Did you sing ‘the wheels on the bus’ as a child and ever imagined yourself behind that wheel? Transporting people from place to place, talking to all sorts of people and helping reduce CO2 in the air? Ok, maybe that last one was just us, but we promise you weren’t the only one. The bus driver was, and still is a very popular career choice, with a lot of rewards and job satisfaction – not to mention a stable employment rate even in these uncertain times! But what does it take to become a bus driver?
Bus Driver Licensing Requirements
When it comes to the roads, the government are very strict. They want to make sure everyone who uses the roads is safe from harm, which is why the driving licence system exists in the first place. Everyone who drives a vehicle with an engine needs to be able to pass a test designed to make sure they know what they are doing and will be safe on the road. When it comes to the bigger vehicles on the road, there are even more strict requirements in place, since the risks are so much greater. So it’s no surprise that there are some basic requirements for anyone looking to drive larger vehicles in general, including:
- Being over 18 years old
- Having a full car licence
- Holding a Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence)
This is the very minimum you need to be able to drive an HGV in a professional capacity. But when it comes to more specialist large vehicles like buses, there are even MORE restrictions. Specifically, that you need to have taken and passed the CAT D licence test.
Your CAT B Licence
As we mentioned, before you can start your CAT D licence, you need to make sure you have your CAT B in order. But don’t worry – this one is easy to get. In fact, if you’re driving a car (legally), then you already have it! It’s just the proper term for your standard UK drivers’ licence. The CAT B licence allows you to drive vehicles of up to 3,500kg maximum authorised mass with up to 8 passenger seats – in other words, cars. It also allows you to tow trailers up to 750kg, and if you’re over 21 a motor tricycle with a power output above 15kW. So if you have that pink piece of laminated card, you’re good to go here. The CAT D licence will allow you to drive any vehicle with over 8 passengers, as well as any tracked vehicle you choose. You know, in case you ever get the urge to drive a tank. But there is one catch – you need to get your CAT B licence first.
What Does CAT D Involve?
So, if you have your CAT B and your Driver CPC, there is no reason you can’t start out on your CAT D licence right away. The CAT D licence is specifically designed to teach you how to drive buses and minibuses in a professional capacity, and they will cover:
- The rules and regulations of the road, with a particular focus on large vehicles and busses
- The maintenance and general fixtures of the vehicle
- Customer service
- Everything about the safety of yourself, the passengers and other people sharing the road with you
- Risk management and far sightedness
By the end of your training, you will have to sit both theory and practical tests, and if you pass, you will be all set to be a bus driver.
So How Do I Train?
You come and speak to us! At The LGV Training Centre we offer a range of HGV training courses, including Cat D and Driver CPC courses for new drivers. With our help, you can get a crash course in large vehicle driving in general, and bus driving in particular. Not only that, but our team will even help you find your first job as a bus driver, giving you the best possible start to your new career.
If you would like to know more, just get in touch with the team today.