How to start a career in HGV driving

How to start a career as a HGV driver

HGV stands for Heavy Goods Vehicle and they are basically the lorries you see transporting goods from manufacturing plants to retailers and distribution centres.

Although this career endures long and potentially unsociable hours, there is massive demand for HGV drivers and pay is very competitive. 

Basic attributes needed for a career as an HGV driver

In simple terms, HGV drivers do everything regular drivers do but in much bigger, heavier and frankly more dangerous vehicles.

Therefore they need not only the physical skills necessary to drive a car, such as a decent level of physical coordination and good eyesight, but also the ability to keep calm under pressure and excellent skills at anticipating and resolving problems.

There is also a human element to being an HGV driver, for example working with the people who are sending or receiving the goods and potentially with customs officials.

Qualifications for a career as an HGV driver

First of all you need a full, regular driver’s licence (for completeness this allows you to drive vehicles with loads of up to 3.5 tonnes). Once you have this, you can upgrade it to what is known as an LGV licence.

LGV stands for Large Goods Vehicle and allows you to drive vehicles with loads of over 3.5 tonnes. The LGV licence is divided into two categories, C and E. Category C licenses also come in a restricted form known as Category C1. The scale is basically as follows.

  • C1 allows you to drive rigid vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes
  • C allows you to drive rigid vehicles over 7.5 tonnes
  • C1+E allows you to drive rigid vehicles of up to 7.5 tonnes with trailers of 750 kg or more.
  • C+E allows you to drive rigid vehicles over 7.5 tonnes with trailers of 750 kg or more.

You will also need a Certificate of Professional Competence, generally known as the Driver CPC. This is issued for a period of five years and can be renewed by completing 35 hours of refresher training.

Basically the Driver CPC recognizes that safe HGV driving involves more than just the ability to maneuver the vehicle and aims to equip prospective drivers with the other real-world skills they will need. If you proceed with your career as an HGV driver, there are opportunities for progression such as becoming a specialist driver or moving into training or management. 

Getting started in HGV driving

There are basically two routes to getting started in HGV driving.

One is to apply to a company to be trained as a driver (and then work for them once you have attained your qualifications).

The second is to put yourself through the relevant training and then apply to a company for work as an HGV driver.

You can succeed with either approach, so the one which is best for you will really depend on your timescale, financial situation and preferences.

Get in Touch

Looking to start a career in HGV driving? Here at Nottinghamshire Driving School we offer a wide range of courses including: HGV/LGV Cat C & C+E, Module 4, B+E, EDC Trailer TrainingDriver CPC TrainingCat C1 & C1+ECaravan TowingHorsebox Towing, DCPC, First Aid, Forklift, Cherry Picker and HI-AB training.

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