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What Do You Need to Become a HIAB Driver?

HGV Training Centre

Becoming accredited as an HGV driver can be an incredible way to open the door to endless new career opportunities. Once you’ve earned the right certifications, not only can you work for some of the world’s leading brands, helping to transport goods across the UK and beyond, but you can also begin considering other avenues of employment too. 

For instance, with a CPC certification, you’ll be one step closer towards a role as a HIAB driver. These crucial employees are responsible for managing some of the most important pieces of equipment in the logistics landscape. They can earn incredible wages, and access range of job opportunities all around the country. 

So, how exactly do you become a HIAB driver?

What is a HIAB Driver? An Introduction

Before you start exploring how you can launch your career as a HIAB driver, it’s worth getting a clear idea of what this role actually involves. HIAB drivers are professionals usually employed by the same market-leading companies searching for HGV professionals. 

The difference between an HGV driver and a HIAB driver, is the kind of vehicle they operate. HIAB drivers specifically focus on driving and managing vehicles with cranes or lifting tools attached to them. The term “HIAB driver” comes from the brand name for one of the companies best-known for producing lorries and trucks with mounted cranes. 

A HIAB driver not only drives the vehicle connected to the crane, but they also operate the machinery to assist with unloading and loading tasks. This means if you want to thrive in this career, you’ll need to learn how to manage a new type of machinery safely and efficiently. 

What Certifications do You Need?

Becoming a HIAB driver, just like starting a career as an HGV driver, will require you to earn some industry-specific accreditations. Anyone over the age of 18 with a full driver’s license in the UK can start the training process. However, you will need a few things before you can start applying for specific HIAB licenses. First, you’ll have to have a DBS disclosure certificate, a European Standard CESE safety certificate, and a CPC certification.

If you’ve already completed your training to become an HGV driver, you should have this certification already. However, if you’re brand-new to the industry, you’ll need to define which CPC certification is right for you, and complete your training with an accredited training company. The CPC also needs to be frequently renewed (every five years), to keep it up to date. 

Once you have your CPC, DBS, and CESE certifications, you can start applying for certificates specifically designed for HIAB drivers. There are a few different options to choose from. For instance, the ITSSAR qualification is common for forklift operators, while the ALLMI certification ensures you can drive any vehicle with a mounted crane. 

The ALLMI certificate, awarded by the Association of Lorry Loader Manufacturers and Importers is available in two forms, the modernised (Basic) certificate, and the traditional foundation certification. While the traditional certificate will last for 6 years, the Basic certification needs to be renewed every 4 years. Make sure you keep your accreditation up-to-date. 

What’s Involved in HIAB Training?

As a HIAB driver, you’ll use a lot of the skills you develop during your CPC training process. However, you’ll need to develop some additional skills too, to ensure you can safely operate vehicles with attached cranes and lifting tools. 

Just like with HGV certifications, there are various training providers who can help to prepare you for your HIAB test, which involves an assessment, and a practical exam. Throughout your training, you’ll learn about the legislation surrounding HIAB vehicles, as well as how to operate a crane and use the controls for loading and unloading equipment. 

Lessons can also include insights into pre-operational performance checks, operator maintenance, deploying stabiliser legs, and preparing cranes for use. Alongside the man hours you’ll need to commit to studying for your HIAB test, you’ll also need to think about the cost of becoming accredited. After you pay for your CPC certificate, you’ll need to pay for a HIAB certificate too.

The exact price you pay for both the certification and the training involved will vary. However, prices usually start at around £425+, depending on the type of certification you want. The good news is that the training and examination process can take as little as a couple of days, depending on how much prior experience you already have. 

While you’re working on your technical skills, you’ll also need to ensure you have the characteristics employers are looking for in a HIAB driver, such as excellent commitment, safety precautions, interpersonal skills, and reliability. 

Is HIAB Driving a Good Career Choice?

Although you will need to commit to some specialist training to become a HIAB driver, it’s often much easier to get started in this landscape than most people think. What’s more, the opportunities available to HIAB professionals are endless. 

Not only will you be able to apply for jobs with similar benefits to those for HGV drivers, such as plenty of freedom, flexible schedules, and adventure, but you’ll also be able to earn a decent salary without investing years into your education. Average salaries for entry-level professionals start at the £32,000 mark in the UK, and as demand grows, wages increase too. 

As a HIAB driver, you’ll be able to apply for more roles connected to the HGV landscape, and explore a wide range of different job opportunities with new employers.

Do You Want to Become a HIAB Driver?

If you’ve already completed your CPC training to become an HGV driver, you’re already taking steps towards a potential career in HIAB management. If you’re starting from scratch, exploring a career as a HIAB driver could be an excellent way to open the door to new job opportunities, and increase your earning potential. You’ll be able to explore more of the world, enjoy some great benefits, and pursue a salary in a stable and secure industry. 

If you think HIAB driving might be the right route for you, you can begin investing in your future today, with the HGV Training Center. Contact us to learn which CPC certificate you need to get started, and access custom support to help you achieve your professional goals. 

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