If you are thinking of becoming a professional lorry driver and want to be able to drive vehicles with a laden weight of over 7.5tonnes, you will need to undergo a HGV Training course. Being a qualified lorry driver opens up opportunities for working locally, nationally and internationally. Once you have passed your HGV Course you will have great flexibility in your working hours, be able to deliver multi-drop deliveries, drive box container or curtain-sided vehicles and transport livestock. The work can take you all over the country. There is great camaraderie within the trucking world and you will make new friends and become part of a network of lorry drivers, keeping in contact with radios and helping each other out with any known difficulties in routings. Depending on whether you drive locally or nationally, you will learn a lot about the geography of theUK and, if you also accept international assignments, aboutEurope as well.
It is important that you get good information and identify a suitable Truck Driver Training School from the outset. You should always check that the organisation offering the course has the Driver Standards Agency (DSA) accreditation. There are three tests you will need to take to complete HGV Training. The first is the theory and hazard perception test which is a computer based multiple choice test followed by video clips of hazards which are developing. The earlier you are able to identify the hazard, the higher your score will be. The second test is the practical driving test, and the third is the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). You will also need to undergo a medical to prove fitness for driving. Once you have passed all three parts of the HGV Course, you will be entitled to take up your first job as a professional lorry driver. Ongoing HGV Training is required for all new professional drivers, and you will be required to pass the four Driver CPC module tests and do 35 hours of periodic training every five years. This will keep you up to date with any new regulations which may be introduced.
HGV and Large Goods Vehicles (LGV) drivers are in high demand and once you have successfully passed your Lorry Driver Training, you will be able to earn a high salary and have security of employment. If you already have a category C1 licence and have passed your car driving test prior to 1997, you will automatically be entitled to drive a vehicle up to 7.5tonnes laden weight. You will then only need to upgrade to a Category C licence which is a rigid lorry with a fixed body between 7.5 tonnes and 18 tonnes. For larger articulated lorries, you will need a Category C+E licence, and pass the relevant HGV Course to enable you to upgrade your licence to this level.
The cost of undertaking Lorry Driver Training is high, but the investment is well worth while, given the flexibility, job satisfaction, job security and high earnings potential of a professional lorry driver.