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How to become a HGV driver – what you need to know

If you’re looking for a new career that can provide a secure income and a high level of job satisfaction, then you might want to think about Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) driving. This is a much sought after and rewarding job, transporting essential cargo and goods to manufacturing plants and locations across the UK.

But before you get started, you need to be aware of the training and driving qualifications needed to become a HGV driver. You must be over 18 years of age and possess a full UK driving licence and complete certain steps before applying for a lorry driver job. And to be correctly insured to drive, you must have held certain licences for up to six months, so the sooner you qualify the better!

The route to your HGV licence

There are a number of things you need to be able to apply for a HGV driver job:

The different types of HGV licence

It’s important to also be aware of the different HGV licence types which are dependent on the weight of the vehicle. The four main ones are:

Skills needed to become a HGV driver

HGV drivers must be able to focus for long periods given the significant journey times. As well as enjoying driving, you must also be organised and efficient, as there are deadlines to meet and paperwork to be filed. Even though it’s for people who like to be independent, soft skills such as communication are key in HGV jobs as you’re dealing with customers and people.

HGV drivers can often work irregular hours so that’s something you need to consider when looking at working in this field. That being said, though, given the nature of the work, EU regulations stipulate that drivers cannot drive for any more than ten hours in any given day twice a week and then are restricted to a maximum of 9 hours for the rest of their week. A maximum of 56 hours per week and 90 hours a fortnight as well as following the restrictions on their overall duty hours per day/week. They must have at least 45 minutes of rest after every four and a half hours of accumulative driving as well as meeting WTD (Working time directive rest break legislation). Although the company that employs an HGV driver would provide roadside vehicle assistance, individuals are expected to know about vehicle safety questions and maintenance procedures in case of breakdown.

Once equipped with your driver CPC and licence, you can embark on your HGV driving career and apply for permanent and temporary driving roles. It’s a job that is always in demand, gives you the chance to travel or work anywhere in the UK and commands a competitive salary!

But you must first ensure that you’ve completed the steps highlighted above. To find out more about our Driving/Transport expertise, including information about our CPC driver training courses, speak to one of our specialist consultants today.

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