HGV driver is a fulfilling and rewarding career path for anyone interested in the logistics and supply chain industry. Starting salaries are typically around £18,000 per year, with many opportunities to progress along a career path.
Yet, the job doesn’t just involve driving a vehicle; delivery paperwork, log books, supervising safe loading, securing and unloading of goods and planning delivery schedules and routes are all a part of the daily tasks of a HGV driver. As a result, it’s no surprise that there are rigorous training and qualifications required.
In order to become an HGV driver, you must have a valid HGV licence. To gain this licence you must be competent in both maths and English in order to pass the HGV theory test, as well as being over 18 with a full driving licence complete with a good driving record. No school or higher education qualifications are required. To pass the HGV test, you must also pass a medical test, which includes a requirement of good eyesight.
The most important qualification is the full Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). Just gaining this qualification, however, is not the only training a HGV driver need ever do. In order to remain qualified, a driver must undertake 35 hours of periodic training every five years, and sign a declaration every 5 years to show medical standards are still met.
Licences can be applied for through the DVLA, but before application any potential HGV driver needs to be aware of where their funding for training will come from. Most often, a driver will be required to fund themselves before looking for work, but some transport operators may offer to fund you, particularly if you already work for them in another role. The training cost can be expensive, but weighed against the job prospects, it is a cost worth paying.
The licence test itself has two categories: C1 for rigid vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes and C for rigid vehicles over 7.5 tonnes. A further test must be taken to drive full articulated vehicles, the largest vehicle you can drive in the HGV industry. The C1 and C categories not only include lorries, but buses and coaches too. For anyone interested in a career in these industries, training centres are situated throughout the UK, or information can be found on the DVLA website.