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Explaining the LGV Driver’s Licence

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We all know (or hopefully we do) that there are multiple kinds of drivers licence out there. Each one is specific to a different type of vehicle and requires its own set of skills to learn. Depending on what you want to drive, you will need to go through the appropriate training and testing before you are issued with one. If you drive a car, you probably have a Category B licence. In the HGV world, there are dozens of different licences for each category of vehicle – and today we want to talk about one specific subsection – the LGV licences.

What are the LGV Licences?

For reference, LGV can mean either ‘light goods vehicle’ or ‘large goods vehicle’ depending on who you talk to, but the distinction really doesn’t mean anything when it comes to learning and licences.

Just as there are many different kinds of standard driver’s licence (which you can see on the back of your pink licence, there are many kinds of LGV licence, split up mainly based on weight and size. The LGV licence class is designed for professional drivers, and puts the vehicles types into 4 different categories:

  • Category C+ E: This is the highest of the LGV licence classes, and allows you to drive the largest and heaviest HGVs and construction equipment on the road. So not surprising that this is a highly sought after licence! It lets you drive vehicles with a maximum authorised mass of over 7.5 tonnes, with trailers heavier than 750kg.

 

  • Category C: this is the most commonly held licence for LGV drivers in the UK, and qualifies you to operate vehicles including tipper trucks, bin lorries, articulated lorries and the heaviest of box trucks.

 

  • Category C1 + E: This is considered a lower-class of licence in LGV terms, as it does somewhat restrict what you’re allowed to drive. This covers vehicles between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, with trailers of 750kg or more. This might include, for example, a large cargo van with a utility trailer, or a small tipper truck built on a standard truck chassis.

 

  • Category C1: The C1 is the base LGV licence, and is usually passed up in favour of one of the other licences. The C1 licence allows you to drive transit vans and small box trucks and doesn’t allow you to tow a trailer behind your vehicle.

What’s Involved in LGV Licence Training?

LGV training is essential to ensure new drivers and safe, knowledgeable and comfortable driving large and potentially dangerous vehicles on the roads. Driving an LGV is not like driving a normal car, and you essentially have to start from scratch to learn it all again. The training will cover everything from the basics to more advanced techniques and include skills like:

  • Making turns properly
  • Reversing trucks and trailers
  • Manoeuvring large vehicles in tight spaces
  • Appropriate accelerating and braking techniques
  • Appropriate use of mirrors and other safety equipment

A lot of this is also covered in the Driver CPC qualification – something every professional driver has to do in order to prove their competence behind the wheel.

What About the Tests?

The LGV driver’s tests are somewhat similar to the standard driver’s licence tests, except more involved. It is made up of 4 tests, split into 2 sections:

Theory: The theory section is split into a multiple choice section, where drivers answer questions about road and vehicle safety, and a case study section, where drivers are asked to review a series of scenarios they may encounter and answer questions about them.

Practical: The final stage of LGV testing is the practical exams. The first part is a demonstration of pre-drive checks and vehicle safety, including loading and unloading techniques. The second is a driving section, which is similar to the traditional practical driving test.

Of course, that’s a lot to take in, and it can be daunting when you first start. But that’s where we come in. At The HGV Training Centre, we specialise in taking aspiring drivers and giving them the training, support and knowledge they need to become experienced LGV drivers. If you would like to know more about becoming an LGV driver, just get in touch with the team today.

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