If you are considering a career change and thinking of becoming a lorry driver you will want to think about the pros and cons. You must have a clean full car driving licence before you can even apply for HGV training. Even if you do not have any points but have a drink driving notice on your licence you may find it difficult to find work even if you have passed a HGV course.
The main benefits of being a lorry driver are that you will have flexibility of working hours, need never be without a job, and there are many opportunities for employment or self employment. Prior to the recession, you were guaranteed work and a high salary if you had successfully completed lorry driving training. This has changed over the last few years, as with other types of employment. The recession has affected all industry sectors. After completing your HGV training, you can start looking for a job and often the training provider will be able to help and point you in the right direction.
Qualified lorry drivers can work on day contracts, delivering goods to within their local area. There are also longer haul overnight runs available, as well as international deliveries. It will depend on what you want to do, and of course the work available. Having passed your HGV course and have Class C and E categories on your licence, you will have more choice as work becomes available.
On the down side, there is a lot of paperwork to complete to remain within the UKand EU regulations. Vehicle weight (laden and unladen), and whole host of other legislation must be adhered to when you are a lorry driver. It is not just a matter of driving the lorry. Allowable driving hours are just one restriction you will need to stick to. All of this information will be included in your HGV training and you will need to be able to understand both the theoretical and practical aspects of being a lorry driver. A tachograph is fitted to the gearbox of a vehicle which records the speed and distance the vehicle has covered within a set period. The tachograph has been fitted to all relevant lorries and buses manufactured after 1st May 2006. This restricts how many hours a driver can drive within a 24 hour period, and using the “tacho” is part of the HGV training.
If you are in a position to purchase your own lorry and become self employed, you will still need to have successfully passed a HGV training course before you can start working on contracts. Being self employed means even more paperwork as well as the driving, marketing and seeking out contracts. Whether you want to work for an employer or be self employed, being a lorry driver is a great career. The hours can be long and you may be away from home for long periods, especially if you go on international runs, but your HGV training will stand you in good stead for making a good income.