVLA in Swansea.
This whole process usually takes around 10-14 days, so it’s worth using this time to start brushing up on your theory knowledge for modules 1 and 2.
This is the section you might recognise, known as the ‘theory’ bit. It’ll be very familiar if you’ve got a standard driving licence. The theory test is split into 2 sections:
Theory: The theory section is made up of 100 questions about driving HGV’s, safety and general HGV knowledge. You will have 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete the theory test, and you need to get a score of 85 or higher to pass.
Hazard Perception: The hazard perception test is made up of 20 clips, and works in the same way as the standard car hazard perception. Watch the clips and spot the hazards as they occur. You’ll need to get a minimum of 67 out of 100 to pass.
You can only apply to do Module 1 once you have your provisional license, and it’s usually the first thing aspiring drivers do once they have it.
Module 2 is also a bit of ‘theory’, but it’s got its own category because it’s designed for professional drivers and not leisure drivers. This theory section focusses more on real-life case studies, which will have several talking points within them. You will be given 7 case studies in total, which may include video, audio, text or diagrams, and once you’ve gone through each one you will be asked questions on them. There are usually 6-8 questions on each case study, and you need to answer them correctly to pass.
Now that you’ve done all the theory bits, it’s time to get your hands dirty and get behind the wheel. This is the practical driving section, where you will go out with an examiner and demonstrate your driving skills. Since this is quite a big part of the qualification, this is where the majority of your training will focus. Your test will last around an hour and a half, and will include at least one reversing exercise, as well as showing your ability to drive on different road surfaces and types.
The last hurdle is a mix of theory and practical, just to cement your skills. Module 4 is called the practical assessment of knowledge’, and requires you to go around with an assessor and demonstrate your knowledge of various vehicle-related issues. This will include how to perform daily inspection and what to look for, safety protocols, load restraints and so on. In this section the examiner wants to see as much demonstration of skills as possible, not just talking about how to do them. To pass module 4, you will need to score 80% overall and at least 75% in each individual section.
And that’s it! Once you’ve completed all 4 modules, you are officially qualified to be an HGV driver professionally. Now all you need to do is get yourself a job. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there. As well as providing comprehensive training programmes for all ages and abilities of aspiring drivers, we have strong links with local and national haulage firms, who regularly turn to us as a source of newly qualified drivers. So now only can we train you, we can help you find your perfect job as well.
To find out more, just get in touch with us today.
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