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HGV Driver Jargon Explained

We all know that every industry out there has its jargon. But you might think that HGV driving would be the exception – beyond the standard driving terms. Unfortunately, you would be wrong. The haulage industry is chock-a-block with words, phrases and acronyms you may not have ever heard before, and therefore wouldn’t know anything about. If you’re just staring out into the world of HGV driving, we know this can seem a little daunting. So today, we’re going to take you through some of the more common HGV driver jargon, and what it all means.

ADR: This is a long one. ADR stands for the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road. ADR is much easier to say! It’s a directive that requires you and the haulage firm to have a specialist ADR license in order to carry dangerous goods on the road.

Artic: The shortened term for ‘articulated lorry’, also known as a C+E. The front unit is connected to a separate trailer using an airline, and the trailer weighs over 750kg in total.

Acquired Rights: The special exemption that means you don’t have to take the initial Driver CPC Qualification. This could have been because you passed your drivers test before a certain date, or that you qualified for your vocational licence before a certain date. You can find the dates in this table.

BRAKE: The name of the UKs biggest road safety charity.

Chilled Distribution: The transportation of chilled products (usually food or medicine) using a temperature controlled facility and vehicle.

Driver CPC: Stands for ‘Driver Certificate of Professional Competence’ – and it’s the standard licence you need to have in order to safely drive a HGV on UK roads professionally. It’s made up of a series of tests, both theory and practical, along with a medical, to show you are safe to be on the road. The only exception is if you have acquired rights, which we discussed earlier.

Draw Bar: This is the name for a solid coupling between a vehicle and the load its towing. C+E and articulated vehicles are often given the nickname ‘drawbar’ because of this part.

Hiab: Hiab a brand name, and they are so common that they have become the colloquial term – like hoovering rather than vacuuming. Hiab stands for Hydrauliska Industri AB, and they are a Swedish manufacturer or loader cranes, demountable container handlers, forestry cranes, truck-mounted forklifts and tail lifts. You’ll most likely hear it used to refer to any type of truck mounted crane.</>

Sprinter: A large van, often used for smaller loads or multiple deliveries. It is also used as an escort vehicle for HGVs with big bulky loads, and as a vehicle for repair jobs when needed.

Trunking: A term used by drivers to describe the kind of route they’re using. Trunking includes making deliveries using a regular route and spending journey time on trunk roads (like motorways and dual carriageways) without an overnight stop.

Of course, that’s not a comprehensive list. But it is enough to get you started, and make sure you ask the right questions during your HGV driver training. If you would like to find out more, or have any questions, then please just get in touch with our team today, and we would be happy to help.

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