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Every day, people take the life-changing decision to become a professional HGV driver, due to the excellent rates of pay and career opportunities that professional driving offers. Obtaining an HGV licence is the key to a flexible and independent life, free of the confinement of an office, factory or warehouse. Over and above the mandatory HGV licence requirements, HGV drivers need to have the capacity to adapt to the numerous challenges the job presents. The good news is that there is lots of high-quality, tailored training available to make sure that once you have your LGV/HGV licence, you are given the know-how to cope with the everyday part of the job.

HGV Career Programme

So, if you’re setting out on your journey to an HGV driving job, your first priority is to obtain the appropriate HGV Licence. There are numerous lorry licences to choose from, with categories falling in line with UK & EU regulations in terms of the size and weight of the commercial vehicle being driven. Strictly defined, a Heavy Goods Vehicle is one that’s in excess of 7.5 tonnes MAM (maximum authorised mass) and used on a commercial basis.

 

4 Major HGV Licence Categories:

HGV CAT C1 

This is the first and lowest LGV licence category and is intended for commercial vehicles weighing between 3.5-7.5 tonnes with no trailer attached. This licence is for those who are only planning to drive either lightbox trucks or cargo vans.

HGV CAT C1+E 

This next category of LGV licence is for commercial vehicles weighing between 3.5-7.5 tonnes with trailers in excess of 750 kg attached. This HGV driving licence is appropriate for commercial vehicles with large, heavy utility trailers.

HGV CAT C 

This is the most commonly held HGV licence by UK lorry drivers and it is intended for vehicles in excess of 7.5 tonnes, with or without a trailer. Possessing this HGV driving licence will allow you to drive most types articulated lorries, bin lorries and tipper trucks.

HGV CAT C+E 

In terms of HGV licence categories, this last one is the most all-encompassing of them all. It allows the holder to drive the biggest and heaviest vehicles around, such as heavy construction equipment and oversized articulated lorries

 

hgv licence & recruitment

There are a couple more important things you should know about an HGV licence, with the first being that they come with acquired rights. This means that if you obtain a Category C HGV driving licence, you are automatically eligible to drive all vehicles that fall within that category, including those in the lesser HGV licence categories. The second important thing is that in the UK, those who hold an LGV/HGV licence now need to adhere to the DVSA’s Driver CPC scheme, which means that even once fully qualified to drive HGV vehicles, you’ll need to take additional CPC training to validate your driver card every 5 years. As a professional HGV driver, ongoing training is now part and parcel of your career. Don’t worry though, as it’s not as scary as it might sound.

 

HGV Licence Requirements

Many people believe that getting their hands on an LGV or HGV licence is harder than it actually is. Providing that you can meet some minimum requirements, you can begin HGV licence training in a relatively short period of time.

You’ll need a full Category B photocard car licence so that your paperwork can be submitted for your provisional HGV licence entitlement and you must be a least 18 years of age. This is a strictly implemented rule in the industry and as such, most LGV licence training companies won’t even consider you for preparation classes until you reach this age. However, this is not something that causes too much of a problem in reality, as most of our students have finished school before approaching us for training.

Another on the list of HGV licence requirements is that you’re in reasonably good health. This is determined during a medical exam conducted by a doctor at one of our approved medical centres. The doctor conducting your exam will look at aspects of your health, such as vision, current medical conditions, medical history and any evidence of alcohol or drug abuse.

 

This can seem like a pretty intimidating part of the LGV licence qualification process, but you shouldn’t worry too much as all the doctor will be verifying is that you’re going to be safe as a professional driver. You don’t have to be in peak physical fitness to be a HGV driver, just safe behind the wheel.

 

What’s CPC and Who Needs it?

Since 2009, LGV/HGV licence holders in the UK have been required under EU law to hold a valid Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) card in addition to their HGV licence. There are two types of CPC training in existence:

 

1 – Initial CPC Training

This is a one-time requirement for those who have recently obtained their HGV licence, which includes a theory test, a case study test, a demonstration test and a driving ability test. Once completed, you will be required to renew your CPC card every 5 years to stay valid with periodic CPC training. The only time you won’t have to complete initial CPC training is if you obtained your HGV licence before the 10th of September 2009, as you will have acquired rights (a.k.a grandfather rights).

 

2 – Periodic CPC Training

As we briefly touched upon in the last paragraph, CPC training needs to be renewed every 5 years, which will involve 35 hours of classroom-based training. Don’t worry, there are no exams in Periodic CPC training, but it must be taken seriously, as it’s designed to give you all the tools you need to cope with the challenges you’ll face as an HGV driver.

periodic cpc HGV

How to Apply for HGV Licence Training

The good news is that applying for HGV training is a really simple process. All you need to do is contact us either by phone or by filling in our contact form. Whichever route you take, you’ll end up talking to one of our expert advisors who will be able to run you through the entire training and recruitment process. In fact, one of the major benefits of taking your HGV training with us is that we can do everything for you from start to finish, so you’re in good hands!

We’ve broken the process down for ease into 4 simple steps.

Step 1 – Sign Up

Our course advisors will provide you will all the details about your chosen course and if you’re happy to proceed, you can sign up and get started from as little as a £10 deposit. You shouldn’t get too hung up on HGV licence cost, as our finance scheme allows our students to spread the amount payable into affordable chunks.

Step 2 – Medical Test

The next step is to sign you up for a medical test at one of our 60 approved training centres across the UK. It’s important to say that this is not a drugs test, rather it is a simple check to see if you are fit to hold an HGV licence and drive a lorry.

Step 3 – Theory Test

After sending all of your details along with your driving licence to the DVLA, you should receive your provisional licence back through the post. This will allow you to log into our online portal and get in some important practice for your theory test, which will include amongst other things, CPC case studies, a hazard perception test and a multiple choice test. Our portal even allows you to take a mock theory test to help gauge exactly how ready you are. Once you’re happy that you’re are ready, we can book you in for your HGV theory test.

Step 4 – Practical Test

Once you’ve passed your theory test, the next step on your journey to your LGV/HGV licence is to do your practical training which lasts 20 hours. Whilst you’re doing this, our recruitment team will be beavering away, getting your profile created, preparing your CV and getting you ready for interviews. They’ll give you industry insights, tips on what to expect and which firms are hiring.

 

Our partnership with Manpower ensures that you get exclusive support in finding driving work and our recruitment team will get to work the moment you sign up with us, so you couldn’t be in a better position to find exciting, well-paid professional driving work. From start to finish, we take all of the guesswork out of the process, meaning that when you choose us for your HGV driver training, you’re going to feel looked after throughout.

HGV Practical training centre

Get in Touch

Whilst this page is quite comprehensive in terms of the information it provides, it’s not an exhaustive source of information on all things relating to preparing for and obtaining your HGV license. If you have any further queries about anything we haven’t mentioned or you’d simply like to discuss your options, our friendly expert team would love to hear from you.

We offer a structured and proven path to professional HGV driving, with over 92% of those enrolling with us achieving a pass. With the right will and determination to succeed, you could be the next person enjoying the professional liberation that comes with holding an HGV license and we will do everything in our power to make sure you do.

 

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