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Commercial Vehicle

How to become a truck driver

Monday, 03 October 2016 GMT
Author: Staveley Head

HGV drivers move everything from furniture, clothes, and food to fuel and chemical goods. So, it’s no surprise that truckers are in such high demand. In just 12 months the industry has seen a 19.2% increase in business. That’s why we’re taking a look at what it takes to become a HGV driver.

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The Initial Requirements

Before you can even consider becoming a HGV driver you must be over 18 and have a full car licence. Once you meet these requirements you’ll need to understand the different licence types.

HGV Licence Types

The next step is to figure out what type of licence you need. We have listed the different category’s that relate to truck drivers below:

HGV Class 1

HGV class 1 refers to any vehicle that weighs over 7.5t with a detachable trailer. This is also known as Cat ‘C+E’. You can only apply for this licence once you have passed Cat ‘C’.

HGV Class 2

If the vehicle you would like to drive has a rigid based body over 7.5t then this is the licence for you. This is also known as Cat ‘C’. Examples of vehicles that fit into this category are fire engines and bin Lorries.

Cat C1

A Cat C1 licence is for use when driving a vehicle weighing between 3.5t and 7.5t. It’s important to note that if you gained your licence before 1997 this category will already be on your licence. Any licence gained after 1997 will have to take the test.

Other categories include; Cat C1+E, Cat B+E, Cat D, Cat D1 and Fork Lift however these are less related to truck driving.

Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)

If you will be driving a lorry for business or livelihood reasons then you will need a CPC. There are 4 parts that make up the driver CPC:

Part 1 Theory test

Similar to the car diving theory test this module is a multiple choice and hazard and perception test.

Part 2 Driver CPC case study

In this module you’ll read 7 case studies. Each case study will tell a short story of situations you may come across whilst on the road. After you have read each case study you must answer 6-8 multiple choice questions.

Part 3 the practical test

This is where you really have to demonstrate you driving skills as you hit the road with the examiner.

Part 4 Vehicle safety demonstration

During the vehicle safety demonstration you must display your vehicle knowledge. This includes being able to load and secure the vehicle, prevent trafficking of illegal immigrants, your ability to assess emergency situations, prevent physical accidents, and complete a vehicle safety check.

For more information you can watch the following video:

Ongoing HGV Training

Once you have gained your Class 1 and CPC you can breathe – until 5 years have passed and you have to complete 35 hours of driver training to keep your CPC. And this will happen every 5 years you wish to keep your qualification.

Finally you must sign a declaration of medical fitness, which needs to be signed every 5 years until you reach 45. In between the ages of 45-65 you will have to submit a medical report every 5 years. This medical information is required regardless of your purpose for driving a HGV.

Once you’re Qualified

Once you are qualified you’ll want to find a job and eventually turn this job into a career. The best place to start your search is on job sites even if you cannot find anything at the moment it may still be worth uploading a CV for recruitments consultants to find you. Alternatively make a list of companies that interest you and begin looking out for vacancies.

Here are a couple of useful links to help start your search:

Haulage Exchange

Road Haulage Association (RHA)

HGV Insurance

Before you can take to the road you’ll need HGV insurance and we can help with that give us a call on 0800 023 7197 or visit us for more information at staveleyhead.co.uk/commercial-vehicle/hgv-insurance

For more information you can visit gov.uk. Are you a professional HGV driver? Share your experience with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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