Become an HGV Driver

Become an HGV Driver: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you considering a career as a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) driver? Becoming an HGV driver requires responsibility, commitment, and the right qualifications. In this article, we will explore what it takes to become a lorry driver, the duties involved, the pay rates, working hours, and the steps you need to take to apply for HGV driver jobs. So buckle up and let’s dive into the world of HGV driving!

What It Takes to Be an HGV Driver

Becoming a successful HGV driver requires a specific set of characteristics and abilities. First and foremost, patience is key as you’ll find yourself spending long hours on the road, often during the late hours of the night. It’s essential to be able to maintain focus and concentration for extended periods of time.

Additionally, effective communication skills are crucial for interacting with clients and ensuring the smooth delivery of goods. Understanding the various rules and paperwork involved in the industry is of utmost importance, as is strictly adhering to safety guidelines while driving and handling loads. Being able to think on your feet and resolve unexpected problems that may arise during your journeys is an invaluable skill.

And lastly, the ability to work independently is a must-have trait for HGV drivers, as you’ll often find yourself relying on your own judgment and decision-making skills.

Duties of an HGV Driver

As an HGV driver, your responsibilities go beyond simply driving from point A to point B. You’ll need to plan routes and delivery schedules in coordination with transport managers or supervisors. Safely loading and unloading goods is another vital duty. Ensuring that the loads are secured properly is crucial for safe transportation.
Staying updated with traffic reports and considering alternative routes when necessary is also part of the job.
Completing delivery-related paperwork and maintaining accurate tachograph logs are essential tasks. Additionally, performing pre-start daily vehicle checks to ensure everything is in working order is a must for HGV drivers.

HGV Driver Salary

HGV wages vary depending on the industry and level of experience. As a newly-qualified HGV driver, you can expect to earn between £18,000 and £23,000 per year. With a few years of experience, your salary can increase to anywhere between £23,000 and £29,000. Highly-qualified and experienced drivers have the potential to earn up to £40,000 per year. Keep in mind that these figures are approximate and can vary based on factors such as location, driver demand and company.

HGV Working Hours

HGV drivers’ working hours are regulated to ensure their safety and prevent exhaustion. According to the Working Time Directive and Tachograph Rules, you can work for a maximum of nine hours per day. However, you may drive for up to 10 hours twice a week. In a week, you can work a total of 56 hours or 90 hours in a fortnight. It’s crucial to take regular breaks to ensure your physical and mental well-being. Aim for at least 45 minutes of rest for every four-and-a-half hours of driving, and make sure to get a total of 45 hours of rest per week. In some cases, overnight stays may be necessary.

How long does it take to get HGV licence?

The process of obtaining a license to drive an HGV typically takes around 6 to 8 weeks. Similar to the processing time for other official IDs, the initial step involves undergoing a thorough medical examination. This stage holds significant importance as it ensures that you are in optimal health condition before proceeding with any practical training.

How To Get An HGV License

The type of licence you need to drive an HGV depends on the vehicle you want to operate. Different vehicles have specific licence requirements based on their size and weight.

To apply for an HGV licence, you will need to fill out forms D2 and D4. These forms can be easily ordered online from the DVLA. Form D4 must be completed by a doctor, either a general practitioner or a private practice specialising in drivers’ medical examinations. Once you have filled out both forms, send them along with your photocard driving licence to the DVLA. The best part is that you won’t have to pay any applicable fees for your HGV licence.

Understanding Driver CPC

To become eligible for HGV driver jobs in the UK, you must obtain a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) qualification. The CPC qualification is required for professional HGV, lorry, bus, and coach drivers. It aims to enhance road safety and maintain high driving standards. There are four test modules you need to complete to earn the full CPC qualification and obtain an LGV driving licence.

Module 1: Theory Test

The first module consists of a theory test, which is divided into two parts. Part 1a is a multiple-choice test with 100 questions that must be completed within one hour and 55 minutes. You need to score at least 85% to pass this test. Part 1b is the Hazard Perception test, which includes 19 video clips with a total of 20 hazards. You must score a minimum of 67% to pass this test. You can take the tests in any order, but both must be passed within two years to receive your Module 1 theory test certificate.

Module 2: Case Studies Test

Module 2 focuses on case studies that simulate real-life scenarios encountered by HGV drivers. The test is computer-based and consists of seven case studies. You will be presented with multiple-choice questions related to each case study. You must answer at least 80% of the questions correctly to pass the test. Your results will be provided at the test centre in the form of a letter, which is valid for two years.

Module 3: Driving Ability

Module 3 assesses your driving ability and is a practical test that lasts one and a half hours. Before taking Module 3, you must have passed the Module 1 theory test. This test consists of three parts: vehicle safety questions, practical road driving, and off-road exercises. Vehicle safety questions test your knowledge of various safety procedures and maintenance tasks. Practical road driving evaluates your driving skills, including vehicle control, hazard anticipation, and signalling. Off-road exercises assess your ability to perform specific manoeuvres. To pass Module 3, you must have 15 or fewer minor driving faults and no dangerous or serious driving faults.

Module 4: Demonstration Test

The final module is an interactive demonstration test where you showcase your understanding of various vehicular operations beyond driving. These operations may include loading the vehicle safely, preventing criminality, assessing emergencies, and minimising physical risks. This module ensures that you have a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of being an HGV driver.

LGV/PCV, CPC Training and ADR Driver Courses, Birmingham, West Midlands.

Benefit from the expertise of our experienced C+E and D+E driver/instructor, who possesses extensive knowledge and practical understanding of the transportation industry. At Action LGV PCV Training, we are passionate about providing outstanding LGV/HGV and CPC training courses that will enable you to acquire your heavy goods license.
Contact us today to secure your driver training course.
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