Starting Your Career as a HGV Driver
To become a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) driver in the UK, you'll need to follow a specific process that includes training, obtaining the necessary qualifications, and gaining practical experience. Here are the steps you should take:
Meet the Basic Requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Hold a valid UK car driving license (Category B).
Obtain a Provisional HGV License:
- Apply for a provisional Category C (rigid) or Category C+E (articulated) HGV license. You can do this online or by obtaining a D2 application form from the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).
Pass a Medical Examination:
- You'll need to pass a medical examination to ensure you are fit to drive an HGV. You can find a registered medical practitioner on the DVLA's website to perform this examination.
Study for the Theory Tests:
- You'll need to pass two theory tests: the Multiple Choice and Hazard Perception tests. You can study for these tests using official DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) learning materials or online resources.
Take the Theory Tests:
- Book and take the theory tests at a local test center. You'll need to pass both tests to proceed further.
Enroll in HGV Training:
- Find a reputable HGV training provider or driving school that offers HGV training courses. These courses will typically cover both practical and theoretical aspects of HGV driving.
Pass the Practical Driving Test:
- After completing your training, you'll need to pass the practical driving test. The test includes vehicle safety checks, on-road driving, and maneuvering exercises. You can book your test through the DVSA.
- Once you pass your practical test, you'll receive a Category C or Category C+E HGV license. To improve your skills and employability, gain experience by working for a transport company or as an agency driver.
Obtain the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC):
- To drive an HGV professionally, you'll need to complete the Driver CPC. This consists of a theory test and a practical test. The theory part is known as the CPC Module 2, and the practical part is CPC Module 4. Both must be completed within five years of passing your initial practical test.
Find a Job:
- Look for job opportunities with HGV operators, logistics companies, or freight transport companies. Ensure that you meet any specific requirements, such as additional training or endorsements, for the type of HGV work you want to do.
Maintain Your License and CPC:
- To continue working as an HGV driver, you must renew your Driver CPC every five years by completing 35 hours of periodic training. Additionally, ensure that your HGV license remains up-to-date and that you meet medical standards.
Consider Further Qualifications:
- Depending on your career goals, you may want to consider additional qualifications such as an ADR (Hazardous Goods) license, HIAB (Lorry Loader) license, or other specialized endorsements to expand your job opportunities.
Remember that the process of becoming an HGV driver can be physically demanding and requires a commitment to road safety. It's essential to stay informed about changes in regulations and safety procedures throughout your career as an HGV driver in the UK.