If you have a passion for driving and enjoy the freedom of the open road, you may have contemplated a profession as a truck or lorry driver. Truck drivers can earn more than £14 per hour and have the opportunity to discover new locations and potentially make acquaintances along the way. However, before embarking on this new career journey, it is essential to acquire proper training and develop a well-thought-out plan.
Truck and lorry drivers are required to possess a specific type of licence that demonstrates their ability to operate larger vehicles on the road. Acquiring An HGV or LGV licence can provide you with a variety of potential career paths, and obtaining certification is more feasible than you may anticipate. However, it is worthwhile to explore the available job options and the specific skills they demand before embarking on the certification process.
Which HGV/LGV License is Required?
The specific “category” of licence you obtain will determine the type of truck driving job available to you. Not All lorry driving licences are equal, as they correspond to the weight of the vehicles you can handle competently. When considering licence options, you can explore various types, such as:
- The Cat C1 truck, which is The smallest vehicle commonly found in the truck driving industry, is an ideal choice for beginners. Typically weighing between 3,500 and 7,500kg, this type of truck allows you to tow a trailer weighing up to 750kg.
- The C1+E licence allows individuals to operate LGVs with a combined weight of approximately 44 tonnes, which is slightly larger than what the C1 licence permits. This licence is suitable for those seeking to drive heavier vehicles in the specified category.
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- A Category C licence grants individuals the authority to operate vehicles that exceed 3,500kg in weight, along with trailers weighing up to 750kg.
Obtaining your licence necessitates the completion of several crucial stages. The initial step entails undergoing a comprehensive medical examination to ensure that you possess the physical capabilities necessary to safely operate a larger vehicle. Subsequently, you will be required to take a theory test, which bears resemblance to the examination administered for a standard car licence. This assessment will consist of a series of multiple-choice questions that you must answer.
To complete the process of obtaining your HGV/LGV licence, the final step involves taking the practical exam. Additionally, it may be necessary for you to acquire a Certificate of Professional Competence. What is CPC?
Potential Career Options for Individuals with an HGV/LGV License
If you have a passion for driving and enjoy travelling extensively, investing in HGV/LGV licences can greatly benefit your career. These licences open up opportunities in various driving roles, including local driving, short-haul driving, and long-haul driving.
The majority of individuals are typically comfortable driving in their local area or taking short trips to neighbouring countries. However, long-distance driving can be more intricate, as it involves being away from home for an extended period of time.
Here are a few options for truck driving positions that you may want to consider:
- As a freight hauler, your job involves transporting various types of cargo using trucks. This can include local, short-haul, or long-haul trips. If you specialise in dry van hauling, your main task is to move large quantities of dry goods that are easy to transport and are typically packed in boxes or on pallets. However, there are also freight haulers who handle liquids and hazardous materials.
- In the world of transportation, flatbed haulers play a crucial role. These knowledgeable truck drivers specialise in hauling oversized and irregularly shaped objects, such as machinery, using open-air trailers. Their expertise lies in transporting assets that cannot fit in standard trailers, requiring skill and precision to ensure safe delivery to their intended destinations.
- A tanker hauler is a highly sought-after type of trucking job that involves transporting significant quantities of liquid substances. Due to the intricacies involved in transporting liquids, tanker drivers must possess the necessary skills to handle their vehicles with care. Additionally, comprehensive training is required to effectively handle any emergencies that may occur during the transportation of the liquids.
- A specialised type of driver is required for transporting refrigerated freight. These trucks or lorries are responsible for maintaining a consistent temperature to preserve the goods. Therefore, it is necessary for the driver to regularly monitor the cargo to ensure its safety and prompt delivery.
- Local/Regional truck drivers: If you have a preference for driving trucks and smaller vehicles within your local area and don’t want to handle larger vehicles, you might find a career as a local or regional truck driver appealing. These professionals are responsible for transporting freight over shorter distances. Typically, in this line of work, you may embark on multiple trips in a day. Unlike long-haul truckers, you’ll have the advantage of returning home every day after completing your route instead of having to stay in a hotel.
- Hotshot haulers, also known as hotshot drivers, operate class 3 or 5 trucks with trailer attachments to transport goods. The task of driving these vehicles is challenging and demands a high level of expertise from the driver. One crucial aspect of a hotshot driver’s job is ensuring prompt delivery of the goods to their designated destination. depending on the regional or local distance to be covered, hotshot drivers can handle multiple loads in a single day.
- Auto haulers, also known as car transporters, are professionals who specialise in the transportation of vehicles. They are responsible for safely moving cars from one place to another, such as delivering them to car lots. Due to the intricacies involved in handling these carriers, auto haulers require a higher level of expertise and skill.
If you’re prepared to decrease your driving hours with your HGV/LGV licence, there are additional alternative career paths to consider. One option is to pursue a managerial role within a freight company, or you could explore the opportunity of becoming a training instructor for aspiring LGV/HGV drivers.
Factors to Take into Account When Considering HGV/LGV Licensing
Obtaining your HGV/LGV licence through training immediately enhances your employability as it showcases your competence in operating large vehicles on the road. Once you are legally qualified to drive such vehicles, you can actively engage in various areas of the freight and logistics sectors. Considering the significant shortage of HGV drivers in the UK at present, acquiring your licence might prove essential in ensuring your employability in the future.