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What’s Involved in Getting a HIAB Licence? The Basics

As demand for professionals in the HGV landscape continues to increase, there’s never been a better time to start honing your skills, and increasing your earning potential. While a standard CPC qualification and HGV training can prepare you for a range of roles in this landscape, you can increases your chances of earning lucrative roles with an additional certification. 

A HIAB licence, for instance, otherwise known as a crane licence, prepares you to operate vehicles safely and effectively with an attached hydraulic crane system. Acquiring one of these licences could mean you can apply for higher-paying jobs in your industry, or even work with a wider range of professional groups across the UK. 

Here’s everything you need to know about getting your HIAB licence. 

Eligibility: What Do You Need to Apply for a HIAB Licence?

Before you start looking for training companies who can help you get your HIAB licence, you need to make sure you meet with some basic eligibility requirements. The exact rules and restrictions around HIAB driving can vary depending on where you’re located. However, in the UK, you’ll need to ensure you have a full UK driving licence, and you’ll need to be at least 18 years old. 

It’s also important to prove you have a good level of physical fitness so you can effectively operate a crane. Some employers and training providers will ask for a medical review before you begin your education, so keep this in mind. Alongside your standard driving licence, you’re also going to need a CPC certification, or Certificate of Professional Competence. 

If you’ve already trained to become an HGV driver, you should have a CPC already. If not, you’ll need to make sure you apply for the right certificate of competency. Getting a CPC licence will require you to attend an accredited CPC course, and complete a series of tests, including both a practical, and theoretic exam. Your HGV training company will be able to help with this. 

It’s also worth noting you’ll need to update your CPC certification every five years, which simply involves attending a refresher course, and completing 35 hours of training every 5 years.

Finding a HIAB Training Provider

Once you have your CPC and you’ve ensured you meet with all of the eligibility requirements to apply for a HIAB licence, the next step is finding a reputable training provider. You’ll need to ensure the training company you work with is accredited by the relevant authorities. 

The correct training provider will be able to provide you with comprehensive practical and theoretical guidance, to ensure you hone all the skills required to operate a HIAB crane. Some training providers can also assist you with the process of studying for your exams, and applying for your licence after you successfully complete your exams. 

Most training providers will prepare you for the ALLMI certificate, or a similar certification, which will all you to operate all kinds of vehicles with a mounted crane. Depending on the training and certification you receive, you may need to invest in periodic re-certification training. Certifications can last between 4 and 6 years, but need to be updated regularly. 

Completing your HIAB Training Course

After choosing your HIAB training provider, you’ll be able to begin an educational course, designed to teach you everything you need to know about managing a HIAB vehicle. Most of these courses last anywhere between 3 days and a week, depending on your prior experience. 

During the course, you’ll learn all about the theoretical and practical aspects of operating a crane truck. While the lessons covered can vary slightly, most will include insights into things like equipment management, and how the components of a HIAB vehicle operate. You’ll discover how to select and use the right lifting gear for each task, and how to assess the weight and balance of loads before securing them for transportation. HIAB training courses can also include insights on:

  • Health and safety: Your training provider will teach you how to follow crucial health and safety guidelines when using HIAB equipment. You’ll be taught how to use protective equipment, and conduct risk assessments. You may also be given instructions on how to perform maintenance checks and inspections before using a crane vehicle. 
  • Legal requirements: Course providers in the HIAB landscape will often provide insights into the legal requirements associated with operating a HIAB equipment. They’ll teach you about road traffic regulations in your area, as well as the certifications and insurance documents you’ll need to keep with you when operating a HIAB. 
  • Operation techniques: You’ll be taught how to safely operate HIAB equipment, how to manoeuvre vehicles, and position cranes, as well as how to lift and lower goods safely. You should receive plenty of insightful guidance on how each aspect of a HIAB vehicle works, and how to monitor for any signs of an issue. 

HIAB training courses combine theoretical instruction with practical exercises, so you can put your skills to the test and practice using different kinds of machinery. 

Taking Your HIAB Examinations

Once you’ve finished your training course, you’ll be assessed on your knowledge and abilities with both a practical, and theoretical exam. The theoretical exam will ask you questions about things you’ve learned during your training course, such as how to safely load and unload a vehicle. 

The practical exam will require you to actively operate a HIAB vehicle in a structured environment to complete various tasks, such as loading and unloading, or manoeuvring your crane in confined spaces. You may also be tested on your ability to carry out common tests and inspections. 

If you pass your exams, you’ll be able to fill in an application form to receive your licence. You’ll often need to pay a fee to access your licence, and provide proof of your identity and your address, as well as evidence of your passing grades.  

Earn your HIAB Licence Today

Getting a HIAB licence can be a fantastic way to boost your earning potential as an HGV driver. It will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to operate a wider variety of vehicles, and apply for a host of high paying jobs. 

If you’re interested in getting your own HIAB licence, contact the LGV training company today, to find out how we can help you to prepare you for a successful new career. 


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