Basic Qualifications for HGV Drivers

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Have you been contemplating working as an HGV driver? If so, you need to find out more about the driving requirements, as well as training options and recruitment. The term HGV driver is actually an older term, as LGV is now used commonly in the European Union. The HGV/LGV vehicle is a goods motor vehicle with an MAM (maximum allowed mass)/GCM (gross combination mass) of 3.5+ tonnes or 3,500 kilograms. HGVs are officially designated as N2 (up to 12 tonnes) or N3 (greater than 12 tonnes).

LGV vs. HGV: Why the Difference?

The reason LGV (large goods vehicle) is used over HGV (heavy goods vehicle) is because not all European countries have a translatable word for ‘heavy’ – or a word that would have the same basic contextual understanding.

In the EU, the driver’s licence for an LGV or HGV driver is divided into four categories. These categories are C1, C1+E, C, and C+E. You can find class 1 driver jobs here that hold all the aforementioned designations in the logistics field. The basic C1 classification permits the holder to drive a vehicle with an MAM of between 3.5 tonnes to 7.5 tonnes and a trailer up to 750 kilograms MAM. An 18-year-old can obtain the licence.

You cannot simply apply for a provisional lorry licence, take a driving course and pass a driving test. Today, to obtain the category C licence and initial qualification for CPC, five exams must be completed and passed.

Obtaining a Medical

In order to get started, you must undergo a medical with a clean bill of health. Your GP can help with this part. However, the expense, which can be between £50 and £150, may force you to choose a doctor who charges lower rates.

A medical generally will not take over 30 minutes and therefore can be completed, in some instances, during elevenses or lunch. To obtain a medical, you need to take a D4 medical form to the doctor to complete. During the medical, the doctor will check the eyesight and blood pressure, among other things. You will also need to be able to read a plate from a distance of 20.5 metres. Your vision has to be corrected if you find you don’t meet this prerequisite.

Once you have the D4 form completed by a GP, you need to make an application for an LGV provisional entitlement. In this instance, a D2 form should be completed. Most drivers apply for an LGV provisional category C entitlement. The C1 entitlement of 7.5 tonnes is usually issued to a member of the equestrian fraternity or paramedics. Therefore, it’s better to choose C entitlement and make a giant leap for the designation. The C entitlement features the same theory and practical tests as C1.

If you have a local training provider, you can receive your provisional licence application pack from it, or you can also apply online. In turn, you will need to submit forms D2 and D4 and both parts of your current licence to the Department and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA). The application pack will make the process easy as it contains an envelope that has been pre-addressed. After you receive your licence, you can proceed to driver training (usually a five-day course) and then begin to look for employment.