If your lifelong dream has been to drive a lorry, truck or even a bus down the majestic highways of the world, you have certainly come to the right place. HGV drivers are certainly the unsung heroes of the retail world, delivering goods and raw material across the world every day. At HGV training Centre, we help aspiring HGV drivers to learn the trade, understand the job and really get to know the ins and outs of the business. But when you’ve decided this is the job for you, where do you start?
First Things First
Before you dive right into the world of HGV driving, there are a few pre-qualifiers you need to know about. First, you need to be over 18 years old and a full, valid drivers’ license. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any other qualifications and have never driven anything bigger than a Micra, you can start learning to drive HGV’s straight away. You will need to log at least 35 hours of practical experience behind the wheel before you can take your test, and you will fare better if you start on this early. While you are doing this, you will also need to undertake some training.
Before you can get behind the wheel and start driving for a living, you will need to do a few things. The first thing is to apply for a provisional lorry or bus license, so you can start getting that practical experience. If you intend to drive a lorry, bus or coach over 3.5 tonnes, you will need to take your Driver CPC (certificate of professional competence). This test is made up of 4 parts – theory, hazard perception, practical and practical demonstration. Once you have attained this basic qualification, you will be able to take further qualifications to improve your skills. If you’re taking the first step towards a career in HGV driving, you will need to take a category C course. Category C (also known as Rigid, Class 2, Cat C and LGV) applies to all vehicles over 3,500kg. In total you will need at least 35 hours of training before you can take your LGV license test. This is the basic qualification all HGV drivers need in order to operate HGV’s legally. In order to apply for this qualification, you need to:
- Be competent in English and Maths
- Be over 18
- Hold a full car license
- Have good eyesight
- Pass a medical examination
- Possess a driver CPC qualification
Once you have met all the criteria and passed all of the relevant tests you have chosen to take, you will be presented with your HGV licenses. Unfortunately, this isn’t like your standard driving license and it won’t last forever. Instead, you will need to undertake a minimum of 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years in order to stay qualified. You will also need to submit to medical examinations every 5 years to prove you are still fit and healthy enough to be in charge of heavy goods vehicles. After your turn 45, you will only need to produce medical reports until you turn 65.
Of course, there are a few different routes to obtaining your HGV qualifications, but this is simplest and most cost effective method out there. You could also take an approved NVT course, which would allow you to drive professional for up to 12 months without taking parts 2 and 4 of the driver CPC tests. If you are only looking to drive for a hobby, or want to carry passengers or good for personal, non-commercial use, you don’t need to complete the full driver CPC, but you will still need to pass parts 1 and 2. For more information, get in touch with us today.