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Starting a Rewarding Career as an HGV Driver in the UK: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you considering a new career in the logistics industry? Becoming a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) driver in the United Kingdom can be a rewarding and promising choice. As the backbone of the logistics industry, HGV drivers play a crucial role in keeping goods flowing across the country. Discover how to kick-start a new career as an HGV driver in the UK: explore the benefits, required training, and the role of HGV drivers in making UK roads safer.
 
What does a HGV driver do?
 
HGV drivers are responsible for transporting goods, including large and heavy loads, safely and efficiently across the country. Their responsibilities include:
  • ·Driving: Operating and maneuvering HGVs, which are typically larger and heavier than standard vehicles. 
  • ·Responsibility: Ensuring the safe and secure transportation of goods from one location to another, often covering long distances. 
  • ·Best practice: Complying with road safety regulations and industry-specific rules to ensure safety for all road users.
Benefits of becoming an HGV driver
  • ·High Demand: The logistics industry in the UK is ever-growing, and there is a consistent demand for skilled HGV drivers. Job security is a significant advantage. 
  • ·Competitive salaries: HGV drivers enjoy competitive salaries, and with experience, earnings can increase substantially. 
  • ·Varied environments: HGV drivers have the opportunity to travel and experience different locations and environments. 
  • ·Independence: The job often provides a sense of independence as drivers manage their schedules and routes. 
  • ·Contribution to society: HGV drivers are essential for keeping the supply chain moving, contributing to the well-being of the nation. 
  • ·Continued professional development: The logistics industry is dynamic, and regulations may change. So staying updated by taking additional training and courses to enhance your skills is essential.
The process
 
To begin your journey as an HGV driver, you must meet specific eligibility criteria:
  • ·Age: You must be at least 18 years old to hold an HGV provisional license. 
  • ·Driver's license: You must possess a full car driving license (Category B) - this is the starting point for most HGV drivers. 
  • ·The professional driving qualification called the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). There are 5 tests that make up the full Driver CPC. But you might not need to take all 5 tests, for example if you previously qualified as an HGV driver and you want to retrain. 
What is the 'Certificate of Professional Competence'?
 
The Driver CPC is a qualification required by anyone wanting to drive an HGV, Bus or coach, professionally, and you must maintain your CPC by taking 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years. This rule was brought in to improve driving standards and road safety. It ensures that the driver is up to date with all health, safety and legal requirements, and it is illegal to drive professionally without CPC, and you can be fined up £1000 for driving without it.
 
If you’re new to HGV driving, you will go through a full training programme which is split into 4 parts. These are made up of Theory and Practical side of HGV training and tests, and these both include initial CPC modules. If you are looking to drive professionally, you’ll need to complete all 4 sections.
 
Theory tests
 
1. Module one – 2 part theory test
 
A. Multiple choice: this has 100 questions and lasts around 2 hours, with a current pass rate at around 85%.
 
B. Hazard perception: candidates are presented with a sequence videos where they must find the potential hazard.
 
2. Module two – case studies
 
This is an online test with multiple-choice questions, which presents a range of case studies that represent likely scenarios as an HGV driver.
 
Practical Tests
 
3. Module three – practical test
 
Similar to a car practical test; this is to test your driving ability and includes practical road driving, off road driving, and a range of vehicle safety questions.
 
4. Module four – driver CPC test
 
This test asks the driver to demonstrate and explain various operations, besides driving, examples may include: emergency processes, loading correctly, vehicle safety check demonstrations.
 
Next steps
 
Embarking on a new career as an HGV driver in the UK is a promising choice, offering job security, competitive salaries, and the opportunity to contribute to the nation's well-being. Remember that road safety is a shared responsibility, and HGV drivers play a crucial role in making the roads safer for everyone. As you start your career, prioritise safety, adhere to regulations, and continuously improve your skills to ensure a successful and fulfilling career in the logistics industry.
 
12 September 2023

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