With the constant and ever-growing demand from businesses for goods to be transported throughout the country, it is no surprise that the government is providing funding to help train new HGV drivers.

There are reports about HGV skills bootcamps and even streamlined tests. However, it is important to note that there are several licences and requirements that HGV drivers need to meet before they can start working.

In this blog we are going to talk through these different requirements and explain what individuals looking for Class 1 driving jobs or any other HGV driving roles require need to have before they can start work. Read on to find out more…


The different types of HGV Licence

The first key step for anyone looking to work as a HGV driver is to ensure they hold the correct licence in order to operate these vehicles. Each type of HGV licence is initially valid for five years at which point further training is required which we will talk about later in this blog.

Cat C1 – This type of licence allows you to drive the smallest types of vehicles used for haulage, which weigh between 3,500kg and 7,500kg, including vans, box trucks, and more. With Cat C1 licences, you are also able to have a trailer weighing up to 750kg attached to your vehicle.

Cat C1+E – A Cat C1+E licence allows for the operation of a vehicle weighing from 3,500kg – 7,500kg, but this time with a trailer weighing more than 750kg. This licence will allow you to apply for all Class 1 jobs.

Cat C – This type of licence permits the holder to drive larger vehicles weighing more than 3,500kg while pulling a trailer of up to 750kg. This includes lorries and other heavy-duty haulage vehicles.

Cat C+E – The largest vehicle licence, allowing the operation of vehicles weighing more than 3,500kg with a trailer that also weighs more than 750kg. This type of licence will allow you to apply for all Class 2 jobs.

ADR – This stands for Accord Dangerous Routier which is a licence that allows you to transport any goods that are considered dangerous such as fuel tankers and vehicles storing corrosive or flammable liquids.


The Driver CPC training process

It is a legal requirement to hold a Drivers CPC Initial Qualification before driving any kind of HGV professionally. As a new driver, your CPC training programme will be split into four stages.

  1. Theory – Split into two assessments, which are multiple choice and hazard perception
  2. Case studies – Answering multiple choice questions on several case studies you are likely to encounter as a HGV driver on the job
  3. Driving ability – A 1hr 30 min practical driving test, including vehicle safety questions, off-road exercises, and road driving
  4. Practical demonstration – A physical test on several situations you may encounter on the job, such as safe loading practices, vehicle security, reducing the risk of harm, and more.

Once you have passed, you will need to keep your CPC licence (Driver Qualification Card) with you whenever you are driving, as you will be fined if you are driving HGVs without the appropriate licence.

Once you have attained your CPC qualification, you will need to maintain it by completing 35 hours of periodic training every five years. This is to ensure that your skills and knowledge are both up to date, and that you are continuing to maintain the standards expected of you.

This periodic training can be done in one week-long chunk or split into separate, isolated days. If it is not completed as expected, then your CPC licence will expire and could be fined up to £1,000. Click here to learn more about how H&G support with CPC training.


Apply for a driver digital tachograph card

Qualified HGV drivers will need to apply for a digital tachograph card, which is similar to a driving licence in size but also has a microchip inside, storing key information about driving time, speed, and distance.

This is because HGV drivers are only allowed to drive for a certain length of time in one period, before legally requiring rest.

Under the current rules, drivers cannot drive for longer than 4.5 hours without taking a break of at least 45 minutes, they may drive up to 9 hours in a day, which can increase to 10 hours up to twice in a fixed week and no more than 90 hours can be completed in a two-week period.

The tachograph card ensures that all drivers, and indeed operators, are following the rules accordingly.

Other data the tachograph can record includes your activity as the driver, the number of times the card has been inserted each day, criminal events such as fraud or tampering attempts, and more.

You can apply for your driver tachograph card on the government website, which will cost £32. If you need to replace an expired, lost, or stolen card, then you will be charged £19.

If you have a tachograph card from the EU, EEA, or Northern Ireland, then you will need to exchange your tachograph card to a UK one for the same cost.


Ensure you have the right to work in the UK

Whether you are looking for Class 2 driving jobs or any other kind of driving role you need to ensure that you have the right to work in the UK. There are a lot of different ways to prove your right to work in the UK, depending on your circumstances.

If you are a British or Irish citizen, your passport will be enough to prove this to your employer, even if it has expired.

If you have ‘pre-settled’ or ‘settled’ status from the EU settlement scheme, or you have a family permit, then you will need either your passport, national identify card, biometric residence card number, or biometric residence permit number.

To find out what you need to prove your right to work, or if your particular situation provides you with a right to work in the UK, read the Citizens Advice webpage.


How H&G can help

As a leading HGV recruitment specialist, H&G are committed to the thorough and continuous support of our clientele. We provide help not only with the recruitment of HGV jobs, but also the wider logistical workforce and with the thorough provision of training courses.

If you are looking to get into the logistics industry or you need help securing the correct documentation for your applications, we can help. Get in touch with our expert team by emailing enquiries@h-g-recruitment.com or call the office on 01707 636 680 to ask any questions you have.

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