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Life as a Class 1 HGV Driver

If you’re doing your research into becoming an HGV driver, then you’ve probably noticed by now that there are more qualifications than you can shake a stick at. And at the top of the pile is the Class 1 HGV licence. This licence is one of the highest HGV qualifications you can get and can open up a lot of possibilities for you. And while no HV licence is easy to obtain, you really will need to put your all into obtaining the Class 1. But before you get disheartened, let us tell you a bit more about it, and what it could do for you.

 

What Can You Drive With A Class 1 Licence?

As you might have guessed if you’ve been around out blog a while, there are a wide variety of different HGV licences you can hold. The training you choose will largely depend on which licence you want to achieve, and what kind of job you want to do in the future.

But a Class 1 licence is the top tier. The highest option of the standard licences. To get it, you already need to have achieved your Class 2 licence, which requires a medical exam, theory and practical tests and the Driver CPC. Once you’ve done all of that, you can move onto learning for the Class 1.

But the Class 1 licence does open up a lot of doors for you. Because it allows you to drive vehicles up to and over 7.5 tonnes, and those that have a separate detachable trailer. Because this licence allows you to drive some of the largest vehicles on the road, a Class 1 licence will give you access to the widest variety of jobs later down the line.

 

Your Duties As A Class 1 Driver

You might think this is a strange thing to say, since your main job will be driving the HGV back and forth. But while driving is a critical part of the job, there are a lot of other tasks you will be expected to perform on a day to day basis. These include:

  • The planning of delivery routes to ensure optimum efficiency
  • Ensuring all goods to be transported are safe and secure
  • Supervision of loading and unloading goods
  • Coordinating deliveries and communicating with customers about pick up and drop off
  • Conducting regular ‘walk around’ inspections to ensure regulation compliance
  • Vehicle maintenance to ensure your HGV is roadworthy
  • Communicating with customers and asking questions

So, as well as being a competent driver, you will also need:

  • Good communication skills
  • Great organisation
  • Patience and understanding
  • Mechanical maintenance skills
  • The ability to manage stress effectively

So needless to say, the life of a HGV driver is definitely varied, and there will be no two days that are the same.

 

Is There Anywhere Else To Go?

Now that we’ve made such a point of telling you how the Class 1 is right at the top, you might be wondering if there is any kind of career progression for you once you’ve achieved it. After all, everyone ways to be able to progress in life, and you don’t want the Class 1 licence to become the glass ceiling. But the good news is, you can always train for some licence enhancements. These aren’t licenses in their own right, but instead extras you can add on to, well, enhance your licence, and open even more doors. For example, you could train for:

 

HIAB Training: HIAB stands for Hydrauliska Industri AB – shortened to HIAB, and this licence allows you to drive and operate any type of lorry loader crane. Because this is an enhancement, you can do this training in as little as 2-3 days, and it can help boost your earnings to £22K – £31K, depending on where in the country you’re working. 

ADR Enhancement: The ADR Enhancement allows any HGV driver with a Class 1 license to transport hazardous goods across Europe. This can open up a lot of opportunities for drivers, as this kind of license is in high demand. With the ADR Enhancement, you can transport:

  • Flammable substances
  • Toxic substances
  • Corrosive and highly corrosive substances
  • Explosives
  • Radioactive materials

And more. There is a specific training course for this licence, and it opens up the prospect of you earning anywhere between £32K and £40K as a driver.

With either of these enhancements added to your licence, some of the highest paying HGV driver jobs will now to be open to you, giving you the change to do even more.

 

At The LGV Training Centre, we specialise in not only training and enhancements for HGV driving, but helping you find a new role as well. Our skilled experts can talk you through the process of getting your Class 1 licence, as well as give you the training you need to achieve it. If you would like to find out more, just get in touch with the team today.

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