There’s a large demand for lorry drivers in the UK, so if you have the driving skills and want to be a part of the industry, you can apply right away. The idea of becoming a lorry driver in the UK is very good since there’s always a spot open for people to embark in this kind of workplace. Of course, being a lorry driver might not be for everyone, since it involves lots of driving every day, long working hours and being away from home.
However, it does pay quite well, and you will find it to bring a very good return on investment. If you’re wondering how to become a lorry driver, it’s actually not that complex, although there are a few steps that you need to go through.
Which category should you opt for?
There are different lorry driver categories that you can go for. The Cat C1+E license allows you to drive vehicles that weigh between 3500 and 7500 kg, but with a trailer that has more than 750 kg. If you go for category C or 2 as it’s known, you are allowed to drive large vehicles over 3500 kg and the trailer can have up to 750 kg. Category C+E or category 1 allows you to drive weights over 3500 kg, however, the trailer can have more than 750 kg.
Obtaining a medical to get a provisional license
One of the first steps you want to go through when getting a lorry driver’s license in the UK is to receive an HGV medical. The medical exam is mandatory and it’s easy to see why. They need to be certain that you don’t have any medical conditions which might impede your driving capabilities. Which is why such a provisional license is very important.
With that being said, you can book your medical at Motor Medicals right away. The medical test prices are under the industry average, there are no hidden costs and you can get them done very quickly. Motor Medicals also has centres all over the country, so you will have no problem getting the medical you need fast and easy.
CPC training/ theory training
In order to become a lorry driver, you need to go through CPC training. That means you need to do 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years. This will allow you to keep the CPC so you can drive the lorry. One thing to keep in mind is that you can be fined up to 1000 pounds if you don’t have the driver CPC.
There are many different options when it comes to lorry driver CPC training. CPC Direct offers a great option, SureCall might also be a good idea to keep in mind. Both of them can help immensely, and you will be able to access the theory training and CPC training you need in order to become a lorry driver.
Are there any qualifications if you want to become a lorry driver?
In order to become a lorry driver or heavy goods vehicle driver, you need to have a full car license. You also need to be over 18 years old, but there are exceptions to the rule based on where you live. And yes, you do need to acquire a professional driving qualification, which we covered above. There are 5 tests making up the driver CPC. If you were a qualified lorry driver before, you might not need to take all tests. New lorry drivers need to take all these tests, however.
Another important aspect is that you can apply for class 1 training directly. You can go for class 2 if you want, but there’s no need to go through class 2 if you want to be a class 1 driver. That’s great because it allows you to pick the desired category without having to worry about any issues or downsides that might arise. That helps eliminate concerns and focus on the best results.
When you apply, you need to select the provisional license you apply for, this varies based on the vehicle type and also the trailer weight. You can apply via ordering forms D4 and D2 from the DVLA. Fill the forms and then send them with a photocard driving license to the DVLA. The important thing to keep in mind here is that you don’t need to worry about any application fee. It can take up to 3 weeks for you to receive the license from the DVLA once they receive your application. There is some waiting time, but overall it’s going to be worth it.
The driver CPC test comes with 4 different parts. You have the theory part, the case studies, off-road exercises and on-road driving. That’s why you need to practice and improve your skills to ensure everything is working exactly as expected.
The process itself involves requesting the application forms, and revising for the LGV theory tests, while also waiting for your license to come back from the DVLA. Then you have to pass the LGV theory test and then you can take the practical driving as well as the CPC test from the lorry training. Once you pass that, you have the CPC qualification and the lorry license.
Why should you become a lorry driver?
While the process involves a bit of time and work, the truth is that there’s a lot of demand for lorry service providers all over the UK. You can also work in Europe too, so there’s certainly a lot of potential. On top of that, you will also grab the attention of other employers, including haulage companies. This is great, because it opens up great business opportunities while allowing you to work as you see fit and without any major problems.
Do you really need practical training?
Yes, you need practical training because you need to pass the exam. Training in an HGV vehicle with a DVSA-certified instructor is the right way to do it. This way you know you have the best training you can receive, while also being 100% ready for any test that comes your way. You always want to get as much training as possible, as it will increase the chances of getting your lorry license and finding work.
Is HGV driving for you?
It can be if you love to drive and enjoy spending lots of time on the road. It’s a job for people that are patient while driving, very focused and who are also organised. You do need to keep the paperwork and records up to date and also handle any issues like bad weather, delays and route changes. If you can do that, then becoming a lorry driver in the UK is a great idea.
While the process of becoming a lorry driver can take a bit of time, it’s not very complicated. Getting a medical and applying for the license, but also receiving the necessary training and passing the exam is very important. Once you do that, you can get your license and you can get on the road. Since there are so many great opportunities for a lorry driver, you will have no problem finding a job quickly, which is amazing!