If you run an independent retail business in the UK, you will be well aware of all the hoops you need to jump through and tasks to complete in your day-to-day running. It can sometimes be more than you can count which is why, more often than not, something gets forgotten. But generally, how your stock will move from one place to another is an element you remember, because it is essential to business operations. But with so many independent retailers choosing to deliver their own goods to save money, we are seeing an increase in problems where they simply don’t understand the licensing structure, or what they can and can’t do.
Did you know that HGV driving was largely unregulated until the late 1960’s? It was only when the number of un-roadworthy HGVs causing accidents started getting too high that the series of regulations we know today was brought in. Now you have to train, take tests and hold specific licences in order to drive these large, bulky vehicles. But often when buying your HGV, the dealer won’t tell you that you need a specialist licence to drive it – they will just assume you know. There are 5 categories of HGV licence, each of which allows you to drive a different type of HGV. These are:
Even if you’re opting to hire an HGV driver, it is important that you understand these licence categories so that you can look for someone with the right kind of licence.
On top of the 5 different categories of HGV licence, you are also classified as a ‘standard’ or a ‘restricted’ operator. The difference between these is basically whose goods you can carry. A standard operator can carry goods for reward or hire, while a restricted operator can only carry their own goods – which is what many independent retailers choose to do. But problems come in when independent retailers don’t realise that they have responsibilities as a restricted operator. There are regulations you must adhere to and if you don’t you could be faced with a large fine or even jail time. Some of these regulations include:
So you see, it’s not as easy as just knowing how to drive. At the LGV Training Company, we work with independent retailers all across the south, helping them to understand what it means to be an HGV driver, and how to stay compliant with all of the regulations. We take them through all of their responsibilities and teach them the proper safety and driving techniques so that they can run their business properly, legally and efficiently. For more information, just get in touch with the team today.