Would you be interested in starting a career as an HGV driver in the UK? How well do you understand all the perks and pitfalls of the position? Do you want to get a more lucrative job or do you rather look at the opportunities that driving around the country gives you? If you are considering a career in HGVs, read this article about what you need to know before applying.
What to start with?
To become a qualified HGV driver, it’s required to pass a theory test, followed by a practical test. In case of a failure, you have to wait for 12 months for the next chance.
Once you pass the test, it doesn’t mean you will be able to work for the following fifty years, as all commercial vehicle drivers are obliged to undergo medical examinations every six months. If you are over 50, you will need additional health screening examinations.
A driver skills training is required from professional HGV drivers, which means 35 periodic hours over 5 years. And to renew your license, you’ll have to pass annual recertification tests, covering the topics of road signs, speed limits, or hazardous situations and how to avoid them.
Find out more and take the test at a recognised LGV training company.
Getting around Europe with the right documents
Apart from your regular UK driving license, you may be required to have a few other documents, depending on what your destination is, and what countries you have to drive through.
Brexit has changed lots of things, one of them being the passport rules. So before setting off to Europe, check if your passport is less than 10 years old from the issue date, and is valid for at least three months after you’ve left.
Brexit has limited the UK freedom of travelling, and it’s still the same when travelling for short trips (a maximum 90-day stay). Visas are not required below the period of time, so most probably you don’t need to worry about issuing one.
Beware of restricted driving zones
Lots of European cities have introduced the restricted driving areas, which means you’re not allowed to drive in certain areas, most often the city’s centres. London is one example only. It means if you are driving an HGV weighing over 18 tonnes, you are not allowed to drive through residential roads in the evening and at weekends. Take the regulations into consideration while planning your routes.
Complete all driver roles for HGVs
As an HGV driver, you don’t only drive the car but also fulfil many different roles.
You are responsible for loading and unloading onto trucks to drive around the country delivering goods. While driving, you are responsible for the load inside, monitoring it using cameras. The loads must comply with regulations, so check the paperwork relating to cargo before setting off.
Please follow any special instructions your employer gives you, and report back as soon as you complete the delivery.