Congratulations! You’ve decided to take the plunge and become a HGV driver. Now that you’ve done the easy bit, it’s time to get complicated. Now you have to choose which licence you want to do, what courses you need to take and how to go about it all. In other words, you need to navigate a minefield. But don’t worry, we’re here to help, with our beginners’ guide to HGV training. In this blog, we walk you through the training and assessment you need to do to become a qualified HGV driver with a Cat C licence.
Before You Start…
First things first, you need to do a bit of prep work. That includes:
CPC, Or Full Qualification: Do you want to drive a HGV for pleasure, or professionally? If it’s just for pleasure, then you will only need a basic CPC licence, which means you will only need to complete modules 1 and 3. But if you want to drive professionally, you will need all 4 modules.
Medical: One of the things you will need to do is prove that you
are medically fit to drive an HGV. That means booking in for a medical check-up with your doctor. Make sure you have a copy of the DVLA D4 form with you, as your doctor will need to fill it in and sign it.
Paperwork: Once you have the D4 form signed and filled in by a doctor, you also need to fill in a D2 form and send them both to the DVLA in Swansea.
This whole process usually takes around 10-14 days, so it’s worth using this time to start brushing up on your theory knowledge for modules 1 and 2.
Module 1 should be the most familiar module to you since you will have done the exact same thing during your standard driving licence tests. This is the ‘theory’ module, and is split into two parts:
Theory: The theory section is made up of 100 questions about driving HGV’s, safety and general HGV knowledge. You will have 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete the theory test, and you need to get a score of 85 or higher to pass.
Hazard Perception: The hazard perception test is made up of 20 clips, and works in the same way as the standard car hazard perception. Watch the clips and spot the hazards as they occur. You’ll need to get a minimum of 67 out of 100 to pass.
Module 2 is also theory heavy, which might seem confusing, but bear with us. Module 1 is a requirement for anyone looking to drive a HGV, whether professionally or for leisure. It’s part of the driver CPC programme, so everyone needs to do that bit. But module 2 is designed for professional drivers only, so if you want to drive HGV’s for a career, you need to do this section as well. Module 2 is the ‘case study’ section. You’ll be shown 7 case studies, which will feature a mixture of text, audio and video, and be asked 6-8 questions on each case study.
Now that you’ve done the theory bits, it’s time to do some actual driving! This is another part that should be familiar since you will have done a practical driving test in your original test. This is similar, just with a bigger vehicle, and for longer. Your practical test will last for an hour and a half, and during that time you’ll need to demonstrate a reversing manoeuvre, as well as being able to drive on different types of roads. All you have to do here is drive well and not make any mistakes, and your examiner will pass you.
The last hurdle is a mix of theory and practical, just to cement your skills. Module 4 is called the practical assessment of knowledge’, and requires you to go around with an assessor and demonstrate your knowledge of various vehicle-related issues. This will include how to perform a daily inspection and what to look for, safety protocols, load restraints and so on. In this section the examiner wants to see as much demonstration of skills as possible, not just talking about how to do them. To pass module 4, you will need to score 80% overall and at least 75% in each individual section.
And that’s it! Once you’ve completed all 4 modules, you are officially qualified to be an HGV driver professionally. Now all you need to do is get yourself a job. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there. As well as providing comprehensive training programmes for all ages and abilities of aspiring drivers, we have strong links with local and national haulage firms, who regularly turn to us as a source of newly qualified drivers. So now only can we train you, we can help you find your perfect job as well.
To find out more, just get in touch with us today.