What do you need to be a truck driver?

SN58 GGF 01 MANWhat do you need to be a truck driver?

According to the HGV Training Centre, there are as many as 40,000 job vacancies for fully trained and qualified lorry drivers in the UK. If you make the grade, therefore, the figures suggest that you need never worry about getting work as an HGV driver.

So, just what does it take to become a truck driver?

  • in order to take charge of a vehicle as large – and as potentially dangerous – as an HGV, you need to demonstrate certain minimum health requirements;
  • the basic requirements cover not just eyesight, but also involve a medical examination by your GP, notifications of any change in health and the prescribed medical standards for obtaining and maintaining your HGV driving licence;
  • in terms of qualifying for your licence there are basically three stages – a theory test, a practical driving test and a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC);
  • in order to begin training as an HGV driver you normally need to be over the age of 18 and to hold a full driving licence for a motor car (category B licence);
  • holding the relevant heavy goods driving licence is important not just as a legal requirement but also for maintaining the validity of the necessary HGV insurance for that vehicle – and you might want to discuss the terms of that cover with us here at Isis Insurance;
  • determining the driving licence you need may be rather confusing, simply because of the changes in categories and vehicle descriptions applying to licences issued between 1976 and 1986, 1986 and 1990, 1990 and 1996, or 1997 and 2012;
  • detailed descriptions of all of the HGV categories relevant to each of these periods are set out in the official government website;
  • the picture may be complicated still further because many employers continue to refer to popular descriptions of licence categories 1, 2 and 3;
  • the old HGV class 3 licence, for example, is currently categorised as C1 – a large goods vehicle (LGV) up to a maximum weight of 7.5 tonnes;
  • if the same vehicle is towing a trailer over 750 kg, moreover, an additional licence qualification is required and termed category C1+E;
  • the former HGV class 2 licence most closely corresponds to the current category C licence which allows the driving of a lorry over 7.5 tonnes in maximum authorised mass MAM) and a trailer weighing no more than 750 kg;
  • the former HGV class 1 licence is now categorised as C+E – which allows the driving of a lorry over 7.5 tonnes and towing a trailer of more than 750 MAM;
  • the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence is valid for 5 years, during which time the holder is required to take a minimum of 35 hours driver training.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the qualities and qualifications you need to become a lorry driver but is intended to illustrate the key requirements.