If you love driving and you want to turn it into a career, why not look into training as an HGV driver? There’s currently a huge shortage of HGV drivers in the UK, meaning that there’s lots of jobs available to people who have the correct licence. Holding an HGV license can open up a number of opportunities to drive for a living including:
- Driving curtain-sided or box-container vehicles
- Delivering building materials
- Transporting livestock
- Delivering shop products (multi-drop deliveries)
- Driving tankers – you may be asked to carry powders, liquids or gases
- Delivering goods that are temperature controlled – such as flowers, salad or frozen foods
If you’re interested in becoming an HGV driver and you want to know more, keep reading below:
Before You Get Started
In order to become a heavy goods vehicle driver, you must:
- Be 18 years old or above
- Have a full UK or Northern Ireland driving license
- Apply for a provisional entitlement (on your driving license)
- Attend a medical and get a report showing that you’re fit to drive an HGV – during the medical you will be asked about any health conditions or concerns you may have. You will also be asked to complete an eye test. All of these things are done to make sure you’re safe on the road.
- Check that the vehicle you’re driving has the correct tax and insurance – Visit this insurance checker to find car insurance for HGV drivers.
- Purchase L Plates and display them on the front and the back of the vehicle you’re driving
- Have a qualified driver sit next to you while you’re learning (they must be at least 21 years of age).
What Type of License Should You Apply For?
Not all HGV licenses are the same. Here are some of the main types you can choose from:
- Cat C1 – this is the smallest type of vehicle used in haulage.
- Cat C1 + E – this licence allows you to drive vehicles between 3,500 and 7,500kg. It also allows you to attach a trailer weighing more than 750kg
- Cat C – this allows you to drive vehicles weighing over 3,500kg
- Cat C + E – this allows you to drive a vehicle over 3,500kg whilst also pulling a trailer that weighs more than 750kg
How to Become an HGV Driver
These are some of the steps you will have to take if you want to become an HGV driver in the UK:
- Have a medical – this will ensure you are fit to drive an HGV on the roads
- Theory test – this test is similar to the test you took when you learnt to drive a car.
- HGV practical training – once you’ve passed your theory test, you can start your practical training. You will need to find a qualified HGV instructor to teach you.
- Book your test – your instructor will let you know when they think you’re ready to pass your practical test.
- CPC training – once you’ve passed your theory and practical exam, you’re legally allowed to drive an HGV, however some organisations will require you to complete CPC training too.
If you love the idea of getting up in the morning and travelling around the UK or the world, and you don’t mind being away from home for long periods of time, then working as an HGV driver may be a brilliant option for you. Why not look into it some more?