How To Prepare To Be A New HGV Driver

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Vehicle Type Verses Licence Class
HGV / LGV Cat 'C+E' (Class 1)

Any vehicle over 7.5t that has a detachable or separate trailer, Cat 'C+E' licences can only be applied for once the driver has taken and passed their Cat 'C'. These are larger vehicles so tend to be used for long haul, national and international routes. Starting salaries are around £28,000 per year.

HGV / LGV Cat 'C' (Class 2)

For vehicles in a rigid-based body that is over 7.5t – examples include fire engines, rubbish collection vehicles and any HGV, providing the vehicle is all one unit (i.e. the cab does not separate from the trailer). Usually operated in towns and cities, starting salaries for Cat 'C' drivers are around £24,000 per year

Cat C1

For use if driving any goods vehicle that is above 3.5t and below 7.5t in weight. If you gained your driving licence before 1997, you will automatically have this category on your licence. If you gained your driving licence after 1997, you will have to take a test. Note – if you gain your Cat 'C' you automatically get given your Cat 'C1', so it is advisable to take a full Cat 'C' course and get both categories for the price of one. C1 vehicle examples include: horseboxes, ambulances, Occado delivery vehicles etc. Course can be completed in 1x week.

Cat C1+E

Same as above, but gives you the capacity to tow a trailer behind your C1 vehicle. Course can be completed in 1x week.

Cat B+E

This enables you to tow an item behind a standard car. Again, if you passed before 1997 you do not need to pass a test to tow a trailer behind a car – if you passed after 1997, a full course and driving test is required. Course can be completed in 3x days.

Cat D

This is a full bus / coach licence, enabling you to drive any sized Passenger Carrying Vehicle. Course can be completed in 1x week.

Cat D1

Enables you to drive a minibus of 9-16 seats maximum. If you passed your driving test before 1997 this category will already be on your licence, if you passed after that date a full course and test is required. Course can be completed in 1x week.

Fork Lift

The licences depend on what vehicle is used and the type of environment it is used in. 1-day refresher courses: for experienced operators with lapsed licences 3-day mini courses: for experienced operators who have not received formal training 5-day full courses: for novices who have not received any training and have no experience. All courses begin with classroom time where you will learn the theoretical requirements of the vehicle they are being trained on. Includes all relevant aspects of health and safety and short multiple-choice Theory Test. Practical training begins with an explanation as to the operation of the relevant truck. Practical elements cover daily vehicle checks and safe loading techniques – you will then practice the operation of the vehicle until they become proficient, whereby a short practical test will take place.

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Step-by-Step
Getting Qualified Guide

Register for free with The HGV Training Company

Then speak to an expert with independent advice on licence types and employment opportunities

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Receive your ‘Starter Pack’ containing all forms, application packs, online training software and provisional course dates.

Attend your discounted “Driver Medical”.

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Pass your 'Theory Test' with help from our unique online training kit.

Attend your selected Practical Training Course – at one of our 50 centres nationwide

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Take your driving test – remember, with 'Pass Protection' your chances of passing increase to 92%!

Finally obtain your Drivers' Qualification Card (DQC) by either passing your Initial CPC or attending a Periodic CPC course in your area. See our video here or call to find out which course is suitable for you.

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December 20, 2016 8:00 am

So you’re booked on one of our training courses, and you could be a fully qualified HGV driver within a week. It’s time to start thinking about the practicalities of your career as a professional new HGV driver, and that means thinking beyond simply getting your licence. We’ve put together a rundown of all the things you might want to think about once you’ve successfully got your test out of the way.

Finding a job

First thing’s first, it’s time to start looking for jobs you can apply for once you’re qualified. Thanks to a huge shortage of drivers, finding a job won’t be difficult, but it’s still good to know where to look. Browse our Job Finder service to see what’s available near you.

 

Prepping for winter

If you’re qualifying during the winter period, you’ll be straight into winter driving. Whilst your training means your driving skills will be absolutely excellent, there’s more to think about than just your proficiency behind the wheel. As you start to think about upcoming jobs driving in ice and snow, making sure your vehicle is properly prepared for winter is essential, and it’s something that doesn’t feature on any test.

From keeping your engine the right temperature to carrying the right items with you in case of emergency, and the reason you might want a couple of sacks in the back, there’s a lot to think about. We’ve put together a handy guide for preparing your HGV for winter. (ADD LINK WHEN LIVE)

 

Getting the right apps

As well as carrying sacks around, you should also be thinking about apps. There’s an app for everyone and everything these days, including HGV driving – some of them are great, and some less so. If you’re not using apps, you’re missing out on a whole world of extra help as you go about your day-to-day business.

Everything from your hours and routes to checking your vehicle and parking up for the night, loads of your daily tasks can be made faster and more efficient with the right apps. Check out our breakdown of the best apps for HGV drivers to get started.

 

Driving to Europe

If you think you might be driving to Europe as part of your new job, you might have all kinds of questions about exactly how that works. None of that is on your test, but it’s still good to know, so we’ve put together some basic information on driving to Europe so you know what to expect.

 

Adding to your skills

It’s not all about your licence, there are other things you can bring to a driving job that seem completely unrelated to driving but are actually incredibly valuable. This might be speaking another language, being good at maths, or just knowing how to look after yourself during long periods on the road.

Take a look at our guide to extra skills and knowledge to see what you could enhance or start working on outside your training.

Making your cab your own

Curtains, cooking facilities and things to help you sleep will all come in very useful during long journeys. We’ve put together a guide to making your cab your own while you’re on the road, so your jobs are less stressful and more enjoyable.

 


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This post was written by Prath Kamat

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