Have you ever considered becoming an HGV driver? Or perhaps you can already drive category D vehicles and are looking to take this one step further so you can drive even larger lorries that are articulated as opposed to rigid.
If either of these are the case for you, then you’ll need to qualify for an HGV licence. If you aren’t sure what this entails, then keep reading on below, as we’ll tell you all you need to know.
Before you qualify for an HGV licence, there are some criteria that you must first meet – some of which you will need to ensure before even applying to qualify for an HGV licence.
This criteria includes:
- Having a full car licence
- Be over 18
- Obtaining the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)
The reason to have a full car licence is relatively self-explanatory; this is the minimum licence you must hold if you’re to be able to drive anything with four or more wheels, or over a certain weight. If you take a look at your licence, you’ll notice how there are separate categories on the back; when you have passed your driving test, then you will be able to drive anything from category B (a car) and before this. Anything after this you will have to get a separate licence for, although you must have category B in order to do so.
The equivalent licence to drive HGV vehicles involves having a CPC. In order to obtain a CPC, you will first have to apply for a provisional HGV licence, then undertake and pass a number of CPC tests, which we will go on to discuss in more detail.
Just like when you learn to drive a car, you will need to have lessons to learn how to drive an HGV. Driving lorries is very different to driving a car, due to their length, height and weight – even more so when they are articulated. You will need to learn and get used to handling these, as well as perceiving distances when in them, so that you can responsibly drive them without risking causing an accident.
On average, it typically takes people 20-30 hours of learning before they get to a test standard when it comes to driving HGVs.
Before you qualify for an HGV licence, you must first complete a number of lorry tests known as CPC tests, ensuring that you are aware of lorry safety.
These tests are split into five, two of which are virtual while the other three are practical. They are as follows:
- Part 1: Theory
- Part 2: Case Studies
- Part 3a: Off-road Exercises
- Part 3b: On-road Driving
- Part 4: Practical Demonstration
Assuming you pass these tests, then you will be sent a Driver CPC card, which you must carry with you while driving an HGV professionally. The only exception to this is if you’ve passed your test and are waiting for it to arrive.
Not only is it important for drivers to pass tests, but it’s important for vehicles to be tested, also. Here at Transcare, we operate a fully DVSA authorised vehicle testing facility in Alfreton, Derbyshire. Our experts will carry out a range of rigorous lorry safety tests for trucks and HGVs, ensuring the vehicles in your commercial fleet are road legal.
Get in touch with us today to book a test.