So, you have decided you want to become a professional LGV driver. We first want to commend you on your choice. Professional driving is an excellent career offering a good living, the opportunity for career advancement, and the ability to work day-to-day in a job that does not involve being confined to an office or standing on a production line. You will do very well in the haulage industry if you can work independently and are able to adapt to the many challenges of professional driving.
Before you can embark on your new career, you must obtain the appropriate LGV licence. So the first thing to understand is that there are multiple licences to choose from. Licence categories in the UK are in line with EU regulations relating to commercial vehicle size and weight. Under the strictest definition of the term, an LGV is a commercial vehicle in excess of 7.5 tonnes MAM (maximum authorised mass). However, we now adopt a broader definition for administrative purposes. We now include smaller LGVs, such as cargo vans, for example, weighing between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes.
There are four licence categories that qualify for LGV training:
There are two additional things you need to know about the LGV licence. First, such licences come with acquired rights. That means if you earn the Category C licence you will be eligible to drive all of the vehicles in that category as well as those in the lesser LGV categories.
The second thing to know is that the UK is now operating under the Driver CPC scheme that has been adopted throughout the EU. Even after obtaining your LGV licence, you will have to undergo additional CPC training in order to renew your driver card every five years. As a professional driver, ongoing training will be part of your career.
Obtaining an LGV licence is not as hard as a lot of people think. As long as you meet some minimum requirements, you can begin the training process relatively quickly. What are those minimum requirements? They start with possessing a Category B licence. In other words, you cannot start training to become a professional lorry driver if you are not already licenced to drive a car. A copy of your photocard licence will be required when you submit the initial paperwork to get your provisional entitlement.
In terms of age requirements, you must be at least 18 years old to possess a valid LGV licence. As such, most training companies will not even consider you for preparation classes if you are not at least 18. This is generally not a problem from a practical standpoint. Most of our students are already old enough by virtue of the fact that they have completed schooling before coming to us for training.
Lastly, LGV drivers are required by law to be in reasonably good health. This is determined by a medical exam conducted by an NHS GP or private physician. The doctor conducting the medical exam looks at a long list of things that include your vision, your medical history, any current medical conditions, and evidence of drug or alcohol abuse.
If you were to download the medical paperwork from the government website, you would see what appears to be a complicated form that doctors have to fill out. But rest assured that the medical exam is no big deal. Doctors are only looking for any conditions that may make you unsafe as a driver. You don’t have to be a specimen of perfect health; you just need to be in reasonably good health and not be a drug or alcohol abuser.
The LGV Training Process
Training for your LGV licence can begin once you possess your provisional entitlement. Our testing programme starts with preparation for the LGV theory test. We offer preparation classes along with software that enables our students to take as many practice tests as they want. By preparing and practising, students are more than ready to pass when testing day arrives. You should know that you can take both portions of the theory test on the same day or, if you prefer, split them up. But you must successfully complete both portions within two years of each other to receive a valid theory certificate.
Passing the LGV theory test allows you to commence practical skills training. This training is made up of two components: classroom instruction and behind-the-wheel training. In the classroom, we teach the fundamental knowledge required for safe and proficient operation of large commercial vehicles. Then we take candidates on a closed course where they practice what they have learned by driving an actual LGV commensurate with the kind of licence they are attempting to obtain.
What does practical skills training cover? The list of topics is too extensive to list them individually, but they are divided into three categories:
Practical skills training at the HGV Training Centre can be completed in just a few weeks for most students. As long as you have the ability to absorb information and retain it, there is no reason you cannot be ready to take your practical skills test rather quickly. If you do require additional help, our dedicated instructors are there to do what they can for you. Our goal is to make sure you pass your exams the first time you take them.
This completes our guide to the LGV licence. If you have any questions we did not answer here, do not be afraid to contact us right away. One of our LGV specialists would be more than happy to assist you. Should you decide to train with us, rest assured you have our full commitment to your success. Not only will we train you to obtain your LGV licence, but we will also help you find a job once you have that licence in hand.
If you have any questions regarding the LGV Licence or training courses please do not hesitate to call or email of expert support team who will be happy to help. Alternatively, you can read more by choosing from the list of our other articles below.
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